Traveling to the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture is not exactly rare for me but this mini-trip was a bit different as my wife was not with me, my parents-in-law were away from their house in Ito and of course I was going to see some live Olympics action. Wanting to make the most of my time before the first day of the track cycling I decided to head down to Izu quite early and see and do a few things before the main event.
Lunchtime meant a return visit to a place I first went to in Autumn 2017. It`s the floating conveyor-belt restaurant called `Donguri` (5-8-22 Otemachi) which wasn`t busy four years ago but this time it was already “full” just after 11 am. Of course the Covid_19 prevention measures in place meant it was actually only half full. I had to wait about 45 minutes till I could be seated and then sadly my designated seat was a bit too near to the kitchen area meaning that the dishes I`d ordered (from the vending machine on entry) really didn`t have long to travel on the water before reaching me.
There`s not a lot to add that wasn`t said in my previous post about the restaurant in Autumn 2017. This time I again ordered kishimen noodles (broad and flat noodles often seen in the Nagoya area) as well as a banana parfait dessert. However, due to incompetence on my part I didn`t remove the plastic thing which my order was originally attached to when my noodles arrived. A staff member brought it to me a few minutes later but then when my dessert floated down to my seat I saw there were some more kishimen noodles too! Did I do the right thing though and tell them they`d made a mistake? I`ll leave you to guess that one!
Before that the first pit-stop off the day had actually been at the unstaffed station of Nebukawa on the Tōkaidō Main Line which lies right beside the ocean and has some lovely views.
Once lunch was done in Numazu I went to the next station in Mishima and then took my first ever ride on the Izuhakone Tetsudo-Sunzu Line down towards Shuzenji where I disembarked at Izu-Nagaoka Station (IS09) and then walked for half an hour in the searing heat to see the world heritage listed Nirayama Reverberatory Furnace. This is what I was hoping to see…
…but sadly all I got was this view!!
I`d got lucky at the restaurant with two for the price of one (albeit inadvertently) but it just wasn`t to be with the reverberatory furnace. You win some, you lose some eh!
The next day was the big one though, and it was a very rare chance to see some live Olympic action at the track cycling at the Izu Velodrome. I met up with Aussie James and his friend Swiss Aurelian at Ito Station and took the free shuttle bus not really knowing what to expect in the way of Covid_19 safety measures and the atmosphere.
We really did feel very lucky to have been present at the track when so many other people had been unfortunate to be deprived at Olympic venues in Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures. Click here to read `What It`s Like To Be A Spectator At The Tokyo 2020 Olympics`
Aurelian decided late on to return to Tokyo that night whilst James and I went to mine but not before we`d had late dinner at a nearby Gusto family restaurant. With the State of Emergency in operation we wasn`t expecting to be able to get a beer but thought we`d try anyway and as you can see below it did come without problem.
Mount Komuro is a mountain I climb on every single trip to Ito but I really did think this might be one time when I didn`t bother with it. However, with the adverse weather conditions and not wanting to stray too far from my parents-in-law`s house, the 321 metre tall mountain was the best option. Given the frequent downpours on our route to the top perhaps staying at home would`ve been more preferable! No one else was foolish enough to climb it that morning!
However by the time we had descended from the peak to Dinosaur Space a few minutes later it had cleared up and the sun came out. Not for long though!
There was just enough time for a McDonalds breakfast before we parted ways as James headed back to Tokyo whilst I got ready for another day of track cycling.
This time I was the man in the know and was half expecting a bit of recognition and words welcoming me back from the staff but of course there was no such thing. As with the previous day the weather was awful as the bus drove past Usami beach (below) and up the mountains on the 30 minute ride to the Velodrome. This time though there was no one around to bore silly about how I once cycled this route just to check out the cycling arena! It was always going to be a lonelier day for me. I had hoped to catch a glimpse of the splendid Usami Kannon-ji Temple from the window but could see absolutely nothing!
These cycling and Olympic drinks (below) are the exclusive content which didn`t feature in any of my previous Tokyo 2020 posts.
In terms of the action, Day two was more exciting than the first one but sadly I didn`t get to see a British gold medal.
Had Britain won a gold or two I`d have been unbearable for many years banging on about having witnessed it in person at the Velodrome but it wasn`t to be. Instead I got to see something far more unique as Jason and Laura Kenny (as well as their fellow British riders) won some rare silver medals!
Click here to read `Dining Out: Donguri Floating Restaurant (Including Video!)`
Click here to read `At The Velodrome For Two Days Of Live Track Cycling At The Tokyo 2020 Olympics`
Click here to read `What It`s Like To Be A Spectator At The Tokyo 2020 Olympics`
Click here to read `All Is Not As It Seems At This World Heritage Status Iron Smelting Facility In Shizuoka`