Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bike Riding in the Inaka

Traveling is nice. Traveling is fun. Traveling is also expensive, and even though we do it more here than we did in America, it only happens once every month or two. I think getting out and exploring areas nearby is just as fun as traveling sometimes, especially at the turn of the seasons!

Yep, more sakura. Deal with it.

About a month ago, April 14 to be exact, we finally had our first taste of spring up here in our town. I find it interesting that Japan, my area especially, is about a month behind the normal weather in Atlanta that I'm used to. (NOT counting the non-winter they had this year. Ugh. Jealous!) The lack of blogging from January through the end of March can definitely be blamed on winter, haha! So on this particular weekend, we were blessed with warm weather. I'll use that term loosely -- by "warm," I mean there wasn't 3 feet of snow and I couldn't see my breath when I got out of the shower that morning. It was sunny and 55 degrees.

That day Matt and I rode bikes around the bay on a whim. It took up most of the day because it covers 10-12 miles (depending on which roads you take), and we kept stopping to see sights and take photos. Keep in mind we live amongst hills and mountains, so it makes for quite a workout! There's actually quite a few interesting things out here, and I can see why this area has some tourists at certain times of the year.


Our original plan was to bike to the beach, so we did. This is the beach I visit during my lunch break sometimes on days I teach elementary school. Not really satisfied with just that, we also explored the big blue bridge, found a random shrine, and discovered a hidden picnic area at the top of a mountain.

View from the bridge.





Next, we biked near some of my elementary schools and went through a mountain park at the edge of the bay. It has some stunning views! At that point we were pretty hungry, and ate lunch at Reception Garden, which is a chic little place with great atmosphere and delicious burgers. Yes, decent hamburgers exist in Japan! They also have desserts there, but we saved our appetite for ice cream instead.


Matt's burger, which I ended up loving, too.

My BLT. Japan's idea of bacon is way off than what we are used to, so it was more like a pork sandwich.

Mom would have loved it. The place is very "Debbish!"

Gotta love that view.



Our choices for fresh ice cream were Dairy Kitchen Sora that I've blogged about before, or the local sake brewery with sake ice cream. We chose the latter because, why not? Because Japan. We were shocked to see another foreigner in the sake brewery. It turns out he came on the JET Program about a decade ago, worked in Osaka, and fell in love with the method of making sake. He was even kind enough to give us a tour of the brewery, which was neat. As for the sake ice cream, it was amazing! Soft serve, which I LOVE.

DELICIOUS. Excuse my chipped nail polish.


After that I took Matt to the local temple because I had been there earlier in the morning on my walk and it looked interesting. I'll admit, as much as I love seeing Japan, visiting temple after temple isn't very high on my list. We have only hit up a few of the main ones in Kyoto and Tokyo, really. But there's just something about this temple that makes me want to go back again and again. Maybe it's the charm of having one so close to home.




I actually took this one in the morning, before our bike ride.

This was in the morning as well. Our canoe team was practicing out on the bay.





And that was our day! We were a little sore afterwards, but it felt good to finally get out of the apartment and enjoy being outside. I've been doing a running/walking workout around the bay now (yes, the whole thing) once a week whenever I can, and just more fitness in general on a daily basis.

How about you? What's around your city/town/village in Japan that's worth seeing? ◕ ◡ ◕

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