Cycling Japan's switchback mountain roads.
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Pre-Departure Test Run (Japan)

We spent a week cycling around the Japanese Alps for golden week. We left Kanazawa with each bike weighing about 10 kg lighter than what we plan to  carry when we are in Mongolia.  We still hadn’t gathered all the equipment we needed to assure us that we could tackle most scenarios we may encounter in Mongolia or Russia. However we were ready for Japan, even if it did feel a bit excessive to be carrying around 10 litres of water as we passed more vending machines than people!


The mighty chariots fully loaded.

Liquid sugar fuel stops. They’re everywhere!


Road 314 in Gifu, winding it’s way up to almost 1000 metres.

On top of a bloody big hill!

An hour later, after free wheeling down the other side of this mountain, a very wet and cold Ciarán turned blue and shook uncontrollably from the cold. Notice the snow in the background!


The bridge to nowhere.


Setting up camp for the night. We mostly went wild camping but we treated ourselves to a campsite here.

Warning sign for bears in Japanese forest.

Bear warning!

Thumbs up if your bum and thighs hurt!


Wearing my fetching high vis poncho struggling through an uphill tunnel.


First selfie using the gorilla tripod.

cycle touring in the Japanese Alps. Checking the map.

Stopping to take in the view.

Cycle touring in Japan. Japanese mountain road tunnels.

Beware of the dinosaurs!


Wild camping.

Sun setting over paddy rice fields in Ishikawa, Japan.

The sun setting over  paddy fields.

Japanese lake, Ishikawa, in the Japanese Alps in early spring.

Mountain lake in the Japanese Alps.

Japanese Lanterns outside izakawa.

Japanese Lanterns, Kanazawa.

Girls wearing traditional kimonos in Kanazawa, Japan.

Kimono Ladies, Kanazawa, June 2015













The route:

The video:


  1. Pingback: Five Countries to Cycle Tour, 2017. | Crank and Cog

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