Pleasant 105km Bike Ride From Kyoto, Along Lake Biwa, to Takashima’s Shirohige Shrine
Manseki Kanemitu in a Bed of Flowers at Lake Biwa, Shiga Japan 花壇の中の万石さん、琵琶湖(滋賀県) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki Kanemitu in a Bed of Flowers
at Lake Biwa, Shiga Japan
花壇の中の万石さん、琵琶湖(滋賀県)

I finally made my first 100+km bike ride the other day, cycling with some folks from the Cycling Kyoto Facebook group.

Strava says the ride was 105km (65 miles). Even though it's 10% longer than the first long ride I did, this time was much easier because it had only 1,300m (4,200 ft) of vertical rise, only about a ⅓rd of the first ride's climbs. Even last month's 58km ride was much harder, again, due to having more elevation. Flat distance seems to be easy.

Anyway, as usual we met in front of the Sanjo St. Starbucks...

Getting Ready to Take Off 8:10am 出発点 :三条大橋のスタバ (京都市内) Ross , Gorm , and Manseki -- Sanjo-Street Bridge over the Kamo River (三条大橋) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Ready to Take Off
8:10am
出発点 :三条大橋のスタバ (京都市内)
Ross, Gorm, and Manseki
Ride Preparation at least if you're a rider like me 撮影の準備 -- Sanjo-Street Bridge over the Kamo River (三条大橋) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Ride Preparation
at least if you're a rider like me
撮影の準備
Getting Out of the City always feels nice やっと田舎 8:38am - taken while cycling at 25 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Out of the City
always feels nice
やっと田舎
8:38am - taken while cycling at 25 km/h
First Climb ( we'd picked up one more rider, Kumiko Naka, along the way ) 8:42am - taken one-handed while cycling at 27 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
First Climb
( we'd picked up one more rider, Kumiko Naka, along the way )
8:42am - taken one-handed while cycling at 27 km/h
I'm in Purple This Time less lively than my yellow/green getup a week ago 今日は僕はなすびくんです。 (photo by Manseki Kanemitsu) -- Copyright 2015 Manseki Kanemitsu
DMC-SZ9 at an effective 26mm — 1/800 sec, f/3.1, ISO 100 — image data
I'm in Purple This Time
less lively than my yellow/green getup a week ago
今日は僕はなすびくんです。
(photo by Manseki Kanemitsu)
Lovely Countryside 10:05am - taken while cycling at 28 km/h 気持ち良い部分 -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely Countryside
10:05am - taken while cycling at 28 km/h
気持ち良い部分

The route I'd planned brought us through some of the more mild mountains of northern Kyoto early on, and within 26km (a quarter of the planned distance) we were done with almost all the climbs. It was that point that Ross turned around to forge his own more-mountainous path. For the rest of us, the last 80 kilometers would be downhill or flat, except for one short but intense hill near the end.

Spoke Broke getting unbroke スポックの修理、at サイクルショップ にしもと in Wani City, Shiga -- 和迩駅(バス) -- 滋賀県, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Spoke Broke
getting unbroke
スポックの修理、at サイクルショップ にしもと in Wani City, Shiga

At some point coming down the mountain toward Lake Biwa (the largest lake in Japan), a spoke on my rear wheel broke. (Putting it another way, my rear wheel misspoke 😉 .)

Luckily, likely the only bike shop for miles just happened to be right there, and was even open.

Cycle Shop Nishimoto -- 和迩駅(バス) -- 滋賀県, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/5000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Cycle Shop Nishimoto
Artistic Version of the first “ spoke broke ” shot above -- 和迩駅(バス) -- 滋賀県, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Artistic Version
of the first spoke broke shot above

After an impromptu 40-minute break while my wheel was unbroke, we took off again north through the countryside...

Slightly-Fuzzy Gorm but the railing in the background is perfectly in focus 11:16am - taken one-handed while cycling at 27 km/h -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/6400 sec, f/1.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Slightly-Fuzzy Gorm
but the railing in the background is perfectly in focus
11:16am - taken one-handed while cycling at 27 km/h

I've got to figure out a better focus mode when shooting blind while I ride... I get too many shots like the one above where it's the background in focus.

