Norikura: Cycling Japan’s Highest Road (Three Times)
I Came From Down There I rode up here by bicycle thrice in as many days Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳), Japan taken while cycling at 12 kph (8 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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)
Panasonic LX100 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
I Came From Down There
I rode up here by bicycle thrice in as many days
Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳), Japan
taken while cycling at 12 kph (8 mph)

この間、三日間の楽しい旅をしました。自転車乗鞍三回登った。 この記事英語だけですが、自慢話ばかりので内容想像できます🙂. 撮っ写真はまだ全部見ってないので、今日記事は旅の概要だけです。

I just had a little trip to the border of Gifu and Nagano prefectures, to the highest paved road in Japan, which goes up and over Mt. Norikura. The paved public road reaches an elevation of about 2,715m (8,900').

It'll be a while before I go through the photos and write up a proper post, but having just gotten back yesterday, I wanted to post a little overview of the trip right away.

Heavenly Ascent -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Heavenly Ascent
Still Has Snow in July folks were skiing and ice climbing -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/10, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Has Snow in July
folks were skiing and ice climbing
Alpine Feeling -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍) -- Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Alpine Feeling
Part of the Descent down the other side -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/9, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Part of the Descent
down the other side

The three rides over the three days all included an ascent of Mt. Norikura's eastern approach, a path that rises 1,461m (4,793') from where I stayed (the cycling-friendly Pension Norikura).

Day 1

The first day I rode by myself, and though the ride wasn't the toughest of the three on paper (it was only 105km/65mi with 2,923m/9,590' of elevation gain), it took the most out of me.

At the start of the ride, I descended from the hotel down to where the road begins, then turned around and did the entire road up, which gave me 1,717m (5,633') of ascent in a single shot of unbroken climb, a statistic that tickles a certain something in the cycling/data geek in me.

I brought my Nikon D4 and a couple of lenses (Nikkor 24-70/2.8 and the big 70-200/2.8), which together weigh more than half as much as my bike. But I took it slow and paused often for photos, so frankly the initial big climb wasn't all that difficult. What was tough was the accumulation of what came after in the ride, I guess.

Day 2

The second day I rode with a group that included friends old and new. This ride was the toughest on paper (165km/103mi long, with the most elevation gain I've ever done in a ride, 3,937m/12,917'), but it was a social group ride and we took it slow, so in the end I was beat, but not as much as the previous day.

Racing Up (actually, just pretending to) photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Manseki Kanemitsu
DMC-SZ9 at an effective 26mm — 1/400 sec, f/3.1, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Racing Up
(actually, just pretending to)
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
Dots Racing Downhill are all in my group taken while cycling at 22 kph (14 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 34mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Dots Racing Downhill
are all in my group
taken while cycling at 22 kph (14 mph)

The weather on the second day was absolutely perfect. It was a long day... we left at about 6am, and returned at about sundown at 7pm. I was tickled to reach a sustained speed of over 80kph (50mph) on the final little descent back to the hotel. It's not the fastest I'd ever gone (that was here), but it was unexpected because even though I'd ridden up it twice, I hadn't realized just how steep it was, and just how nice a downhill it would be.

The two-minute Relive.cc movie for this ride is actually quite interesting, I think. Check it out.

The day ended with a big meal and lots of drinking (and in my case, too much drinking), so things were a bit rough for me the next day.

Day 3

Day three (yesterday) was the last day and I had to allow for the 4.5-hour drive back home, so the ride was just a simple jaunt from the hotel to the top and back, a 49km (30mi) round trip.

This time I didn't bring any camera or other things I didn't need, and knew it would be a short ride, so I wanted to try for a PR, but after the previous two days my legs were toast. In the end, I was happy to just not give up.

Unlike the previous two days, this third day was raining and cold, so I was very happy that I bought a Santic cycling windbreaker for the trip, but my fingers froze during the descent, and at one point I had to stop just to restore feeling in my fingers so that I could work the controls of the bike.

Continued here...


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