Exploring the Steep Nooks and Crannies Near the Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery
Toddlers Waving to a Train in front of the Suntory Yamazaki Whiskey Distillery -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Toddlers Waving to a Train
in front of the Suntory Yamazaki Whiskey Distillery

Instead of writing up the full blog post about my visit the other day to Suntory's Yamazaki Distillery, I instead did a short bicycle ride to the area, to investigate all the short-but-steep roads nestled in where the city meets the mountain.

On the way, I went through the belly of the sprawling Yamazaki Junction, mentioned in a comment on the blog post where I featured photos of the rat's-nest Kumiyama Junction....

Approaching the Yamazaki Junction 山崎JCT -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching the Yamazaki Junction
山崎JCT

It's much more complex than the one I wrote about before, but much less photogenic...

Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

It's more complex in that it includes an entrance and an exit that can be reached by either of the two expressways that cross. Looking at the area on the map is dizzying. But it's spread over a fairly wide area, and unlike the other junction I wrote about, a bicycle can't get to much of it. So from any one spot, you can see a few trees, but have no sense for the magnitude of the forest.

Oh, and one other things this junction has is a bus stop on the expressway. Passengers reach it from the normal surface roads:

Expressway Bus-Stop Entrance 高速バス停の入り口 -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Expressway Bus-Stop Entrance
高速バス停の入り口

Anyway, I continued over toward the small (but steep) mountain that Yamazaki nestles up against....

Heading Toward Yamazaki -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Toward Yamazaki

Once I reached the mountain, I skirted it and took every road that turned in toward the mountain. Many didn't go far, but some brought enjoyable surprises, such as a big temple...

Small Shrine on the steep road to a temple (Yamazaki Shouten / 山崎聖天) -- Yamazaki Shouten (山崎聖天) -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Shrine
on the steep road to a temple (Yamazaki Shouten / 山崎聖天)
Discussing the View -- Yamazaki Shouten (山崎聖天) -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Discussing the View
The Temple -- Yamazaki Shouten (山崎聖天) -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Temple
Yamazaki Shouten (山崎聖天) -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Yamazaki Shouten (山崎聖天) -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Back Down -- Yamazaki Shouten (山崎聖天) -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Back Down

I made a Strava segment for the 370m @ 11% climb, but it seems few folks have done it.

Uninviting no car, no scooter, no bike, no pets, no backpacks, no fun -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 49mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.7, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Uninviting
no car, no scooter, no bike, no pets, no backpacks, no fun

Near Suntory's distillery is something called the Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art. Asahi is a competitor of Suntory, and I assume that they put this thing nearby on purpose, and if so, it seems a bit slimy to me. The road up to the entrance is very steep, and past that it's even steeper as a service road to the rear of the site. It's just as well I wanted to do that steep service road, because as the signs at the entrance indicate multiple times, bicycles (and much else) aren't welcome.

Then it was time for the main climb I knew to be in the area, the short but steep climb to the Hoshakuji Temple (宝積寺) It averages 15.6% for its 350-meter length....

Start of the Climb just beyond the tracks -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Start of the Climb
just beyond the tracks
天王山 の登り口 宝積寺への登り口 -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 56mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
天王山の登り口
宝積寺への登り口

I tried to put in an effort, but it didn't feel like I was getting much out of it. My legs are weak from not having done this kind of powerful effort all winter. Normally it's my lungs that limit me, but this time it was my legs... at least until a trash truck didn't feel like sharing the road, and I had to stop to let him by. Really burst my bubble.

I didn't like that I was interfered with, so I turned around and did it again.

On the way down in between, I snapped a photo showing how high one gets in such a short distance:

View From (just below the) Hoshakuji Temple -- Hoshakuji Temple (宝積寺) -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 34mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View From
(just below the)
Hoshakuji Temple

Anyway, I got to the bottom, turned around, and did it again, sans trash truck.

Holy cow, the second time was so much worse than the first. My willpower just collapsed and I ended up barely inching forward toward the middle, or so it felt. But by the time I got near the top, the last few meters had me — and this was a first for me — almost throwing up. I guess the problem is that I attempted an effort that I could have done at the start of the winter, but not now at the end.

It had taken just two minutes, but I was wiped out to the core.

Collapsed on the Steps with just enough energy for a selfie -- Hoshakuji Temple (宝積寺) -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Collapsed on the Steps
with just enough energy for a selfie

Once I got moving again, I was drained, so I took everything for the rest of the ride really easily.

