A Hazy Visit to Onyu Pass with Arthur and Neil
Hazy View From Halfway Up Onyu Pass, Shiga Japan (小入峠、 滋賀県) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hazy View From Halfway Up
Onyu Pass, Shiga Japan (小入峠、滋賀県)

Last month before heading off on my trip to The States to visit my folks, I did a nice little bicycle to Onyu Pass and back, an 85 mile (137km) round trip over two other major passes each way. I was joined by veteran riders Arthur Lauritsen and Neil Holt.

My first visit to Onyu Pass had been during a day of incessant rain a month prior, and as such the supposedly-spectacular views were shrouded in clouds. I hoped for something better this time, but was left disappointed due to the extreme haze of the hot (35℃/95℉) humid air.

At first glance it may not seem so hazy in the photo above, but that's the result of a lot of post processing, including the new dehaze feature in Adobe Lightroom.

能見峠から降りた時にこんな花畑を見つけました。 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
能見峠から降りた時にこんな花畑を見つけました。

I didn't pull out the camera until three hours into the ride when we came across a field of flowers in front of an old farmhouse while descending from Nomi Pass. They were pretty, though this camera (or my skill with this camera) doesn't do them justice.

Money Deposit flowers are 10 for 200 yen (about $2) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Money Deposit
flowers are 10 for 200 yen (about $2)
“ Fence is Electrified at Night ” for keeping critters out -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Fence is Electrified at Night
for keeping critters out
Arthur Lauritsen will kindly help you cut your flowers -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arthur Lauritsen
will kindly help you cut your flowers
Old(ish) Farm House -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Old(ish) Farm House
desktop background image of a bed of purple flowers -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600  ·  2880×1800
On The Road Again taken while riding at 25 kph (16 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
On The Road Again
taken while riding at 25 kph (16 mph)
Lovely Scenery taken while riding at 33 kph (21 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely Scenery
taken while riding at 33 kph (21 mph)

3½ hours into the ride we came to the last vending machine before the hot climb, so I stopped to load up on drinks. Had to wait in line behind this little frog...

Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Unamused seemingly -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Unamused
seemingly

A separate little friend tried to hitch a ride on Authur's bike...

Not The Safest Location To Stow Away Luckily Arthur noticed him before riding off -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 37mm — 1/80 sec, f/5.6, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Not The Safest Location To Stow Away
Luckily Arthur noticed him before riding off
“ Look What My Tire Found ” 12:03 PM (from start: 4h 34m / 64 km / 39.5 miles) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/7.1, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Look What My Tire Found
12:03 PM (from start: 4h 34m / 64 km / 39.5 miles)
Neil Supervises The Tire Change (sort of... he really just checks email ;-) ) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/10, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Neil Supervises The Tire Change
(sort of... he really just checks email 😉 )

The main climb to Onyu Pass is 4.5km at 8%, which isn't so bad except that there's no tree cover the whole way except for about 10 seconds about halfway up, and it was a hot humid windless day.

Neil rocketed up in an astounding 17:28, just missing the course record (among those using Strava) by two seconds. I took more than 40% longer at 24:44.

Arthur came up some time later looking hot and uncomfortable, but not so much that he couldn't ham it up for the camera...

Feelin' Fine 12:54 PM (from start: 5h 25m / 70 km / 43.3 miles) arriving at Onyu Pass (小入峠) -- Onyu Pass (小入峠) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/125 sec, f/10, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Feelin' Fine
12:54 PM (from start: 5h 25m / 70 km / 43.3 miles)
arriving at Onyu Pass (小入峠)
Onyu Pass (小入峠) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/250 sec, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arthur and Neil at Onyu Pass -- Onyu Pass (小入峠) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 30mm — 1/125 sec, f/10, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Arthur and Neil
at Onyu Pass

After a rest and some snacks, we turned around to head home by the same route we came.

The road up to Onyu pass is mostly clear, but perhaps particularly with a typhoon that had come through a few days earlier some areas were strewn with rocks.

Occasional Rocks -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Occasional Rocks

It's apparently much better than it was a few months ago when a larger group from Cycling Kyoto came through and got a total of five flats (from the sharp rocks) among them. No rock-induced flats for us today.

