August 8th, we pedaled from Akiyoshidai to Tsunoshima Bridge. It was the longest and the most challenging ride on the trip.
Go down to Nagato city
Before we started riding, the owner of the inn told us “There is a good short cut.” and my husband asked “Is it steep?” and he said, “No, it’s not steep.”
But it was steep enough for us, and my husband said, “Don’t trust of the word by a man who doesn’t ride a bicycle”.😅
However, there was little car traffic on the roads, and after crossed a pass, we comfortably went down the slope to Nagato City.
I found most housing and buildings that we saw during the ride, had brown roof tiles during riding. (In Tokyo, we usually see black or blue roof tiles.) It is “Sekisyu Gawara”, the local specialty of Iwami district.”
It was drizzling in the morning, but fortunately, it stopped at noon.
After arrived in Nagato City, we rode on R 191. The traffic was relatively heavy.
Then we entered “Mukatsuku Peninsula,” 向津具半島 because I wanted to visit “Motonosumi inari shrine” 元乃隅稲荷神社, which was selected as CNN “Japan’s 36 most beautiful places“.
By the way, Mukatsuku sounds funny because it means “fed up” in Japanese.
We struggled on the roads in the peninsula, which were steeper than we expected.
Before visiting the shrine, we wanted to visit “Senjyojiki” 千畳敷, the top of the plateau on the peninsula, but when we started the climb to the place, we gave up. The angle was beyond our slope climbing ability.
Motonosumi Inari Shrine
After crossing a pass, we went down the steep slope and finally arrived at Motonosumi inari shrine.
After a CNN broadcasted the featured the shrine, it suddenly became famous. There was a new parking lot in front of the shrine, but a new bicycle parking place was at the bottom of the slope.
We walked through under the 123 Torii gates. All Torii gate was donated by believers.
Then we stayed on a bench near a shop in front of the shrine for a while.
After recovery, we climbed back up a steep slope. We didn’t have to cross over the mountain again due to a new tunnel.
Back to the R191, the traffic was light, and we rode comfortably beside the seaside.
However, it was difficult to find a restaurant along the road.
13:00, We managed to find a restaurant, “Peppermint.” It was a nostalgic restaurant, but the food tasted good and was relatively cheap.
Then we pedaled toward Tsunoshima Bridge. The road to the bridge was also steep.
We arrived at Tsunoshima Bridge 角島大橋, which is popular for its beautiful ocean. At the edge of the bridge, I was fascinated by the combination of the blue and clean water and white sand beach.
Then we pedaled the 1,780 meters long bridge. I felt a cool breeze and enjoyed the view from the top of the bridge. The scenery was beautiful beyond description.
My husband asked a shop staff whether it was dangerous to cross the bridge by bicycle, and she answered, “On weekends, there are a lot of cars, and it would be dangerous for a bike to ride on the bridge with cars.” But fortunately, it was a weekday, and we were not scared by cars.
Take a train to Shimonoseki Station
We were so exhausted, and we took trains to Shimonoseki station as scheduled.
The final slope to JR Kottai station 特牛駅 near the bridge was also steep.
We had one hour before the next train. We packed our bikes in bike bags and entered the station, and found two cats were lying on the floor. Several minutes after, an old man came and fed them. After finished eating, a calico cat went out the building and gave sucked three kittens. They were adorable.
We got off the train at Shimonoseki Station 下関駅, the west end station in Honshu island 本州.
After unpacking our bikes, we went to the inn, Uzuhouse, and took a shower. We could keep our bikes in their garage. (In this trip, except for Izumo Guesthouse, we could keep our bikes inside safely.)
Eat Fugu, puffer fish at Izakaya
Then we went to have dinner at an Izakaya, Uomasa Honjin 魚正本陣, which was recommended by the inn’s staff.
We ate sashimi of Fugu, pufferfish because Shimonoseki is famous for the fish. Fugu is a delicacy in Japan because it contains highly toxic poison. But it is safe to eat because trained cooks carefully removed the poisonous parts.
We had inexpensive Fugu and other sashimi and drank cold beer. It was superb!
Distance: 84.4 km
Elevation: + 1034 / – 1135 m