Archive for the 'Japan' Category

Posts relating to Japan and things Japanese

Kyoto’s “Happy Bicycle” Craft Shop

The other day in "March’s Higashiyama Hanatoro Lightup", I mentioned a business called "Happy Bicycle" (web site / Facebook) near the Yasaka pagoda.

The shop is run by a guy from Chile who chats amiably with customers as he crafts a wire into the shape of a bicycle. Other than the pedals, he uses just one piece of wire for the whole bike.

He's got all the different styles... mamachari city bikes, kids' bikes, mountain bikes, race bikes... I even noticed a pennyfarthing.

I had a nice chat with the proprietor, but unfortunately didn't take all that many pictures during [...]

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March’s Higashiyama Hanatoro Lightup, 2017 Edition

Sorry for the recent dearth of new content... I've been feeling remarkably unmotivated. At least I'm finally getting around to writing this post, which I've been wanting to do for the last three months.

Every year in March, just before cherry-blossom season, the Higashiyama area of Kyoto has a light-up event. I first blogged about it nine years ago, and again three years ago. This year I took a lazy stroll with some friends and a tripod, snapping some photos along the way.

It was dark so I was taking these with a tripod, and the light would change considerably [...]

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Pulling Out Your Own Hair, and Other Joys Of Cell-Phone Contracts

What an ordeal. I spent almost eight hours at a SoftBank mobile-phone store today, trying to get some new phones set up. I have the phones in hand, but I'm still only halfway there.

The two-year contract for my and my son's iPhones is up for renewal this month. We've been with provider Docomo, and if we stick with them for a two-year renewal, our thanks is a 60% price increase(!) So, I'm moving to SoftBank, where for the same price we would have had for our two old phones, we get upgraded to the latest iPhones, and also add [...]

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Volunteering at the Tour of Japan Pro Cycling Race

The second stage of the eight-stage Tour of Japan was held yesterday in southern Kyoto Prefecture, a ways south of Kyoto City. I was a volunteer to help in crowd management, as part of an effort to supplement the various civic and government groups with cycling-specific knowledge (e.g. to be able to foresee what lines the cyclists would take, to predict where spectators would be especially dangerous, etc.)

I wasn't there to spectate or take photos, but I could do both when I wasn't otherwise occupied. It's my second cycling race to see live, the first having been amateur races [...]

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Century of Wazuka Climbs, Part 2

This post picks up on last month's "Century of Wazuka Climbs, Part 1", about what was for me an epic day of beauty and climbing, and some trials and tribulations. "Part 1" ended with a delicious lunch, so this part picks up from just after.

So, after lunch, I made my way south to the deeper, even-less populated mountains of the Wazuka region of southern Kyoto Prefecture.

I thought that I had posted these guys before, but it seems that I didn't. It's the same intersection as this photo from "Tea Tour with Manseki and Gorm" last year.

This mild [...]

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