Cycle around Matsukawaura in Soma, Sept. 6, 2018. (相馬の 松川浦 を サイクリング 2018年9月6日)

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(Matsukawaura Big Bridge at Soma City, Sept. 6, 2018. 松川浦大橋 相馬 9/6/2018)
As it was a rare fine day today in recent rainy windy days, I went on cycling around Matsukawaura Lagoon starting from the city center of Soma. Photo above was Matsukawaura Big Bridge located in the northernmost part of the lagoon, which was restored last year from damage by the earthquake and tsunami disasters 7 years ago. The photo was taken from a seaside park just beside the bridge. It was only about 500m long, but the bridge has been a landmark of the region. When I visited the bridge in 2012 it was the time the repair work had just began and was closed.

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(Matsukawaura Big Bridge at Soma City, Sept. 6, 2018. 松川浦大橋 相馬 9/6/2018)
This was a view on the bridge.

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On the way, I first stopped at a huge mega solar plant in Isobe district, only a part of which was shown in the photo above. The solar plant extended over a large field area with a road in the center, located close to the southernmost end of Matsukawaura Lagoon. The plant was the largest of this kind in Fukushima Pref. generating maximum electricity of 52.5MW. Wow!

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Then I pedaled toward north along the recovered seaside road called Osu-Matsukawa Route. The road reopened in this April with most of the road protected by continuous secure seawall resulting in no ocean view as shown in the picture above.

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(Osu-Matsukawa Route at Soma City, Sept. 6, 2018. 大洲松川線 相馬 9/6/2018)
But there was a part of the road with great ocean view as shown above!

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(Matsukawaura fishing port at Soma City, Sept. 6, 2018. 松川浦漁港 相馬 9/6/2018)
As I passed the Matsukawaura Big Bridge, mentioned in the beginning, and turning to left I arrived at Matsukawaura fishing port as shown above. The port was fully recovered compared to when I visited in 2012 and 2015.

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Then I came to Haragama-Obama seaside beach as shown above which just reopened during this summer season. The site was one of the only four seaside beaches in Fukushima that could reopen to date in Hamadori region since the Great East Japan earthquake disaster.

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A new three-story watchtower was built at the center of the beach as shown above.

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Right next to the beach there was a memorial as shown above inscribed with all the victims’ names in Soma City.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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Lake Hayama at Iitate Village, Sept. 5, 2018. (飯舘村のはやま湖 2018年9月5日)

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(Lake Hayama at Iitate Village, Sept. 5, 2018. 飯舘村 はやま湖 9/5/2018)
As the season’s 21st typhoon quickly moved away toward northwest this morning, the weather in Fukushima Pref. quickly recovered in the afternoon. I visited Iitate Village today for the first time in nearly six years. This time I packed my bike, took a train to JR Soma Station, and started pedaling towards Lake Hayama located in the mountainous area in Iitate Village. It took about 1.5hrs to get there. Photo above was a beautiful view of the lake this afternoon.

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The artificial lake was created by the construction of Mano Dam which stopped the flow of the Mano River. A brief description board on site shown above said the Dam was for flood control as well as a reservoir for drinking water and industrial use.

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Photo above shows a sign board entering Iitate Village on the border with Kashima district of Minamisoma City.

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I arrived at JR Soma Station just in lunch time. There was a nice soba noodle restaurant Fukushimaya in front of the station as shown above. The building was more than 100 years old, which was a ryokan (Japanese style inn) in the old days but the maintenance was good as it provided comfortable atmosphere inside.

I knew the massive earthquake happened in Hokkaido during overnight stay at Soma. I want to express my sincere condolences to all of those who have been affected.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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Tour de KATSURAO bike safety class, June 23, 2018. (ツール・ド・かつらお 自転車安全教室 に参加 2018年6月23日)

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(Paddy field view at Katsurao Village, June 23, 2018. 葛尾村 の 田園風景 6/23/2018)
I visited Katsurao Village today to attend a bike safety lesson by a professional instructor who runs Kinofit, a bike road racing school. Katsurao Village was lifted the evacuation order two years ago, for the first time in 5 years since the nuclear plant accident occurred. Paddy fields for rice growing have been restarted and they grew to such beautiful greenery today as shown above. A character shown on the bottom right is “Shimichan” which symbolizes the local specialty rice cake called “shimimochi”.

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The lesson started at a brand new venue “Fukkokoryukan” which means “revitalization and interaction hall” just opened this month as shown above. Today’s lesson was free of charge thanks to the Tour de KATSURAO organizer.

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At the beginning, we had a short lecture on how the bike is controlled in terms of tires and brakes. Tires touch the ground with only limited area which is the same as the thumb face. The brake is effective on choices between forward or side, not definitely effective on both choices at the same time. This is why you have to slow down at first with forward braking before turning the corner with tilted side braking and with NO forward braking. Photo above shows how the short lecture was given.

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Then we moved to a spacious ground nearby and each experienced the braking technique with its own bike following the instructor’s demonstration. One of the scenes is shown above. After the practice session, Q&A session and physical stretching session followed. It was a very high level class for me but I learned an essence of how to control the tires, brakes and pedals, which was highly beneficial for me. I only attended this lesson this year, no other cycling or road racing events. Last year, I participated in the first ever cycling event of Tour de KATSURAO with almost the same route of 31km as this year, shown in the blog of 2017.

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After the class, I returned to Fukkokoryukan facility and had a short lunch break. Photo above shows an inside view of the facility, with free table and chair space and sales corner of the local specialties. There were other tatami rooms as well for local people’s interaction space.

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On a corner of the outdoor ground of the facility, a young offspring plant of the famous Miharu-takizakura cherry tree was planted as shown above. It is expected to grow much bigger in the future years.

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In the neighborhood of the facility, I found a new restaurant “Ishii-shokudo” as shown above. This was the only restaurant in the village as of today.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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A man who loves Fukushima (福島大好きおじさん)

Author:A man who loves Fukushima (福島大好きおじさん)
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