Visiting That Temple I Saw From The Bullet Train Last Week
The Day's Riding Partners Hatano-san, Okabe-san, Yano-san -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 72mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Day's Riding Partners
Hatano-san, Okabe-san, Yano-san

In my previous post about a visit to Tokyo last weekend, I mentioned that on the bullet-train ride there I'd passed by a mountain with a temple nestled at the top, and thought it might be nice to investigate the presumably steep road up there. It turns out that it was.

The mountain in question is one of a pair of monadnocks in an area that's otherwise flat as a pancake. Here's the view from Google Earth (with elevation exaggerated for effect):


Google Earth view

The taller of the two rises about 350m (1,165') above the surrounding plain, which isn't all that tall, but at least on the map the roads looked to be interesting. So, I made a plan to investigate some of the roads on them. It turns out that a couple of friends could join me, so we made a plan to meet yesterday morning on the other side of Lake Biwa, nearer to the mountains.

On the way there, I passed by the entrance to a short but steep side road up to a mountain-top golf course. I had done the 1.1km @ 11% climb only once before, and hadn't planned on doing it on this ride except that I'd lost the KOM (King of the Mountain — the fastest registered attempt) when someone rode it faster the previous day, so why not? I tried it again and regained my KOM. It's a hollow crown, though, because, inexplicably, only two other folks have ever attempted it. 🙂 If someone even remotely strong gives it a try, it'll be out of my range.

I was looking forward to the nice decent from Tochu Pass toward Lake Biwa, which I think I could KOM easily if I got lucky with traffic, but the blast of a headwind the moment I started told me not to bother. Luckily, the wind turned out not to be much of an issue for the rest of the ride.

Big Crab and, at far right, a big bridge over Lake Biwa -- Biwako Ohash (琵琶湖大橋) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 72mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Crab
and, at far right, a big bridge over Lake Biwa
「♪ロード」 “ ♪ Road ” -- Biwako Ohash (琵琶湖大橋) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 38mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
「♪ロード」
♪ Road

One lane of this bridge has groves cut in the pavement that cause music to be heard (presumably only when traveling about the speed limit). You can hear it as cars go by, with the same strong drop in pitch as when an ambulance passes. (Here's a video with an example of what it sound like in a car.)

Change in Note the spacing to the right is wider than at the center and left -- Biwako Ohash (琵琶湖大橋) -- Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 75mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Change in Note
the spacing to the right is wider than at the center and left
Top of the Bridge -- Biwako Ohash (琵琶湖大橋) -- Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 75mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Top of the Bridge
Still Snow in the mountains to the northwest -- Biwako Ohash (琵琶湖大橋) -- Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 62mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Snow
in the mountains to the northwest
Still Hazy in the view to the northeast -- Biwako Ohash (琵琶湖大橋) -- Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Hazy
in the view to the northeast
Chance Meeting Yano-san, at left, just happened by and decided to join us -- Biwakodaihashihigashizume Bus Stop -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Chance Meeting
Yano-san, at left, just happened by and decided to join us

I'd met Yano-san briefly at the Moriyama Criterium the other day. We've seen Okabe-san on last year's post about cyclocross.

On the Way -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
On the Way
I Love The Backdrop -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
I Love The Backdrop
A Bit Windy but we kept up a steady 30kph (19 mph) on the long flat ride to get there -- Yasu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
A Bit Windy
but we kept up a steady 30kph (19 mph) on the long flat ride to get there
Approaching a Minor Mountain that has no roads, just foot paths up to a temple -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching a Minor Mountain
that has no roads, just foot paths up to a temple
Unique Tobidashi-kun the silhouette is common to the area, but this one is painted quite different -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Unique Tobidashi-kun
the silhouette is common to the area, but this one is painted quite different
Another Unique Tobidashi-kun it turns out that the town we were passing through, Omi Hachiman, had tons of them -- Hachimanyama Ropeway Zen Bus Stop -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Unique Tobidashi-kun
it turns out that the town we were passing through, Omi Hachiman, had tons of them
Bridge with a View -- Hachimanyama Ropeway Zen Bus Stop -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bridge with a View
View this area is apparently popular for period dramas to be filmed in -- Hachimanyama Ropeway Zen Bus Stop -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 75mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View
this area is apparently popular for period dramas to be filmed in
Another Cute Tobidashi-kun -- Hachimanyama Ropeway Zen Bus Stop -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Cute Tobidashi-kun
Narrow Alley -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Narrow Alley
? ? ? It seems to be a standard pachinko parlor with styling dating back to the 80s, but I don't know what “ bicycle ” has to do with it -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 28mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
? ? ?
It seems to be a standard pachinko parlor with styling dating back to the 80s,
but I don't know what bicycle has to do with it

