Monday, July 13, 2009

EBWT: Japan

I arrived on the 22nd of June in Shimonoseki, Japan. Just when I passed the passport control I meet Sayaka and Suiji, from Shimonoseki Convention Bureau. I was very lucky to meet them, Sayaka speaks great english, and they helped me a lot in finding cheap accomodation and exchanging money. I ended that night by eating a japanese delicacy, Blowfish, in a very nice restaurant with Sayaka. The day after, thanks to Shimonoseki Convention Bureau, we had a press conference at Shimonozeki press bureau.

That Thursday I started riding again to Beppu in order to take the ferry to Yawahatama, at Honshu island.
The road to Beppu, was less attractive than I had imagined it. The constant view was supermarket, petrol station, pachinko, supermarket, petrol station, pachinko…
But it is the Pachinko that deserves special attention. Casinos are not allowed in Japan, so they have these amusement parks, where people play their money at trying to win. They told me some people are authentic speciallists, addicts, and cue at the door trying to get the best machine, or try the latest game.

Once I arrived in Yawahatama I start riding to Matsuyama. The road was quite similar to the one from Shimonoseki to Beppu, and later, no doubt, I´ll see it’s all the same all along the coast on my way to Tokushima.
Matsuyama is a very nice city, with an ancient baths and a castle in the middle of the city. An electric train goes around the city center, where large commerical arcades serve everyone everything. The day I left Matsuyama I meet Mariko and her husband. I stopped for water and Mariko, very nicely, invited me for lunch. When I decided to leave, the rear weel was flat again. Definitly it couldn’t be a tyre problem so Mariko’s husband brought his van and we went to a bicycle shop. After and hour we discovered the problem! Probably on the occasion when I couldn’t detach the chinese tyre, the rim got a little broken, so a little piece of it remained inside and scrachted the inner tube all the time. After we scraped and polished the rim, the problem was finally solved.
That day I managed to arrive at Imabari at night and the following morning I kept riding to Sakaide where I stopped in a bar to eat something and I ended in Hirame’s home. I meet many people at the bar…

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