Interesting Layered Rock -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Interesting Layered Rock

Part of the way down, the view opens up to the valley below and you can see the road you came in on winding itself up the mountain. The extreme haze made for an unspectacular view, but I've eked a few shots out.

Neil Descends he's the spec in the road at the lower left -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 37mm — 1/80 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Neil Descends
he's the spec in the road at the lower left

I waited for Arthur and Neil to make their way down to where I could see them on the road below, and I was surprised that it took 5+ minutes for them to get down there. It feels long on the way up, but somehow I usually think the descent shouldn't take any time at all. But it does.

Arthur Descending he's an even tinier speck in the middle of the road -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Arthur Descending
he's an even tinier speck in the middle of the road

Eventually I made my way down to find them waiting for me in the shade at the bottom of the mountain.

Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos

The 20km-stretch south of the Onyu Pass area is really lovely and quaint.

Old Abandoned Something-or-Other taken while moving at 32 kph (20 mph) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Old Abandoned Something-or-Other
taken while moving at 32 kph (20 mph)
Abandoned House taken while moving at 32 kph (20 mph) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/3200 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Abandoned House
taken while moving at 32 kph (20 mph)
Trying (and Failing) to Catch Up To Neil taken while moving at 48 kph (30 mph) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 30mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Trying (and Failing) to Catch Up To Neil
taken while moving at 48 kph (30 mph)

The road is usually fairly narrow, but during a section that was wider I wanted to get a photo of Neil from the side, but he was just too fast for me to catch up to. By the time he slowed down enough, the road was narrower and the background less interesting...

Neil Holt Finally Slowing Down taken while moving at 35 kph (22 mph) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Neil Holt Finally Slowing Down
taken while moving at 35 kph (22 mph)
taken while moving at 32 kph (20 mph) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
taken while moving at 32 kph (20 mph)
Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

I don't know what the colored ribbons on the trees are. They seem to be more involved than simple forestry/timber markers, yet not involved enough to be tree huggies. I doubt it's just decoration, but I'm at a loss to guess what it might be.

Very pretty area, though.


All 5 comments so far, oldest first...

Beautiful photos, Jeffrey. Really love the lushful green views you’re sharing today — I just set one as my desktop wallpaper. Thank you for giving us a look into your life in Japan through your blog!

— comment by Aaron on August 19th, 2015 at 2:19am JST (1 year, 9 months ago) comment permalink

“Arthur Lauritsen
will kindly help you cut your flowers ”

Alternate title:

“Arthur Lauritsen
Interning with Death.
He’ll get the hood & full sized scythe when he finishes his preceptorship.”

We were joking about that when he posed for the photo. —Jeffy

— comment by Marcina on August 19th, 2015 at 2:26am JST (1 year, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Wonderful!! It is a Kitayama yuzen chrysanthemum field, locating in Kuta, Sakyo Ward! The locals have planted them. Photographers visit there and capture beauty of the country side. Great images!

— comment by Akiko on August 19th, 2015 at 11:54am JST (1 year, 9 months ago) comment permalink

To Jeffry and Akiko-san:

I was pegging those flowers as Symphyotrichum novi-belgii (New York Aster) but far be it from me to ‘know-it-all’ a local.

Mr. Friedl you look like your having way too much fun on these bicycle adventures. Arthur Luritsen (photo), feeling fine #2 (photo) are magazine quality in terms of interest.

I also really like those road/stream shots -> in my opinion they really epitomize rural Japan. They stir fond memories of traveling in backwoods Hyogo with my inlaws… good times!!

Thanks for the post.

— comment by Ron Evans on August 20th, 2015 at 12:40pm JST (1 year, 9 months ago) comment permalink

In case anyone is confused about the daisies, they are Aster novi-belgii. Its Japanese name is yuzen kiku, ‘kiku’ being a general term for chrysanthemum, hence Akiko’s comment; Westerners would call this a Michaelmas daisy, as I’m sure your mother will have told you!

— comment by Peter in Wales on August 20th, 2015 at 5:18pm JST (1 year, 9 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...


All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.


You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting