Saturday, November 22, 2014

Japan South 10 day motorcycle tour

A window of fine weather appeared in early November before winter. It was already very cold to ride North however the southern temperatures remained mild so I decided to seize the chance to try a more ambitious tour here before winter ends the riding for this year.

One of the challenges touring here is securing hotels. They seem to book out a few days in advance and weekends often a couple weeks in advance, so my route was slightly shaped by where I could get rooms. I was going to ride in a anti-clockwise loop but ended up flipping this in reverse to match hotel vacancies.


Day one was not particularly notable, the fine weather forecast was already looking shaky as light rain was falling when I set off so there was no point to try see Mt Fuji on my way west and I ended up just taking the expressway and ‘slabbing it’ as the Americans would say. I stopped at a couple of the highway service centres called parking areas here. They are quite amazing, besides a great selection of food and beverages you get things like laundry, hot showers, massage chairs, a pet park, playgrounds and at one a custom motorcycle display and motorcycle accessory shop of all things.


Saturday, November 01, 2014

Japan Autumn leaves motorcycle tour

I have read often that October is the best month for riding Japan. So I made sure I was here, even shelving other travel only for there to be a two typhoons! I was beginning to wish I had made other arrangements but eventually the rain eased so I decided to try a shortened Autumn leaf viewing ride.

Heading north I wanted to skirt around Tokyo as I don’t trust the Garmin to navigate me through the complex highway junctions. This made for more miles but less stress which is always my preference. The fine morning soon turned to light drizzle but riding the FJR in its preferred environment of the highway meant the aero dynamics deflected all but a tiny amount of water which was no challenge to my old Alpinestars waterproof semi waterproof two piece ride suit. Actually my Alpinestars winter riding gear has been with me for quite a few tours now, Europe, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Japan. It is best for passing not steady rain but the fact it has done so many miles and is still with me makes me think it is actually not bad gear. I was miffed with the sizing on the boots I purchased but Alpinestars contacted me and helped me which impressed me enormously. Gotta say despite not being truly waterproof the gear otherwise is good and when I replace it I probably will be looking at buying from Alpinestars again. 

Never think No Rain today when riding cause next thing…