Archive for the 'Japan' Category

Posts relating to Japan and things Japanese

Winning the Kyoto Marathon 2017 (Papa Division)

Today was the 2017 Kyoto Marathon. As in some years past (2012, 2014, 2015) I went out for a few photos of the 16,000 runners.

This little scene unfolded before me at a corner 500m (⅓ mile) before the finish...

According to his bib-number stats, this guy (木村剛 / Goh Kimura) finished in 3:55:21, which includes the unusually-long 9:44 it took him to get to the starting line (and, of course, includes the time needed for the event above).

I was able to find in the shots I took earlier, as well... can you find him in this shot from [...]


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Enjoying Delicious Nankotsu at Torikizoku

I've recently been taking a fancy to yakitori (grilled skewered chicken), and especially the crunchy nankotsu variety.

"Torikizoku" is a chain of yakitori restaurants whose thing is that everything on the menu is 280 yen (plus tax, making each item currently about US$2.60), so the menu is just a list of items.

Any drink is "one item", and this includes a normal serving of Suntory Premium Malts beer (seen on my blog in "A Visit to Suntory’s Kyoto Beer Brewery"), making the price comparable to the cost of a can in a convenience store, instead of the about-double price a [...]


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Snowy Cycleversary Mountain-Ride Challenge, Part 2

This post picks up from part one on my two-year-cycleversary ride though the snowy mountains north of Kyoto. I'd suffered a spell of frozen fingers, but was now mostly warm again and in good spirits.

The area is fantastically beautiful in the snow.

As I mentioned in Part One, riding through the semi-compact snow with thin (28mm) road-bike tires often felt like my tires had to work like ice breakers, shoving through a semi-frozen slushiness of evil-Goldilocks consistency (it's not strong enough to support the weight of the bike, nor weak enough to be easily shoved out of the way).

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Snowy Cycleversary Mountain-Ride Challenge, Part 1

I started cycling two years ago when I naïvely went on this ride, joining only because I had no clue about what was intended. We ended up doing 55km (34 miles), which was probably 10× what I had ever ridden before. I was invigorated to have done so easily what I would have imagined would be impossible, so I decided to set out on a "real" ride, a longer, hillier one done with intention.

So a week later, on Feb 7 2015, I did another ride -- what I now consider my first "real" bicycle ride -- a 91km (57mi) [...]


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Heian Shrine Setsubun Burn, 2017: Lackluster Photos of a Visually-Exciting Event

Today was the Setsubun festival at the Heian Shrine (and many shrines around Japan). I've written about the overall festival earlier, such as "Setsubun and Mamemaki: Driving out the Demons" nine years ago, and "Attack (and Repulsion) of the Evil Spirits" five years ago.

Today I went only to watch the final bonfire event. I explain it in some detail in "Intense Burn: Shinto Rite at the Heian Shrine" from nine years ago, and so like this post from five years ago, this time are just some photos.

I wandered over to the shrine about half an hour before the [...]


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