Henry has done the Hakone Ekiden ride as far as Odawara several times, and last year we did a climb from Chino through Tateshina then down to Ueda, but never gone over 100 kms by bicycle, and he has no bicycle in Chicago at university though he does plenty of other exercise. Yesterday he rode to Yomiuri Land and back, and did a couple of repeats up Yomiuri V Dori. Today, we decided to head toward the Akigawa and Tomin no Mori. It has the benefit of being only a single climb, so possible at any point to bail out and return home if it proved too much.
The traffic -- both cars and, on the Tamagawa path, bikes/pedestrians -- seemed heavy as we headed up the Tamagawa. It got even worse as we headed out toward Musashi Itsukaichi. Places where Tokyo Route 7 normally clears out completely instead were full of cars. Going through Itsukaichi there were preparations for the Aki-Matsuri (fall festival). And more traffic. There was a line of cars several hundred meters long waiting for the traffic light at Tokura, the last 7-11 before the climb up the Akigawa really starts.
At Motojuku / Hinohara Town Office, we decided we would be better off to avoid the traffic of the climb to Tomin no Mori. Instead we headed for Tokisaka Pass -- my third trip in the past several months.
|View from the Tokisaka Toge no Chaya|
|Henry at the pass|
We decided to head for the main soba restaurant -- Michiko no soba tei -- in the woods. I could practically taste the delicious tempura and soba as the building came into view. But it was closed! Perhaps the staff were part of the Aki Matsuri going on down the hill?
|We decide to head for the "main house" (本家) soba place and Edo period magistrate's resting place.|
|The spectacular old building comes into view.|
|But it is closed!|
|Bikes at the soba place where we ended up.|
|Where we ended up eating lunch.|
|Matsuri! Henry's PE jersey still looks like new.|
|Flowering trees .. as I manage to catch a break in the line of cars to snap a photo.|