Wild Cherry Blossoms and Fun Fast Descents
Full Bloom in front of the Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) in the mountains north of Kyoto, Japan -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Full Bloom
in front of the Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺)
in the mountains north of Kyoto, Japan

Cherry-blossom season in Kyoto is always hectic for someone like me who likes photography, made all the more busy because I now like to cycle and these are some of the first warm days of the season. I've been out with the camera and the bike a lot lately, but sort of punted on blogging about it because schedule already left me overwhelmed.

So, I'm getting back into the swing of things with a writeup on my most recent ride.

First I popped over the mountains from Kyoto to Lake Biwa...

Straight Shot Down to the Lake 1.4km / 0.9mi away -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Straight Shot Down to the Lake
1.4km / 0.9mi away
At Lake Biwa moments before my bike fell in it -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
At Lake Biwa
moments before my bike fell in it
Fishermen -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 65mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Fishermen
Short, Intense Climb looking back from the top, 300 straight meters @ 13.3% -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 49mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Short, Intense Climb
looking back from the top,
300 straight meters @ 13.3%

I got 4th overall on this straight, steep climb; I should have gotten 2nd, but my Garmin's Edge 820's GPS track had drifted and part of my rest after finishing it was counted in my climb. I'll do better next time, and hope my Garmin will as well.

Another Short Straight Climb 400m at 7.8% it's neither long nor steep, but the straightness makes it mentally tougher for me -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Short Straight Climb
400m at 7.8%
it's neither long nor steep, but the straightness makes it mentally tougher for me
Rural Farming -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 52mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Rural Farming
Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

My first destination on this ride was a temple in the middle of nowhere in the mountains. I had ridden by it numerous times, but had never stopped in to check it out.

Me and my Kongorikishi Friend at the Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ + front camera — 1/700 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Me and my Kongorikishi Friend
at the Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂)
Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Still a Few Blossoms -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Still a Few Blossoms
Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Sure but they remind me of this place -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Sure
but they remind me of this place
Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Where it Belongs one of the lanterns had fallen; I returned it to its spot -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Where it Belongs
one of the lanterns had fallen; I returned it to its spot
Serpent -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Serpent
More Lanterns -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
More Lanterns

From there I continued along undulating mountain roads away from Kyoto...

Getting Gray -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Gray
Preparing for Planting -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Preparing for Planting
Wild Cherry -- Otsu, 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
Wild Cherry

There were blossoming trees here and there in the mountains, providing a lovely touch of softness wherever they were. This batch was on a long mountain climb on a road that seems to have no reason to exist... it doesn't lead to anything, nor connect anything not already connected by less rustic roads. Makes for a pleasant ride, though.

The long twisty descent has some very rough, very steep patches of pavement (a bit you can see in this photo) and the ever-present potential for oncoming traffic, so one must be particularly careful. It could be quite fun if I were in the mood to push a fast descent, but I wasn't, so I took it easy, and as so often seems to happen, I surprised myself by beating my former KOM time to set a new KOM (fastest registered time). It tickles me to no end when this happens.

Proper Lunch -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Proper Lunch
Happy-go-Lucky Fellow -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Happy-go-Lucky Fellow
About to Momoi -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
About to Momoi

Still not halfway into my plan, it was time for the heinous Momoi East climb, which I wrote about here the first time I did it. Today's was the fourth, and I noticed as I did it that I had no worries about falling over on the steep sections, illustrating to myself how far I've come.

I did the full Momoi climb, followed by the subsequent even-worse western descent (I think the worst section of road in Kyoto), then continued up through Hanase Pass to Sugino Pass. I went at a plodding pace and the whole trip (distance of 12km / 7.2mi, with a vertical climb of 715m / 2,350') took almost an hour. I was surprised to find that I got the KOM on this segment as well, not something I ever get on long climbs, but here it was because I was apparently the first and only to have ever done it, at least among those using Strava. I didn't expect it to be super popular, but no one else? That surprised me.

Oddly enough, after all these years of no one having ever done that route, someone else did do it two days after I did, a few seconds slower than I had, so I keep my cheap KOM for the moment. 🙂

I got 3rd-overall on the long descent from Hanase, out of 682 folk that have ridden it. I don't think I have what it takes to eke out the half minute I'd need to be the fastest on this one.

Random Road-side Temple Jizoin Temple (地蔵院) -- Jizoin Temple (地蔵院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Random Road-side Temple
Jizoin Temple (地蔵院)
Abandoned House -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 38mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Abandoned House
“ Fixer-Up Special ” -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Fixer-Up Special
Roadside Blossoms -- Kyoto, 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
Roadside Blossoms
Ugly Setting that the pretty blossoms bring life to -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ugly Setting
that the pretty blossoms bring life to
More Road-side Blossoms taken at 28 kph (17 mph) -- Kyoto, 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
More Road-side Blossoms
taken at 28 kph (17 mph)
Private House? -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Private House?
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Track Road and blossoms of some sort -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 52mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Track Road
and blossoms of some sort

Some of these last few pictures serve to illustrate the haphazard nature of, well, nature, with various blossoming tress here and there often randomly. It's a lovely aspect of the season.

But this part of my trip was to see a specific tree...

At the “ Kuroda Century Cherry ” 黒田の百年桜 -- Century Cherry (黒田の百年桜) -- Kyoto, 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
At the Kuroda Century Cherry
黒田の百年桜

I had remembered that some time ago I had seen some 100-year Cherry tree during a drive up north, so looked it up on my blog. Found it here. Turns out that it was 10 years ago, and that I had since cycled by it many times without realizing it.

The guy who took the photo for me said that the tree was 300 years old, according to a sign board that I couldn't read because it was too faded. This Kyoto City web site says that the name was given in 1967 when it was assumed that the tree was about 100 years old, making it now 150 years old.

Century Cherry (黒田の百年桜) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Century Cherry (黒田の百年桜) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Century Cherry (黒田の百年桜) -- Kyoto, 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
Nearby Temple with a mix of new and fading blossoms -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 58mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Nearby Temple
with a mix of new and fading blossoms
Cute -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cute
At the Joshokouji Temple 常照皇寺 -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
At the Joshokouji Temple
常照皇寺
Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bell Tower -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bell Tower
Just Wow -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Just Wow
Original -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Original
Uninspired -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/100 sec, f/9, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Uninspired
Old -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Old
Oh Come On did you just give up? -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Oh Come On
did you just give up?

Overall it was a great ride with a lot of nice blossoms, and a bunch of lovely descents for me to enjoy myself on.


One comment so far...

It was nice of you to offer your Kongorikishi Friend use of your ride, but I’m pretty sure he needs a girls bike.

— comment by Marcina on April 25th, 2017 at 3:35am JST (3 months ago) comment permalink
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