Day 1: Wakayama to Shishikui

We woke up super early today as we needed to board the 5.30 am ferry from Wakayama to Tokushima on the island of Shikoku.

Here is my side of the bed, and that is my bike. I do love my bike, but I’ve never slept quite that close to it before. 🤣

It was only a short 3.5 km ride to the ferry. I needed to buy bike tickets (I’d purchased ours online but the bikes I needed to do at the port).

We were directed to Lane 4, alongside the motorbikes and a semi trailer in Lane 5.

That’s me, waiting patiently. The little backpack has 3 bananas and a bun to share for breakfast.
The ferry at the end of the building.
Tony’s bike. The crew strapped it and placed wheel chocks.

The ferry is a decent size and the vehicle deck was about 3/4 full on the first crossing of the day. On board we sat in an area with tables and vending machines selling a huge range of drinks and snacks.

That is how our coffee came today, in a can. My caffeine connoisseur would be barista son in law Rory would be super unimpressed.

The sun was poking its head through as we left the port of Wakayama.

A few hours later we approached the island of Shikoku and the port of Tokushima. The crossing was very smooth with hardly a ripple.

Docked and we rolled off, following a criss cross of residential lanes to keep us off the main roads, but eventually they came. Hard to avoid in big cities.

We watched these young lads setting up for their baseball. Very flat and pristine pitches. Wonder how they keep the weeds out?

Flying into Osaka yesterday, we flew over Shikoku and was very curious about greyish looking wet areas. We now know what we were looking at.

In France it is wheat field after wheat field to support their habit of eating bread. In Japan, replace the wheat with rice fields. They are everywhere, jammed between homes, anywhere that is flat.

There is an intricate drainage system in place, with turtles galore. I did wonder how they keep the turtles out of the rice fields as I imagine the turtles would be a pest there.

The rice fields are just being planted out, and it is fascinating to watch. There are tractors that automatically plant the young crops.

Another thing that intrigues me are the number of cemeteries on hills. Shikoku is hilly so maybe there are not a lot of options given flat land seems to be taken by the rice fields.

For a period of time we followed this lovely river, the Naka.

Most villages have a shrine at their entrance.

Our bike computer told us we had 15 climbs today. There were a few three km climbs, but all were quite comfortable gradients.

Many were through heavily wooded areas above rivers, and the various shades of green were lovely.

We noticed a number of walkers doing the Shikoku Pilgrimage, where they walk (or cycle) to 88 temples. The standard walking route is 1200 km can take 30-60 days to complete. The white shirt, hat, staff is part of the standard attire.

Our route seemed to bypass food options so we were delighted to come across Noah’s Ark! Not sure of the name of this restaurant but I recognised it from a v-blog I watched by two Malaysian cyclists who stopped here.

After removing our shoes we were seated at a table that is low to the ground but has a generous footwell below it. Green tea appeared.

We ordered slightly different meals, as included some sashimi with mine. It was super delicious and all up very reasonably priced at 2900 yen ( about $35 aud).

I do find paying cash in foreign currency difficult without glasses to read the numbers….the magnifying glasses are on whilst I sort the yen out 🤣

My back was being quite tweaky after lunch so we stopped here so I could stretch it, surrounded by vending machines. They are every where .

We hit the coast around the Muroto Anankaigan National Park. Very picturesque.

These man made cement blocks are interesting, used to stop erosion. Reminded me of knuckles, the game that was played when I was younger…just a few years ago, but a giants version.😊

We are now in Shishikui, a coastal village. The washing is out drying, of course! A lovely view from our room. Dinner we lashed out at the Seven 11….I had a bag of salad and some pickled squid. Tony had a few nori rolls.

Breakfast is at 7 am. We will be there on the dot.

Today was a solid day of just over 100 km. It was about 50% footpaths of various construct and quality, 25% road, balance agricultural dirt and sealed tracks and residential lanes.

This is the longest day I’ve done on the bike since open heart surgery 9 months ago too. So thankful I have the opportunity to do these adventures. It will take my body a few days to adjust and adapt.

10 thoughts on “Day 1: Wakayama to Shishikui

  1. Davis Jefferies

    Beautiful Sharron. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. But I must say, that’s a lot of food to eat. Did you not give Tony any?


  2. CR

    Fantastic. It looks stunning. Oh and don’t knock those cans of coffee. Some of them have as much sugar in as a soda! Great for the bike, not so great for the office. Ride on!

    Liked by 1 person

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