Last January’s Chilly Ride To the Middle-of-Nowhere Sokushoji Temple
Manseki and his New Friend at the Ishiyama-dera Temple (石山寺) Otsu, Japan this past January / 今年の一月 -- Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki and his New Friend
at the Ishiyama-dera Temple (石山寺)
Otsu, Japan
this past January / 今年の一月

今年一月(八ヶ月前)、万石さんと万石さんの知り合い樋口さんとサイクリングをしました。 やっと記事をアップします。遠いの山田舎息障寺まで行きました。

I'm finally getting around to post about a great day of cycling last January (8 months ago), with Manseki and an acquaintance of his, Higuchi-san, to a far-flung temple I knew of in the middle of nowhere.

We met up in front of the Ishiyama Temple in Otsu.

Front Gate of the Ishiyama-dera Temple 石山寺の正門 -- Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Front Gate of the Ishiyama-dera Temple
石山寺の正門

It's a lovely, photogenic temple that I first visited four years ago, and now ride by fairly often.

It's perhaps difficult to see in the photo above, but just flanking either side of the entrance are huge bamboo New Year displays, the one on the right in the process of being dismantled. The main part of each display are three thick sections of bamboo, cut at a sharp angle...

Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

The mascot was there to meet a bus load of tourists who pulled up soon after this shot.

This front gate is next to the cafe we stopped by on one of my first long cycle rides the previous year. The owner is an avid cyclist, and through the owner, one of the waitresses got into cycling and today was our riding partner:

Mrs. Higuchi -- Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 38mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mrs. Higuchi

I've come across Higuchi-san in the mountains while cycling a couple of times, the first time noted here. This would be my first ride with her.

Ready to Head Out -- Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready to Head Out
Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Typical “ Manseki Attack ” Shot similar to this shot taken while cycling at 26 kph (16 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Typical Manseki Attack Shot
similar to this shot
taken while cycling at 26 kph (16 mph)
taken while cycling at 28 kph (17 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
taken while cycling at 28 kph (17 mph)
Cresting a Hill -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cresting a Hill
Impromptu Race taken while cycling at 27 kph (17 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Impromptu Race
taken while cycling at 27 kph (17 mph)
Impromptu Photo Op -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Impromptu Photo Op
Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 65mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

The pause above was 45km into the ride, just before the first big climb, the lovely but unpopular (because it's so far from populated areas, I suppose) Iwaosan Western Climb.

Black Ice 岩尾山へ登りはブラックアイスでした -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Black Ice
岩尾山へ登りはブラックアイスでした

It was cold enough in the mountains for ice to form on the roads, so any patch that looked wet was suspect. Occasionally the ice was obvious, where it formed on large puddles and broke as we rode through...

Easily-Visible Ice -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Easily-Visible Ice
Side Road to Explore Some Day closed to motor vehicles, but fine by foot or bike -- Iga, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Side Road to Explore Some Day
closed to motor vehicles, but fine by foot or bike
After the Climb feeling in better shape than that old sign -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
After the Climb
feeling in better shape than that old sign
Scary (but Beautiful) Descent taken while cycling at 16 kph (10 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Scary (but Beautiful) Descent
taken while cycling at 16 kph (10 mph)
Looks Icy taken while cycling at 31 kph (19 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Looks Icy
taken while cycling at 31 kph (19 mph)
taken while cycling at 45 kph (28 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
taken while cycling at 45 kph (28 mph)
Photo Op taken by Manseki while I rode by -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op
taken by Manseki while I rode by
Arrived at the Temple we arrived to the turn off to the temple, at least Sokushoji Temple (息障寺) -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arrived at the Temple
we arrived to the turn off to the temple, at least
Sokushoji Temple (息障寺)

From the main road (if it can be called that), the temple is a further 820m @ 9.2%.

Powering Up -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Powering Up

Few folks have done this by bicycle; Mrs. Higuchi and I got the QOM/KOM.

Arrival at the Parking Lot -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arrival at the Parking Lot

This is the temple that appeared on my blog five years previous (has it been that long?!), in Short Family Visit to the Middle-of-Nowhere Sokushouji Temple, whose opening shot is taken from this parking log.

There's much to explore at this small temple, and one climb a huge flight of stairs to a wonderful viewpoint, but on this trip we just looked around at the base.

Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Buddies photo by Yoshino Higuchi -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Buddies
photo by Yoshino Higuchi
Heading Back Down -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Back Down

We thought we'd try to take some action shots on the way down, but I'm still pretty bad at this kind of photography. I had Mrs. Higuchi ride up past me on the steepest hairpin, but you get no sense of the steepness nor the effort in the result....

Super Steep take my word for it -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Super Steep
take my word for it

We also tried some downhill shots. Manseki has a good sense for action shots, having done his share of photo shoots as a professional skier.

photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

I tried to mimic his technique.

Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bland but somehow still lovely -- Iga, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/8, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Bland
but somehow still lovely
Heading Home only about 65km (40mi) to go -- Iga, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Home
only about 65km (40mi) to go

We came across a road that looked quite inviting on the satellite view, but it turns out to be a private road up to an equestrian farm. (Manseki is apparently an accomplished rider, and knew of the property, but had never been there.)

In Front of a Lovely -Looking Road that we couldn't take -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
In Front of a Lovely-Looking Road
that we couldn't take

We also came across a cafe that he had been to before, one in the middle of nowhere that routinely has hours-long lines form to get in, apparently. Luckily, we happened across it when almost no one was there.

Mori Cafe (森のCafe) -- Mori Cafe (森のCafe) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mori Cafe (森のCafe)
Pleasant at least if you don't have to wait an hour -- Mori Cafe (森のCafe) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pleasant
at least if you don't have to wait an hour
Why You Can't Always Trust Maps short section of no-longer-maintained old road -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Why You Can't Always Trust Maps
short section of no-longer-maintained old road
Downhill taken while cycling at 39 kph (24 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 27mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Downhill
taken while cycling at 39 kph (24 mph)
taken while cycling at 35 kph (22 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
taken while cycling at 35 kph (22 mph)

All in all, it was a great time. I'd like to try the first half of the route again when it's warmer. Maybe I'll put that at the top of my list once my injured calf heals.


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