Japan Day 47-48: Riding Matsumoto to Kofu and Rest Day

I was naive to believe that today’s ride would be flat, there were two main climbs to push through and then I flew downhill to Kofu at the end.

There wasn’t anything I really wanted to photograph, as most of the route was parallel to a major highway. It was just amusing to see Hotel KKK and while I stared at the clouds towards the end, I realised Mount Fuji was looking back at me. Of course it was too cloudy to see very much, but hopefully I could get a better photo if there was a clear day coming up.

In Kofu I stayed at an airbnb place with Jem, a Vietnamese lady and her American husband. They’ve been in Japan for just over a year and it was lovely to stay with them and enjoy some home cooked Vietnamese food too.

Day 48 Exploring Shosenkyo Valley

Normally on a rest day I would actually rest, but Shosenkyo Valley is a lovely spot, about 10km north from my accommodation, with a 300m climb. The ride was pleasant, since the river and the road were sheltered by the huge surrounding gorges. There were lots of different hiking trails to reach shrines and the dam at the very end, but I was mostly keen on seeing Senga Falls at the beginning.

About 400 years ago the area was mined for the precious minerals, but now it’s a national park. The jewellery skills are renowned in the region and one of the ladies in the gem stores showed me around her shop and let me see and touch the different stones they had on offer.

I took an alternative road to the city centre, via Chiyoda Lake and descended down the windy path, where there was a nice lookout spot for the city.  For lunch, I tried the local specialty, flat udon noodles, which was served in a big hot pot and topped with vegetables.

I was too tired to check out Kofu Castle, so I slowly rode along the river and headed back to the apartment to chill out with some snacks and Netflix. The room I was staying in was so comfortable and I was enjoying the luxury of sleeping in and not being in a rush to go anywhere.

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