Before my actual ride out of the city, I went for a morning guided tour of Nagara River with cycle-cruise and had fun riding downstream, seeing cedar forests and rafts on the river, eating icecream, skipping stones and trainspotting. It was nice to ride without all my gear on the back and to have my guide, Kayo, tell me interesting facts about the area. Luckily the return trip to the city was via train, and once we made it to Gujo, we had a delicious, but huge lunch with fried chicken and pork.
I ended up leaving Gujo around 2.30pm and rode slowly while my food was still settling in my tummy. It was around 33 degrees and I tried to cover enough ground before the sun set behind the mountains. The climbing part picked up in the last 10km and a giant sign gave me a glimpse of the nearby mountains.
The gradient was still manageable and I didn’t have to walk my bike, so that was great for my morale. After I arrived at my guesthouse and had a shower, the host informed me that another guest had bought me a meal for dinner, I thought it was too generous, but they insisted that I went into the dining room. When they presented the beef sukiyaki, I was blown away. It’s a fancy and quite expensive dish that I was planning to try as a treat and it was on par with my Kobe beef experience. It came with thinly sliced Hida beef (a specialty for the region) in a shallow hotpot with a soy mixture, tofu and mushrooms. After my ridiculously delicious meal, I went back to my room, watched some Japanese TV and slept like a log.