Hanami and Skylines

When you talk about a skyline, everybody immediately thinks about the setting sun over a city, as you watch the outline of the skyscrapers against the sky. The Japanese, however, have found a much better use for the word. In the mountains, certain roads turn out to be toll roads, which then turn out to be kept in excellent condition, with wonderful curves going up and down along the mountain sides. This is what the Japanese call a skyline, and on a bike, there is hardly anything that is more enjoyable than driving over them.
Since this is a still the weekend, a couple of hundred of other motorbike drivers seem to agree with us, as many motorbike club can be found driving up and down the winding roads, or flocked around a large parking lot. After a really great drive, we end up at mount Ohmuro where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
We have a nice lunch with the festival type food there, then continue onto the skyline again. The next stop is at Joren Falls, where a very nice waterfall can be viewed, and we see how wasabi is being grown, which means that the souvenirs here all seem to contain wasabi in some form. Even the ice-cream, which turns out to be quite nice.
As we continue our trip, and end up close to our destination for the evening, we once more get to see another popular pastime for the Japanese around these parts. On the beaches, or rather in the sea just beyond them, hundreds of surfers are bobbing on the waves, hoping to catch the right one to ride it all the way up to the beach. Apparently, the surf clubs of the schools around here are all out at sea, and it is easy to differentiate between the inexperienced ones, who can barely paddle their way out to see on their boards, from the more experienced groups who have positioned themselves a little further at sea, and manage to move quite impressively. Still, I prefer to ride my bike.