IV: a NEW COAST
THE JAPANESE ALPS
My arrival in Tsuruga will grant me my first view at the Japanese Sea. It won’t be my last though, along this shore I will cover 900 km. Not only Japan, but also Russia, North- and South Korea have their coasts on this sea. This is also the place where two North Korean missiles landed in 2019. During this part the sea will consantly be on my right side, while the Japanese Alps will be visible on my right side. Here I will have the choice to either cycle the coastline or take on the Alps themselves without adding more kilometres.
However, it will mean that I will have to climb way more, so I bet I’m going to choose to coastline after all. During this fourth part of my journey I will go to places like: Awara, Kanazawa, Toyama, Itoigawa, Kashiwazaki and Niigata.
During my trip I will spend most of my nights wild camping in a tent. This will mean I have two options: don’t shower at all or go to an onsen. Onsens are public hot springs. These gender seperated baths are only to be visited fully naked. Before you enter the water you need to completely clean your body with the use of a wooden jug. Because of Japan’s high vulcanic activity, there are thousends of onsen scattered across the country. And because there are a lot of onsen in the area of the Japanese Alps, this will be the most clean part of my cycling-tour.