Part 1 : Japan, meet Jess!
Japan, meet Jess!
So I’ve made it!
Months of looking forward to this day; the Torchpass in Matsudo. The day the Globetrotter Multistrada Enduro switches from rider Laurent to rider number three, Jess. I remember the Multi E being a massive impressive machine and when I start filling the panniers and mounting my luggage with all my stuff and camping gear it looks even more impressive. Mature so to say, this is what the machine is built for, to be loved by someone that loves traveling and wants to get everywhere. My job the following two weeks? Enjoying this motorcycle to the max in the amazing country that is called Japan.
I arrived at the capital on Thursday and after two days of exploring Tokyo with the public transportation, which was impeccably good and punctual, and by foot, which was slow, I am finally on the move. The Torchpass at Ducati Matsudo was friendly and familiar. The kind of event that everyone would like. To the point and efficient (as I have noticed is also the Japanese way of doing things) such friendly people, both employees of Ducati Matsudo, interested bikes and press, plus I got some good food to get me started of what will likely be my biggest solo adventure ever.
I read a lot about Japan and Tokyo the last few months and what I mostly remember is ‘cities are highly dense in population and rural is quiet and calm’. They haven’t lied about the metropole, with more than 35 million people living in the center of Tokyo and in the suburbs of it, the road out of there has been the biggest, crowded and hottest traffic jam of my life! The shopowner guided me out of Tokyo in about an hour and a half but it still took me two to get out of the suburbs. A different thing is, there is absolutely no road rage or aggression to be found. Everyone is just waiting for their turn. I love it! Who would have thought I would ever say that I honestly didn’t mind the traffic jam only because of the discipline the people in it had. No one split lanes, no one honked and no one was angry. What a place!
Mount Fuji and lake Motosu-ko is my first stop, it’s a 200 km drive from the Ducati store and I arrive late at night. I lost a lot of time due to the traffic and the weather. Around 20h a thick heavy fog came up, typically for Mount Fuji by the way and off course cherries on top : rain. It becomes practically impossible to ride faster than 30 km/h and eventually I am glad I can turn of the express way into the smaller roads onto the campsite. When I arrived a kind Japanese man runs up to me and tells me I’m kinda late for seeking a nap but it’s ok if I don’t wake the other guests.
When settled down I praise myself lucky, the Multistrada Enduro is watching my tent and I’m off to dreamland.