Golden Week Tour de Izu

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#1
During Golden Week Alan, Naomi and myself decided to go on a 3 day cycling trip around Izu Peninsula including a climb up to Stage 5 on Mt. Fuji. The weather couldn't have been better, the scenery breathtaking and the riding fabulous. 3 days, 365km, 6500m of climbing. What a trip.

While Alan has made a blog of our trip I'm not sure if everyone reads the blogs so i thought I'd make a thread. Also I wanted to add my perspective on the trip, even if it is similar to Alan's.....

Day 1 - 125km - 2500m ascent

Atami - Shuzenji - Izu Skyline - West Izu - South Izu (Yugahara)

http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/japan/-tokyo/879127250586568643

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Naomi coming over our first climb, Yamabushi Toge. It looked like a small blip on the ride profile but with the last 4-5 km being around 8-10% gradient it was a real wake up call.

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Once over it was flat riding past rice fields and farmland with almost no traffic which had me thinking, was this really Golden Week?

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Once we arrived at Shuzenji City we hit some traffic again but thanks to Alan's well planned route we were soon on another forest pass heading for Izu Skyline where we were rewarded with some great views of Mt.Fuji. While the Japanese landmark certainly was lovely, I couldn't take my eyes off my new beauty.

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After a quick break we were off again and I managed to snap some pics of Alan and Naomi in action. Note Naomi's attempt at catching some lunch on the go. Apparently it was the fly's lucky day as he got away.

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We then made our way down more deserted roads to Matsuhara Koen, on the west coast and devoured some pasta at a restaurant. After refuelling we punched our way into some pretty severe headwinds along the rugged but gorgeous West Izu coastline. You can see the road on the top right of the picture. These coastal roads were pretty quiet and duck and weave making them perfect for high speed riding.

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Quite a few people were making their way over the thin strip of land to Dogashima. The tide was rising so it was probably a busy night over there I guess. I hope they took their tents.

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The road to Yumigahama was undulating with one long brutal climb before the final descent down to the pension where we stayed for the night. It was a relief to finally arrive at our destination. Thanks for the pic with your very fast wife Alan.

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Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#2
Day 2 - 90km - 1000m ascent

Yumigahama - Numazu

http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/japan/-tokyo/835127250399432617

After a big breakfast we rolled out of the pension around 8.30am in the direction of Shimoda and then up the middle of Izu following R414. Alan and I tapped out a pretty good rythm and arrived at the infamous Izu Roopu. Alan and I tried to take a shot of Naomi but she looks so small here. Can you make her out? She's on the top part, center of photo.

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Just before we climbed the 'Roopu' we visited Nanataki, seven cascades waterfall. It was very nice to stop and act like a tourist and it pretty much set the tone for the day.

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Hey sexy lady.....don't look so sad...

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Next on the tourist check list another waterfall. There was a huge line of cars to get in here causing a traffic jam a few kilometers long. We cruised staright by and I couldn't wipe the smile from my face as I thought to myself how lucky we were to be traveling by bike during Golden Week.

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From here we hit a fair bit of traffic until I bade farewell to Alan and Naomi as they took off for Fuji city to their hotel. Unfortunately due to the holiday rush it was impossible to reserve rooms for all of us in the same hotel so I ended up staying at the Numazu Inter Grand Hotel. While nothing spectacular, IMO this is the perfect bikers hotel. They have free clothes washing machines with dryers and supply washing detergent. The next day both my kits were smelling as fresh as daises again, and it certainly beat trying to dry my clothes with a hair dryer as I attempted to do on the first night. The price is great too, 7000 yen including dinner and breakfast, and a small onsen to rest aching muscles. Here's the link:
http://travel.rakuten.co.jp/HOTEL/67990/67990.html
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#3
Day 3 - 150km - 3000m ascent

Numazu - Mt. Fuji - Odawara

http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/japan/-tokyo/967127250540698150

