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Bicycle Trip to Minami-boso & Kominato

05 May, 2001 (one-day trip)

map: Minami-boso
Departure &
Boarding a Ferry
On 5 May, I went to Kominato where Nichiren Daishonin was born, by bicycle.  It is located in south part of Chiba prefecture. When I was a little boy, I used to watch TV of "the adventure of Tomas Sawyer."  I like it and that song of "Go further place than anyone (composed in Japanese)" very much.  I can sing this song even now.  That is why I decided to go to Kominato.
I departed at 5:30, and arrived at Kurihama port (7 km point from my house).  There I bought a round trip passenger ticket for bicycle, and I boarded the ferry 1 for Kanaya port, departed at 6:20 (Tokyo Bay Ferry).  Passengers with bicycle can board earlier than passengers with car (Reservation not required except group 15 and more than 15 passengers or bus).  While I was in a seat of the front of ship, the view of peninsula from ferry was like I was in cinema theatre.

photo: Boso peninsula seen from Uraga district
Boso peninsula and Tokyo bay

Going my house == Kurihama port == (ferry boarding) == Kanaya port (7.0km, 4.3 miles, by bike) == Tateyama (33.7km, 20.9km) == Kamogawa (63.0km, 39.1 miles) == Kominato Tanjoji == (74.8km, 46.5 miles) == (going around Kominato) == Kominato (83.1km, 51.6 miles)

loquat produced in boso
produced in Boso
Kominato, Far & Away!
The ferry arrived at 6:55 on time, I started a bicycle trip in Minami-boso.  It was very long distance for one-day bicycle trip. We call south part of Boso peninsula "Minami-boso".  I went along the Tokyo Bay and run on the road of "Uchibo Nagisa (shore) Line", hearing many frogs note, the sound of the waves, feeling a sea breeze. West coast of Boso peninsula is called "Uchibo."  There are many loquats-producing centers in this district.  In Minami-boso, most of roads are narrow.  When I went through tunnels, drivers of car reduced speed near me.
When I took a rest in Tateyama (arrived at 8:10, 33 km point), my contact lens of left eye slipped, there was on white part of eye. When I ordered a breakfast at shop, it was difficult to see menu (only left eye).  I used my mirror later to recover...
Again I left for Kominato at 8:30 via Kamogawa and run on the road of "Sotobo Kuroshio Line."  East coast of Boso peninsula is called "Sotobo." From Wadaura, I went along the Pacific Ocean and saw many flowers before I went through Kamogawa city). I like to run along the sea by bicycle very much.

Arrived in Kominato,
Birthplace of Nichiren Daishonin
I arrived in Amatsu-kominato town, Awa district, I saw a billboard, "Welcome to Amatsu-kominato town, where we can see the earliest new year sunrise in Japan."  The name of this town is long, because Amatsu town (Awa district) and Kominato town (Awa district) were combined.  At 10:23, 74 km point, I arrived at "Tanjoji" in Kominato. It was 23 degrees Centigrade (73 degrees Fahrenheit).  Nearest station of JR is Awa-kominato station.  Local trains run every 1 hour only, and some limited express trains stop there.
Tanjoji (Birth Temple)
Tanjoji means Birth Temple in English.  But its religion is Nichiren-shu Minobu sect.  There are some strange things, roof tile writing Nam-myo-ho-renge-kyo, fortune slip, offertory box, and so on.  It must be commercialism and "slandering the Lotus Sutra" I saw a stone statue of Zennichimaro, Nichiren Daishonin's childhood. In 1276, Umegikunyo, Nichiren Daishonin's mother stayed this place because she was sick.  I wanted to see the museum at Tanjoji, I did not have enough time.  The explanation about Nichiren Daishonin written at Tanjoji is wrong.  All the people should not believe it. There was not Nichiren Daishonin's house, because it was destroyed by earthquake.  Kominato is fishery town, especially many red sea breams.
In Kominato, I wanted to take a picture of myself, using timer of my camera.  But I made a mistake, the button I pushed was "roll up button of film", "Oh, no!! (in Japanese)"  I could not take a picture of myself...  In Amatsu-kominato town, there are Seichoji where Nichiren Daishonin learned studies when he was 12 years old. Strictly speaking, Nichiren Daishonin became a priest when he was 16 years old.  In guidebook, wrong history was written, it is "he became a priest when he was 12 years old."  But I did not go there. Zennichimaro
(Nichiren Daishonin's childhood)
Shiokaze-okoku (Seabreeze Kingdom)
Shiokaze-okoku (Sea Breeze Kingdom)
against the Pacific Ocean

Leaving Kominato

Then I left Kominato, and I went through Kamogawa city again along beach.  On the way to Chikura city, I ran on the cycling road. It was good for me because the road was narrow.  As I did not think of cycling road in advance (changing route), I forgot to visit Shakespeare Museum...  I took a rest at a drive-in "Shiokaze Okoku (in English, Sea Breeze Kingdom)" at 14:54, 126 km point, and I took a picture of myself against the Pacific Ocean, it was all right (no mistake).
There were many surfers along the Pacific Ocean.  I am not a surfer but scuba diver.  Recently I have thought surfing was cheaper than scuba diving.  I have stopped to dive as I cannot afford to enjoy scuba diving and skiing for several years.

