Japan Diaries 4: Day 160

Day 160: April 10, 2022

Sunday - Biking Trip to Mashike

It's a beautiful morning today. As planned, Joshua, Kiaya, and I will be heading out today to bike to the town of Mashike which is south of Rumoi City. 

We grabbed some snacks and drinks at the Seicomart Rumoi Okimicho

Off to Mashike via Route 231

We met up at Kiaya's place at around 10AM to help with the adjustments on her bike. From there, we biked to the nearby Seicomart to grab some snacks for the road.

Quick stop along the coast of Hamanakacho, Rumoi City

Mashike here we come

We hit the road to Mashike at about 10:30AM. The sun was up hence it was not too cold despite the 13-degree weather. I love how the breeze cools up the land while bringing in the smell of the sea. In a way, it made me miss the Philippines. 

A beautiful view of Nobosha River

Biking is a fun way to meet the local police. 

Our group made plenty of stops along the way to rest, rehydrate, and take photos. However, the most memorable stop that we had was when we were stopped by the police about halfway through Mashike. We didn't do anything wrong, the police were just curious to see why three gaikokujin (foreigners) were biking in a place that rarely sees tourists let alone foreigners. He just took our personal information, chatted with us a little, and probably given a chance, biked with us on this nice sunny day. Regardless, he seemed to have enjoyed our company. He bid us farewell and assured us that we didn't break any rules and was even apologetic for stopping us. 

We survived the uphill road in Hashibetsu, Mashike Town

Surprisingly, that is a traffic safety sign

Mashike's big apple sign

We left our bikes at Alia's place and explored Mashike on foot.

We arrived at Mashike at around 12:45PM. We met up with Alia, the Mashike ALT, and decided that we'd explore the town with her on foot so we headed to her apartment area to park our bikes.

We crossed the vermillion-colored Tsubirashi Bridge

Tsubirashi Bridge

Mashike Riverside Park

Our first stop was Mashike Riverside Park. This park is a popular camping destination during summer and is also a place where students go to play sports. Since the park is still mostly covered in snow, we contented ourselves with the beautiful scenery and also with crossing the vermillion-colored Tsubirashi Bridge

Passed by Junsumi Temple 

Mashike manhole cover

Fukuyoshi

Furasato Historical Street

Since it was way past lunch, we headed to Fukuyoshi but disappointingly, they were still closed by the time we arrived which was around 2:40PM. We then proceeded to Furasato Historical Street to find other restaurants. 

Sushi no Matsukura 

Finally, we get to eat lunch.

Sweet Ebi Tendon DX

We ended up at Sushi no Matsukura which is another popular place here in Mashike. I ordered the Sweet Ebi Tendon DX meal which costs 2200 yen. It was good but a bit pricey.

Kunimare Sake Brewery

We heard this is the best place to buy souvenirs in Mashike

Kunimare Sake Brewery
Inside Kunimare Sake Brewery

From there, we retraced our steps back and visited Kunimare Sake Brewery which we saw on our way to the restaurant earlier. Although we wanted to try the sake-tasting activity,, we figured that it won't be a wise idea as we'd still bike back home and if we'd be stopped along the way again it might land us in trouble. We just enjoyed checking out the products that are sold in it instead. 

After exploring Kunimare Sake Brewery, we visited Mashike Itsukushima Shrine. This beautiful red shrine is the main shrine of Mashike. Sadly, it was closed too so I wasn't able to get goshuin for my goshuin collection. 

Mashike Town Hall

Just across it is the Mashike yakuba or the Mashike Town Hall. Alia said that we'd find the colored Mashike Manhole Cover there but like the shrine, it too was closed. 

Ryuenji

We wanted to explore more but it was already late aside from that, the sudden drizzle made us worry that it might rain hard on our bike back to Rumoi City so we decided to head back to Alia's place and bike back home. There were other temples along the way like Ryuenji but one look at it and we know that it is closed too.

Time to say goodbye

Joshua insisted that we buy inarizushi at Seicomart near Alia's place. He wanted to offer it at the Inari Shrine on the way back home for good luck.

Time to bike back home

We bid Alia goodbye around 4:50PM and pedaled our way back to Rumoi City. It was a nice trip back. There were numerous wild animals along the way like foxes, seagulls, and deer. Speaking of deer, there was a herd of deer at Inari Shrine when we arrived but they frighten easily unlike their cousins in Nara Park in Nara City. They ran back to the forest upon seeing us leaving only their poop in the shrine area around it. 

Last stop for the day - Inari Shrine, Afun, Mashike

Inari Shrine - Afun, Mashike

Not to confuse with Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto City, this Inari Shrine is located in Afun, Mashike. We offered the inarizushi that we bought in Seicomart and prayed for better days. 


We arrived back at Rumoi City at around 8PM officially wrapping up our biking trip to Mashike Town. It was a fun and memorable trip. I'm looking forward to our next bike trip.

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