Riding Along the Lake 11:19am - taken while cycling at 17 km/h — Wikipedia says that the lake has 235km (150 miles) of coastline — 琵琶湖添い -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Riding Along the Lake
11:19am - taken while cycling at 17 km/h
— Wikipedia says that the lake has 235km (150 miles) of coastline —
琵琶湖添い
Old Farmhouse they must have been bummed 100 years ago when the train line came through their backyard 11:23am - taken one-handed while cycling at 28 km/h -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/4.5, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Old Farmhouse
they must have been bummed 100 years ago when the train line came through their backyard
11:23am - taken one-handed while cycling at 28 km/h
Lazy Day at the Lake 11:26am - taken one-handed while cycling at 16 km/h -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1600 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Lazy Day at the Lake
11:26am - taken one-handed while cycling at 16 km/h
Pause for Photos 撮影の休憩 -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Pause for Photos
撮影の休憩
Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/5000 sec, f/1.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki's Classic Restoration one of his many bikes, this one from 1988 万石さんの88年の自転車ちゃん -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki's Classic Restoration
one of his many bikes, this one from 1988
万石さんの88年の自転車ちゃん

Everyone was taking straight-on photos like the one above, but I thought it might look a bit better at an angle...

Photo by Manseki -- Copyright 2015 Manseki Kanemitsu
DMC-SZ9 at an effective 26mm — 1/250 sec, f/9, ISO 160 — image data
Photo by Manseki
In retrospect, I think I over angled it.. somewhere in between would have been better -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
In retrospect, I think I over angled it.. somewhere in between would have been better

I took the opportunity to have someone snap a picture of me with my camera...

Me -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Me

... and then I set up my camera with a timer...

Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1600 sec, f/4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

... and then it was time to continue our ride.

Lunch 12:01pm - taken one-handed while cycling at 18 km/h -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1600 sec, f/4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Lunch
12:01pm - taken one-handed while cycling at 18 km/h

We eventually made it to our turn-around destination, the Shirohige Shrine (白鬚神社), a name meaning white beard, implying wisdom.

Manseki at the Shirohige Shrine, Takashima City, Shiga, Japan 高島市の白髭神社 -- Shirahige Shrine (白鬚神社) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki
at the Shirohige Shrine, Takashima City, Shiga, Japan
高島市の白髭神社

This shrine gate has appeared on my blog in the past, perhaps most interestingly six years ago in Overexposure and Underexposure, and the Compensation Thereof.

Me -- Shirahige Shrine (白鬚神社) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Me
Kumiko -- Shirahige Shrine (白鬚神社) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Kumiko
Group Shot taken by a passer-by that I imposed upon -- Shirahige Shrine (白鬚神社) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Group Shot
taken by a passer-by that I imposed upon

Then it was time to head back....

Red-Carpet Treatment a bike path runs along some sections of the lake 1:04pm - taken one-handed while cycling at 20 km/h -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Red-Carpet Treatment
a bike path runs along some sections of the lake
1:04pm - taken one-handed while cycling at 20 km/h
Not Yet Planted a rice paddy and Lake Biwa 田んぼと琵琶湖 1:14pm - taken one-handed while cycling at 26 km/h -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Yet Planted
a rice paddy and Lake Biwa
田んぼと琵琶湖
1:14pm - taken one-handed while cycling at 26 km/h

I'd noticed the interesting reflections on the way up, so when we came flying by on the way home, I made sure to take a picture.

A bit later we came to a pretty area and stopped for more photos, such as the one leading this post, and this one:

Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Teasing Manseki “ Look, I took a great photo of your bike ” 万石さんにちょっと意地悪な撮影 -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/3200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Teasing Manseki
Look, I took a great photo of your bike
万石さんにちょっと意地悪な撮影
More Pleasant Ride 1:29pm - taken while cycling at 18 km/h -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
More Pleasant Ride
1:29pm - taken while cycling at 18 km/h
Not So Pleasant “ Kyoto 26km ” 1:51pm - taken one-handed while cycling at 35 km/h -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Not So Pleasant
Kyoto 26km
1:51pm - taken one-handed while cycling at 35 km/h
Energy Snack strawberries with condensed milk -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Energy Snack
strawberries with condensed milk

Riding from the lake back over to Kyoto involves a short but intense little mountain, and then it was smooth sailing home...