Finally we got to the first climb, 1.8km @ 9.2% up to the Kawarayazen Temple. As is my habit with new climbs, I took it easy. The KOM earlier, on the way to the meeting spot, was my one hard effort for the day.

Hatano-san Climbing -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hatano-san Climbing
Arriving at the Top to the Kawarayazen Temple (瓦屋禅寺) -- Kawarayazen Temple (瓦屋禅寺) -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arriving at the Top
to the Kawarayazen Temple (瓦屋禅寺)
Kawarayazen Temple (瓦屋禅寺) -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kawarayazen Temple (瓦屋禅寺) -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 58mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
I've Just Explained my Plan -- Kawarayazen Temple (瓦屋禅寺) -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
I've Just Explained my Plan

The road at the top is fed by two approaches, the easier of which we'd just taken. My plan was now to descend halfway down the way we came, turn off to the other approach and descend all the way down, turn around, and climb it right back up to where we were now.

Heading Down -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 62mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Down

The other approach brought us down past a shrine, so we stopped for a bit.

Hairpin at the Shrine the road falling away at a preciptious rate ( the shrine is behind me ) -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hairpin at the Shrine
the road falling away at a preciptious rate
( the shrine is behind me )
Photo Op -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op
View from the Shrine even though it's halfway down the mountain, it still feels quite high -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the Shrine
even though it's halfway down the mountain, it still feels quite high
Zooming Down sending chills up our spine that we'll be turning right around to climb this -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Zooming Down
sending chills up our spine that we'll be turning right around to climb this
Aforementioned Shrine -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 38mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Aforementioned Shrine
Grinding Up -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Grinding Up
Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

After reaching the temple at the top again, we descended back down the way we'd come the first time. I'm still not feeling my descent mojo, but even when I'm taking it easy I tend to be fairly zippy, so I was bummed that I missed the KOM on the descent because my water bottle bounced out on a bump. Even though I had to stop, ride back up a bit to pick it up, and then get myself going, I missed the KOM by only 14 seconds. Maybe next time.

(To be clear, I know that descent KOMs are sort of meaningless... the real work is in going up, but I'll take my warm fuzzy feelings where I can.)

Lunch Smile Kitchen (スマイルキッチン) -- Smile Chicken (スマイルキッチン) -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lunch
Smile Kitchen (スマイルキッチン)

We had a comically-difficult time finding a place to eat, with every place we tried being closed. Eventually I resorted to a simple search for restaurant on Google Maps, and one with the name Smile Chicken caught my eye. I loves me some chicken. We went, and it was great... it was a simple all-you-can-eat buffet for 1,100 yen (about US$10).

It was only when writing this post that I realized I'd been dyslexic in reading the name, transposing two characters to end up with an oddly-pronounced Smile Chicken. It's actually Smile Kitchen. Still just as tasty.

On to the Next Monadnock -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
On to the Next Monadnock
But Not This Way Sigh. I've since added the “ no access ” gate to OpenStreetMap -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 28mm — 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
But Not This Way
Sigh. I've since added the no access gate to OpenStreetMap
Serendipitous Discovery we ended up on this lovely cycling route that wasn't on the maps ( but I've since added it ) -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 65mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Serendipitous Discovery
we ended up on this lovely cycling route that wasn't on the maps
( but I've since added it )
Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

The third climb of my plan was one of the approaches to the Kannonsho Temple (観音正寺), the temple I'd seen from the bullet train that started all this.

