Day 2: Yokohama to Kyoto

After a great send-off by Sotheby’s this morning at the Marine Tower in Yokohama, we hit the road about 10:15 and traveled 450km to Kyoto.

During the first third of our six-hour drive, Mount Fuji was the star. Here’s a picture of the 1928 Plymouth being driven by John and Luke with the mountain in the background:


View of Mount Fuji from the road (Eileen Bjorkman photo)

Mount Fuji reminds me of Mount Rainier in my home state of Washington — both mountains seem to hold court over the surrounding countryside.

Around 12:30 we stopped for lunch and more views of Mount Fuji and John refueled the Plymouth — it can only travel  unrefueled about 150 miles. That’s fine with me — I can’t stand being in a car for more than about two hours for a single stretch anyway.

In Kyoto this evening our guide, Hiro, suggested we have Japanese “pizza” for dinner. We followed him down an alley to a restaurant where the quality of the food far outstripped the size of the restaurant. Here’s what that delicious meal looked like:


Trying out “Japanese Pizza” (Eileen Bjorkman photo)

Tomorrow morning we rest for a bit and then have a very short drive to Kobe.

Thomas Flyer Sails from Seattle in 1908

Hello everyone! I’m Eileen Bjorkman, the fourth World Team member. Today, April 21, is the anniversary of the day that the Thomas Flyer and its American crew set sail from Seattle to Japan on a steamer named Shawmut.

Here’s an aerial view of what Seattle looked like in 1908:



Seattle in 1908 (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The American team had to sail to Japan because they weren’t able to get their Russian visas due to the lack of a Russian Consul in Seattle. They made the decision to sail on to Japan and sort things out when they got there. Fortunately, our modern team members have all the visas we should need already!

For the full New York Times article on the Flyer sailing, click here.

I’m leaving Seattle May 7th on an airliner to Tokyo, so my trip across the Pacific will be a lot faster. Once in Tokyo, I’ll make my way about 30 miles south to the port in Yokohama, where I’ll connect with my teammates who will be flying in from San Francisco.

I’m looking forward to blogging  my way across the race route! Please feel free to respond to my posts with comments or requests for more information.

For more information about me, you can visit my website at