Watarase Ryokuchi Park, Tochigi
Another scorching day, at least a real feel of 34. There is supposed to be a storm coming so I want to get out while I can. Plus I will have to start work soon. For this jaunt I remembered to take more water and drank 3 litres, but still only managed 25km. I am finding the little yellow bike is much harder to travel around on than my bigger white bike. Less gears, smaller wheels, and I never wear cycle shorts… because it is just a jaunt not a trek. That might change after today.
Here a map of the area I cycled around, as you can see the lake/reservoir is shaped like a heart. It says lake on the map…but it looked A LOT like a reservoir to me.
There are lots of free parking spaces all around the lake. I stayed in car park number 1 as it seemed to be huge on the map. There is also a toilet block, picnic area (no BBQ please), and cycle hire if you don’t have a little yellow bike. The coordinates for the toilet block are: 36.226394, 139.669506. If you can read/speak Japanese there are lots of water sports around here. Or a bird hide for the more relaxed of you.
This was a lookout and a bit of information center at the top of the car park. The cycle hire and toilets are at the other end..walk away from this if that is where you want to go.
From the top you can see all around, flat and full of vegetation.
There are binoculars to look even further or spy on the wildlife. There are some mountains in the background and you will find a sign in this building with the names of them.
I set off away from the car park and the heart shaped lake, silly me. But as you can see the road was so empty and inviting.
Depending on where you are the roads switch from tarmac to gravel. Both are flat and somewhat monotonous. At this time of year the reeds are so tall that I, short little me, could not see over them. I also got hit by a few flying cicadas, which was not pleasant.
This speaker was by a gate and was activated by movement. When you got close to it a woman’s voice blared out, “oi you on the bike, take your rubbish home with you, and don’t go starting any fires or such like…you untrustworthy gaijin!!!”
No it didn’t..apart from the rubbish part.
I cycled around for a bit contemplating, why are the caches so far apart, why can’t I find any, why didn’t I go to the toilet, why is it so hot making me drink so much, the tarmac feels like fire, oh god I hope I don’t get a puncture, why are all the bridges closed….crap I need to go over that one to get to the shrine I also want to visit.
Bugger it, I am sure it means no cars, not..no bumblebikes!?
See, nice sturdy bridge after all.
After risking life and limb crossing this bridge I went to a nearby shrine, the coordinates are: 36.215383, 139.707979
This is Nogi Shrine and has a special purpose.
Boobies!! Apparently these are made from rice bran and women leave them here when they pray for good breast milk for their babies. Boobs and hearts all in one day. Well, that was worth the cycle 🙂
Anyway back to the lake and my car.
This is at the other end of the car park, if you go the sensible way first. This is where you can rent bicycles and buy more water.
I think I will have a break now for a few days. Too much bumblebike is bad for the bumblebum.