Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Ride Tales, Trip Reports and Stories > Ride Tales
Ride Tales Post your ride reports for a weekend ride or around the world. Please make the first words of the title WHERE the ride is. Please do NOT just post a link to your site. For a link, see Get a Link.
Photo by Mark Newton, Mexican camping

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Mark Newton,
Camping in the Mexican desert



Like Tree446Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #2086  
Old 28 Feb 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847

The most striking feature about the Yutoku Inari Shrine is the lattice-work of crimson beams supporting the main building


Quackers


The Inari deities are associated with foxes, whose statues guard the shrine
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2087  
Old 28 Feb 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847

We love Japan!


Tourists come from all over Japan (and the world) to see the shrine
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2088  
Old 28 Feb 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847

While some may need shelter from the falling rain...


others revel in the shower of petals
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2089  
Old 9 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847

Inside the Yutoku Inari Shrine


Walking around taking lots of pictures

We don't often time our travels very well. Snow and ice chased us out of Alaska and we spent a year and a half following the rainy season through Latin America. But our timing through Japan is impeccable. Cherry blossom season is #1 on Neda's list of things to see and we've now reached the beginning of the season right at the southern end of Japan. Although sakuras may only bloom over two weeks, we're going to slowly follow the blossoming season as the warm weather travels north. We'll definitely get more than two weeks of cherry blossoms!

__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2090  
Old 9 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847

In Japan and in other asian cultures, this orange-reddish color, vermilion, is the colour of life

The colour wards of evil spirits, bad luck and danger. It reminds me of the vermilion-laquered furniture of my family home in Malaysia.




We walk around Yutoku Inari Shrine with petals in our hair. When we get back to our bikes, they too are covered in pale pink snow
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2091  
Old 9 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847
At least the rain has stopped as we climb back on our bikes. We've only got another hour's ride north to the city of Fukuoka, but as luck would have it, shortly after we leave Kashima, the sky opens up cold rain on our helmets. At least we've kept our rainsuits on as we brave through the elements.

As we reach the outskirts of Fukuoka and I spy the welcome orange-and-black sign of our favorite fast food place: Yoshinoya. I tap on the communicator and ask Neda if she wants to get out of the rain and get some warm Japanese food inside of us. It's a rhetorical question, of course...


Ugh! So miserable...

We burst into the restaurant like wet dogs dripping water all over the place. At least the place is empty because it's mid-day, right in between the lunch and dinner crowds, so we don't cause too much of a commotion as we slip off all of our wet layers and hang them on various chairs and tables around us to dry. We feel so un-Japanese, making such a mess. The staff, in response, are typically Japanese, very gracious and accommodating and trying not to make us feel self-conscious. Which makes us even more self-conscious...


We feel we deserve an extra-special treat today, so we both order the extra-large bowl of Unagi (BBQ eel) rice!
Aaaahhh! So yummy!


Normally unagi is much more expensive where we're from, but here in Japan, they're surprisingly moderately priced so we don't feel so guilty getting the extra portions of eel.

We savour our hot meal inside the warm and dry restaurant, watching and waiting for the rains to subside.

Which it doesn't.
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2092  
Old 9 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847

So back on the bikes in the pouring rain to go look for a place to sleep tonight

We've been staying at hotels and guest houses the entire time in Japan. Some of the places have tatami rooms, so we get the flavour of sleeping in Japanese-style accommodations. But none of them have been true "ryokans", which is a traditional Japanese Inn, where the entire building is wood and tatami mats everywhere. Until now!


First thing you do in any Japanese building is swap out your outside shoes for inside slippers

The Japanese are fastidious about dirt, and keeping it out of the living area. There are outside shoes, inside slippers and even toilet slippers. When you enter any washroom, you leave your inside slippers out in the hallway and don special toilet slippers.

__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2093  
Old 9 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847
We are really looking forward to a nice, hot onsen bath! This ryokan we've found is a budget inn. Most of the ones I found online were very fancy and expensive, which we can't afford. But this one is right in our price-range, which means we have to be prepared for basic and no-frills accommodations. But it does have an onsen onsite - which, saying this out loud, makes for a nice alliterative marketing slogan... for gaijin. So maybe not...


*shrug* Wuz a little bored, I guess...

After checking into our very basic and no-frills tatami room (which had a very strong grassy smell from the mats), we each went off to our separate onsens. I think we spent more time in the hot baths than we did riding to get here!


