Today Kay's family and myself (9 of us in total) headed out for the XIV time share resort in Achi near Nagano. I am not exactly sure but i would guess that the distance that we traveled was about 400 km but it took us 11 hours to do it. We stopped a lot along the way at rest stops and one historical site called Nitetsugawa in Gifu. I know, the names are hard to understand!! The rest stops are amazing by the way. There are restaurants, shops, and of course washrooms. The facilities are excellent and there are many of theses rest stops along the highway. I would say every 30 km's or so. They should be though as it costs a small fortune to drive on the highways in Japan. Our total cost to get to the resort was about 10000 yen which I figure to be about 120 dollars or so. Coming from Canada that seems like a lot to me. The family summer road trip is probably not an option as it would cost a fortune to do so. Of course not everyone has that kind of money so the alternative is to use the side streets and alternate routes through little towns which will have narrow streets lined with telephone poles and various other obstacles. These streets are barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass but somehow carry city busses, scooters and cars alike. Having said that, the 120 bucks seems like a deal!!!
As for the Nitetsugawa, it is one of the 50 or so stops along the old road between Eno and Tokyo but it is one of the few that has been preserved in it's original state. One interesting thing that happened to Martin and I was that a guy asked if he could take our picture and we presume it is because they do not see a lot of white people in the area. That was a different experience for sure. Ultimately, it ended up being a very long day.