Archive for the 'Japan' Category

Posts relating to Japan and things Japanese

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

ナイジェルさんは誕生日に際して花背峠まで登った、ママチャリで。

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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Century of Wazuka Climbs, Part 1

I had a nice ride through the mountains of Uji and Wazuka (Japan, near Kyoto/Nara) the other day. Both Uji (宇治) and Wazuka (和 束) have been famous for their tea for centuries, and have tea fields tucked away in the most seemingly-unlikely nooks and crannies of their mountains.

Here's the ride at Strava:

I had a number of specific goals when embarking on this ride:

Goal: ride at least a "century" of distance (100 miles, 161km). Actual: 167km / 105 miles. ✔

Goal: vertical climb of at least 3,000m (9,850'). Actual: 3,506m / 11,503' ✔

Goal: get a PR [...]


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Wild Cherry Blossoms and Fun Fast Descents

Cherry-blossom season in Kyoto is always hectic for someone like me who likes photography, made all the more busy because I now like to cycle and these are some of the first warm days of the season. I've been out with the camera and the bike a lot lately, but sort of punted on blogging about it because schedule already left me overwhelmed.

So, I'm getting back into the swing of things with a writeup on my most recent ride.

First I popped over the mountains from Kyoto to Lake Biwa...

I got 4th overall on this straight, steep climb; [...]


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