Biking in Japan Part 2 travel blog

Outside the hotel window

Entrance to store from train station

Mochi-Perfectly displayed

Lunch time for Japanese businessmen

Plastic food

Lunch with a view

Our hotel

Our room

The bathroom

Our bikes are in Onomichi, we are in Fukuyama. How could such a thing happen?

We woke up to the expected rain. I took the picture above from our hotel window this morning. We decided to leave the City of Onomichi that has a population of about 100,000. Onomichi is an attractive city with a nice walking area along the bay. There is a nearby bridge/highway that connects the main land with several islands. The highway extends for 70 KM. It’s supposed to be a nice bike ride into the islands.

So why did we leave both Onomichi and our bikes? It was the rain, in addition, we’re going for the hustle and bustle of the big city. More restaurant choices and the big lights of the big city. We are in Fukuyama with a population of about 470,000. It was a 15 minute train ride from Onomichi. We will have to go back to Onomichi to get our bikes. We thought, even if the rain stops in the afternoon, we can take the train back to get the bikes. But that didn’t happen, it rained nearly all day. We will take the train back tomorrow morning.

So instead of the usual highlights of the biking, I had to find something of interest elsewhere. But first the Japanese headlines.

The weather continues to dominate the news. Yesterday was down right hot, in fact the hottest day of the year in many areas. Today is a different story and the snowplows were out in Tokyo.

Somebody has been taking bamboo shoots from someone’s private property near Kyoto. He normally sells them for profit.

Okay, let’s move on. We strolled through the train station in Fukuyama for items of interest. Taking pictures in these areas can be interesting. Sometimes they will let you take pictures, other times they don’t want you to, and sometimes you can just get away with it. At times like this, when I’m taking pictures, it is normally best for Yuki to keep her distance from me, or at least pretend she doesn’t know me. As a foreign tourist I can just plead ignorance.

The second picture above is the entrance to the stores from the train station. The Japanese have mastered the art of presentation. Everything looks very attractive, you are automatically lured into their web.

The third picture is of Mochi, a special type of rice that is pounded or mixed until a smooth sticky dough type mixture is formed. The above picture is different flavored Mochi. I asked the woman at the store if I could take a picture, she seemed to nod and then moved away. She went into a little room, I snapped the photo, she came back and said she would not allow a photo to be taken. I assume the little room she disappeared into was to ask the boss the policies about photos.

The fourth picture is of the Japanese business men eating lunch. So what’s the big deal? Well, this photo could be taken many times at many of the nearby restaurants. You will see hundreds of business men, these guys are dressed to the hilt.

The fifth picture is of plastic food. This is very common in Japan. The food displays are almost always of the plastic variety.

The Sixth picture is the view from where we ate lunch, it was actually a better view than you see here. We had a nice castle towering above us.

The Feature of the Day- Today we look at the hotels of Japan. Most of the hotels are of the business hotel variety. These are, of course, catering to business men on their travels. The rooms are small, but get the job done. Our room tonight is about 140 square feet. They seem to all come with most of the same amenities, some type of hot water dispenser for tea, a couple of tea bags, TV, internet, a vending machine in the hallway with different beverages including beer. The bathrooms normally have shampoo, liquid body soap, a bathtub and a pilot controlled toilet seat. You can figure the last one out yourself.

Miles logged today- We walked our bikes across the street to the bike parking area, .02 miles.

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