Trains, planes and….bikes

It has been a long two days, leaving Devonport 5 pm Monday, arriving in Japan 6.30 am Wednesday. We overnighted in Melbourne, had an early flight to Sydney with 90 minutes between landing and the international flight departing to Hong Kong.

We did see our bike bags in Sydney as we transferred by bus to the international terminal, by ours chance. We were pretty pleased as all that luggage had international connection tags.

We had an agonising 8 hour wait in Hong Kong leaving there at 2 am! We arrived in Osaka at 6.30 am this morning.

After showing our QR codes to immigration and customs, scanning our passports three times, finger printing and photos taken I join the queue to obtain a rail ticket.

It’s a long and slow queue and I’m tired. I get to the front to be told I’m in the wrong queue…..aaaagh. Fortunately no one was in the other queue a bit further up the way.

Two trains and we arrive in Wakayama at our hotel and it’s only 9 am, checkin is at 3 pm. For an extra 8800 yen (about 100 aud) we get to our room early (after eating tomorrows breakfast today, as they would not refund but would allow pre eating!)

Kensai airport is on the little island off Osaka (to the left of the O in Osaka on the map). We then travelled to Wakayama by train, and tomorrow Tokushima on the island of Shikoku by ferry.

We immediately hit the sack and slept for a bit over 2.5 hours feeling somewhat less tired than earlier.

Then it was down to business putting the bikes together. Tony does a great job and today had very little wriggle room.

Tony is wearing the pj’s issued by the hotel. Curiously I have noted people wandering around the hotel in them.

My job is to do the washing, cleaning what we wore on the plane, and hanging it up to dry. Hence why Tony is wearing the pjs.

You can see Wakayama Castle in the background.

Having noted Wakayama Castle from our window, once we were all sorted and showered, we headed off for a walk towards the castle.

We entered via this gate

Beautiful gardens surround the castle.

Our first animal sighted in Japan is….a turtle.

There is also a turtle basking in the sun on the small solo rock.

At the bridge entrance we were required to remove footwear.

The timber may look smooth, but in fact they are overlaid planks that hurt hurt feet longer than the plank width. So tip toeing easier.

The castle was built in the late 1500s as has been reconstructed a few times due to destruction. The last rebuild was more recent, with the castle razed during WWII.

Tony finds cats hidden away including this dozing feline.

We departed by the rear gate where equine activities used to take place.

We found our dinner at a supermarket in the railway station, adjacent to our hotel. Very yummy and reasonably priced. The sushi cost around $15 aud. The strawberries were sweet and succulent.

We also purchased some snacks to carry in the bikes. Needless to say, these are mine. Two of those packets Tony will have zero interest in. He has his own supply, the high sugar type.

I do love wandering around food shops in other countries to see what is on offer.

Years ago we acquired a reputation from our friend Helen, whom we met doing LeJog and then a French north to south ride. She told us she knew the Yaxleys had arrived (in Dover) by the windows.

We actually got into trouble at Cheddar (England) as the owner did not appreciate the ‘look’. 🤣

I often think of Helen and did today as we headed back to the hotel and saw this…..

Check the windows a few floors from the top
Close up

Tomorrow we are booked on the 5.30 am ferry. We need to be there just after 5 am and ride there, so we will be up early.

We are going to hand over our luggage being stored here for a fortnight, then hit the sack.

The adventure starts tomorrow, stay tuned. 😊❣️

11 thoughts on “Trains, planes and….bikes

    1. Arigato, yes our bikes are here, so that’s great. Weather looks fine for tomorrow. Set the alarm for 4.15 am….so we can finalise the pack, ride to the port, buy two bike tickets (we have tickets but I could not do the bike tickets online, hence why we are going earlier as the following ferry busier). Xx


      1. Angie

        Glad to see that all is going pretty well for you. Sounds like hard work riding up hills, in the rain and into headwinds, so well done!
        Lovely photos of green scenery.
        It’s good that you’ve experienced onsen and good Japanese food, and traditional bedding on the floor: Certainly a cultural experience!
        By the way, the sign said don’t throw empty cans around.
        Love from Angie xx

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Charlie

    And…….. We’re off.
    Have a safe and epic journey guys. I’m looking forward to seeing all the sights and hearing all the tales.
    Ride on!

    Liked by 1 person

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