Friday, January 08, 2016

Deux roues déplacent l'âme

I wonder why I am so drawn to travel by two wheels. I am pondering this as pack my motorcycle touring kit into my suitcase leaving about two shoeboxes of space for actual clothes and regular items.

Yes it is the freedom of the open road but also something more. Not easy to summarize or describe. I could rent a car for 1/4 of the cost of renting a motorcycle and do much more travel but I don’t. I could be warm and dry while exploring with no need for armored clothing, boots, gloves and helmet. I could sit in a train with a window seat and a cold beer and not need to navigate city traffic. I give these a bit of consideration from time to time then discard the notion of doing them. The motorcycle is a different experience to other means of travel. The panoramic view from a motorcycle is I feel rarely challenged except by luxury special trains but then you cannot stop the train as you please. I feel immersed in the environment on a motorcycle yet I also have infinite personal space unlike on public transport. The reasons the car comes up short are harder to summarize. Feeling closed in and not having that unlimited vision is part of it but there is something more that I cannot quite put into words.

Interlude. I have been blogging about riding in Japan the last 12 months but consider my photos to be average and not always capture how interesting this country is so here are a few photos from Yamaha Japan. With the exception of Hokkaido and Okinawa these are taken on the same roads I have been riding.


(above/below) Hokkaido



(above/below) Aomori



(above/below) Yamagata



(above/below) Fukushima



(above/below) Iwate


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(above/below) Nagano, Shizuoka



(above/below) Gifu, Ishikawa



(above/below) Wakayama



(above/below) Ehime, Kochi



(above/below) Okayama



(above/below) Kumamoto




Such an amazing country to explore. Before moving to here I spent two weeks traversing Japan by it’s fantastic rail system which being a former rail guy was fascinating. I made many more day trips by train, bus and car yet all of that pales in comparison to when I first rode a motorcycle here. The experience was overwhelming, riding through these beautiful landscapes was a exaltation. Such moments of joy are not common in my life.

I have never felt anything near that sort of feeling driving a car. Not even when I rented a fancy Audi TT sports convertible and was driving the beautiful Bavarian black forest roads with the top down on a perfect autumn day. Travelling by two wheels just does something for me. Perhaps I should get back to packing and stop wondering why.


  1. Having never been to Japan, I think your photos are fabulous and do it justice. I always enjoy more pictures though, so thank you for sharing.

    Life passes you by when you travel by car, but on two wheels it is an experience, your senses are immersed in nature. You feel where you are, and you smell all the smells.

    1. Yes that is true it is always an experience, thanks :)

  2. These spectacular pictures and sentences helped me to refind my reason of riding.

  3. Great photos, Warren, wish mine were half as good. I too am not sure what it is that draws me so much travelling around by motorcycle but your blog and photos over the years have certainly played their part in motivating me, so thank you. Just started planning my next trip to Japan and this little collection of photos has be brimming with ideas.

    1. Thanks Richard. I am looking forward to exploring more of Japan this year.