Tokyo Ikea by bike
23 Sep, 2010
Being the ultimate students living in Japan, we need to save costs. At the same time we thought it would be a nice challenge to take Pui-Yuk’s trusty front-basket-equipped shopping bike and my SpeedHunters.com sticker (thanks Dino) equipped Anchor Road Bike on a journey. To the far far east of Tokyo… Ikea, yeah that’s far from our apartment.
Before we left our apartment we of course looked on Google Maps how we were supposed to get there. As Google Maps doesn’t not provide cycling routes we search for the walking route. By foot it will take you 5 hours, how long is it going to take by bicycle? So we headed out with without a proper map or internet on my iPhone (Softbank doesn’t allow their sim cards to be used in foreign iPhones) we only had our memory as navigational tool.
After about 30 minutes of cycling we crossed this bridge and we thought it would be a good spot for a short break. In the background you can see the new Tokyo Tower (Tokyo Sky Tree) being build. This things is going to be huge! After a 5 minute break it was time to get moving because we were not even near the Ikea yet.
After cycling for god knows how long we stopped at yet another bridge. Yeah Tokyo has quite a few bridges. But this was just a small one. It crossed a very nice river, just look at how clear the water is, you could see the fish swimming. A perfect opportunity for son and dad to go out with a fishing rod and catch those buggers!
Although it didn’t go as planned, son threw the line directly in the rope, causing it to be tangled up and dad had to go for the rescue.
So these fish were still out of danger for now. Swim fishies swim! Just look at how clear the water is.
Time to focus on the road ahead of us again. As we are entering a more residential part of Tokyo, it feels like you are traveling back in time. The roads are getting crappier, the buildings older and the density of kombini’s (convenience stores) start to drop. We must have been cycling for about an hour and half now, how much further do we have to go?
Aaaah bridge! Break! No we didn’t stop at every single bridge but when we stopped it was a bridge yes. It’s just nice to feel that colder sea breeze, because it was a very warm day after all! And than all of a sudden BOOM!!
A accident happened just behind us. Ok I might been exaggerating with the boom. Everybody seemed ok, accept for the cars. Aah but that’s life. Up until this far it was quite easy to navigate (pretty much only straight ahead). But after this we had to take a to pay attention to which turn we had to take all from memory.
That didn’t work out perfectly, we actually sort of got lost! But by asking around we got sent into the right direction until we didn’t know where to go again. So it was time to ask for direction again. Being unable to find a Koban, I went to a Mazda Rent-A-Car shop and asked directions there. He even printed a map for me.
Luckily we were not that far from the Ikea. With the map in hand we had no problems cycling the last bit, except for having a sore butt!
After about 3 and half hours we finally arrived at the Ikea. If you were wondering why we went to the Ikea… for Hot Dogs of course! In the end we did buy some stuff and had I had Swedish meatballs, Pui-Yuk had pasta. Fully charged up we were ready to go home. Although we didn’t get lost on the way home, we unknowingly took a slight detour.
In the end we covered nearly 60kms that day, that sure as hell is my personal biking distance record!
Have you read about our previous trip to the Ikea?