I met up with a friend, Stefan, for my first proper ride on my new bike. Leaving from near Yokohama on Saturday morning, our first stop was Owakudani for “kuro tamago”, or black eggs, for breakfast. Each egg is supposed to give you 7 more years!
After enjoying the beautiful views, unfortunately the nature walk past the fumaroles was closed, we headed down into Izu along some scenic and curvy roads. Our plan was to take another road to the start of the Izu Skyline, but it was also still closed, so we had to detour via Atami. This gave us an opportunity to take a brief drinks stop and say hi to some friends who were diving the Atami shipwreck that day.
The Izu Skyline was a fantastic ride which we took most of the way down before peeling off and taking some other nice roads in central Izu. These led past Joren Falls, which my friend hadn’t been to before. This is well worth a stop, if only for the wasabi ice-cream! Shortly past Joren falls is the Old Amagi tunnel, a rather interesting little detour if you can brave the gravel road leading up to it.
We finally made it to Shimoda a few hours later than we initially planned, and had a very late lunch near the bus station – most of the other restaurants in the area had closed for the afternoon. On recommendation, I had the sazae donburi, which was quite nice, my friend opted for the “safer” option of grilled pork rice bowl.
After Shimoda we did a loop of souther Izu, passing by Mikomoto and Kumomi before cutting back across to Ito, where we had booked a hotel for the night. After relaxing in the onsen and a few beers, we called it a night – what a fantastic day!
The next day I headed off early as I was helping teach a scuba class at Inatori. Unfortunately this took a bit longer than planned, so my friend ended up heading back home alone. I followed a few hours later, taking the 111 and 112 which are quite small twisty roads deep in the forest back up to the Izu Skyline. Once up on top of the mountains the sun was even peeking through the clouds and Mt Fuji became visible through the haze, but at the end of the Skyline it was quite foggy, very atmospheric. The rest of the ride home was just heavy traffic on the highways as is usual for a Sunday afternoon. (edited)