After saying goodbye the nice owners of Penshion Diaba, I jumped on my bike and continued to head out along the coast of the Tsugaru Peninsula hoping to reach the northernmost tip at Tappi by noon.
As the road is flat with very little traffic the riding was pleasant. The road passes through a lot of small fishing villages and there are plenty of places to stop for food and drinks.
I really enjoyed the views from Takano Cape and Takano Cape Lighthouse and stopped for a short break.
Just as planned I rolled into Cape Tappi just before noon. This is the northern most tip of the peninsula and the area where the tunnel that links Honshu with Hokkaido starts.
There is a bit of a climb up to the lookout. But, I strongly encourage you to make the effort as anyone who does will be rewarded with some amazing coastal views.
Just below the lookout area, there is a Tunnel Museum and a small restaurant. I had the soba for JPY 600, was fueled and ready to hit the road. Little did I know what the road had in store for me.
Well after riding the flats for the last four days, it was payback time. Up, and up, and up, the road winds, literally into the clouds. The wind was really ripping and the clouds were thick. On some stretches I could only see 30 feet ahead.
At one point, I saw shadowy animal shapes moving up in front of me. Soon after that I could see that I was surrounded by some sort of monkeys. Unfortunately, they were camera shy as I when I tried to take their photo they scurried off into the trees and clouds.
I really don’t remember how long the climb lasted. My guess is around an hour. It was tough, but in the end it was well worth it. Not just the views, but the ride down was a real kick. I had the road to myself and could go as fast or as slow as I wanted.
After getting down to the west coast, the road is relatively flat with some great ocean views. I do have to say that there is fair amount of garbage on most of the beach areas.
That said, the locals had just cleaned a large beach at Orikoshinai Beach to prepare for upcoming beach soccer tournament. I was hot, the water and beach looked inviting, so I took a short swim in the ocean to cool down.
Later I paid my JPY 100 for a 3-minute shower, toweled off, and again, started down the road.
In the late afternoon I rolled into a rest area with several food stands just at the very north end of Lake Jusanko (Jusan Lake). I had a couple beers to relax and tried to scout out my next lodgings. The husband and wife owners of the food stand where I bought my beers helped me to reserve a room at the Inagaki Hot Spring Hotel, another 22KM down the road.
The ride past Jusanko is pleasant and flat. South of the lake there a rice paddies stretching as far as you see in all directions.
Later that evening I arrived at the Inagaki Hot Spring Hotel, soaked for an hour in the indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, and had a great dinner, a few beers, and fell into a deep sleep, exhausted and content from long but enjoyable ride.