As mentioned, our tatami room is very basic and no-frills


But it did look better with the lights out. A nice touch with the backlit paper cutout shadows!

Hopefully tomorrow it will be less wet outside.

Oyasuminasai! (Good night in Japanese)
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2094  
Old 20 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847
Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/406.html



Well, the sun is shining outside, and quite brightly, as well. But this is how my day starts off:


My left boot is leaking and is still a bit soggy from yesterday's ride. Plastic bag sock condom to the rescue!

So remember how down I was on Internet web forums, because nobody seems to be using them anymore? I actually got a response from one of the Japanese motorcycle forums I'm on! Dale is an American ex-pat living on Kyushu island, and he replied to one of my posts, inviting us out to breakfast before he headed out for work. He told us to meet him at a diner in Kitakyushu, which was less than 40 minutes away from our ryokan in Fukuoka. Cool! We get to meet another fellow motorcycle rider!


Dale brought all of his maps with him and helps us to plan our route through Japan

Seems like Dale is a regular here. He was conversing quite fluently with the owner! I'm a member of a Facebook group for ex-pats in Japan and from all the chatter on there, it seems that the default job for gaijin is to be an English teacher. But now we're meeting so many people that have other jobs as well. Dale is a technical writer for Yamaha! We spent a lot of time talking about his experiences in Japan and motorcycling specifically! He said that on Kyushu, you never have to put away your motorcycle for the winter.

Well then, Kyushu has automatically jumped up the list for a good place to settle!
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2095  
Old 20 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847
Dale had to take off to go to work, and we thanked him for the warm welcome and for all the information.


Dale rides a Yamaha, naturally! MT-09 Tracer!

We asked one of a bunch of Japanese ladies passing by to take our picture. After she did, the group of ladies also wanted to take our picture. Well, not of us, just of them and Neda! It seems that a gaijin girl on a motorcycle is quite the curiousity in these parts, same as I was in Latin America!


I took a shot of them with my camera as well! Neda towers over most of them!
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2096  
Old 20 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847
We rode out of Kitakyushu, heading east across the bridge back onto the main island of Honshu. The road we're on takes us through Mine City in Yamaguchi Prefecture. This plateaued area is called Akiyoshidai and is littered with thousands of limestone karst formations on the ground around us. Very scenic!


Stopping to take some pictures of all the rocks


The visitor centre at Akiyoshida

There is also a 9-km long limestone cave nearby, it's the longest one in Japan. The first km is open for tourists but there's an entrance fee which we don't want to pay. Because paying to hike a kilometre is just insult on top of injury. They should be paying *me* to go hiking!


Plus these cool-looking rocks are free and we're riding around them on motorcycles. No hiking involved!
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2097  
Old 20 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847

Carps, blowing in the wind

Further along the way, we cross a bridge and see dozens of these carp-shaped wind socks blowing in the wind. These are called koi-noibori and are usually put up to celebrate the national week-long holiday called Golden Week, where the whole country goes on vacation. It's similar to Ferragosto in Italy, which we had the misfortune to run into.

Golden Week starts in a couple of weeks, so this time, we're going to try to finish up our Japan tour before the holidays begin because it'll be impossible to find accommodations while on the road since everyone has booked their hotels and ryokans months in advance, plus there'll be heavy traffic jams all over the islands!

Congestion around the big cities in Japan is bad enough normally, I can't even imagine how bad it gets during Golden Week!


Fellow two-wheelers on their daily commute
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2098  
Old 21 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847
We've been asked about our plans for 2020:

__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
  #2099  
Old 23 Mar 2020
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 198
Ha ha, we know that feeling, we were organised to leave in May for Russia, Mongolia and parts in between, not now so our trip will be much the same as yours now

Gino & Fiona
Reply With Quote
  #2100  
Old 29 Mar 2020
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: No Fixed Address (formerly Toronto)
Posts: 1,847
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rondelli View Post
Ha ha, we know that feeling, we were organised to leave in May for Russia, Mongolia and parts in between, not now so our trip will be much the same as yours now
Crazy times.

I can't imagine people being stuck in the middle of their tour right now! Or just starting out and having to turn back and go home.
__________________
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cuba, rtw, visit


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 
 

Announcements

Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.

2024:

2025:

  • Queensland is back! Date TBC - May?

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

 
World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)



Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


 

What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!



Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.



Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 16:58.