Once on the bikes, the first half of the day was a fight with traffic as we made our way through the western-reaches of the Aomori City urban sprawl. Traffic was noisy and fast-moving, the roads narrow, and generally rather average cycling. Once we made it to the coast, however, we found ourselves on quiet streets lined with old houses. Small gardens with blossoms. Haidee made the most of short breaks for stretching out tired muscles.
My highlight for the day was lunch. Lunch is not always my highlight on a cycle tour, but today was out of the ordinary. We had stopped in to a small grocery store to stock up on veges and pasta for dinner later that day, and we noticed that there was a small eatery attached to the store. It was 11:30am, so we decided to have lunch there. I saw a couple of ladies with a massive set meal of sashimi (raw fish), and thought it looked nice, but had assumed it would be out of my price range. For that big a lunch set, you’d easily pay upwards of 1,700yen in Sapporo.
My jaw dropped when I saw the menu and prices on the wall though. Nothing was much over 650yen.
So I ordered the sashimi teishoku (sashimi set menu), and sure enough, 10 minutes later I was delivered a massive set of rice, miso soup, and raw fish. On the wooden platform, from left to right is scallop, local salmon, tuna, snapper at the front, octopus in the middle, yellow-tail at the back, and squid. I felt that I was well and truly doing my part to deplete the ocean’s resources.
The plan for tomorrow is to catch a ferry across to the Shimokita Peninsula, so we had originally planned to camp at the Kanranyama Park Campground next to the ferry terminal in Sotogahama Village. However, due to a bit of a map-and-place-name-reading mix-up, we decided to cycle an extra 15km up the coast to what I thought was a mixed outdoor hotspring. It ended up that there were two onsen with very similar names in Aomori, one on the complete opposite side of the prefecture (the one I thought we were going to – the one with the mixed outdoor pool) and one on this side of the coast. So we made it to where I thought the awesome hotspring was, only to find that it was a much less exiting affair.
But the water was hot, and the extra detour ended in us able to see some beautiful fishing-village scenery…
And stay in the very well appointed Odaiba Auto Camp. It was still all rather chilly…
Route Map – GPX Route Map file