Archive for the 'Japan' Category

Posts relating to Japan and things Japanese

Cycling Through Bamboo Groves and Up Steep Mountain Slopes

I had a long and interesting bicycle ride down to Osaka last weekend that I've been wanting to write about, and I thought I might finally get around to it yesterday, but I went on a ride instead. Today, I'll just share some pictures from yesterday's shorter (76km/48mi) ride (view at Strava).

First I visited a bump of a hill covered in bamboo and bamboo farming, with quaint roads running here and there through it.

I didn't know what to expect when I got to the bamboo-grove hill ("mountain" is too much for this), but the road I happen to [...]


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Reflections on my 2016 Cycling Year

So 2016 is over, making it my first full year of cycling, having been bitten by the cycling bug in the spring of 2015. Like last year's summary of my 2015 cycling, this post looks back on my 2016 cycling with my geeky-data eyes.

I titled the post with the word "Reflections" so that I can sprinkle these kinds of photos throughout:

So, in 2016 my cycling year was eight months long, and during those eight months, I rode to some extent or another on 102 days, totaling 8,459km (5,256mi). On average that's about 83km (52mi) each time, twice a [...]


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Jolly Hat

After long rides on Wednesday and Thursday, and a very hard workout at the gym on Friday, my legs have been extremely sore, so today I went on an easy "recovery ride" in the city, just to get my muscles moving a bit.

It was nice... I go the "KOM" (best registered time) on the highly-sought-after "Jolly Hat" segment.

Doing an image search for "Strava art" yields many impressive results. Some are sort of "fake", like this famous "cyclist" drawing and this famous "bear" drawing, but many are real and amazing. (I put "fake" in quotes because they are indeed [...]


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Meeting my Match on a Long Iga-Nara-Osaka Cycling Adventure

I had quite the little cycling adventure yesterday, venturing into some areas I'd never been, and facing the most heinously-steep road I'd ever seen. The total distance was 191km (118mi), making it my 7th-longest ride ever. This blog post, mostly as a diary for myself, is almost as long.

The distance was no problem, but as it seems with many of my longer rides, lack of time management does me in and I have to kill myself to get back in time for something (in this case Saturday-evening Mass).

The outline of this ride was simple... head down to Iga [...]


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A Deeply-Red “Wisdom King” at the Ushio Kannon Temple

I made another visit to the hard-to-reach Ushio Kannon Temple, which I wrote about a couple of months ago, but this time I went by car and took my nice camera. The beautiful, rich matte red of this dimly-lit statue caught my eye...

I don't know anything about Buddhism, but this statue is apparently of a Wisdom King named "Ragaraja", a "dharmapala deity" that is "known to transform worldly lust into spiritual awakening", according to Wikipedia.

Visually it's quite interesting, and was one of many in a small, dimly-lit hall.

To be continued...


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