Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hokkaido Part IV: Bicycling around Lake Toya

On my second day in Toya-ko Onsen I rented a bicycle again and rode around the 50-km perimiter of Lake Toya. In Japanese, ko means lake and onsen means hot springs area, so Toya-ko is Lake Toya and Toya-ko Onsen is the hot springs area on the Mount Usu volcano side of the lake. With lots of stops for photos, exploration of parks, a picnic lunch and a detour to a fruit stand selling local plums, the trip took six hours, all along a quiet road on the rim of the caldera lake.
As I rounded the lake I enjoyed views of several different volcanos behind the reflective waters, and I saw birds and forests and a snake, several parks, sculptures, and some cute little camping cabins.
Touring by bicycle is definitely my favorite way to travel. I can enjoy nature, fresh air and the countryside, exercise, and make as many detours and stops as I like. I see things at a speed that allows me to digest them, and people wave and talk to me. While bicycling around Lake Toya, I decided to look for a way to see part of Southeast Asia by bicycle this winter.

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