As thrilled as I am that we can now go camping as a family on two bikes, I’ve really missed just riding with Yuri these past few years. So for our 11th wedding anniversary, we decided to leave the kids with friends and take a spin out in the mountains, just the two of us.
This was Yuri’s first trip on real mountain roads on her new bike without being loaded down with camping gear and a kid on the back, so it was her first chance to fully experience freedom on the new bike. And I just got my bike back from the shop after replacing damaged tappet rollers, dismantling and overhauling the heads and valves, replacing the battery and primary chain, and overhauling the carb, so my bike was also purring along with a steady confident power it hasn’t had in years.
It has rained every day for weeks, and up until the night before, the forecast had been calling for pouring rain all day, so we hadn’t really made any plans. But we woke up on our anniversary to find clear blue summer skies, so I made a call to a restaurant at the foot of Mt. Takao I had been meaning to visit, and then we just randomly headed up to the mountains in that general direction to see what would happen. We stumbled upon a pretty nice onsen resort called Akiyama in the hills above Uenohara and took a relaxing bath to clean off the sweat and exhaust fumes from the grueling trip through the congested Chuo Expressway.
We then had a pleasant ride through the mountains to Ukai Toriyama, a truly amazing restaurant designed to make you feel like you’ve slipped back in time to an idealized version of medieval Japan as you walk through the gardens to whichever isolated cottage contains your table. The architecture and design of this place is just exquisite, and every course of the meal was indescribably delicious.
Other than the hot, congested expressways, this was a pretty perfect day. Beautiful weather, great roads, good food, and good times with the woman I love.
I’m a lucky guy to have been able to spend eleven years married to such an amazing woman, and I look forward to decades of further adventures with her.