Gatsugi to Tsuruoka
Distance: 30 miles
Total Distance: 1206 miles
Photo Album

IMG_4090 We woke up early in the morning on the beach in Gatsugi, packed and ate breakfast, and got on the road pretty early. Even though we were a little tired from a few long days of riding in a row, we enjoyed the morning’s ride–we still had another 15 miles or so of the same beautiful coastline as yesterday, and a great tailwind as well!

We had decided the night before that it would be nice to have a shower and do some laundry so we intended to head inland soon and stop at a town called Tsuruoka. The shorter day of riding would let us rest up a little bit, and we were really looking forward to some clean clothes!

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A shrine near our campground

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These are built to create breakwaters

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Clear water - but probably very cold!

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The seagulls have taken over this beach

Once we turned inland we had to do a little bit of climbing, but soon dropped down into another large farm valley, and spent an hour or so cruising through more rice fields and market gardens. I had another flat in my rear tire (right when it decided to start raining…) but other than that the ride into Tsuruoka was pretty unremarkable.

We stopped at the main train station in Tsuruoka to find a hotel, and ran across a news stand that had four different English-language newspapers! We got a copy of the Japan Times and have slowly been reading it ever since. I asked around at a couple of hotels, and we got a room at one right across from the train station. We spent the rest of the afternoon doing laundry, eating, washing up, and taking a short nap. In the early evening, we woke up and went out to find a sushi restaurant–somehow in all our traveling so far, we haven’t been to a real sushi bar yet!

Unfortunately, we tried a couple of places where we got a bit of a “foreigners not welcome” feel. Perhaps “not welcome” is a little too strong, but in any case we gave up after the first place was “full” despite several visibly empty tables, and the guy who opened the door for us at the second place said “sorry” and disappeared. We ended up getting some things at a grocery store and ate in our hotel room–cheaper than a restaurant but not near as fun! After dinner, we spent a little time figuring out our route for the next couple of days, and were soon ready for bed. With clean clothes and a nice night’s sleep, we were ready to start our journey back to the other side of Japan.