Bullet Train Crossing the Plain the white line from the center to the right edge of the screen ( with the first mountain we climbed sitting there in the background ) -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 46mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bullet Train Crossing the Plain
the white line from the center to the right edge of the screen
( with the first mountain we climbed sitting there in the background )
At the End of the Road before a long set of stairs to the Kannonsho Temple (観音正寺) photo by Koji Yano (via timer) -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 at an effective 29mm — 1/350 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
At the End of the Road
before a long set of stairs to the Kannonsho Temple (観音正寺)
photo by Koji Yano (via timer)

The climb was comparable to the first one we did, and like that first one, there were two lower approaches leading to the same final road, so like that first one, we descended and turned right around to head back up.

Descent #1 I should have tracked him to make him sharp and the background blurry -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Descent #1
I should have tracked him to make him sharp and the background blurry
Starting the Other Attempt -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting the Other Attempt

On the second descent I didn't stop for photos or lose my water bottle, so I made the KOM.

Now that we'd done these two approaches to the temple, we moved around to the other side of the mountain for a third approach, the North Approach that goes quite a bit higher: 2.4km (1.5 miles) @ 10%.

That out of the way, I had one more climb on the agenda, one that I hadn't looked at closely but seemed to be short and mild. I wanted to bother with it only because I wanted to do all the climbs on these two mountains.

It was ridiculous. The short road is about 1km @ 15% average, which turned out to be more or less several Nasty segments tied together by road whose steepness was merely jaw-dropping. I'm getting used to these kinds of steep, especially after this place, but it was still demoralizing to come around a hairpin and see a stretch before you that didn't look humanly possible.

I was happy to survive without stopping, for I don't think I would have been able to clip in and restart.

Eventually, Okabe-san came along...

Final Push this picture might actually capture the sense of steepness -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Final Push
this picture might actually capture the sense of steepness

The other two never made it... they came around one of those hairpins and decided that discretion was the better part of valor.

Returning Home into the setting sun -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Returning Home
into the setting sun
Dinner at Sobokkuru (そぼっくる) -- Yasu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/1.7, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Dinner
at Sobokkuru (そぼっくる)

All in all it was 172km (107mi), my ninth-longest ride. There was 2,070m (6,800') of elevation gain.

I fared much better than last week's Century of Bonk, mostly because I ate better.

Somewhere between the last climb and dinner, my left cleat gave out and wouldn't stay clipped in.

Slightly Used -- Park House Kyoto Okazaki Yuurakusou -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 640 — image data
Slightly Used

I'm just so thankful that it didn't give out during that last steep climb, or sometime before; I wouldn't have attempted it if I knew my cleat was iffy.

These clips lasted since this ride last fall, meaning that I got 6,075km (3,775mi) out of them, which is comparable to what I got with the previous set. I don't quite know why they get so roughed up, though, since I generally use cleat covers when not riding.


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

Well, the photo on the “singing road” pushed me down a You-tube rabbit hole, from which it took far longer to emerge then I’d like to admit. But the whole singing road thing is very cool.

— comment by Marcina on March 31st, 2017 at 9:12am JST (6 months, 19 days ago) comment permalink

If you didn’t stop for all those great photos then your cleats would still be in great shape. Keep buying cleats.

— comment by Rick H. on April 1st, 2017 at 2:33am JST (6 months, 18 days ago) comment permalink

These posts are entertaining and beautiful. I should do something similar with exploration of forest & mountain paths on a mountainbike. Do you know any serious mountainbikers in Japan?

There are certainly plenty, but I would know only folks who also do road bikes, like former all-Japan mountain-bike champion Vincent Flanagan (covered here). Other friends do crazy things like single-speed mountain biking. I’ve never done it, but apparently there’s tons of great mountain-bike trails around Kyoto. —Jeffrey

— comment by Franta Polach on April 2nd, 2017 at 6:27am JST (6 months, 17 days ago) comment permalink
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