In the last 6 years of living in Japan.
I've been incredibly lucky to travel the whole country, but this place is hands-down the most beautiful place in all of Japan.
Good morning, guys!
Welcome back to Journey Across Japan never-ending cycle of despair. Today...
you join me on the big one, the big cycle across the Inland Sea of Japan.
A chain of 5 or 6 islands, numerous bridges, mountains, hills.
Many people describe this as "the best route to cycle in all of Japan"
and having done it a few years ago, I can attest to that being accurate.
It really is an incredible journey and I've been really looking forward to this the whole last month of doing this cycle.
Joining me today is Sharla in Japan.
We're just gearing up, and in fact, we're gonna-- we're gonna miss our ferry
This is the ferry that takes you to the first island, which is where you begin.
We better hurry up, 'cuz we're gonna miss it.
So it's a very quick ferry ride about 5 minutes.
And this takes us over to the first island, and there I'll show you the map and show you what we're doing today.
- How are you feeling? - Good, look at the castle
There's a little castle up on the mountain behind us.
Feeling good, the weather is amazing, we are so lucky.
Very lucky, the last time I did this 3 years ago it was in the height of August.
Oh my god.
And it was about 36-37 degrees or something and I got sunstroke, I was able to complete the cycle.
How long did it take you?
It took me the whole day, like this is going to.
And we've arrived. - We're here.
So Charlotte's got a map here, guys.
This gives you a sense of perspective. We are here, right now.
We'd go across this island over a bridge, over this island, over a bridge, round this island, over a bridge, round this island,
over a bridge, round this island, over a bridge, over this island, over a bridge, the end.
And that's the day about 5 or 6 bridges.
I like how it warnes you where the steep hills are.
Steep hills, you can do it!
Frequent up and down hills.
The motivation we need.
The last time I did this, I actually found it more difficult than climbing Mount Fuji (富士山).
It lied to be quite difficult, because my legs are fucked from cycling a 1,000 kilometres or whatever it is. - Have you stretched?
Yeah, I haven't stretched yet, or it'll be easy because my legs are... really strong and brilliant now.
All I know is, let's go.
There are almost 3,000 islands in the Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海).
And amongst the most famous Miyajima (宮島) home to the Itsukushima Shrine, one of Japan's most famous landmarks.
And Ōkunoshima (大久野島) also known as "Rabbit Island".
Where weirdos come from across the land, to roll around in a pile of rabbits.
Sadly there are no rabbits on our journey today, though.
But we do have an abundance of tranquil beaches and emerald green seas at every turn.
This is another reason I love this cycle, you have these little beautiful beaches all to yourself.
The sea is rather calm, because it's the Inland Sea of Japan.
And it's just a very peaceful calm route the whole way.
You can do it, Sharla! You can do it!
We have to go up a nasty little hill to get to this bridge.
Alas, we're here.
You can't even see the end of it.
Oh~~, fuck, water break.
Water break? But we've got a sick GoPro time-lapse to do.
Prepare to make the jump to hyperspace.
Yeah~~, one bridge down.
Yeah, the first bridge is done. - Yeah. - 1 bridge down... 5 to go.
That was Enoshima bridge, that was 770 meters.
And look everyone, it's an orange orchard. Yeah! Is that a symbol of hope?
Is that a symbol of good things to come? - It is. - A positive omen? 'Course it is.
Oranges. Probably. I think I've just made that up.
I must admit though after doing that first bridge, I feel like anything's possible.
Nothing can stand in our way now.
Funny it's been 3 years and 2 months since I last did this cycle route, and yet I remember the day incredibly clearly as though it was yesterday.
Like I remember this bloody hill where we're at now, I don't know why that is, my memories is not that great.
But I remember this cycle trip this day so clearly I think that's because, I really was in the moment that day.
I was very mindful of my surroundings. I wasn't thinking, I wasn't filming, I wasn't doing anything.
I was just cycling and enjoying the scenery...
around me and.
When you in the moment like that, without a care in the world, without a thought in your mind.
I think it's really easy to capture that time and place, and keep it in your memory very clearly.
As I have done... with this fucking hill.
Having triumphantly conquered our second bridge of the day.
Sharla and I stopped off for a healthy nutritious Lawson's lunch.
So we're now about 20 kilometers in, guys, which is about a third of the way.
Yesterday I did a challenge for the cycle where I was a vegan for the whole day, which is a tough challenge.
Today that's all gone out the window though.
Because I've got fried chicken on a skewer and beef and rice.
Back to my old ways, I didn't learn a thing.
I'm not a better man for being a vegan for a day.
Why're you laughing?
You did well for the day, I am impressed.
I came to the realization being a vegan for a day, that...
I just can't ever do, I can't be a vegan...
Just the, my lifestyle the way I do things, I just can't ever do it.
And I'm never-- never gonna be one.
How're you feeling?
Good, the hills were really tough, but...
as long we take breaks afterwards, it's totally doable.
Yeah. What's-- what's this?
What is this? What is going on?
Trying to make a youtube video here.
What do you think of the scenery so far?
It's a lot different than I expected Hiroshima to be, my image of Hiroshima wasn't this... tropical.
