Procycling - - Prologue - Wear­ing the jer­sey of Bri­tish cham­pion was one of Han­nah's high­lights of 2016

L ast year we didn't get a hol­i­day thanks to me and my crutches so this year’s hol­i­day was go­ing to be twice as special. My boyfriend Tao had spent some time in Ja­pan last year while he was sta­giair­ing for Team Sky and couldn’t re­sist mak­ing me jeal­ous ev­ery time he spoke about it, so that’s where we would go.

We started our twelve-day ex­plo­ration of Ja­pan in the cap­i­tal, Tokyo. We only had four days in the city which is barely enough time to scratch the sur­face but we did our best. We would leave the apart­ment be­fore break­fast and get back af­ter din­ner, try­ing to fit in as much into the day as pos­si­ble. On our sec­ond day we met up with an old fam­ily friend of Tao’s, Mie, who sur­prised us with the most colour­ful bento box filled with de­li­cious food. That was def­i­nitely my favourite meal of the trip.

Af­ter a jam-packed four days in the city, we trav­elled to the moun­tain­ous re­gion of Hakone. The train took us into the town of Hakone Yu­moto. Af­ter a big bowl of noo­dles we jumped on a bus that took us up the most beau­ti­ful moun­tain pass be­fore drop­ping us down into the quaint vil­lage of Mo­to­hakone, where we would have our first ex­pe­ri­ence of a Ryokan (tra­di­tional Ja­panese guest­house) We ar­rived in the evening so didn't see the breath­tak­ing views of Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji un­til we woke the next morn­ing. Af­ter a very re­lax­ing cou­ple of days in the moun­tains we car­ried on south to the city of Ky­oto. The first evening we ar­rived we met up with some friends from Rapha who took us to the amaz­ing Fushim­iI­nari shrine. Fol­low­ing the thou­sands of ver­mil­ion torii gates up Mount Inari we had worked up an ap­petite so they took us to their favourite restau­rant in town. I re­alised why: the food was in­cred­i­ble.

Our fi­nal des­ti­na­tion, Osaka, was a city we hadn't planned to visit be­fore we left home but when you are given the op­por­tu­nity to spend the evening with Rapha and the Cy­cle Club then you can’t say no. We had a bril­liant evening and it made me ap­pre­ci­ate that I have some amaz­ing spon­sors and, more im­por­tantly, amaz­ing friends all over the world.

I would highly rec­om­mend vis­it­ing Ja­pan to any­one that wants to see breath­tak­ing scenery, eat in­cred­i­ble food and meet some of the most kind­hearted peo­ple in the whole world.

it made me ap­pre­ci­ate that I have some amaz­ing spon­sors and, more im­por­tantly, amaz­ing friends all over the world

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