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Topic: Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding!  (Read 597220 times)

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« Reply #3360 on: November 06, 2019, 05:44:23 pm »


Okay, the RideDOT.com doggy feeding session is over. Back to hit those mountain roads. Speaking of, they are beautiful in the background!

Just outside of the town of Ogata, we stop because there are a lot of tour buses and cars pulling into a parking lot. So we stop as well to check out what all the fuss is about.


A suspension bridge leads from the parking lot to...


Harajiri Waterfalls, nicknamed the Oriental Niagara Falls because of the shape. Yeah... but like 100 times smaller! Smile Canadian pride...

This waterfall literally sprang up overnight, when Mount Aso erupted some 90,000 years ago. The lava flowing from Aso carved through the flatlands in this area, creating this geographic wonder.
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« Reply #3361 on: November 06, 2019, 05:45:13 pm »


Rare picture of the two of us. A Torii Gate rises out of the water


Harajiri Falls is a very popular tourist attraction in the area


Neda is always stopping and taking the time to smell the flowers

Okay, back on the bikes! We are now leaving the Oita Prefecture and heading to the Miyazaki Prefecture.
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« Reply #3362 on: November 06, 2019, 06:31:15 pm »

You are both beautiful peoples  Bigok

Keep the pictures coming
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« Reply #3363 on: November 06, 2019, 10:04:44 pm »

 Thumbsup
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« Reply #3364 on: November 07, 2019, 07:18:56 am »

Wonderful pictures  Thumbsup  Thumbsup
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« Reply #3365 on: November 11, 2019, 09:19:48 am »

Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/401.html



We continue our ride southwards through the Miyazaki Prefecture, on the island of Kyushu.


We love the mountains in Miyazaki! So scenic! 12% of the land in this prefecture is devoted to National Parks!


Tokubetsuto Senmaida (rice terraces) in the background. Not as grand as the Maruyama Senmaida we saw a few days ago, but still very pretty!

The senmaida sit empty waiting for planting season, which will probably begin about 4-6 weeks from now. From here, we head towards the town of Takachiho, in the northern section of the Miyazaki Prefecture.
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« Reply #3366 on: November 11, 2019, 09:20:41 am »


Drama in the parking lot of the the Ama-no-Iwato shrine.

There's a lot of mythology set in Takachiho. Although this angry dude looks like he's going to drop a rock on my head, he's actually one of the good guys.

Legend has it that the Goddess of the Sun, Ameterasu-omikami, was once driven into a cave because her brother, the God of Storms, was bullying her. Such a timeless tale! Anyway, her retreat into the cave deprived the land of light, which co-incidentally explained why there was a total eclipse of the sun at the time.

A bunch of other gods threw a party outside the cave to draw her out, and finally, the God of Strength and Power, Ame-no-tajikarao, lifted the rock blocking the cave entrance and the Goddess of the Sun came out again to grace the land with her light!

What did he do with that rock? He dropped it on a random motorcyclists' head!

So *not* a good guy in my books...


Higashihongu Shrine near the entrance. There was a guy dressed in traditional robes talking to everyone.
Not sure if he was a priest or a guide... I'm so ignorant!



Pale half-moon sits above the temple roof, paper cards with wishes written on them hang from a board outside the srhine.
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« Reply #3367 on: November 11, 2019, 09:22:38 am »


As pretty as this temple is, it's actually not the main shrine


You have to walk into the forest a few hundred meters, past a river...


The path ends at Ama-no-Iwato, which means "Cave of the Sun Goddess". Hey, you mean the story is real?!?

The path leading to the cave and the cave floor itself is littered with rocks of varying sizes and visitors have built little inukshuks (I only know the Inuit word for stone people, not sure what the Japanese word is) all over the place.
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« Reply #3368 on: November 11, 2019, 09:23:33 am »


Kids building an inukshuk on the path leading to Ama-no-Iwato


This is the real temple of the Sun Goddess!

We hike back to our bikes. It's going to be a very short ride to our next destination.


Zooming through the heavily forested mountains roads in the Miyazaki Prefecture. So awesome!