Return Kominato(83.1km, 51.6 miles) == Kamogawa (92.8km, 57.7 miles) == Kamogawa Ocean Park (104.2km, 64.7 miles) == Shiokaze-okoku (126.5km, 78.6 miles) == Nojimazaki (132.8km, 82.5 miles) == Ainohama (143.0km, 88.9 miles) == Sunosaki (153.0km, 95.1 miles) == Tateyama (167.1km, 103.8 miles) == Kanaya port (193.8km, 120.4 miles) == (ferry boarding) == Kurihama (193.8km, 120.4 miles, by bike) == my house (201.2km, 125.0 miles)

Difficult to Board a Ferry?!!

Then I departed, and ran via Nojimazaki (at 15:44, 132 km point), and on the way to Sunosaki, there was a hotel I want to stay some day and a hotspring surrounded by tropical plants (not rest, this time). When I arrived in Sunosaki at 16:49, 153 km point, I thought this point was the final point of the Pacific Ocean.  After I departed at 17:07, I was afraid the road to Kanaya port was very, very crowded, and I went toward there without rest (for about 2 hours, about 40km distance) via Tateyama.  About 15km before Kanaya port, actually the road was very, very crowded.  It was difficult for me to run between cars and the edge of road or tunnel.  Motorbikes were more difficult.  Bicycle is the second fastest vehicle from Tateyama to Kanaya port.  The fastest vehicle was train.  I went through Tateyama (at 17:48, 167 km point, 19 degrees Centigrade, 66 degrees Fahrenheit). As long as the road was not crowded, I ran at 36km/h (usually, at 25km/h).  In Japan, speed limit of a motorbike of 50 cc is 30 km/h! Many people went to port by car to board Tokyo Bay Ferry.

I arrived at Kanaya port at 19:04, 193 km point (17 degrees centigrade, 63 degrees Fahrenheit).  Passengers in the car received numbered ticket and had to buy passenger ticket later, it was very crowded. 19:55 ferry was final ferry, all the passengers who received a numbered ticket can board.  In fact ferry was operated until 24:00 this day, it did not depend on timetable.

When I was at parking for motorbike and bicycle in the line, a worker of ferry stretched a rope in front of me.  It meant "Please board 19:55 ferry."  I had already bought a round trip ticket, I had it on the right hand on purpose.  A worker of ferry found my ticket by accident, he said me to board 19:20 ferry!  It was a benefit of belief!  I was lead to the front of line, and boarded this ferry earlier than passengers for motorbike or car.  dolphinPassengers for bicycle have a priority.  This ferry departed 2 minutes late, and arrived at Kurihama port at 19:57 (2 minutes late).  I arrived at my house at 20:24.  I ran 201.8 km (about 125 miles)!!!  This trip was like looking for Nichiren Daishonin's trail.  I decided that  I would go around the Tokyo bay, or Atami (It is the entrance of Izu peninsula.), the next one-day bicycle trip.
(Wrote on 30 Jun, 2001)
(Edited on 30 Jun, 2002 on the website)

Access to Kominato
access to KominatoFrom Tokyo:
Tokyo ==>(JR Keiyo line & Sotobo line the "Wakashio" limited express, about 110 minutes) ==> Awa-kominato.
When you take this train from Tokyo, it does NOT depart from Platform 1, BUT "Platform Keiyo 1". Please be careful.

From Yokohama or Kamakura:
(1)Take the Yokosuka line to Tokyo, then change train. Then it is the same as "From Tokyo".
(2)For those who want to enjoy ship trip...
Yokohama or Kamakura ==> (JR Yokosuka line for bound for Kurihama, about 35 minutes or 25 minutes) ==> Kurihama ==>(walk about 5 minutes ) ==> Keikyu Kurihama station bus stop ==> (Keihin Kyuko Bus, about 10 minutes) ==> Kurihama port ==> (Tokyo Bay Ferry, 35 minutes) ==> Kanaya port ==>(7 minutes on foot) ==> JR Hamakanaya ==>iJR Uchibo line local train for Tateyama or Awa-kamogawa, about 90 minutes, including connecting time) ==> Awa-kamogawa ==> (local train for Tokyo or Chiba on Sotobo line, about 10 minutes) ==> Awa-kominato
If you want to ride the Keikyu line (Keihin Kyuko) to Keikyu Kurihama, take the "Green Limited Express" train or "Red Limited Express (early morning, rush hour, midnight only)". It is more convenient than transferring at JR Kurihama staiton.

From Narita Airport:

Narita Aiport ==> (Sotobo line & Yokosuka line rapid service train, for Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Zushi, Kurihama, about 45 minutes) ==> Chiba ==> (local train for Awa-kamogawa on Sotobo line, or local train for Uchio line, about 6 minutes) ==> Soga ==> (the "Wakashio" limited express, about 70 minutes )=> Awa-kominato

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