Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Snapshots: A Night in a Bicycle Hotel

This week I spent a night in Hotel Cycle, in a converted warehouse in the port city of Onomichi, Japan. I used it as a base to cycle part of the Shimanami Kaido trail across the Seto Inland Sea.
Had I arrived on a bicycle, I could've cycled into the building and up to the front desk.
The raised floors seem to be a nod to tatami. However, here you don't remove your shoes, and you can bring your bicycle with you.

The room was well-appointed, including a rack on the wall to hang a bicycle.
This is most definitely a bicycle-inclusive establishment.
I wandered around, savoring the industrial esthetic.
Playful juxtaposition.
At the bar I downed a glass of the local brew, a Hiroshima craft. (Actually, two glasses.)
The food was fresh, from scratch, terroir. I enjoyed a green salad then tagliatelle with mushrooms. All the other guests were Japanese, but seemed to be comfortable with the western-style menu.

Next morning, breakfast was similarly high quality.
I ordered an omelette, and helped myself to a flakey croissant, crusty baguette slice, and other items baked on the premises. I'll claim I was carbing up for the day ahead.

After checking out, I visited the bike shop.
The assistant carefully matched me to a bike and got me to review a form with a long list of declarations. They would not rent to me if I had any tattoos.

I decided to rent something straightforward, but was impressed at how the bike had been well-tuned in the in-house workshop. This contrasted with the clunkers I've rented this past week.
The weather was lovely, with no wind, and temperatures in the 60's. I hopped from island to island across soaring bridges. At the midpoint of the trail I turned back to Onomichi and one final pastry at Hotel Cycle.
Note: In 2016 I cycled the full 45 miles of the Shimanami Kaido, one-way.

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