Pottering 70km to Tokyo Bay.

 It's so exciting and comfortable to cycle in Tokyo, especially such a sunny warm day.  I took my bicycle to head to Tokyo Bay to see the ocean, to feel the fresh air. Since most of the famous places there is rather flat to go back and forth, it was indeed made me happy while peddling.

 To avoid being lost in the middle of the city, I attached my new iPhone6 on my front handle, looking at Google Maps every now and then. Thanks to this, I could easily understand where I was. Personally, I believe that walking or cycling help understand the place where I am. Driving by car is too fast to recognize the look of the whore place for me. Anyway...

 Why don't you stop to eat one-plate style sushi on the way? ;) You deserve it :D When I go outside by bicycle, I prefer to eat sushi or other foods that is not so oily. Once I became full, I came back on the bicycle to keep peddling.

 Near Tokyo Station, you can find a place once Edo Castle was there. It was my first time to be there by bicycle. The view from the pedestrian road was so fantastic, and it seemed a lot of people enjoyed running along with it. They are so called "Kokyo-runner", named after Japanese word Kokyo, means the imperial residence. Yes, now it's their home.

 Okay, we're almost there :)

 It was 9 hours, a half day trip last Sunday. I was not hurrying, so I could be relaxed so much. Before getting back to my home, I decided to drop in at a fried pork, or Tonkatsu restaurant that I had longed for visiting for months. When I approached it, I found the town was in the middle of holding a festival. Portable Shrines were moved by a dozen of people before the station. Huge crowd watched it with their kids dancing. And I, well, I still went to the restaurant and ate great deep-fried pork with listening to the excited voices outside :) So memorable day! ;)


Visiting a winery in Himi, Toyama Prefecture.

 A few days ago I rent a car to drive to a winery “Says Farm” in Himi city, Toyama Prefecture. It was a sunny morning when I reached a long big bridge on the way.

 It's the biggest bridge in Nihon-kai, means sea of Japan In Japanese. The bridge is called “Shin-Minato Ohashi , named after a town of Shin Minato. It's opened in 2012, so bland-new-one! :) It was so beautiful scenery from 47m high from the sea level. I was so excited that I went across it for four times :D (Yeah, it's complimentary, so you can go back and forth until you get sick of!)

 After that the car finally arrived in front of the entrance of the winery. As you can see in the photo, it's so hard to believe that this is a place someone can live. The car navigation system didn't recognize the address of the wineryXD With some doubt, I started to drive on a mountain. Then,

 Wow, it appeared to be correct way ;) Prior to my visit, I checked on its website and found that they have goats on their farm.

We're getting closer! and...

Here we are :) On the top of the mountain, you are able to see the farms below, other mountains and The Gulf of Toyama on the left. One day before I visit there, I mailed them to apply for visiting winery and have a lunch inside the farm. So they immediately recognized me and told that I could go around. I bowed and  thanked them, then began to take a walk for a while.

The temperature seemed 30 degrees or so, it means there was slightly hotter than Tokyo at that time. As I approached to a farm field, a man smiled on his face and explained what they grow on the farm, such as Merlot and Chardonnay. Also, he mentioned that this farm planted around 10,000 grape trees and they planned to harvest them in a week. This farm, he said, was launched in 2009, 5 years ago. At that time, however, most of them hardly knew how to grow and make wines. So some of them went to advanced wineries in Japan so that they could learn and do it themselves in this place. “Of course we have many quality of sake in Toyama Prefecture, and we thought it must be nice if we could make good wine as well. We want to cook meals that are from our neighbor, and so is the wines” he smiled again.

So, it's a lunch time :) Since the relative of the owner of this winery runs a fresh fish store, they serve nice meals :D Oh, don't forget to taste a glass of wine or two while eating!

They also showed me their winery in the afternoon. It's a small, but they said the selling is gradually increasing. “Hopefully we can build bigger one soon”.

On the way back to Toyama City, I dropped by at a historical town Takaoka. It's famous for making silver, copper, along with other metals for hundreds of years. Maybe you can find your souvenir at this place? ;)



Enjoying Toyama. Fresh sushi, historical castle and...

 A couple days ago I set foot on Toyama Prefecture, located beside the sea. I like this tiny city so many reasons: tasting sushi, it's a huge joy for all the time. And taking a walk around the station of Toyama is also exciting, as well as interesting. You can find a tiny castle within 10 minutes from the station. Sit lawn in front of the castle and listen to the sound of a river and birds. Just relaxing and peaceful moment.

 It's a first time for me to get a bus from Tokyo to Toyama. Although they have night buses as well, I took a bus departed in the morning in order to see the landscape. I'm not good at night bus by the way. If you can't sleep on a bus, it's terrible! It seemed that the passengers of a bus on weekdays are not so many. There are only 10 or 12 people with me. So it was so relaxing.

 After reaching Toyama, The first thing I did was jumping into a sushi restaurant. It was even BEFORE putting my luggages in the room I stay. I guess I'm such an addict of raw fish XD Well, it's okay as long as it's healthy and makes me feel fulfilled.

Looks like the world of Ghost in the Shell? ;)

 The station of Toyama is currently under construction since the railway of bullet trains will finally reach there in 2015. Because of that, I can see many advertisements that feature Toyama in and around Tokyo Station. Given the current difficulty of getting there, it must be convenient that it only takes 2 hours to be there. Hopefully many people, including visitors from abroad would love this small city :)