Revisiting That Mountain Roller Slide From Years Ago
Watch Out for Kids! -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/680 sec, f/1.8, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
Watch Out for Kids!

Sorry for not posting anything recently. I've felt remarkably unmotivated in all things lately, but found some inspiration in an email from someone asking about this mountain roller slide that I'd posted about some years ago. Now that I'm into cycling (though currently generally unmotivated about it), I thought I'd ride to the location to see whether it's still there.

Here's the ride:

Along the way I came across a lovely lotus field in the middle of the suburbs.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/950 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Best I Could Do with the iPhone camera -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 6.6mm f/2.8 at an effective 57mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Best I Could Do
with the iPhone camera
Lovely Road -- Nagaokakyo, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/190 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely Road
Side Road Explored on a Whim steep but pretty -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 6.6mm f/2.8 at an effective 57mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
Side Road Explored on a Whim
steep but pretty
Becomes Less Lovely the explored-on-a-whim road becomes extremely steep and broken -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/120 sec, f/1.8, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Becomes Less Lovely
the explored-on-a-whim road becomes extremely steep and broken

Next was to explore a short but steep (and nicely-paved) climb I'd seen here. It starts under a new expressway bridge...

Looking Back to the start of the short service road where it meets the main road -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/1500 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back
to the start of the short service road where it meets the main road
Goes Way Above the Expressway -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/2500 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Goes Way Above the Expressway
Ends In a Bamboo Grove my iPhone seems to often be focus-challenged, and I can't tell at the time on the small screen )-: -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Ends In a Bamboo Grove
my iPhone seems to often be focus-challenged, and I can't tell
at the time on the small screen )-:

Next was the main climb of the day, the full Yoshimine-dera Temple climb, ostensibly 3.6km (2.3 mi) at 10.2%, but the first kilometer is relatively mild, then it ramps up quickly.

Halfway through is a section of 450m at 17% that ends at the parking-lot entrance to the temple, but the actual road continues to wind up almost two dozen switchbacks:

Start of the Second Half near the Yoshiminedera Temple (善峯寺) -- Yoshiminedera Temple (善峯寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.8, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Start of the Second Half
near the Yoshiminedera Temple (善峯寺)

I made a PR on the first half by a wide margin, but had to stop before plodding on to slowly finish the climb.

The temple itself, which I didn't visit on this trip, is quite nice, especially in the fall. It's been on my blog many times over the years, such as in The Whole Gamut of My Blog In One Spectacular Visit to the Yoshiminedera Temple

Anyway, I eventually made my way the remaining 12km to the location of the slide, which is in a small entertainment complex that includes the ability to pick your own mushrooms that you can have cooked there, or bring home. I opted to just stop in the cafe for curry:

Lunch -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
Lunch

The section with the slide is an area called 山びこの森...

Entrance to the Playground Area Yamabiko no Mori (山びこの森) -- Yamabiko no Mori (山びこの森) -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/1100 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance to the Playground Area
Yamabiko no Mori (山びこの森)

Cost is 210 yen (~$2) per person, though elementary-school aged and below are free. The photo above is taken pretty much at the little kiosk where you pay. A ticket is good for all day, in and out as you like.

Open every day but Tuesday.

Enter This Way -- Yamabiko no Mori (山びこの森) -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/3400 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Enter This Way

Frankly, without a bazillion kids enjoying the area, it's sort of pathetic. There are a couple of teeter-totters, the slide, and the Tarzan rope mentioned here, and that's about it.

To ride the slide, first grab one of the pads lying around or in the shed near the bottom....

Yamabiko no Mori (山びこの森) -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/950 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos

Climb the path to the top of the slide. It affords nice views of the slide as you go...

Yamabiko no Mori (山びこの森) -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/120 sec, f/1.8, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Top of the Slide -- Yamabiko no Mori (山びこの森) -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
Top of the Slide
Heading Down -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
map & image datanearby photos
Heading Down

It takes some balance on the pad to get up any speed. Going slowly, it took me 30 seconds to get to the bottom, but with some seating adjustments it could go much more quickly, I think.

“ Tarzan Rope ” -- Yamabiko no Mori (山びこの森) -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/500 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Tarzan Rope

I'm not sure how much effort it's worth to try to visit this place, but it can be reached via bus from JR Takatsuki Station, though there are less than a dozen buses a day:

Minimal Schedule -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 6.6mm f/2.8 at an effective 57mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Minimal Schedule

The left three columns show the schedule from the train station to the area, for (left to right) weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays/holidays. The row number shows the hour of the day; a number within a box indicates the minute (in that hour) when the bus leaves, and in parenthesis, the bus's destination. For example, on weekdays, a bus leaves the train station at 1:15pm, headed toward 杉生. The bus before that is at 11:37, and the one after is 3:55.

There's a bus stop right at the complex, called 森林センター前. It takes about 40 minutes in the bus.

The right-side three columns show the return buses to the train station. The last one on a weekday is 7:38pm

After leaving, I went to explore some new roads, and found some lovely ones, as well as one that had seen better days...

Horrible-Quality Road -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/40 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
Horrible-Quality Road

The first new road I tried, a long and lovely climb followed by a descent with many questionable sections of road, as seen above, joined civilization at a spot I'd ridden by in the past:

Weird Place seen on my blog two years ago here -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/850 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Weird Place
seen on my blog two years ago here

The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful. I was disappointed to find that a 10km section during the return trip, which had looked like a lovely descent on a big sweeping road, turned out to be quite unlovely because it cut through miles and miles of strip mining, and so the road surface had become horribly pitted from the thousands of dump trucks over the years, so it was decidedly unfun. To make it worse, there was a strong headwind filled with sand and gravel from the mining operations, so it was an uncomfortable struggle even going downhill.

This satellite view gives some sense of it. It's not a road I'll be trying again any time soon.

Kameoka, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/750 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Kameoka, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 6.6mm f/2.8 at an effective 57mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos

Closer to home, there's a lot of construction of some sort along the river... there were dozens of dump trucks visible at once. Here's where they were rejoining the road...

Lots of Dump Trucks -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/2000 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Dump Trucks
Well-Earned Treat Coffee and Crepes at Cafe Morning Glory -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Well-Earned Treat
Coffee and Crepes at Cafe Morning Glory
Kids Cooling Off in the River a few minutes from home -- Nijo Bridge -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 6.6mm f/2.8 at an effective 57mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Kids Cooling Off in the River
a few minutes from home

One comment so far...

Great post! Thanks for giving us a tiny, web-based vacation to Japan 🙂

— comment by Spencer on August 6th, 2017 at 2:02am JST (2 weeks, 1 day ago) comment permalink
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