Western-Kyoto Mountain Drive: Bamboo, Nostalgia, and More
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I took a ride out to the mountains in the south-west of Kyoto, where I'd not been before. Here's a summary...

Bamboo lots of bamboo -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/5, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Bamboo
lots of bamboo
Trash striking it rich on a slot machine dumped with lots of other garbage off the side of the road -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/3200 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Trash
striking it rich on a slot machine dumped with lots of other garbage off the side of the road

I'd headed toward a road that looked like it wound up to the top of a mountain that should provide a commanding vista, but it turns out that the road has been closed to public traffic for the last 10 years. The road-closed gate was a perfect spot to dump your trash, apparently, because there was plenty all around. Sigh.

I had another mountain road in mind, but had to dip back into civilization to get to it...

More Bamboo ( really, there was a lot of bamboo in these mountains ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/5, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
More Bamboo
( really, there was a lot of bamboo in these mountains )
Old Farmstead now encircled by suburbia -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 56 mm — 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Old Farmstead
now encircled by suburbia

(It was very hazy with flat, dull light, and it was difficult to coax any life out of these pictures. This one, in particular, is just dull, but it shows an old, really pleasant Japanese farmstead house and storage building, so here it is.)

When I came across an area with houses like this, strong feelings of nostalgia suddenly washed over me, and I remember that I had been in this area, and on that now-closed road, on my motorcycle in the early 1990s. Twice, I think.

I remember that the second time I took a friend or a date or something, but I don't remember who. I do remember stopping on one of the winding cutbacks that offered a nice view, and chatted with a driver who had also stopped. And I remembered coming into this area of old-style farmsteads.

I was sort of confused for a while by the strong nostalgia, wondering what it was that I was not quite remembering, until I eventually figured out that the memory was simply one of my youth. Fifteen or so years have passed since I last drove this mountain road.... the same me and the same road, but so much has changed. Having needed reading glasses for the first time last week probably has left me somewhat nostalgic for my eyesight.

Anyway, I headed a bit further south, then cut into the mountains on the next road that would take me into them...

Rural Mountain Farming -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 28 mm — 1/2500 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Rural Mountain Farming
House on “Reclaimed” Mountainside ( I'm not sure really what the proper phrase is ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/400 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
House on “Reclaimed” Mountainside
( I'm not sure really what the proper phrase is )

Somewhere along here I realized that the now-closed road to the top of the mountain was/is a dead end, but my memories were descending from it, so I realized that the road I was on now was the one I was on all those years ago.

Nothing at all seemed familiar, though.

Did I Mention Bamboo? -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Did I Mention Bamboo?
Stone Thingies They look sort of like grave markers, but I have the feeling that they're more likely related to something Buddhist -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Stone Thingies
They look sort of like grave markers, but I have the feeling that they're more likely related to something Buddhist
Lotsa' Steps Going Up -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26 mm — 1/160 sec, f/10, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Lotsa' Steps Going Up
Nice Views or, at least, they would be on a less-hazy day -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/14, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Nice Views
or, at least, they would be on a less-hazy day
Random Mountain Waterfall and mini shrine/temple tabernacle-like thing -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/3.2, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Random Mountain Waterfall
and mini shrine/temple tabernacle-like thing
Caged Life-Sized Wooden Demon Unfortunately, I didn't think to throw beans at him -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Caged Life-Sized Wooden Demon
Unfortunately, I didn't think to throw beans at him
Lots and Lots of Steps hundreds of meters of steps -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/4, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots and Lots of Steps
hundreds of meters of steps
More Views, More Haze -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58 mm — 1/160 sec, f/10, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
More Views, More Haze
Splendid Vista-Enjoying Tea-Sipping Hut at least it was long ago -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/5, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Splendid Vista-Enjoying Tea-Sipping Hut
at least it was long ago
Temple Building on a flat spot carved into the side of the mountain -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26 mm — 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Temple Building
on a flat spot carved into the side of the mountain
Rain-Gutter Chain Thingy a lower-cost, lower-maintenance version of this -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/160 sec, f/10, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Rain-Gutter Chain Thingy
a lower-cost, lower-maintenance version of this
Last Rays of the Sun on ceder, I think ( most of the day, I didn't know there was a sun, so it was nice to see some ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Last Rays of the Sun
on ceder, I think
( most of the day, I didn't know there was a sun, so it was nice to see some )

It was getting late and the sun was dipping below the top of the mountain (still two hours prior to sunset proper; the mountain is steep) and I was about to head home, but just before I did, I came across the cutback I had remembered stopping at. Nothing else in the mountain seemed familiar at all, but upon leaving the mountain, the view of the old Japanese suburbia again brought nostalgia.

Anyway, heading back down...

Disturbed Bamboo -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Disturbed Bamboo

A large area of bamboo below the road level was like this, as if a massive flood of water had wreaked havoc with it some time in the not too distant past. There were a lot of streams in these mountains, and the occasional dam, so the flash-flood idea seems reasonable.

And then not too far away...

Series of Dams The one in the back is massive, but far enough away to look small -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Series of Dams
The one in the back is massive, but far enough away to look small
A Touch of Sun and some kind of tall, straight, segmented grass -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 28 mm — 1/160 sec, f/3.2, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
A Touch of Sun
and some kind of tall, straight, segmented grass
Ah, Civilization Again 30 minutes later I was home in downtown Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35 mm — 1/320 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ah, Civilization Again
30 minutes later I was home in downtown Kyoto

All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

This is Atago shrine

Haven’t been there but I have passed by Taniyama logging road where is run near.

Official site : http://www.kyoto-atago.jp/
Wiki : http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%84%9B%E5%AE%95%E7%A5%9E%E7%A4%BE_(%E4%BA%AC%E9%83%BD%E5%B8%82)

Sorry all in Japanese.

— comment by Katsu on February 4th, 2009 at 7:07pm JST (8 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

“They look sort of like grave markers, but I have the feeling that they’re more likely related to something Buddhist”

That’s like looking at a cross-shaped headstone in the West and saying, “Looks like a grave marker, but I have the feeling it’s more likely related to something Christian.” Err…It’s both. Those are Sanskrit characters, BTW, with the five shapes representing the five elements…I think. Don’t quote me.

Point taken. Poor wording on my part, sorry. I meant to say that I think it is not a grave marker, but rather, some non-grave Buddhist-related item. —Jeffrey

— comment by Zak on February 6th, 2009 at 12:11am JST (8 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

I think they are graves, though.

— comment by Zak on February 7th, 2009 at 9:10am JST (8 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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