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Echizen was not only one of the first cycling trips I did in Japan, it was the reason I brought my battered 10-speed over from the U.S. - the ride that inspired me to begin seeing Japan by bicycle.

Since there are few bona fide "attractions," Echizen is not even included in many guidebooks, and most Japanese regard it as a nice way to get to Kanazawa further north. True, there really isn't anything to see except quiet villages, rice paddies by the ocean, and increasingly rugged coastline - and that's what makes it perfect for cycling. The scenery shown in this photo and the one above come soon after you've left the city of Tsuruga. You pass through two short tunnels to make your way to the coast.