I started poking around the mountain again.

Blast from the Past this scene brought back 25-year-old memories -- Yamazaki, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 26mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Blast from the Past
this scene brought back 25-year-old memories

In the center of the photo above, there's a narrow path going down; a woman and a toddler are walking up it. The path is so particular that I immediately recalled it from my commute by motorcycle, done most days between 1990 and 1995.

I also came across a preschool that I recall having gone past all the time, but this time I noticed a small street beside it pitching up the mountain, so I took it. It eventually entered the woods and got even steeper...

Ridiculous ridiculously steep, and ridiculous road surface that looks like a toddler's crayon drawing -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ridiculous
ridiculously steep, and
ridiculous road surface that looks like a toddler's crayon drawing
View from the Top -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the Top

I made a segment for this climb as well, 450m @ 13%, but I'm the only one to have done it so far.

Heading Down to Suntory this road arrives at the back of the distillery -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Down to Suntory
this road arrives at the back of the distillery
Back of the Distillery with a public road then cutting through the center toward the front -- Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back of the Distillery
with a public road then cutting through the center toward the front
Front Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Front
Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery

The smells from the distillery are heavenly, another thing I remember from the few seconds that I passed in front of the place on my daily commute 25 years ago. In particular, the steam emanating from this truck had a lovely rich smell that I just sat and took in for a bit...

Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.7, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos

The back road down to the distillery seemed to make a nice climb, so I retraced my steps and did it, then made it into a Strava segment. Overall it's a mild 500m @ 8%, but the first third is relatively flat, then the next third is about 12%.

My effort was 3rd-overall best.... out of four total. 🙂

Continuing around the mountain, I saw a side path go into a tunnel, so I took it...

Looking Back having just come through the tunnel -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back
having just come through the tunnel

It goes steeply up the mountain along the edge of a cemetery.

View from the Top -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the Top

While poking around later, I came across the this monstrosity of a building:

Ugly Urban Eyesore seems related to the expressway tunnels that exit the mountain next to it -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ugly Urban Eyesore
seems related to the expressway tunnels that exit the mountain next to it

The trip down from there seemed to make a natural climb, so as before, I turned around and did the climb back up, making yet another segment. This one is 750m (½ mile) at an overall average of 8%, but it keep getting steeper and steeper. The final bit behind the ugly building is on the order of 17%.

Finally it was time to head home.

Tunnel Under the Tracks -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Tunnel Under the Tracks
Low Ceiling -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Low Ceiling
I Wonder How Old This Is -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
I Wonder How Old This Is
Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

On the way back, I stopped by Morning Glory for coffee and a sandwich...

Lunch Cafe Morning Glory -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.1, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Lunch
Cafe Morning Glory

Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery Tour (2017) Preview
Lots of Whiskey Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/15 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Whiskey
Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery

I made my first visit in a long while to the Suntory Whisky Distillery down in Yamazaki today. I wrote about it five years ago in Japan’s First Whisky: Suntory’s Yamazaki Distillery.

The grounds also includes a whisky museum, which I wrote about at about the same time in Suntory Yamazaki Distillery Photogenic Whisky Museum.

Display at the Whisky Museum -- Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery -- Yamazaki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/5, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Display at the Whisky Museum

To be continued...


Plum Blossoms and Some Mountain Climbs
About That Time of Year Again plum blossoms at the Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
About That Time of Year Again
plum blossoms at the Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan

Some photos from this ride that I did yesterday...

On the way out of the city, I swung by the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine to see their famous plum blossoms...

Little-Used Side Entrance -- Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Little-Used Side Entrance
Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 31mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
I don't wash my bike during the winter, it seems, and it shows -- Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
I don't wash my bike during the winter, it seems,
and it shows
Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Staff looks like they're waiting around for someone -- Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Staff
looks like they're waiting around for someone
Main Entrance -- Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Main Entrance

The Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is known for its plum blossoms (seen many times on my blog, such as here, here, and here), but is also richly photogenic in its own right.

I then headed over to Arashiyama and mountains west...

