What’s the most amazing place you have swum, biked or run (or all three)?

Tamsyn and Stuart cycling on a road with huge snowdrifts either side

For me, it would have to be Japan. I didn’t do a lot of swimming there (I’m not sure that bathing in the onsen [hot springs] counts), but I did plenty of running and cycling.

I travelled there in April 2015 with my husband, Stuart and our friend Jez. We spent a few days in Tokyo before travelling to Kanazawa before cycling across the Japanese Alps chasing the cherry blossoms.

It is a truly stunning country with beautiful landscapes, tasty food and friendly people.

Rear view of Stuart and tamsyn on their bikes in Japan. A cherry blossom tree can be seen.
Some days were warm, sunny and snow free. This is one of my favourite pics from the holiday. © Jeremy Hollinshead
Stuart, Tamsyn and Jez with their bikes in Japan.
I was really excited to get started!
Stuart, Tamsyn and Jez outside the Shirakawa Go Eco Institute on their bikes. Deep snow can be seen.
Ready to set off from the Shirakawa Go Eco Institute. It was a completely stunning location, but cycling 5km up at 15% incline on an icy road in the dark possibly isn’t the best way to round off your first full day of cycling.

Because we had to carry all of our possessions for over two weeks, I had a limited amount of clothing – 2 SOAS cycling kits, waterproof trousers, jacket, gloves, buff, headband, calf guards, jeans, SOAS hoodie, a couple of t-shirts and a dress. I hadn’t realised that we were going to cycle through the snowy Japanese Alps, so ended up wearing almost everything for a couple of days!

Tamsyn, Stuart and Jez with their bikes outside a traditional Japanese ryokan.
Outside a traditional ryokan before the start of a day’s cycling adventure © Jeremy Hollinshead
Tamsyn riding her bike up a steep hill. There are no other vehicles or cyclists. Tamsyn has one arm raised in the air in triumph.
Nearing the top of a tough mountain ©Jeremy Hollinshead
Tamsyn and Stuart cycling on a road with huge snowdrifts either side.
Cycling in Ainokura, Japan in April 2015 ©Jeremy Hollinshead
Jez and Stuart enjoying a traditional Japanese feast at the ryokan.

Isn’t the scenery stunning? ©Jeremy Hollinshead
Out for a little walk under the sakura ©Jeremy Hollinshead
A little pose on our arrival at the Sanzen-In temple © Jeremy Hollinshead
Carb-loading with yams at Kanazawa Castle
The snow made us a little bit sunburnt!
With our running tour guide, Su-San, in Tokyo
Running by the Imperial Palace in Tokyo
Cycling in Gokayama ©Jeremy Hollinshead
Appreciating the stunning foliage ©Jeremy Hollinshead

Looking down into Tsumago, a traditional Japanese village. The houses are covered in snow.
Cycling through a traditional village (Gokayama). © Jeremy Hollinshead.

There are lots of other places that I love, but if I can only choose one country (I can’t even narrow it down to a prefecture, let alone a city), it would have to be Japan. I’d never done a cycling holiday before, but I loved the freedom that it gave us, as well as the opportunity to experience life off the beaten track.

Where’s the most amazing place that you swum/cycled/run?

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