The water is such a pretty blue color, but it's beautiful here.
Not gonna lie, It's not the most romantic... location.
Sitting at the front of Lawson's with my fried chicken on skewer and my rice ball
I don't deserve this, I've got a YouTube channel.
So I don't deserve to sit on the floor.
As beautiful as this journeys being today.
I have faced more hills in the last 6 hours than I think I faced...
in all the other days combined of this month-long cycle.
The only good thing is...
the scenery keeps you going, the scenery keeps you motivated.
Because you just pull over... at any point on the cycle and you are...
rewarded with an incredible view.
Look at that.
Over there's our next bridge, our next challenge.
Come on, we're nearly there. How're you feeling?
I feel fine when I'm not going up hill and then as soon as you start to go up hill...
my upper thighs burn.
Well I've got some bad news, we're about to go downhill.
That's good news.
And then up a hill. - Stop it. - No, we've been climbing up a hill - Don't tell me that.
We've been climbing up a hill for 10 minutes. - We have, I've noticed. - And we've gotta go put a...
more hill and yet there's, it's going downhill now
Let's just enjoy this, enjoy this while it last.
So we just crossed this gigantic, majestic, spectacular, wonderful, incredible bridge.
I feel like I should say something profound or brilliant on camera. - Yeah. - To mark this moment.
What should I say?
Say something. - Say something.
Say something. I'll say something.
I'll try and say something profound.
There's a mosquito on your face. - Brilliant.
Profound statement, take 1.
This isn't just a bridge, this is a crossing to a new me.
Naw, fuck it, I'll do it again.
Profound statement, take 3.
Ever since the dawn of time mankind has loved bridges. But what are bridges?
Why are you laughing?
This was gonna be really good.
And you've ruined it by laughing.
There's only one more bridge to go.
A better bridge.
A better bridge, the biggest bridge you ever did saw.
It's pretty big.
This is it, guy's. The last bridge, shit.
Up to the final bridge... is brutal... and after a day of cycling...
Lucky son-of-a-bitch, he's got a moped.
We are so close. I'm a bit gutted, I thought we'd got here... 20 minutes earlier.
We would have made it.
We would have got the best sunset view known to man, like the sun setting.
I've never seen a sunset like this.
With a 4 kilometer suspension bridge in front of us.
But it does look cool, it's like a blood red sky.
Looks like we're cycling towards the apocalypse.
Keep going, Sharla! You can do it!
My legs are... just feel like they're on fire.
But I feel pretty good, like we've made it to the last bridge.
Don't know how we're gonna get across it before it gets dark.
But we're not, It's gonna be dark by the time we get over it.
Go, go, go.
Look at that view.
That guy looks 3 times your age and he shot past you like a rocket.
He's 3 times as fast.
3 times as old.
To be fair, he has a proper bike.
You have a proper bike.
No I don't. - Yeah, you do.
You saw that one. It's one of them fancy ones, where you go like this.
It's definitely easier.
I've been incredibly lucky over the last 6 years to travel Japan extensively.
But this is hands-down the most beautiful place in all of Japan.
I just hope... I've done it justice today.
With GoPros and drones and cameras, hopefully we've done it justice.
How do you feel?
I'm really happy that we made it for at least the end half of this.
Golden Hour, the sun looks like it's exploded.
It's ridiculous, I've never seen a sunset this beautiful.
Only thing I'll say, the only downer in all this, is...
I do feel quite sick at the moment.
It's been hill, after hill, after hill.
My legs are trembling from the exertion.
I don't think I ate enough energy jelly or drank enough energy jelly.
I don't know what it is. Is it eating or drinking jelly?
Do you eat or drink jelly?
Well guys, today was officially the hardest day of the cycle so far.
I think we might have broken Sharla's legs for good.
The last time I saw her, she was just sort of falling down some stairs.
I don't think we'll be seeing her again for a while.
But today was a nightmare by all accounts, not just because of Sharla it was...
A really, a real slog 70 kilometres, half a dozen bridges.
I really feel like I pushed myself... to the limit today.
But I stand by what I said on the bridge earlier, the Shimanami Kaido Cycle Route
and the Inland Sea of Japan does have the best scenery in Japan.
And whether you like cycling or not.
If you come to Japan on a holiday for 2-3 weeks.
Try and set aside 1 or 2 days and just do it.
Because it will be difficult will be hard but it will be extremely rewarding and you won't regret it.
So definitely do it if you get the chance and then afterwards you can go and see Bunny Rabbit Island and live the dream.
Rolling in a pile of rabbits, in it.
So now we are in Shikoku (四国), Japan's smallest main island.
And tomorrow we're gonna be checking out the city of Matsuyama (松山市), which is one of my favourite cities, actually.
So I'm looking forward to having a slightly more relaxed day checking out the city tomorrow.
But for now guys the matter way might be out there in the big wide world.
Thanks for joining us today on Journey Across Japan and I'll meet you right back here tomorrow, to do it all over again.
Have a good one.
Learn something interesting about the town you're in, from a local.
[...], I've known you about 40 minutes.
And I get the impression you really like oranges.