Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Day 14: Mitsuke - Kakegawa (18.7km)

I woke at 5.30am. During the night I'd had several extremely vivid dreams, one involving me mountain climbing with my father and other members of my family. I went along despite my fear of heights. In the end our party had to be rescued by helicopter.

I watched TV in bed until six. I then got up and went down for breakfast (nice bread and pastries, salad, and plain, sweetened yoghurt) at 6.45am.

I left at 8am and went straight to a convenience store to buy a bottle of water. I usually just filled my bottle from the tap each morning, but the water in Iwata was so bad this was out of the question. After rejoining the Tokaido, I headed north for a kilometre or two before doglegging east and passing through the old post town of Mitsuke. A little further on I had to climb a steep slope before coming to yet another avenue of old pine trees. It was nine o'clock and I'd been going for an hour, so I rested for a few minutes in the shade of the trees (it was already quite hot). I pushed on and took my second break at ten by the Kihara Ichirizuka.

Half an hour later I reached the post town of Fukuroi. The residents of Fukuroi seem to take great pride in the fact that their town is the halfway point in the journey along the Tokaido in terms of the number of post towns between Tokyo and Kyoto. Among the town's attractions were a nice little park with a monument celebrating the town's status and a tea house called the Domannaka-chaya (the "Right in the Middle" Tea House).

It was only another 10km to Kakegawa, so I took it pretty easy for the rest of the day. Once again I had trouble finding a suitable lunch place, and actually left the Tokaido at one point to look for somewhere. I was rewarded when I came across a Yumean restaurant. I ordered a large set that included maguro-don (a bowl of rice topped with slices of raw tuna), tempura, and cold soba. The wasabi in the maguro-don had quite a kick!

Before entering Kakegawa I stopped at a convenience store and bought some sachets of washing powder and another bottle of water. Shortly after that I must have taken a wrong turn (I suspect it was where I came across some road works after crossing a bridge) because I found myself on the wrong road heading towards Kakegawa station. Luckily it didn’t cost me any time, although it was frustrating to realize that I'd missed out a section of the original Tokaido.

Kakegawa station

My hotel was on the other side of the station. I needed some caffeine. There were no coffee shops in sight, so I bought some iced coffee at a convenience store on the way to my hotel and drank it in the convenience store car park. On checking in I discovered there was free coffee in the lobby.

My room was quite big and had a nice view of the city. I did a load of washing in the hotel coin laundry and checked the Internet on a computer in the lobby. There were two Italian restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. I chose Jolly Pasta. I had some tomato and mozzarella spaghetti, garlic toast, and panna cotta with blueberry sauce for dessert. I resisted the temptation to have a glass of wine with my meal. I had a big day the next day, including some hills.

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