Archive for the 'Japan' Category

Posts relating to Japan and things Japanese

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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Fall-Foliage Wigglegram from Kyoto’s Flower Temple

My, how time flies. I took this wigglegram in 2014, which surprises me because it doesn't feel like I've been doing them nearly that long. Last year I posted another wigglegram from the same outing, in "A Couple of Autumn Wigglegrams for My Niece Jena".

I had briefly touched on the outing in "A Quick Peek at Kyoto’s Hanadera Temple", which itself has a wigglegram, so I guess I was in the mood that day.

This temple is wonderful to visit, but it's difficult to get to by public transport. I'm more likely to bicycle by, as it's near the [...]

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Lovely Century Ride Into Hyogo

I went out the other day for a ride with Salvo, that turned out to be a nice Century (100+ mile) ride. Here is the ride at Strava:

There was nothing particularly "epic" or any special goal of the ride. It was just an all-around pleasant day. Salvo had ridden the route in strong wind the previous week, and thought it'd be nice to do again.

We took a road that I had passed by many times. I had heard that it was gravel, yet ridable, so I'd been wanting to try, and today was that day.

I was surprised [...]

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Nigel’s Birthday Craziness: Ascending Hanase Pass on a Mamachari


Nigel Randell usually does something sort of crazy on his birthday, such as this ride two years ago that I joined in on for a short portion.

This year, Nigel rode his heavy rusty mamachari (built-like-a-tank city bike) up to Hanase Pass, the 600+ meters of climb (2,000') being a challenge on the best road bike.

Neil, whom we've seen on my blog here and here, among others, is an extremely strong rider, but today on the occasion of Nigel's mamachari ride, was creating a challenge for himself by riding an old used bike with the seat dropped all [...]

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