Day 5: Takase to Uchiko

We awoke early, and it was not raining! However it sure was windy, per the forecast.

We had enjoyed our stay with Kenji who was a lovely, friendly, helpful guy. We also had the opportunity to meet the other guests. A couple from Paris, and two female friends from Germany.

Kenji had arranged our dinner the previous night from a local fishmonger, and it certainly was very fresh and tasty.

After bidding our farewells, we headed back across the Takase chinkabashi bridge. The Shimanto River would be the focus of our ride today, following its path through valleys heading to our destination Uchiko some 100 km to the north.

I think the submersible bridges are a great idea in areas susceptible to flooding but they are narrow. As we crossed, a car came up behind us and we stood by the edge to let is pass. I’m glad he held his line!

I found this video on the bridges that may be of interest.


The river was flowing faster today, and was muddier, courtesy of the last few days heavy rain. Here are a few earlier shots of the Shimanto.

We thought this local attraction sign was well crafted.

Our first toilet stop was very scenic. Lush vegetation and a waterfall.

The roads varied today from narrow riverside, seemingly suitable for one lane, but in fact are two lanes, to national highway verges/‘pathways’.

The only hassle today was the wind. It was a very strong headwind and we both had some back tension, likely from holding the bike tight in the gusts. We carry Panadol!

Wind is crazy. The first few days we were heading south westerly, and the wind? South westerly of course, but maybe no more than 15 kmh. Today we headed north? The wind wanted to share our adventures and turned to the north, but more like 30 plus kmh. The forecast was up to 75 kmh gusts for the area.

But looking at the pictures, all looks serene!

An older man was tending his vegetable gardens. I love that aspect of cycle touring, watching people get about their day to day activities.

Proof that I occasionally sit on the front!!! 🤣🤣

Today we had over 4 km of tunnels, including our longest to date that was 1.92 km long. This is quite a new tunnel, with a great shared pathway. It is well lit, and is even brighter if you remove your cycling glasses!!

Features on the wall include regular signage indicating how far to each opening. There are regular SOS telephones and a few wider bays that a car could pull into.

We only had snacks for breakfast today and was keen to buy some solid food. Alas it was not here. But you could buy a beer in one of the vending machines.

More hills and rivers.

Tony noted this large map of Shikoku and we stopped to take a photo.

Then we saw a bike rack outside the business. The owner came out encouraging us to use his rack. I asked what he sold. One word had us. “Coffee”.

So we entered and this was at our table.

On the back wall this cute painting. I think it makes you smile 😊

We learned the owners name was Takahito. He was super friendly and chatty, telling us his father had established the business in 1987. His niece had done the drawings.

He showed us photos of some motorbike rides he’d done and was impressed that Tony used to sell Honda and Yamaha bikes.

When we left, he took some photos of us with our bikes in front of this dude. I explained how to find my email on this blog, so hoping he does and we can get a copy.

We took one with Takahito and me.

Arigato Takahito 😊

The stop at Takahito’s was very worthwhile. It was delightful to engage with him. We also had spare time. Check in was 5 pm. The headwinds had made slower progress but we were not fussed, just chugging away and preserving energy.

We continue to be amazed just how hilly and green Shikoku is.

Not all that glitters is gold. There are houses abandoned, seemingly beyond repair. What is interesting are the layers of straw under the old sheeting, presumably used as insulation.

Did you know we followed a river today?

Off the side of the road, there were so many waterfalls of various heights. I guess flowing more after the rain. We had ridden through many puddles today, and now with the wind, trees litter scattered, and a few rocks that had slidden down the slopes.

We arrived in Uchiko an hour early, but were let in. We are in hostel style accomodation tonight, with about 4 other guests here. Towels are not included! I needed to hand over 300 yen for two towels.

We have a room with a double bed, but there is a common roof and I can hear three men chatting. I hope they are quiet soon enough! I also hope I do not have one of my very audible nightmares otherwise they might have a night to remember!! 🤣🙈

At dinner we sat with an architect who lives near Mt Fuji. He is here to prepare plans for a public park over the road from the accomodation.

Wandering around the town there are such delights as below. Reminds me of someone….

The town of Uchiko became famous for the production of wax. Rich merchants lived in cream coloured houses that were rendered with a mix of wattle and daub mud walls.

This house is a few doors up from our accomodation and is rendered as described above.

This is our accomodation.

To summarise today….it was a fantastic rides and route. Despite the persistent headwind, we enjoyed riding alongside the Shimanto River for a good part of our 100 km today, through lush, green valleys with lots of waterfalls flowing.

Meeting Takahito invigorated us, as he was so positive and excited for what we were doing in his country and that he met us! He made our day. 😊❣️

6 thoughts on “Day 5: Takase to Uchiko

  1. ali fairley

    Takahito sounds a lovely guy indeed and such a smiley face too! The river certainly had swelled post that in the video yikes – Id have bricked it cycling across without rails haha… A beautiful day you both had

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CR

    Fantastic. Apart from the headwind obvs. Sounds like a really top day experiencing true Japan. Over here in England, bookies have stopped taking blog bets involving rivers and waterfalls! So I will enquire about vending machines and coffee… 😊 Ride on!

    Liked by 1 person

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