Social Ride to the Quaint Mountain Village of Miyama, With a Twist
thached-roof houses in Miyama, Japan (美山)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 38mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Miyama, Japan
village in the mountains north of Kyoto
美山
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A couple of weeks ago we had a nice social ride out to Miyama Japan. It was my third and most-relaxing visit, after the initial shock of a tough ride a year ago that was my longest ride at the time, and again via a mountains route not long after with Gorm.

This time we took a less-mountains route to get there, though for some it would be their longest ride by a factor of two.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Meeting Up
at a convenience store in Kyoto

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki Climbs Toward Kyomi Pass
京見峠への万石さん

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Roadside Logging
( sorry for the fuzziness... I came upon the scene suddenly )

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Narrow Section of Route 162
taken while cycling at 26 kph (16 mph)

It's while inspecting our route on the map for this ride that I came up with the silly idea of riding the entire length of National Route 162. (Most of it is not narrow like this.)


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Three Ladies
front to back: Kumiko, Stephanie, Alicia
taken while moving at 24 kph (15 mph)

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Stephanie
Canadian triathlete new to Kyoto's mountains

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Quick Shrine Visit
Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社)

We paused to see the Iwato Ochiba Shrine, which is spectacular in autumn. The nearby photos link shows many nice fall-foliage photos from this shrine. We'll have to stop by again toward the end of November to see it in full glory.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Up
Manseki and Jamie in front of a pretty house
( one I've used as a backdrop before )

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Kasa Tunnel
uncomfortably narrow, but not too long
笠トンネル

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Flat Valley

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
River in Miyama

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Snack
hotcake, ice cream, and coffee
at the new and wonderful Joey's Bar
( a small cafe catering to motorcyclists, but at which all are welcome )

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Group Portrait
by Joey
Me, Manseki, Kumiko, Stephanie, Alicia, Jamie

At this point we'd gone about 50km (31mi) and still weren't halfway, though it was already approaching the longest ride ever for Alicia and Stephanie. (Kumiko, I know, has done a 230km/143mi ride, because it's documented here, though today's ride already had about as much mountain climbing as that entire ride had, so they're each challenging in their own way.)

Joey's Bar was a wonderful place to relax, chat, and sip on coffee, so we ended up spending way too long there. Finally we moved along toward the quaint village of Miyama...


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arrival in Miyama

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Ops

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Disconcerting
the big garage door with a roll shutter just doesn't fit the aesthetic

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Powwow

Unfortunately, Jamie had been feeling increasingly ill, and had to abandon the ride at Miyama. The ladies returned to Kyoto via the route we came, while I headed back via a route that was more mountainous, but perhaps quicker, to fetch my car. Manseki stayed back to keep Jamie company.

The relaxing nature of the ride was over, and I lit the afterburners (which for me is more like a kid's fourth-of-July sparkler) and headed back towards Kyoto over Sasari Pass. I'd done the western climb to Sasari Pass — 5.6km/3.5mi at 6.2% — only once before, and absolutely hated every moment of it. It's felt unrelenting and steep. With that preconceived notion this time it was more tough mentally than physically, as I'm in much better shape now, and those numbers (any distance at 6%) otherwise doesn't faze me.

After descending the other side, I got a message that Jamie had been able to get a lift from a local, so I no longer needed to speed to Kyoto for my car. So, I returned back up to Sasari Pass and all the way back down the other side, to meet back up with Manseki who would be heading this way from Miyama.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 49mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Shades of Autumn
colored leaves accumulate

The timing was great as I arrived at the base of the climb just as Manseki was arriving from Miyama, so I turned around and we headed back up.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Up to Sasari Pass
佐々里峠へ、美山から

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
15 Minutes Later
not much has changed.... still climbing

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cresting Sasari Pass
佐々里峠

It was my third ascent to Sasari Pass that day. After descending toward Kyoto, at just about the spot I'd turned around the first time, we stopped by a cafe for coffee.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Nameless Cafe
the sign says coffee

This cafe is in the middle of nowhere. There's not so much as a vending machine for miles in any direction. The coffee and bread were wonderful.

Manseki and I then returned to Kyoto over Hanase Pass. All in all the extra climbs up Sasari made it a longer day for me than most, and the ride totaled out at 139km (87mi) with 2,570m (8,425') of climb:

Here's the Relive.cc video:

Though we returned in three different groups, we all made it home fine, and everyone had a nice long ride under their belt.


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

That shirt you’re wearing! FALSE ADVERTISING!!! NONE of my brothers are* qualified to wear such a shirt. I LIVED with you all. I *KNOW*!!!!

*Mama – from a grammar instructional web site: “None can take either a singular or plural verb. A common misconception is that none is always singular because it is short for no one. However, it is just as likely to mean not any, implying a plural. When none is followed by a mass noun (a noun that cannot be counted or made plural) it takes a singular verb.” 🙂

— comment by Marcina on October 16th, 2016 at 2:00am JST (5 months, 13 days ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey, you are killing me here. Seattle has dropped into winter weather this week with continuous rain and 40s F. You ride such beautiful roads that would be wonderful for either my bicycle or motorcycle.

Keep posting and making me envious.

— comment by Rick H. on October 16th, 2016 at 2:37am JST (5 months, 13 days ago) comment permalink

My 仲人さん, who once had a Kendo shop near Kumano Jinja in Kyoto, lived (still lives???) in Miyama and we, wife unit and our then three year old son went up in the midst of summer to visit. Was impressed y the freshness of the place, but wonder now that Miyama-cho having been “discovered” how touristy it has become.

It’s certainly there for tourists, but every time I’ve been it’s been quite pleasant. Of course, for the time I’m stopping by, I’m a tourist as well, so I’m only making it worse. In any case, the place doesn’t “feel” touristy and cheap to me, so still nice and relaxing. —Jeffrey

— comment by An Expat on October 17th, 2016 at 12:15am JST (5 months, 12 days ago) comment permalink

Nice shirt.

— comment by Rubin Starset on October 18th, 2016 at 2:35am JST (5 months, 11 days ago) comment permalink
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