After the grilled oysters in Akeshi and a little exploring around the area, we unfolded the bikes and loaded them up to began the ride to Hamanaka. We weren't entirely sure how long the nearly 40 km ride would take, but we were eager to see more of the amazing coastline. Our previous vacations and weekend trips usually focus on mountains or urban hiking, so this adventure along the coast was new territory.
Our road (covered with broken seashells that presented a unique biking hazard) took us past fishing villages large and small, and while there were some hills this leg wasn't too bad. The scenery, when visible, was extraordinary. The coast here is full of steep cliffs and rocky outcrops carved by the sea, and we marveled at the tiny villages with their huge konbu drying fields (large spaces made of gray stones that we first took for parking lots) that we passed. It seemed as though high tide surely must come right to the doorstep.
A cloudy day perfect for biking, our way alternately ventured past the ocean and through forest. We stopped to admire the blooming cliff-top meadow of Akeshi's Ayami Prefectural Park with it's horses and stunning ocean views that faded in and out of view. It felt like the clouds came and settled on us as we walked, and sure enough shortly after we started biking again the rain began.