Hope everyone had a nice, relaxing break over the holiday. For those of you who are into some trekking I recommend a visit to Kamikochi in the Japan Alps. It’s kind of like a mini version of the Rocky Mountains back in Canada, except with a few more souvenir shops. You won’t need to worry about grizzly bears (personally I’ve had more close calls with black bears) but do keep a firm grip on your snacks as the monkeys won’t wait for you to offer them. Access to Kamikochi is only by bus or taxi. I had to leave my motorbike at the Hirayu onsen parking area. The outdoor hot springs there were the perfect place to ease the pain after all the trekking. When I worked as a surveyor in Alaska & Canada, I got paid good money to slug it up the mountainside but now mysteriously I do it all for free? Getting to where you want to go in Japan by motorbike is truly half the fun. I have no interest in owning a car here but I can say with confidence after riding through Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu, Okinawa and many areas of Honshu, Japan is a moterbikers paradise. No parking worries, no traffic jam hassles and a vast road network gives access to any area of the country. The Japanese tend to be far more generous to motorcyclists, certainly compared to where I come from and some places I’ve stayed they have let me park right inside the hotel lobby. Ocean view roads are never far away, secluded, timeless fishing communities, unoccupied beaches to take a break and experience the local’s, parts of Japan very different from what you’ll find in Tokyo and Osaka. And after a good days touring there will always be a hot spring nearby to relax in… ever tried any “co-ed” ones?