After riding 20km from my hotel I passed through the industrial area of Fuji city. With huge smoke stacks bellowing out fumes I now understood why there is usually a haze around the hallowed mountain. Seriously, what a dump of a place! I held my breath as much as possible and met up with Alan at Fuji station to find Naomi had already left and was on her way up to the 5th stage. Making our way through the city was a bit difficult and a couple of times Alan was forced to recheck his Garmin (what a wonder of a device it is) but finally we made it onto R72 which we followed up toward Fuji Skyline. The moment we left Fuji city we were climbing for around 15km, and let me tell you I was hurting and we hadn't even reached the foot of the big climb yet! I had to push through the pain as Alan was setting a pretty hard pace on his Cannondale, I'm sure with the extra incentive of catching up with his wife. Once we hit R469 our legs got some welcome relief with flat roads and a nice tail wind. However it only lasted for a few kilometres and then we were climbing again, with some real steep sections early on Fuji Skyline. I found myself often thinking how mad we were, with around 30km of climbing to go!

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Eventually we caught up with Naomi where we had a well deserved break at the second car park. After some light refreshments we were on our way again and I found myself amongst a club time trial. As I passed some of them my confidence for the climb ahead bagan to grow, considering I was carrying a 5 kilos on my back and all. Unfortunately I soon realised they were only heading to the junction of R152...ahhhh....I still had 15km of pain and was almost burned after my competitive spirit took over.

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I tried to find a nice easy rythm and was feeling pretty good until 5km to go when i felt a serious bonk coming on. I was forced to take refuge by the side of the road and eat anything I could get my hands on. After a few minutes I felt a bit better and was on my way again, licking my lips as every distance marker passed by. After what seemed and eternety I finally made it to the top where I almost collapsed. Alan followed very soon looking like I felt. Being the true gentleman Alan opted to stay topside and wait for his wife while I ordered a large bowl of gyudon. Sorry Naomi, I was in serious trouble and just couldn't wait:confused:

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After devouring the beef and rice I sat with a buzz running through my body, I had just conquered Fuji, a beast of a climb. Nothing I've done compares and it alsmost got the better of me. But not this time! After the obligatory pic we started our descent to Gotmeba and had a wicked time reaching speeds up to 75 km/h. We headed home through Hakone and to Odawara where we had pizza and beer in celebration of a wonderful trip.

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A big thanks to Naomi and Alan for organising everything and providing an alternative tour to Sergey and Thomas' Tour de Kii, which I couldn't make it to. What an an amazing 3 days and I hope to revisit the area soon:D
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#4
Mike awesome post and also feat riding to the 5th station.

Myself and Yair also rode out to Fuji and did a tour of the 5 lakes.... well two of them and I couldn't stop smiling as we passed the huge traffic jams.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#7
Very nice trip, and great photos!

Yes, Fuji-shi is a horrible place. I'm almost amazed by the fumes when I pass through it by shinkansen. And two days I set off on my own trip from Shin-Fuji, and didn't feel like taking a deep breath so bad was the air. Unheard of in Japan, and reminded me of Shanghai air!
 
#9
So what do you carry on a multiday 'super lite touring' adventure like this? I see you have backpacks.... may I ask what's inside?

I'm starting to organize another Tohoku August adventure with no racks, panniers, or heavy bike. Just a little backpack and my Six. :D

How did you plan Izu? Any advice?
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,512
639
133
Kanazawa
#10
So what do you carry on a multiday 'super lite touring' adventure like this? I see you have backpacks.... may I ask what's inside?

I'm starting to organize another Tohoku August adventure with no racks, panniers, or heavy bike. Just a little backpack and my Six. :D

How did you plan Izu? Any advice?
Hmm..., yes. I'd be interested in any answers the that query, too.
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#11
Hmm..., yes. I'd be interested in any answers the that query, too.
Koribeyer and JDD, I had the bare essentials and now it's summmer you can travel even lighter. Most hotels have toiletries and towels so I didn't need much there. If you're staying in a ryokan you can probably use a yukata and might not need any clothes at all. Here's what I put in my bag:

3 tubes
spare kit
1 pair of socks
shorts and t-shirt for the hotel (don't need shoes)
sunblock
rainjacket
camera
cash
bike bag
light toiletries

That's about it! Will let you know if there's anything else I think of later.