Archive for the 'Japan' Category

Posts relating to Japan and things Japanese

Some Gritty Drizzly-Dusk Shots in Kyoto

I went out for a walk with my camera around Gion in yesterday's drizzly dusk, and snapped a few photos. The combination of the hour and the weather makes them a bit "gritty".

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Visiting That Temple I Saw From The Bullet Train Last Week

In my previous post about a visit to Tokyo last weekend, I mentioned that on the bullet-train ride there I'd passed by a mountain with a temple nestled at the top, and thought it might be nice to investigate the presumably steep road up there. It turns out that it was.

The mountain in question is one of a pair of monadnocks in an area that's otherwise flat as a pancake. Here's the view from Google Earth (with elevation exaggerated for effect):

The taller of the two rises about 350m (1,165') above the surrounding plain, which isn't all that tall, [...]

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Meeting Ram and Krish Kulkarni in Tokyo

I made a weekend trip to Tokyo to visit two old friends also visiting Tokyo, brothers Ram and Krish Kulkarni. ("Ram", short for "Ramchandera", rhymes with "prom")

Ram has been my best friend for 30 years, since grad school at the University of New Hampshire. When I then moved to Japan, his twin brother Krish, who was at the time a graduate student at the University of Tokyo, picked me up at the airport.

When I got married almost 20 years ago, Ram was living near Mt. Fuji and came down to Kyoto to be my best man. Fumie and [...]

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My Most Brutal Ride: Round Trip to Mt. Rokko

On Wednesday I did what must have been the roughest ride of my short cycling life, a ride that left me absolutely exhausted to the bone before I was even a third done with it. In the end I rode the entire big loop I'd planned, 175km (110mi) to Kobe City's Mt. Rokko and back, but it took 12 hours and a lot more willpower than I thought I had.

It was almost a spur of the moment, and I didn't think it'd be all that difficult for me, and I left the house in good spirits.

The first climb [...]

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First Bigish Group Ride in a Long While

I joined a big group ride for the first time in a long while last week, Andy's "LSD" (long slow distance) ride. I was happy to finally meet Kevin from Kobe and Geoffrey from Otsu, whom I'd conversed with online but had never met in person.

For me the ride (view at Strava) was 116km (72mi) at mostly an easy pace, though the times I tried to keep up with the others quickly took their toll on me. I've been doing long rides lately, but not much fast and not much climbing, so I'm out of shape.

As much riding [...]

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