To the Sea of Japan (Day 1: Tokyo to Fukaya)

My son’s first single-seated bike tour.

When my son was one year old, we started bike touring with our chariot bike trailer. After he was five years old, he started riding our tandem bike or trailer bike with his father.
We have traveled all over Japan from Hokkaido to Kyushu island every year.
Now he is ten years old, and this March he could complete the Shimanami Kaido ride on a single-seated bike.
So we decided to go bike touring from my house to Naoetsu city, Niigata Prefecture which lies on the coast of the Sea of Japan. It proved to be a real challenge, especially as it was my son’s first single-seated bike tour.
We live near Tokyo Bay which is connected to the Pacific Ocean, so we crossed the Main Isnald of Japan from east to west.
It is also our re-challenge. Three years ago we had tried to go from Kirigamine mountain to Naoetsu but gave up 20km to go.

Itinerary

Day 1: From Tokyo to Fukaya City, Saitama pref along Arakawa River.
Day 2: From Fukaya City to Isobe Onsen(Hotsprings), Gunma pref via Tomioka Silk mill.
Day 3: From Isobe Onsen to Ueda City, Nagano Pref. via Usui Toge(Pass.) *
Day 4: From Ueda City to Shibu Onsen(Hotsprings)
Day 5: From Shibu Onsen to Naoetsu City, Niigata Pref.
*We would have to go over Shibu pass on Shiga-Kusatsu road but this February the volcano of Mt. Shirane erupted and now the route is blocked.
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Day 1: From Tokyo to Fukaya city, Saitama Pref.

6 AM Start Riding

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Under Shuto Expressway Route 6

We started from our house in the early morning to avoid the midday heat. Surprisingly it was our first time to start our bike touring from our house. (Usually, we get on a train or an airplane to our starting point).

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Lots of cyclists enjoyed riding in the early morning

We pedaled to Horikiri bridge and entered Arakawa River Cycling Road (Bike Path).
Arakawa River Cycling Road is 80 km long cycling path from Tokyo Bay to Kumagaya City, Saitama Prefecture. You can enjoy non-stop riding without traffic lights and any cars but should be careful because there are many walkers, runners, and players who enjoy various sports games on the fields of the river bank.
It is one of the most popular bike paths around Tokyo. I have ridden on the path times without number.

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Iwabuchi watergate

At first, my son kept up a 20km pace but gradually his riding speed reduced.
During the ride, we took frequent short breaks at my son’s request.

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In the patty-field of Saitama City

After we passed Akigase Park in Saitama City, the scenery changed. We went on the narrow path in the middle of huge patty-fields.
My son took pictures of the fields and said). ” If someone sees my photos, he/she will not understand where we were.”

10AM Enomoto farm.

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We reached Enomoto Farm, 50 km north of Tokyo.
The ice cream of the farm is one of the attractions on Arakawa Cycling Road, and we can always see lots of cyclists enjoy ice cream.
I ate Mocha and Chocolate chip ice cream. Yummy…
After eating ice cream, we rode to the next bridge, Tarouemon Bridge and left the river bank.

11:15 AM Ooki Udon

 

 

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Thick noodles / Ooki Udon

We ate lunch at “Ooki Udon”. Udon noodle is one of the local specialties here and it is said the restaurant offers the thickest udon noodle in Saitama prefecture.
I ordered “thick noodle” and my husband ordered “thin noodle”, but the thin noodle of this restaurant is thick enough.
Slices of baked aburaage (deeply fried bean curd) are on the top of it.
After lunch, we went to a railway station to skip riding in the furious hot temperature. It was over 35-degrees Celsius at that time.

 

2 PM Okegawa Station

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Carrying bike is not easy

We arrived at JR Okegawa station, Takasaki line and we packed our bikes in our bicycle bags in front of Okegawa station and did “Rinko”, we got on the train carrying the bicycle bags.

3 PM Fukaya Station

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In front of Fukaya Station

We traveled by train for about 30 minutes (34km) and arrived at JR Fukaya station where our accommodation for the day, was located.
Fukaya Station is modeled after Tokyo station and it is called “Mini-Tokyo station”,
Fukaya City developed as a brick town because Japan’s first Brick Factory was established here by the Meiji Government in 1881.
The red bricks of the Tokyo Station or the Akasaka Palace were made in the factory.

We stayed at Hana hotel Fukaya. The hotel is economy, but clean and the fee includes Breakfast and nice room wear and other amenities.
And the guests can take the Onsen, hot spring next to the Hotel.
We enjoyed the Onsen and have a supper there.

Distance: 67.08 km

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