Kaike - Daisen Exciting Tour !

Tags: tottori, bicycle, daisen

Last week I was kindly invited by the Tourism and International Affair Division of the Western Tottori General Office Citizen's Bureau (yes, a long name:-).
The purpose of this invitation was to participate to the monitoring of a 3 days tour that could be offer in the future. This tour entitled "Kaike Daisen Exciting Tour" is for people having an interest in outdoor and sporty activities. 
The main activity being a ride around Daisen, the highest mountain of Western Japan, about 1700m. A good chance for me as I am planning to ride the Tour de Daisen next year, which shares the same road.

But let's start with the first day of the tour.

I join a small group of people (6) coming from Korea at the Yonago airport, official start of this tour monitoring. The tour is targeting foreigners also so it made sense to invite foreigners from the closest country. For info, from Yonago (main city of western Tottori) by plane it takes the same amount of time to reach Korea than to go to Tokyo. A little more than one hour.


We first made a stop at a kaiten sushi, fish and sea food are almost everywhere in Japan and Tottori prefecture is blessed with some really good and fresh products.
After lunch we had a walk in the main street of Sakai Minato celebrating the manga GeGeGe no Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki who was from the area, it is a very well known manga in Japan for decades… not sure it's the same deal in Korea though…


Then it was time to check-in at the Hotel. We were very lucky to stay at the Kaike Tsuruya Ryokan. This is one of the most popular Hotel in Kaike and one of a very good standing. Good for us ;-)


In the afternoon we went for a lesson of sea kayak. The waves were a bit high though so we enjoyed kayaking in the near river for about 2 hours. I learnt then that there was a "sea to summit" race organized at the same place [also the place of the Kaike long distance triathlon]. The "sea to summit" is a race starting with some 6k of sea kayak, followed by 23.5k of road race uphill, and a 4.5 hike to the top of Daisen! Overall a climb of 1709m. It is a great idea, I will surely participate next year! I just need to perfect my kayak skill :-)

Then rain came so we went back to the Hotel to enjoy the salty onsen a speciality of the place. It is said to have curative properties. In the evening we were greeted by a dinner like we can enjoy in Japanese ryokan. 



Next morning we took a bus to reach Daisen, our bikes following in a truck. Feeling like a pro cyclist :-)
The truck and the bus will follow us most of the day in case of any problem. That's what I call a luxury ride!

[Black & White Rapha jerseys]

Daisen is often compared to the Fuji San because from the west it really looks like it. It is not as high though.
Daisen offers some great views with great colors at this time of the year. I knew it well already especially the north and east parts. But this time I could discover the west and south parts and that was really incredible to ride it.





[Some serious equipment here!]


As we were riding around the mountain we were constantly going up and down. Even if we were going at a rather cool pace (it was not a training session) everyone could go at his own pace during the climbs and we waited for each other before to start a new section. 


We were lucky to be guided by talented triathlete Daisuke Kawabata [7th at Kaike Triathlon (huge performance when you know this race) and also 7th at Yurihama triathlon!] and biathlete. I hope to train with him more in the future. Thank you again Kawabata San!






It was a great day to ride, weather was perfect. We rode a bit less than planned because we started a little bit too late I think. But 65km in the mountain is quite a good ride anyway.



The Madone excels in the mountain :-)

Then we put the bikes back in the truck and came back at the Kaike Tsuruya hotel with our minibus. At the hotel we enjoyed one more good onsen time to relax the muscles and then we were invited to eat the dinner with some Kobe beef prepared in front of us by a cook master, that was very impressive and… yes very good. Can I say it was awesome ? :-)






Final morning was dedicated to some tourism in the old city of Yonago.
This time we rode mini-velo to discover the Tera Machi : literally the Temple City : a long road with many Temples.




We did a stop at a temple where we were explained the basics of Zazen.





A 10 hours Ironman on a mini-velo :-)


Ganbare Kakui San!




Visit of a very old style sweet-toys shop.


A short lesson on manual computing.



Then we moved to a tea house where we were then introduced to the Tea Ceremony [Sadō = 茶道] [well that was not a first for me obviously but I always enjoy it].









Finally after one more ride in the old city to the Yonago port we took our lunch (a hearty bento) on a typical cruise boat and then  that was the time to say good bye to each others!










I would like to thank everyone who organized and took care of the group during these 3 days. That was fun, and I was very happy to meet key people from Tottori prefecture. I have been living here for only 3 months but my life quite changed (for the better). Tottori Prefecture has a lot to offer especially for everything related to outdoor activities (one of the reason I'm living here also) and I will be more than happy to help to promote this anytime. I have myself few ideas I'd like to develop for people interested in endurance sports.

So thank you, Ichimura San, Kakui San and Bae San from Western Tottori Tourism and International Affair Division. As well as Ishimizu San from the Tottori Cycling Association [https://tottori-ca.jp] that first invited me to the tour. Also I was very pleased to meet Nojima San from the Tottori Triathlon Association [https://tottori-ta.com/]. And thank you Udagawa San, CEO of Tsuruya Kaike Ryokan for the stay and special thanks for the dinner at the "steak house" :-)

I would like also the Korean group I joined for the 3 days. Special thanks to Yunsuek and "Julian" who could speak English unless it would have been a bit awkward for me :-). Come back here anytime guys! 

[Most of the pics are mine, some are from my new friends :-) ]


<-Random Bicycles from 2011   Hill Climb in Daisen - Bicycle Race->