• Nakasendo travel diary No. 9

  • Nakasendo Bike Travel 9th November 27 - November 29, 2017

Course name: Bicycle Nakasendo Road 69th Kyoto. Shimosuwa-juku 150km from Sakamoto-juku.

Tokyo Station(5:53)-Yokokawa station(8:36)-Matsuida-juku-Sakamoto-juku-Usui Pass-Karuizawa-juku-Kutsukake-juku -Oiwake-juku-Otai-juku-Iwamurata-juku-Shinata-juku-Yawata-juku-Mochizuki-juku-Motai-juku-Ashida-juku -Nagakubo-juku-Wada-juku-Wada Pass-Shimosuwa-juku-From Shimosuwa(4:30) by bus to Shinjuku(8:00)

I enjoyed cycling Nakasendo for the first time with my bicycle. I am tired to be honest. But I felt comfortable somewhere.This time it was about 150 km in 3 days, but it was a reckless plan that did not consider height difference.It was due to the Usui Pass with an altitude of 1200 m and Wada Pass at an altitude of 1,500 m. From now on, I must also make maps to understand the height of each judging.

The first one is over Usui Pass. Arrived at Usui Pass mountain climbing entrance at 12 o'clock, it is a mountaineering climb and it is also a bicycle climbing. In other words, it is a mountain climbing by pushing up the bicycle. If Usui Pass knew it was such a place, I did not do such a reckless thing. I almost arrived at the Kumano shrine at 4 pm, aiming for the summit, almost without rest. It was about 700 m to ride a bicycle within the 8 km process. So I spent 1km for 25 minutes and it took 4 hours.

From Kumano Shrine to Karuizawa, it was very comfortable as it was a downhill slope on a normal motorway. But this time, it gets dark at 4:30. It was just running in the dark while sharpening all nerves. (Because I left my mobile light for bicycle at home).

On the third day, it was a 48 km ride from Mochizuki Inn to Shimosuwa, but it was a gentle uphill, but mostly I walked with a bicycle. The former Nakasendo road turns right from the male and female hatchway on Route 142 and goes into the former national highway, but since the altitude here is 1,100 m and the peak of Wada Pass is 1,531 m, the difference in elevation is about 430 m. At the schedule, I thought that if it is 12 o'clock, I plan to aim for climbing here as well, but arriving at Kasatori Pass over time was unexpectedly arriving at 14:30. I abandoned the mountain trail and used the old national highway, but it was already around 17 o'clock that I passed through a tunnel at the top of Wada pass. Of course the sun is dying and the moon is out.

Depending on the white guardrail and the white line on the road, I just got off but I could not get the speed, it was 6:25 that I got to Shimosuwa station.
The bus I had booked was briefly not at 6:14. I decided to leave at 4:31 the next morning.
Therefore, I arrived at the hotel at 4 o'clock at the Mochiduki-juku only on the second day, but the Mochizuki-juku and Motai-juku brought it on the third day. That was the cause of delayed arrival of Shimosuwa-juku.
As a lesson for the future, the mileage for a day is set at 50 km to 35 km. If I do that, I can take an hour break for lunch time. However, it was harvest that we could capture the two passages of the difficulties, Usui Pass and Wada Pass. Even so, the road in the vicinity of the top of Wadada Pass was wet, there was a mass of snow. It means that there was snow already.

Even so, I was fortunate that this three days was fine weather. The next plan is supposed to be in May of next year. It was fortunate that I made a detailed map this time, and I was able to see that I was able to see where I saw it, and I could also take pictures. The animation making of Nakasendo is finished up to Shinmachi-juku. If I add from this time Kuragano-juku to Wadada Pass over, 28-juku will be completed. The rest, 41-juku.

The complete conquest of the middle of next year is no longer a dream. Even so, it turned out that it was only a flat road and a descending lane to allow a bicycle to travel. I think that the power of a bicycle will be demonstrated from around the 50th Fushimi-juku. Because the road is flat. After 21’s lodgings are going to progress while clapping his whip.

What I liked very much at this lodging place is the Oiwake-juku. The maintenance was very attentive. Also, the Motai-juku had the atmosphere of the Edo period. It seems that there will be many such postings in the future. I have loved Nakasendo. I never thought that I could run a bicycle at 1,500 meters high. Because I have traveled since the sunset twice, next time I will travel in a sunny time zone and I want to taste the real pleasure of my life.

This time, I would like to thank the people of Seven Eleven, I was allowed to use the toilet, and I was teaching the way carefully in the way. Please turn left at the second Seven Eleven here, so please arrive at the hotel or turn right at the next Seven Eleven. It was very easy to understand.

When I heard the Shimosuwa station at a couple of students at the end of the road taught me many things with the elderly people at the roadside, they taught me easily and asked if I could understand Shimosuwa station when I was there again I have done it. I was happy to answer that I also found a bus stop.

Mr. Ueoka taught me the "Nakasendo Doucyuuki" on the Web. I re-created my own map based on the map of “Nakasendo Doucyuuki”, and pasted the photos of the historic sites there. That was very helpful for me around the station. Thank you very much.

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