I hadn’t done any planning for my route from Kyoto to the next city of Nara. It was only 50km, I could get it done in half a day easily. A quick search of “Kyoto to Nara by bicycle” revealed the existence of a bike path that ran out of the west end of Kyoto almost all the way to Nara. I thought I would have to ride on busy intercity roads so this was a nice surprise.
The path followed the course of a river, the elevation was flat the whole way. It probably would have been a really quick and easy cycle, if not for the huge thunderstorm that hit around 11. I took shelter from the worst of it under a bridge (along with two locals). After half an hour it had turned from torrential downpour to steady but heavy rain. I didn’t really want to wait any longer so just out on my rainwear and left.
The bike path continued along the river through surprisingly rural areas, given the proximity to Kyoto and Nara. The rain cleared up around 1:30.
Arriving in Nara the hostel owner Kosuke suggested I visit the festival down at the old palace grounds. I’m not sure what the festival was celebrating (if anything, Kosuke told me it only began three years ago to draw tourists) but it certainly made for some nice photos.