There wasn’t much happening from the ride from Ami to Yuki. But the day after, I rode to Ashikaga, in Tochigi-ken. I really enjoyed being in this city. Route 67 that brought me here was especially interesting for a noob in Japan.
The main street is a mix of stores open for business and abandoned shops. I enjoyed window shopping at these closed establishments. Often times, the interior is very tidy and appearing as nothing has been used for some time. Dusty counters, stopped clocks; merchandise still on display. Fascinating.
Ashikaga is home to the oldest school in Japan, which is designated as a national treasure. I was only able to view it from the outside as I was too dumb worrying about where to park my bike. There is an entrance fee if you do decide to visit. I couldn’t find a spot to get a good photo, but the complex can be seen from the street from many directions and is quite beautiful in it’s architecture built in a traditional fashion.
Nearby, there is also a Buddhist temple Banna-ji, which has been there since the year 1197. The complex houses quite a few structures and there is an audio machine near the entrance that explains the lore in multiple languages. There’s also a snack shop that sells these fried things that you should definitely try.
On the way to Ashikaga, I stopped by the Ashikaga Flower Park. Unfortunately for me, the wisteria was past its peak bloom.
There was also a nice bike path in Tsukuba just east off the 14 coming from Ami to Yuki. I don’t know where it starts or ends, but I got off at the 50 towards Yuki.
That’s it for now, take it easy.