Day 4: Matsubagawa to Takase

I slept restlessly listening to the rain and hoping it would all blow over. I played through a Plan B and a Plan C. I got up at. 4.45 am to check out the plausibility of B and C.

We had another extraordinarily good breakfast and got ready to leave. It was a steady drizzle.

Once the bikes were ready we headed out across the red bridge adjacent to the hotel for a quick squizz.

To the right.
To the left.

I noted this sign at the hotel, and could not agree more.

This is the ‘huge’ hotel sign we missed in yesterdays location confusion.

This sign led to our confusion, but all ended well and we had a good overnight stay, with two wonderful meals.

The rain was a heavy drizzle by now and we hoped that it did not deteriorate. The upside was that there was minimal wind and it was not cold. So getting wet was more tolerable.

The camera does not come out very often when it rains either, so less photos today.

We followed the Shimanto River from our accomodation for maybe 12 plus km. Here are a couple of photos. It is a pretty river, with lush vegetation.

We had over 2 km of tunnels again today, and this one was a bit of fun. for about half the length we had it to ourselves. I practised my best Freddy Mercury ‘ay-oh’ calls. They reverberated beautifully.

Hitting the coast it all looked a bit dismal.

This island has a shrine on it. Guess the pilgrims need a boat. In the photo you can just see the opening to the shrine path at water level.

Same island a bit further on.

This car and motorbike have been consumed by the creeper.

Today we stopped at a few Lawsons shops so I started calling the day Tour de Lawson. We had time to kill as the accomodation check in was 4 pm and we had a shorter day of about 77 km scheduled.

Lawsons have clean toilets, a wide variety of fresh food to eat, and this one had a coffee machine. It provided us shelter and we could watch some of the heavier rain despite the fact we were soaked.

Ride bikes, have fun, feel good!

Shimanto city arrived soon enough, another Lawsons to grab some food to take to our accomodation as it does not provide any food options, and is somewhat remote.

Red seems to be the favoured bridge colour. I must look into why.

In Shimanto City we were meant to turn right about 50 metres short of the bridge but decided to see what the road was like adjacent to the river. It was a great little road and we were able to follow it to our accomodation.

The full length of the Shimanto River is 196km. There are 47 submersible bridges. They are designed to withstand the forces of floods, which occur 3-4 times a year courtesy of typhoons.

A map showing some of the bridges

We had time to spare so decided to visit the first bridge. Curiously there was a security guard at the car park. There were about 6 cars there, in a car park that could take say a hundred.

As we rolled down to the bridge there was another security guard who indicated we could not ride on the bridge. We dumped the bikes and walked out, took our photos and headed off.

Imanari submersible bridge (chinka bridge)
View from the bridge upstream
View from the bridge downstream

Closer to our accomodation these boats were moored alongside the rivers edge.

Our accomodation is over the Takase submersible bridge.

Looking upstream
Looking towards Takase

Thankfully the owner was willing to let us in early. The bikes are stored in his bike shed along with out wet gear and shoes hoping it might dry a bit overnight.

Kenji relocated here from Tokyo many years ago, buying this house and developing three accomodation rooms. Ours is made up of two rooms, both with tatami flooring (no shoes, sleep on the floor Japanese style).

Our windows look out on this lovely garden.

What a day. Certainly less than ideal riding conditions that make it all a bit slower, but it was actually enjoyable and refreshing. I think the fact that it was a Sunday helped, as the traffic was less than it might have otherwise been.

The weather forecast indicates tomorrow should not rain, but instead is talking about a northerly wind of up to 50 kmh. Guess which direction we are heading tomorrow 🤣. You just have to laugh and hope it all works out fine. 😊

Thanks for reading. I’m looking forward to getting to bed a bit earlier tonight as last night was later, and I got up earlier.

What a brilliant trip this has been so far. We have covered just under 400 km in four days. Huge cultural learnings, wonderful scenery, lovely people.

Thanks for reading, smile on 😊❣️

3 thoughts on “Day 4: Matsubagawa to Takase

  1. Bart Bolger

    Really enjoying your pics and narration. Thanks for allowing us to vicariously enjoy the tour. Hope the weather improves for you soon. Still…far better than the indoor trainer. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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