Hopefully these photos provide some relief from the heat. Riding back into Kyoto from Tohoku with an additional 2500km`s showing on the odometer, it felt like I was entering a furnace. This was my first visit to northern Honshu and what a lovely part of Japan it is. Refreshingly cooler too. I made it as far as Lake Tazawa in Akita prefecture and then had to turn south as Obon was quickly racing by. There are some brilliant swimming beaches along the coast of the Japan Sea and the views, especially at sunset were superb. One of the hotspring highlights was at the base of a waterfall accessed from a long, steep, narrow road and hiking path – at the end of a days riding, this is the place to relax! People were kind and being far from big urban centers, see few foreign visitors. During holiday periods here in Japan I like to do things that I can`t experience back home in Canada and Tohoku certainly proved to be a place I want to return to.