Motorbikes!!! Finally.

Today is the day why we came to Japan in the first place. After packing up our stuff at the Weekly Mansion (the apartment we were staying in), it's a short walk to the motor rental company, where the bikes are already waiting for us.
Half the luggage is left behind in the suitcases, and the bare essentials are loaded into the side-cases of the two BMW GS bikes. A GPS system with a preprogrammed route is going to make our adventure possible, and after a brief instruction video, and the signing of official documents, we are ready to drive off and see Japan in quite a different way than before.
After a slight detour (as my brother gets used to the GPS) we end up on the Express way, out of Tokyo, and get to drive over the rainbow bridge (where two days ago, we drove by monorail underneath it). The com-systems work nice, although the directions given by the GPS continuously cut into it, until my brother switches it off.
In the afternoon, we finally leave the expressway, and now we get to see the real roads of Japan. Twisting through the hills, a wonderful drive first brings us to the Yoro bridge, an old style bridge that leads up to a shrine.
The next stop gives us some wonderful views over the rice fields, terrace style filling up the landscape. At this time of year, you find the first fields now being prepared for use again.
Finally, after a small detour where we end up at a road that is really closed (a mudslide has covered the entire road, but we missed the signs when we turned into that road), we arrive at the ryokan in Awakatsuyama.
A very helpful young man helps us to our room, and brings us our dinner in the room. Unfortunately, he doesn't speak a word of English, but with my very limited Japanese, and his phone-dictionary, we manage to enjoy a very interesting meal, where the Japanese prove that the best food is so fresh, that it is still trying to escape from your plate before it is completely prepared. And of course, we end with a soak in the onsen on the roof of the ryokan, the perfect ending for a day on the road.