Thursday, 29 May 2014

Exploring the mountain roads of Mikawa

After I discovered some nice looking mountain roads in Mikawa , I set out for a day exploring them with my partner Tamaki. We took the train with our bikes packed up in rinko bags and arrived in the small river side town of Mikawa around 9.15am which gave us plenty of time to unpack the bikes and grab some snacks from the nearby convenience store. The day was already hot and continued to get hotter reaching 30 deg mid afternoon. Luckily most of the day we were in the shade as the mountain road had a fantastic canopy of shady trees that keep the sun off us. I had printed out a map I made and we did our best to follow it , but I need to make a better map as there are many unmarked roads and a few confusing turns along the route.



The mountain road we took starts out on a sealed road steadily climbing up to a mountain village where we saw a small carp farm and discovered a nice fresh water spring. In the village we also spotted the start of another mountain road we did not know about. Many of the small side roads are not marked on any of the maps and make exploring the area a challenge. Not far after the village the sealed road turns to gravel and with a steady gradient and several steep pitches makes a good workout on a single speed MTB, I am pleased to say my 33T - 16T gearing was perfect for this route allowing me to ride the entire route without walking at all. 





After following the map carefully we finally crested the summit were the gravel ended and the sealed road started again, after a short rest and some food we headed downhill and were treated to fantastic views on the surrounding mountains. There was a small crew of workers clearing rocks from the road but overall it was pretty nice and not long before we reached a small mountain village marked on my map




At the mountain village on my map there was only one sealed road leading to the left so that is the road we ended up taking, in reality we should have cycled to the right through the village and taken the next road to the left instead. 



The road we took to the left was fantastic but did not bring us down to Tsugawa instead we arrived in Tsunogami kohan  on the other side of the mountain , bypassing a camp ground and onsen before coming out onto route 459 which then required a short 10 km ride around the river side back to Tsugawa station. 



We rode to a nearby liquor store and bought a few beers and snacks for the train ride home. Overall it was not a long ride at all , maybe about 35km in total but one of the harder short rides of I have done this year. Now I need to make a better map before I head into the hills of Mikawa again ! 











3 comments:

thescooterdewd said...

Beautiful trip...I'm jealous that you have such a great place to ride. I love watching youtube vids of people walking/biking in Japan. I wish we were more bicycle tolerant here in the states...it's changing but very slowly. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

Jeff

Don Speden said...

Hi thescooterdewd

Japan is only a nice place to cycle if you can escape the concrete jungle and get deep into the countryside, cycling in the cities is dangerous, cars do not care about cyclists and many drivers do not want cyclists on the road at all. My home country of NZ is a far better place to cycle and much safer !

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