As it turns out it's pretty easy: I just have to follow route 24 all the way north and I'll end up in Kyoto. This road bends nicely around Osaka and goes through Nara instead. They even put a nice youth hostel right in the middle between Wakayama and Kyoto, allowing me to split up the task evenly over two days. Tomorrow will be a little tough, as I still have to climb a medium-sized hill and cycle 80 kilometers ,but I think I'm up to the task. Daylight time is getting longer, and now that I don't have to worry about where to stay at night, I can also continue cycling longer. This means I'll have a nice chance tomorrow to make a detour whenever I see something of interest. Based on the images from Google Earth and Maps this area looks a bit like my home ground in Kanagawa, flat farmland areas surrounded by mountains. Should be a relaxing ride tomorrow. ^_^
I've also booked my hostel in Kyoto in advance, which turned out to be a good thing, because my first choice was already booked. Instead of staying in a cozy small hostel I've now moved to the tourist-factory hostel which can host 150 people. I'm not expecting it to be great, but at least it's cheap. I'm very much looking forward to having a free day to explore Kyoto by bicycle, so that I can check out all those random streets that Kyoto is so famous for.
I'm not sure of which route to take after Kyoto. I need to decide whether to take the north coast or the south coast. Eventually I want to end up Hiroshima, so if I take the north coast I'll have one suffer-day to cross the mountain range from north to south. On the other hand, the north area seems more interesting, mostly because I've never been there, and I already took a train once along the south coast. The south coast will potentially have nicer scenery and be a lot warmer, though. And it'll probably be easier to find accomodation along the south coast. Oh well, I've still got some time to think. If temperatures could only improve a bit then I wouldn't have to worry so much about accomodation... Where's that global warming when you need it?