Along the Lake Biwa Canal, above Yamashina 山科の上で疎水沿い 3:22pm - taken one-handed while cycling at 10 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Along the Lake Biwa Canal, above Yamashina
山科の上で疎水沿い
3:22pm - taken one-handed while cycling at 10 km/h

It was nice and mostly relaxing. Something similar should be great in two weeks during the rice-planting season. For next week, though, I think I need something a bit more meaty, even if not as long...


All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

Again, it looks like beautiful riding outside the city. You seem to have found a good riding group too. In your photos Manseki comes across as someone with an easy smile who enjoys life.

Ah, then my photo does him justice… he’s a very nice guy to be around. —Jeffrey

— comment by RBMann on April 26th, 2015 at 2:04am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Some of my best memories from my time in Japan are around lake Biwa, especially during a 3-day 307km ride my wife and I did in 2011 (from Northern Osaka to Otsu, then around the lake and back). It was tough, as mamachari and long distances are not friends (it was a ‘homemade’ charity ride, so worth the pain), but really, really beautiful.
The further North you go, the more beautiful it gets. I’d love to come back and do it again with a proper bike.

Dimitri, now in Brisbane (Australia)

— comment by Dimitri on April 27th, 2015 at 8:44am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

On auto focus problems: Have you tried the slightly more brutal approach of manual mode with auto ISO? Set the shutter at 1/1000 or shorter, f=8 or 11, switch AF off, set the lens to the hyperfocal distance and stick it there with gaffer. Voila! Everything is in focus and sharp!

I do use auto ISO, but the focus distance is too varied to just stick with hyperfocal. I guess I want my cake and to eat it too. I should investigate the focus mode that focuses on the nearest object, as that’s usually what I’m aiming at when shooting blind… —Jeffrey

— comment by Daniel Cutter on April 27th, 2015 at 4:33pm JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Nice gloves.

— comment by Marty on April 28th, 2015 at 3:22am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Great shots folks! Crazy and creative carrying that camera on your back with the sling. I ride as well but haven’t thought of that but will try! Nice diary, well documented, and wonderfully presented. Thanks Jeffrey.

— comment by Steve on May 9th, 2015 at 2:02am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I had not seen this post, these pictures do not look real… those mountains in the back, the sky. so pretty.

favorite: “lazy day at the lake.”

nice makeup kit btw.

Hahaha, it took me a while to figure out what you were referring to with that last comment. 🙂 —Jeffrey

— comment by nnkka on May 30th, 2015 at 12:25pm JST (2 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Your photos look wonderful. I will be in Kyoto in October 17 for 4 days and would like to spend a couple of days cycling a part of Lake Biwa. Will have road bike. Can you recommend a ‘base’ town for two day trips. What parts of the Lake have cycle paths around them. Would probably get the train from Kyoto to Otsu or ‘base’ town rather than cycle given limited time. 60-80k a day is my ideal. Any advice would be appreciated. Coming from Australia for this trip.

Given only the constraints you’ve mentioned, I’d recommend staying in Hikone. On one day you could ride north, and on another, south. There’s a castle and park in the city that are on my list to visit, that perhaps makes for a nice bonus, or a fallback if the weather or your mood preclude a ride. If you’d like to include a bit of climb, this 100km ride would be lovely. The mountain part is quite pretty and the views stunning, but must be done in the counter-clockwise direction shown, as the road is one-way even for bicycles. The tunnels the route goes through have sidewalks inside that you can safely ride on; the tunnels that are bypassed don’t (which is why they’re bypassed). In any case, you can go either direction along the lake from Hikone until you’ve done half the distance you want, then turn around. Much of the eastern side of the lake has cycling paths. However, much of the lakeside has little in the way of services (restaurants, convenience stores, or vending machines), so if that’s a concern, some planning is in order. Send me a note privately once your plans are decided. —Jeffrey

— comment by Pamela on May 17th, 2017 at 2:08pm JST (2 months, 8 days ago) comment permalink
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