We really appreciate these mirrors posted up at each corner in the tight and twisty mountain roads, we make use of them all the time to see if there's any oncoming traffic.
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« Reply #3369 on: November 11, 2019, 10:18:15 am »

Every time I see an update from you, I am surprised. "Oh yeah! They were on a RTW, extended, no-home trip!" But I know that you've been in Canada for a while, so the fact that you're still working on completing (and sharing!) your trip is great - thank you so much, Gene.  Bigok
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« Reply #3370 on: November 18, 2019, 12:08:01 pm »


Less than 15 minutes ride and we arrive at Takachiho Gorge.

Takachiho Gorge is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Miyazaki Prefecture. However, we're arriving so late in the afternoon that all the tour buses have already left. We park on the sidewalk next to a scooter and the parking lot attendant walks right by us and ignores our bikes. *shrug* Cool. Free parking once again!


Clear blue sky refected off a pond at Takachiho Gorge. Neda says the duck looks like a painted wooden statue! It was real.

The Gorge was carved out during the same lava flow that created Harajiri Falls that we visited earlier on, about 90,000 years ago when Mount Aso erupted.


A popular activity is to rent boats and take a leisurely ride beneath the small waterfalls
that flow into the gorge. Very pretty!
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« Reply #3371 on: November 18, 2019, 12:08:59 pm »


Our daylight hours are short enough as it is! The mountains are no help at all when the sun disappears below them at 4:30PM!


I can totally picture the lava cutting through the rock when I see these striations on the gorge walls


Beautiful reflections on the Gokase River's waters

We are one of the last people to leave the Gorge as we climb back onto our bikes. There's about 140 kms we still need to cover if we want to make it to the next populated centre further south.

So ironic that in the Land of the Rising Sun, it always feels like we are racing against the setting sun every evening.
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« Reply #3372 on: November 18, 2019, 12:11:09 pm »

Although the days have been getting noticeably longer since we arrived in Japan, this was quite a long riding day and we pulled into the city of Miyazaki well after sunset. We haven't booked any hotel or AirBnB yet, plus we are starving (!), having eaten nothing since a late breakfast.

Just as we cross into the city limits, we see a large lit sign by the side of the road with pictures of well-marbled red meat! Yes! We are totally in the mood for meat! Also, we can sit down in a warm restaurant and try to find a place to sleep tonight.

Usually we would have taken the time to search for a cheap Japanese chain restaurant, like a Yoshinoya or Coco Curryhouse, but today is a special day. It's Neda's birthday, so we are treating her to a nice dinner! Fifth birthday on the road! Bigsmile


Taking our shoes/boots off is a regular ritual before entering any building in Japan. Once we're in, we treat ourselves to a meat fest!
You can see Neda is straightening her chopsticks the proper Japanese way - with two hands. She is so nerdy that way...


Yakiniku is Japanese BBQ. It's heavily borrowed from the Korean BBQ restaraunts where they bring you plates of raw meat and you cook it yourself over a personal grill set in the middle of the table. It's not really traditional as Yakiniku only came to Japan after WWII, but it's very popular here, especially in Miyazaki because they are known for their Wagyu beef in this prefecture.

What is Wagyu beef? It's a special way of breeding cattle so they have lots of marbled fat in the meat. VERY TASTY! But very expensive. We only ordered a small plate to taste (it was delicious!), and had regular meat and seafood to fill ourselves up. I've heard Wagyu cattle get regular massages by Japanese women and then are fed a steady diet of beer to raise their fat content, but wikipedia says this is a myth. That's too bad, because massages and beer totally sounds like a place I could stay at for awhile. Um... minus the slaughter at the end of the stay, I guess...
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« Reply #3373 on: November 18, 2019, 12:13:15 pm »

During dinner, we hopped on the Internet and found a budget business hotel situated right in the centre of the city. So off we go! But as soon as we depart the restaurant, it's freezing once again because the sun has disappeared. Thankfully, it's a short ride into town at city speeds and traffic is sparse because it is so late at night. We circle around the deserted streets of Miyazaki in the dark, searching for the hotel.


