25 Travelreport Japan  26.2. - 16.3.2009

Travelreport No 25  Japan  26.2. - 16.3.2009

The visit in Japan is characterized by true japanese hospitality, which is so great, that only someone who has experienced it, can imagine it.

In Tokyo we stay with our friends Howard and Toshiko Ogasawara. Together with Howard, we visit the 22 millon metropole, beautiful parks and interesting temples. He also drives with us for a visit of Kazukos very nice parents who live near Mt. Fuji. And Toshiko is spoiling us with the most delicate japanese food (oh, we love it so much) and really makes us feel like at home. But hospitality is not the only thing Japan has to offer. The landmark, vulcano Fuji-san is impressing, as well as the uncountable temples, the harmonic japanese gardens, the old city centres with their traditional wooden houses, or the heated toilet rings, or toilets which make a flushing sound as soon as you sit on the ring....

Howard and Toshiko drive us with their car for 580 km across the island Honshu, because buses and trains do not transport bikes in Japan. Crossing a pass we have to install snow chaines, which means for us to experience again winter.

In Kanazawa we get a heartily reception from Noburu and Mariko in their beautifully restored house, and after enjoying japanese delicacies, the hot japanese bath is ready as well as the futon to take a rest. On the program is visiting their greenhouse, the artmuseum (built by Howards niece and famous architect Kazuyo Sejima), the gardens, the geisha quarters, temples and in the evening - Norburo invites us to a Sushi bar. The variety of best and freshest fish is incredible great and we do enjoy all these delicacies enormous. Time to say good bye comes just too fast, but before leaving we get invited again from Noburo and Mariko to have an exlusive lunch in a traditional restaurant - a fantastic treat.

And once more we take the offer of Howard and Toshiko and get driven to Kyoto. There, Wolfgang, a german friend who was working at the ETH too, puts us up for 3 nights in his 20m2 flat, where we feel at home immediately and have a great time.

Pius assembles our bikes and we take the advantage and cycle in the beautiful city of Kyoto, through narrow streets, visiting many of the famous temples. On Sunday Wolfgang accompagnies us for the first 85 km to return then back home.

In 6 days we cover the distance of 597 km from Kyoto to Tokyo. The days are really unforgettably beautiful, some with sunshine and great views of Fuji-San. And then it is great for us to return to the family Ogasawara, feeling like at home and get spoiled all over again.

We would have liked to cycle in Japan for much longer, but winter and time did not allow it this time.