My wife and I are not those die-hard Japanophiles who always visit Japan as a kind of worship. Instead, it is the excellent culture and the friendliness of Japanese that make us not tired of visiting Japan.
For this summer holidays, we continued to explore other parts of Japan - The Biwako area in the Shiga Prefecture.
This was a downshifting journey for us to enjoy the beauty of the Lake Biwa, the country life and the cultural side of the Shiga Prefecture.
Today's journey started at the Tatara Shimanami Park in Omishima. Major reasons are availability of bus service from Imabari and the Rent-a-cycle Terminal. Moreover, it is close to Setoda Sunset Beach where we would have our lunch. The only downside is that we have to ride the Tatara Bridge twice just like what we had for the Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge in yesterday's ride.
It took around one hour to arrive at the Omishima BS. Quickly we picked up our bikes at the Rent-a-cycle Terminal and started our ride towards the Tatara Bridge.
When I looked out from the hotel window early in the morning, I just couldn't believe what I had seen. Blue sky, bright sunny day and flock of seagulls. That's completely different from what we had the day before!
Weather report stated that typhoon Noru had moved across Honshu, the main island of Japan, towards the Sea of Japan. What an excellent forecast work by JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency)!
To allow more time for the ride, we planned to take the 9am local bus to Innoshima/Setoda.
Woke up in the morning after having a good sleep, my wife and I were busy checking the weather report on TV and from the Internet.
It was mentioned that typhoon Noru was moving over Shikoku and towards the main island of Japan during the day. Due to the slow pace of Noru that might result in extended periods of heavy rain, evacuation advisories in Shikoku and warning for river flooding, landslides, strong winds and high waves in other affected areas had been issued.
During my Chinese New Year holidays in Hiroshima in early 2017, we had an one-day trip in the city of Onomichi. Fascinated by one of the top cycling courses in the world, Shimanami Kaido, my family and I had an ad-hoc short ride from Onomichi, crossing Mukaishima (向島) and arrived in Innoshima (因島) via the famous Innoshima Bridge (因島大橋).
The scenery along the cycling course was stunning. The cycling infrastructure was great and convenient to the cyclists. Together with the friendly drivers we met along the way, Shimanami Kaido gave us a wonderful cycling experience.
By the time we arrived at the Innoshima Ohashi Memorial Park, it was already two o'clock in the afternoon. As we had to catch our train back to Hiroshima by the evening, we had no other choice but to head back to the Onomichi station.
On the return trip, my boy asked if we could come back again and ride along the Shimanami Kaido from Onomichi to Imabari.
Why not! I said.
Living up to my promise, I had gathered all the information on Shimanami Kaido, working out the itinerary and making all the necessary reservations.
During my boy's summer holidays in 2017, we sat out to conquer the Shimanami Kaido.
Kaohsiung, the third biggest city of Taiwan, is not only famous for its port, night markets, food, prettiest metro stations and enormous public artwork, but also the emerging scene of fine dining.
During our bike ride in Kaohsiung in late March, we had a chance to be the guests of our closed friends, at one of the great restaurants, the LA ONE Kitchen & Bakery.
Last Sunday's weather was not very stable. A hot sunny day but with occasional thunderstorm moving across the region as advised by the Hong Kong Observatory.
Instead of taking a long endurance journey, the group opted to ride on a short relaxing trip to the old fishing village, Sam Mun Tsai.
Schedule for my boy's Experiential Learning Journey in Singapore is quite tight. Students have to visit a secondary school, attend STEM related training at Singapore Polytechnic, doing programming work and finally present their works.
My boy is going to Singapore for a 4-Day Experiential Learning Journey.
He has never been aboard without the company of us and this is the first time he is on his own along some of his classmates and teachers. A challenge to him as well as to us.
The 23rd of March of the Lunar Calendar is the birthday of Tin Hau (or Mazu in Taiwan). According to informal historical recording, she was born in China around the 10th century and was later became the Goddess of the Sea.
This year, the Tin Hau birthday (or Tin Hau Festival) was on 8 May 2018. There are various celebration activities held by local communities in Yuen Long, Tuen Mun and several traditional fishing villages.
On last Saturday, my family and I visited Sai Kung, an old fishing village in Hong Kong, and had a glimpse into one of the local celebration events.
If you like hiking in Hong Kong, there is a place that you must make a visit - Tai Mo Shan.
I've been to Tai Mo Shan a number of times. Cold Winter, cool autumn, hot summer; Sunny day, rainy day; hiking and even cycling. No matter how and when, you will find your ways to enjoy.
During my stay in Kaohsiung, the Rapid Transit System (RTS) or "高雄都會區大眾捷運系統" is the major means of transportation in the Metro area.
Despite the history of the Kaohsiung Metro train services is relatively short, there are some interesting facts that I can share with you.
The fourth of the series is "FoTan to the Old Frontier at Lo Wu".
This is an extension of the FoTan to Sheung Shui cycling route. A visit to the old Hong Kong Frontier before the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China,
Revitalisation of historical buildings as a means of preserving cultural and historical heritage is getting more significant nowadays. By injecting new usages to these buildings, it is expected that its life activities can be sustained.
Our second ride in Kaohsiung has been focused on one of the highly recognised revitalisation projects, the Pier 2 Art Center. We have also boarded the ferry at GuShan to the Cijin District (旗津半島）and have a wonderful sprint along the Cijin Cycling Promenade (旗津踩風大道).
When two people are in love, we will say "they are 沐浴愛河中" in Chinese (ie. bathing in the love river). However, one of the sweet ladies of my cycling team has her own interpretation:
Meaning that "Love River" is not only just for falling in love, but also a wonderful place to enjoy riding with good friends.