Street parking in Miyazaki

The hotel doesn't have covered parking for our motorcycles. There's a paid parking lot across the street, but the staff just told us to park outside the front door. For the first time in Japan, we're just leaving the bikes out on the street! 8O

This doesn't concern us too much. Japan is probably the safest country we've ever visited. Really enjoying our travels through the Land of the Rising Sun!
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« Reply #3374 on: November 19, 2019, 12:50:13 pm »

Another fantastic update! I'm learning so much about the Japanese culture  Thumbsup  Thumbsup
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« Reply #3375 on: November 29, 2019, 09:03:37 am »

Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/402.html



Miyazaki is the furthest south we'll venture in Japan. Today, we're heading to the north-west corner of the island of Kyushu.


Passing by a Suzuki shop. I'm way more aware of Japanese brands now that we're in Japan

Suzuki doesn't have that large a presence in Canada, but there's a Suzuki shop and signs everywhere in Japan!

It's a pleasant, if not a bit chilly, morning's ride through the mountains of Kyushu. The road we're on offers us some scenic riverside views. The town of Hitayoshi is about an hour west of Miyazaki. We stop to grab a quick brunch before doing some exploring.
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« Reply #3376 on: November 29, 2019, 09:05:12 am »


We heard about this great gyoza shop in Hitayoshi, so we dropped in for some dumplings

The guy who ran the place didn't speak any English, so we just pointed at the pictures on the menu: some chicken, some beef and some veggie dumplings. The plates come with 15 gyozas each and because we hadn't had breakfast yet, we scarfed them all down in a matter of minutes. They were delicious!!!

Our gyoza guy came out to see how we were doing and he was very surprised we had finished them all so fast. He grunted out a very Japanese "Hoi?", just like an anime character in all the shows that we've been watching lately, which made us LOL!

We ordered another plate of gyozas and took our time with the second helping of dumplings. Because the place wasn't that busy, our gyoza guy came to "talk" to us. He had seen our bikes parked outside so he showed us pictures on his phone - he was a motorcycle rider as well, riding some kind of Japanese cruiser. Cool! The brotherhood of bikers transcends all language!
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« Reply #3377 on: November 29, 2019, 09:05:58 am »


There's a shrine nearby we want to visit. On our ride over, we see cherry blossoms!

We've been enviously reading the news about the early cherry blossoms sprouting up in Tokyo due to the unusually warm weather they've been having. Now they've finally bloomed here in the south! So beautiful! Neda is very happy, this is what she's been waiting for all this time we've been in Japan!


Outside the Aoi Aso shrine


Neda feeds the ducks in the river outside the shrine. There's a little self-serve kiosk nearby
where you can leave a ¥100 coin in exchange for a small bag of crumbs
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« Reply #3378 on: November 29, 2019, 09:07:01 am »


Cherry blossoms in front of the very pretty red bridge outside of Aoi Aso shrine


Inside Ao Aso shrine, we see a priest walking into one of the buildings

He's wearing the purple robes which signifies he's high-ranking. Lesser priests wear lighter blue. The black hat he's wearing is called a kanburi, which is part of the formal-wear worn by ancient nobility.


Shinto priest giving a blessing

So I found out that these Shinto priests bless not only people, but possessions as well, since they believe that everything including inanimate objects has a spirit. It's popular to perform this ceremony on everyday items like cars and cellphones, to protect them from bad luck, like being in a car accident or dropping your phone in the toilet when you're using them while sitting on a high-tech washlet! Smile

This totally reminded me of the Hindu puja ceremony in India, where our Royal Enfield motorcycles were blessed against bad luck.

Looking back on that trip, it didn't help...
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« Reply #3379 on: November 29, 2019, 09:07:57 am »


We already know walking through these red torii gates signify a transition to the sacred.
The thinking here is that if one is good then a whole bunch in a row is even better!


The Japanese seem to love multiplying artifacts, be they flags on the side of the paths and stairs, to torii gates! When it comes to good mojo, you can never have enough, it seems!


Some scenes around the Aoi Aso shrine


Family of tiny Shinto statues
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