Archive for the 'Japan' Category

Posts relating to Japan and things Japanese

Kyoto’s 2018 Fall Foliage Season is Upon Us

The fall colors starting to descend upon Kyoto has woken me up, at least momentarily, from an almost-two-month blogging slumber. Friends Paul and Olesia are visiting, Paul for the 100th time, Olesia for the first, so we took her up to the Ohara area of Kyoto, in the north-eastern mountains, for the first taste of autumn colors.

Walking up from the parking area toward the temples, the path is lined with tasteful shops. Here's a little kiosk selling only autumn-color handkerchiefs:

On the way in, we stopped by a shop that gave taste samples of their various dressings and ponzu. [...]

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Surveying Supertyphoon Jebi’s Damage North of Kyoto, Part 2

Today's post is a continuation of "SUPER FUN!! Cycling in Supertyphoon Jebi" and its followup, "Surveying Supertyphoon Jebi’s Damage North of Kyoto, Part 1".

At the end of the previous post, we'd come across a fallen utility pole, as we had a few times earlier....

The photo above is looking back toward where we'd come from, and in it there's a farmer leaning against a truck in front of his house. He'd told me that the road was not passable even by foot, but I'd dismissed it as an exaggeration. I shouldn't have.

What follows are a bunch of photos [...]

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Surveying Supertyphoon Jebi’s Damage North of Kyoto, Part 1

In my previous post, "SUPER FUN!! Cycling in Supertyphoon Jebi (2018 Typhoon #21)", I wrote about cycling while the biggest typhoon in 25 years approached Kyoto. The next day, with fine summer weather, I set off with Joshua Levine and John Chen to see how some of the mountain roads had fared.

Our concern was well founded, as seen in the incredible devastation by a typhoon a year ago ("2017’s Typhoon #21, Lan, was Quite the Doozy").

We headed out toward Kyomi Pass, on the same road that I'd been on the previous day as the typhoon approached....

This is [...]

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SUPER FUN!! Cycling in Supertyphoon Jebi (2018 Typhoon #21)

Having grown up in Ohio with its summer thunderstorms, I like "dynamic" weather. I enjoy riding my bike in the rain, even if the rain is hard and the wind is blustery, so long as it's warm. If I know it's going to rain, I know I'll get wet and so I'll prepare accordingly, and I'll embrace the rain instead of try to avoid it.

This lack of fear of getting wet is apparently sufficiently rare that it makes me appear to be "crazy" in the eyes of many. Whatever. I enjoy it.

A "supertyphoon" was forecast to pass near [...]

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Discovering and Cycling Japan’s Biggest Climb

I recently did a bicycle ride that I'd been planning for months: to do Japan's biggest road climb, a single climb going from sea level to Japan's highest paved road at Mt. Norikura, at an elevation of 2,717m (8,914'). As far as I know, it's the biggest possible elevation gain in a single paved-road climb in Japan, and as far as I know, it's never been done, or even known of, until now.

I've ridden that "highest paved road in Japan" road before, as blogged about here, but this time I would start 110km (68mi) away at the ocean (elevation: [...]

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