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Part1 - Coastline
After a brief downhill ride, we reach Ito's train station. Just a few pedal strokes from here takes us to the Pacific Ocean. A short stint on the national highway 135 is tolerable only because the salty air gently wraps around our faces. We pass by a commercial fishing dock, supplying the riches of the Pacific to the surrounding area. Ito's fish market is small and there is no 400kg tuna here, mackerel is the local fish.
As highway 135 starts to go up towards the hill we veer left and get even closer to the ocean. From here to Jogasaki the rugged coastline was created by close to one hundred volcanic craters, each erupting exactly once, shaped over millions of years. Rock climbers and hard fishermen savour these magnificent rock formations, and we love riding through it.
Repeating small hills hug the cliff line. The rhythmical tide moves in close and then far below again. All ten legs that ride are fresh, the sun is out and hitting at low angles as tourists still eat their breakfast. It's a beautiful late November day and the misery of Mizugaki two days ago is forgotten, for now.
Passing through a couple of fishing villages hugging the coastal hills, we reach Jogasaki where the lighthouse and suspension bridge comes into view. I remembered riding a smooth trail system here and so venture off to find this singletrack. The I remembered it was smooth on a mountain bike. No big deal, our tyres hold up.
From Jogasaki, we head inland to the mountains.
"The yabber of auctioneer and clammer of mongers bidding for the best fish rise like a cacophony of waves. I learned long ago fresh fish doesn’t smell and their was nothing fishy about this sale either."
- Vincent Flanagan
"We hit the fish market, filled with smells of fish. Men in waist-high rubber boots. They live with the ocean. Men for whom Mother Nature determines the day's income. And then there are men who stare into the value on the LCD monitor and a few strikes of keys to make millions. The contrast is overwhelming."
- Yufta Omata
"Coming down from the north, you'll pass through Atami and then Ito. Both are tourist ghost towns. Both cities are superbely located right on the ocean with 3D land shapes and plenty of hot springs. Here also lies a museum for teddy bears, ammonite, cats, and even candlewax dolls. Perfect trap for tourists who are happy just to be away from work and dropping 1000 yen to see somebody's teddy bear collection."
- Daisuke Yano