Day 10   59.3km from Osaka to Kobe back on the road, things aren't getting much better. Too many people too much traffic and today TOO MUCH RAIN!!

Steve found his way back to me and we found our way to Kobe the next town but it was 3 lanes of traffic through built up city all the way.  


At least there was a wide shoulder used mostly for taxi's and bus stops.   Now we always have to watch for parked cars in our path or being run down from behind by a bus. But we are grateful for this lane and even 'take the lane' out in the road when traffic is  minimal.  We can move along quite fast on the road, zipping through caution lights.



But sometimes we are back on the sidewalks and must go up ramps and over on pedestrian ways.

The cars are very quiet, small little creatures...harmless really.... and this makes us feel quiet safe. Never once do we hear a horn honk.  Everyone is very respectful of bikers and each other.

         NO ROAD RAGE!

We end up in Kobe train station and make a call to the Youth Hostel. After supper, in a great slurpy noodle shop, we ride another 7km in the slurpy rain.
Day 11     55.4km  Still raining!  We have to get out there and go for it again. We are trying to get to Himeji to see the castle and then catch the ferry and get off this busy island of Honshu.  We are biking in some of the most populated areas of Japan.  Now we are anxious to get on to the smaller islands.


We find a bike route, then suddenly it is gone.

We are back in the residential areas again.  We are both frustrated.  No screaming and yelling!  But I don't fall for it this time. GPS is put away.  We take a dead reckoning and head for the sea.


That is except for one tight spot on the path where a lady is walking her 4 dogs. Steve rides by and the dogs go bizzerk!

Of course I am in the dog house already for being so insistent.   Then all of a sudden, I am skidding sideways along the edge of the curb covered in long slippery grass.    Next...... all I remember is being sprawled out on the sidewalk with 4 yapping, gnarly, dogs bearing samurai sword teeth and bulging eyes from straining at the leashes for a piece of my butt.                            (NOT friends wholly)  

 Moving on, 43km before noon, and now Steve's samurai disposition is showing as his fuel is low and we are starving. A quick bite at another slurp shop and we are in Himeji known for Japan's largest castle.

So why can't we see the castle?? A nice jogging lady actually jogs next to us pointing the way to the castle which is just up ahead.  We  always seem to be within blocks of where we want to be and JUST DON'T KNOW IT!!!

The castle is 16th century, magnificently built with motes and all. We climb 6 stories to the top then make a mad dash for the ferry.

One last connect to the internet and this time we wheel our bikes on.  EASY!   



It is a beautiful ride on the calm Seto Inland Sea as we head for the island of Shodoshima a small island between Honshu and Shikou.

Day12   23km  The sun is shining!   We wake to the sound of the sea lapping at our door.  Now we are  back in our own little castle, the 'golden pagoda' with our own little inlet mote beside the sea.



                                               We are on the island of Shodoshima - an island of peace.     The locals affectionately call it - Olive Queendom.   

Besides having a Mediterranean climate, it's sister island is Milos Greece.   It is an island full of olive trees... a symbol of peace.

 A short day, but it is so peaceful we can only glide along, taking our time to breathe in the fresh sea air and grateful to be out of the mad rush of Honshu. It is a very mountainous island but only 155 km around.  We take the southern route and stay mostly along the coast road.

                                                       CLICK ON PHOTO BELOW


There are also 88 sacred temples, a miniature version of the temples on Shikoku, our next stop. We pass the first one just after a huge Japanese breakfast.    Steve delights in siding up next to this wonderfully sculptured stone laughing Buddha with a huge tummy. 


                                          They both look rather happy and content.

Not until we reach the Sun Olive Onsen and I slide into one of it's many pools with views across the sea do I feel like a Greek goddess, truly at peace.     




We spent 11 days on Honshu, 6 of those days biking 324.1km. The other days were off the bike mostly going to temples and shrines and enjoying some very interesting and different foods of Japan. Our food expense came to $379.62.

We only camped three nights on Honshu so our accommodation expense went up to $418.00 for 8 nights. Of course we never gave up those onsens and spend $22 on those.  

Our transport on the buses and ferry plus entrance to the temples, laundry, souvenirs etc. came to $200. 

So Honshu was quite expensive for the short time there.  In the end we can't put a price on all the wonderful sights and wild and crazy biking experiences.   Honshu taught us a lesson.  Biking is best done in the more remote areas away from big cities.