On Sunday we were again picked up outside our hotel by Miko and Ay (not sure how to spell her name) and they took us to Tokyo station to hop on a train to Kugenuma, a suburban beach town of Tokyo . We went to a Skate park, where they play polo in a disused pool. It was a mega cool location, right by the beach with the mountains as our back drop and we were told that earlier that morning they had a clear view of Mount Fuji – but by the time we got there it had unfortunately been covered in clouds.
There were loads of brave surfers in the waters, it was around 3-5 C outside and rather windy at times. Some of them didn’t even have gloves, hats or boots on! I got cold just looking at them!
Mat played every single game on the day and everyone where excited to have us over as visitors. Mat was super excited to try out his new bike and had lots of fun. The court was great, very big and sunk in with quite high walls. The tokyo bike polo girls gave us both a little token gift. They had made up a personalised pink sparkly tissue pack, which had pictures of all the girls, their name and gear inch info on. Very cute and very Japanese!
After a good few hours of polo we all rode back together, through these small narrow residential streets, with houses packed one after another. Bonsai pine trees in their gardens and satsuma trees – I was so tempted to pinch one, they looked so tasty. We had a great massive late lunch with most of the crew before getting on the train to go back into central Tokyo.
You’re not allowed to bring your bikes on the metro or the commuter trains, so instead they have these clever thin little bike bags that packs into small squares and fits neatly into your rucksack. All you do is take your front wheel off, put your bike in the bag along with the front wheel, carry it on to the trains, where there is space for them! These bags are awesome and would be very useful for us when we go on tours around Europe! Need to get some.
Once we got back to Tokyo Mat had one request, to fullfill his dream of going to what he said must be the best bike shop in the world. He was so excited to go there and it lived up to his expectations! Mat got to meet the owner and praised him for how great his shop was and that Mat and his friends in London have been following their website. Mat also gave him a Cosmic cap, which the owner was very happy to receive and gave Mat a couple of Blue Lug caps back in return.
We spent the rest of the evening cruising around for a bit in Tokyo with Maki, Riki and Atsu. They took us to Shibuya and the super busy zebra crossing by the coffee shop who’s name I won’t mention. It’s crazy to see how built up Tokyo is, their infrastructure is phenomenal and I think that they should send the UK’s transport minister here on an educational trip!