My last ride in Japan wasn’t too eventful, most of it was along the highway and there wasn’t much to see. Dark clouds were looming and I tried my best to reach my hostel before the rain started. With only 5km to go, the drizzle started and it stressed me out since I lost my waterproof phone cover and I was on the hunt for a giant cardboard box to pack up my bike for the airport.
I reached the first bike shop and asked if they had any boxes, but they didn’t speak English, but mimed a motorcycle instead. I looked it up on Google Maps and there was a Harley Davidson store around the corner, with a gold mine of boxes out the back. My hostel was 2.6km away and I struggled to carry the box and walk my bike at the same time, so I took refuge under a bike shelter and waited for the rain to stop. The situation didn’t get any better and it was time for me to get creative. I attached some straps to the box, looped it around my shoulder and gently rode it safely to my accommodation.
Once I reached the hostel, I unloaded all my things, did some laundry and stocked up on snacks at the convenience store. It rained all night, so I spent my last night reading and watching some TV shows on my tablet.
Day 62: Heading out to Narita Airport
I woke up early and after a quick breakfast, I disassembled my bike and packed it into the big cardboard box I found yesterday. I didn’t need to reach the airport until 1pm, so I headed to Naritasan Shinsho-Ji Temple and wandered around the park nearby. It was unbelievably beautiful, with ponds, waterfalls and impressive pagodas.
It was such a peaceful and pleasant way to end my trip in Japan, but it was time to get back to reality and haul my stuff to the airport. There was a train station 650m from my hostel and it took me directly to the airport, but it was a struggle to carry 15kg of bags on my shoulders, while lifting a 18kg bike box. I could only walk 50m at a time, sweating and panting the whole time, before I needed to stop and take a break. A shop owner saw me struggle and helped me carry the bike box on the back of his moped while I jogged behind it to keep it upright. I was very grateful for his help and glad that I wouldn’t have to repeat this task for another few months.
Once I reached the airport, it was easy, there were trolleys for check in, free wifi and comfy lounges to relax and unwind. Unfortunately I copped the $150 USD fee for carrying a bike on Delta Airlines, you can only avoid it if your luggage dimensions (length + height + width) add up to less than 160cm. Paying the extra fee stung a bit, a lot actually, but as long as the bike box made it to the other side in one piece, then it would be worth it and I can continue on my journey.
With my last yen, I bought my final bowl of tempura udon and savoured the deliciousness and warmth. The Japan leg of tour was finally coming to an end and it was time to say goodbye.