Japan Tour 2010…Kurashiki!
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Last modified: Friday, June 18th, 2010
Ok, So where were we last?..........Something about Tenga© Jenga© and Fleck going native? Or... wait, no, it was Peter doing his Godzilla® impersonation to a bunch of horrified 2nd graders as he decimated their Lego© villages. Uh...ok, now I remember, we was all on train to Kurashiki!
After enduring Yokoi San’s relentless thumb boxing….
we dined on some amazing bento boxes bought at the train station.
We passed through Kyoto which made me cry a little inside because I knew we were not stopping there to enjoy it’s wonders.
We arrived in Kurashiki feeling somewhat refreshed after a rest on the train. Our hotel was close to the station, but we didn’t make it to far before trouble found us.
Peter wastes no time at wowing the local school girls with his smooth linguistics and hip, hot pink cell.
This troubled youth had it in for us from the beginning…I believe he is flipping us the “British Bird”.
We checked into another business hotel that was right off of the tracks. Japanese style Tatami rooms, bed rolls, a kitchen, a dining (read drinking) table and loads more space then we new what to do with. We filled that void with empties after a lovely evening full of discussion about what is better: TaKaRa Chu-Hi strong or Kirin grapefruit Chu-Hi?...the world may never know.
Did you know that the Japanese love anime?…I mean really love it.
Our bikes had been driven to Kurashiki by Eji San from Motocross Intl, which made us very happy to not have to build them up before our evening visit to The Farm.
This is Oda San and his wife Mrs.Oda San(as she introduced herself), they are the proprietors of the Farm; a very attractive and neatly merchandised shop. They were also our gracious hosts for this leg of our journey.
Surlys in Japan come in colors we have never seen and many of you never shall; A benefit enjoyed by Rie San’s customers.
That evening a ragtag crew of about 25 or so cyclist showed up at the Farm for a night ride led by Oda San . It was once again awesome to see the mixture of different Surly bikes spanning multiple riding disciplines all tearing up the streets together.
We stopped in the historic Bikan district for a break and some moon gazing.
That evening we wasted the night away in an Izakaya inside the train station. This is how sexy Dave looks through a huge mug of beer.
Surly Whiskey Cat
The next morning we wrung out our livers and prepared for another big day. We would meet a larger crew of Oda San’s customers for a ride into the countryside . “Chii Sai Oda" was ready to put the hurt on us but decided to spare us the embarrassment and took a nap instead.
We rode to a very picturesque temple with a 5 story Pagoda. The weather was warm and the sun was bright as we wound our way through the countryside and then back towards town with big smiles and bigger sunburns.
This photo might very well be in a Japanese magazine right now.
A freakin huge Torii
During our visit to another temple we tested our luck by selecting a numbered stick from a small barrel. The number corresponded to a drawer containing a paper. This paper gave your fortune and told you what sort of luck you were likely to experience. Dave tied his to a fence securing his destiny for “worst luck” in the days to come.
Riding through Bikan again in the light.
At yet another temple we posed for yet another picture. The rock star treatment in Kurashiki was heavy and totally undeserved. If they only knew what we normally do with ourselves…we are obviously total nerds, as you can see.
This is the legendary Ice Cream Deamon. He hopes you choose the black one.
Lunch of champions. You can eat quite well from a 7-11 in Japan!
This is us with a gentleman we came to know as “Super Fan”. He owns
everything Surly has ever made and even some things that we didn’t make…
…Like both my and Fleck’s hats.
That night we had dinner at a “Organic Buffet” restaurant close to the station. There we sampled many things we couldn’t quite place “biologically” speaking.
After teary goodbyes and such were done we retreated the the comforts of our business hotel. Shuji San, Oda San and Eji San were in attendance as we wrapped up the evening with a little “imbibement”. Peter had a golden moment.
The next morning we were off to Hokkaido. Our visit to Kurashiki was brief but very enjoyable and quite laid back compared to the beginning of the trip. We found a dedicated fan base here and, as always, super warm hospitality. 3 of 4 cities were now behind us...how could the events so far possibly be topped?! You will have to wait for the next installment of "Ride With Surly Super Awesome Japan Fun Times Tour 2010... Hentai!