You can read ‘Cycling Tokyo’s Top 25 Sights…In One Day Pt II’ here.
So having taken about 35 minutes to get to Disneyland I leave it behind just before 1pm having had perhaps one of the most pointless trips that anyone’s ever had to that part of the world! My timings are still bang on track but for some reason I choose to take a detour in the vain hope that it will get back me across the bay quicker than going all the way back to Odaiba which I would have done if bicycle were allowed over Rainbow Bridge. All this ‘detour’ does is lead me back to the main road that I had been on originally but having wasted lots of precious time and energy. I usually wear a support bandage on my left leg when I go running and that leg is starting to ache a bit. I eventually reach a bridge that will take me back to civilisation….once I’ve found a way of getting up on to it! Another roundabout journey ensues and I cross the bay following a sign for Hibiya hoping that I can find a turn off before that as I have no reason to go that far north.
I stop in Toyosu at a ‘conbeni’ for energy drinks and chocolate and shortly after that a man shouts angrily at me and another guy because we don’t wait for the green man at the crossing as there’s no traffic around. He catches up with me at the next crossing and hurls some more abuse at me. I keep a dignified silence throughout but then probably lose that in one move as I decide to cross that road on a red light just to wind him up even more!
I cut through Tsukiji Fish Market again before going to Zojoji Temple for a bonus stop whilst in the vicinity of Tokyo Tower which soon follows. Roppongi Hills is after that and then I struggle to get down to Sengakuji Temple as my instincts which have served me so well begin to fade and I end up losing my way as well as my enthusiasm. I really do feel like playing my joker card which will get me out of here but once I’ve done this and found my way to Ebisu I’ll be on the finishing straight. It’s not that straight-forward though as both the aforementioned temple and Yebisu Garden Place are difficult to get to. I give up on Shibuya Crossing after a failed photo attempt. Its just too busy and besides its not in the book anyway. Up the road in Harajuku I am kind of thankful that Meiji-jingu Shrine is closed and has been all day so that is passed very quickly which is good as its starting to get dark. Takeshita-dori represents Harajuku itself and it aint half embarassing setting up a tripod and trying to get myself and the bicycle in shot but all goes well and I race on towards Shinjuku for the final batch of locations.
Shinjuku station is a bonus stop and not actually featured in Fodor’s Tokyo Top 25 book which I am following. I then cycle slightly south-east to Shinjuku-gyoen Garden which is closed and not very well lit. I decide its time to put my bicycle light on as I cycle to the west side of Shinjuku in search of the final stop which is Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Despite having been there many times I still struggle to locate it and my frustration increases as I really can’t be bothered to find it but it would be really stupid to throw in the towel now, not that I can give up so easily anyway as I still need to cycle back to Ikebukuro and then on up to my place. In all honesty its a bad place to finish this challenge as its dark and not really possible to photograph the actual building so I end up getting one of me in front of the entrance doors with just a little sign for show.
I feel no emotion or any sense of achievement as I leave but my tale isn’t over just yet as two policeman signal that I can’t cycle through a tunnel to get back to where I need to be going. I ask them if its illegal to which they say no but its dangerous. I tell them ‘danger’ is my middle name, flick them the V sign and pedal on with them chasing me but unable to catch me as I cycle for my life. Alright then, that’s not quite true. Instead, I carry my bicyle up some stairs and cycle on home which takes about 40 minutes or so. It’s 6.35pm when I arrive at my home in Kami Itabashi after over 12 hours in the saddle with hardly any breaks. It’s only the next day when I begin to feel something and I don’t mean the stiffness in my legs. As I tell a few students about my challenge I realise the feat of my accomplishment of which I am very proud.