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Izu-hantou Info

Andrew Deane

Speeding Up
Aug 17, 2007
Later this month, my wife & I are going to an onsen in Shuzenji, Izu-hantou, but I'm planning on sneaking in a little ride in the mountains the next day.;) Does anyone have any experiencing cycling any or all of the following route?

Leave Shuzenji via Rte 12, south through Mochikoshi to Tokunaga; Rte 12 turns into Rte 112, then drops down to T-junction with Rte 111; left on 111 to the bowl-shaped volcano (don't recall its name at present) near Sakibara; then on south to T-junction with Rte 135.

Info on times, distances and any major concerns would be appreciated.

Also, what do people do about extended (longer than, say, 500 meters) tunnels? Dismount & walk? Grit teeth & pray to Jizo?:eek:

Izu Peninsular Follow-up

Well, I didn't get much info about the peninsular, so I thought I should begin to archive at least something useful here by way of a follow-up.

First things first: if you haven't been to the Izu Peninsular, you really ought to do yourself a a favor. Rent a car, take the train, or cycle from Tokyo via the old Tokaido Road (over 150 km - a walk in the park for some of you). The mountainous interior and parts of the east coast from Heda, through Dogashima and Matsuzaki to Irozaki, and the south coast around Shimoda, offer spectacular scenery, traditional little fishing and farming villages, friendly people and great food. The east coast is more densely populated and built up.

If you're into onsen, then you must stay in Shuzenji, a small town in the middle of the peninsula with a charming river, a traditional temple and two famous & fantastic (read: expensive) onsen (e.g. Kikuya Ryokan). You can wander the town in leisurely yukata and geta, drink local sake, feast on great food, and soak away those cares in the hot spring baths.

I went with my wife, who's seven month's pregnant, so I only had one chance to get on my bike. I left Shusenji, heading south-west along Route 12. It is a typical country road, lined with deep drainage gutters, rice fields, rambling ceramic tiled farmhouses and cedar forests. Eventually, Rte 12 turns into Rte 112, and heads up, up, up into a mountain pass along a gradually narrowing but surprisingly new tarmac ribbon that hair-pins its way between ravines and tree-lined slopes to a T-junction with Rte 111. A left turn and I headed down towards Omurayama, a dormant volcano, where I met up with my wife and my ride sadly ended. Total distance: a mere 23 km, time just under one hour.

Some other observations:

1) The west coast road (Rte 135) is very busy, and built up, but there were numerous roadies on it.

2) The stretch of the Tokaido from Odawara towards Yokohama is also full of roadies, but again, the road is very busy and the area is urban sprawl until you hit Tokyo.

3) The mountain roads - particularly the smaller, less direct routes - are less traveled and extremely scenic. These are prime destinations for climbers.
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