Feels Like a Tobidashi-kun but it's inviting you to come in and eat mochi -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Feels Like a Tobidashi-kun
but it's inviting you to come in and eat mochi
Entrance to the Mountains at a spot were cyclists often stop for photos (as I do, as attested by the “ nearby photos ” link under the picture) -- Restaurant Hiranoya (平野屋) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance to the Mountains
at a spot were cyclists often stop for photos
(as I do, as attested by the nearby photos link under the picture)
Road Closed Due to Landslide thankfully, I hadn't planned to go that way -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Road Closed Due to Landslide
thankfully, I hadn't planned to go that way
Tobidashi-kun ( a concept explained here ) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Tobidashi-kun
( a concept explained here )

After taking the photo above, I realized that I'd never taken the road leading off to the left, so did.

Farmstead Storage Building -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 27mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Farmstead Storage Building
Field Access the headwind I'd had all day was particularly strong here -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Field Access
the headwind I'd had all day was particularly strong here
Old Sign about some construction that ended four years ago -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Old Sign
about some construction that ended four years ago
Hiyoshi Dam 日吉ダム -- Hiyoshi Dam (日吉ダム) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hiyoshi Dam
日吉ダム
Dam-Top Road -- Hiyoshi Dam (日吉ダム) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Dam-Top Road
“ Hiyoshi Velodrom ” four laps is about a kilometer (I intended to do this after lunch, but by then I'd forgotten) -- Hiyoshi Dam (日吉ダム) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 58mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hiyoshi Velodrom
four laps is about a kilometer
(I intended to do this after lunch, but by then I'd forgotten)
Lunch -- Hiyoshi Dam (日吉ダム) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lunch
Random Shrine Along the Way (the trees look to be cherry, so they'll be blooming in six weeks) Taji Shrine (多治神社) -- Taji Shrine (多治神社) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 38mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Random Shrine Along the Way
(the trees look to be cherry, so they'll be blooming in six weeks)
Taji Shrine (多治神社)
Typical Countryside -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Typical Countryside
Oops, There's Still Snow Here Hara Pass (原峠) It was fine until I got to the pass, then snowy like this on and off down the northern descent -- Hara Pass (原峠) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/9, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Oops, There's Still Snow Here
Hara Pass (原峠)
It was fine until I got to the pass, then snowy like this on and off down the northern descent
Super-Messy Road -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Super-Messy Road
Bleak -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bleak

A far cry from the first time I took in this view. But at least today there's a white-tailed deer, though it's almost impossible to find if you don't know exactly where to look... even harder than this find-the-deer shot from two weeks ago.

Even Messier than Before if that's even possible -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Even Messier than Before
if that's even possible
Home-Made Tobidashi-kun -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Home-Made Tobidashi-kun
Ceder Harvest -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ceder Harvest
Coffee, Cheesecake, and a Laugh the same smile as on my first visit six years ago Yama no Ie Hasegawa (山の家はせがわ) -- Yama no Ie Hasegawa (山の家はせがわ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Coffee, Cheesecake, and a Laugh
the same smile as on my first visit six years ago
Yama no Ie Hasegawa (山の家はせがわ)
Yama no Ie Hasegawa (山の家はせがわ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Yama no Ie Hasegawa (山の家はせがわ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Unexpected Pond at Kyomi Pass (京見峠) It's apparently been there the whole time, but I never noticed -- Kyomi Pass (京見峠) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Unexpected Pond
at Kyomi Pass (京見峠)
It's apparently been there the whole time, but I never noticed

I ended up doing 1,850m (6,000') of vertical climb, which isn't all that much by my own standards — it ranks 43rd on my most-climb list — but it's the most in over two months, since this ride in December. So that's nice.


Kyoto Marathon 2017

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 240mm — 1/1000 sec, f/6, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Running Along the Kamo River
Kyoto Marathon 2017

Here are some more photos of last week's Kyoto Marathon, which I posed about earlier in Winning the Kyoto Marathon 2017 (Papa Division)


Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 240mm — 1/1000 sec, f/6, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
With a Smile

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Heavier Crowds

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Silly Hat
Lady with the Rilakkuma hat laughing with
gray-haired ponytail man holding a Rilakkuma sign

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 340mm — 1/1600 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Elena
acquaintance from my gym that I knew would be running

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Running with a Smile

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 50mm — 1/1250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Just 10km To Go

After Elena passed, I went to another location to try to catch her again, where there's a turnaround so I could get a view of the runners coming directly at me.


Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching a Turnaround

Unfortunately, Police wouldn't let anyone linger at the one good viewing spot, despite it being the one spot anywhere nearby where a gathered crowd wouldn't inconvenience others. It made no sense, but it's just as well because it turns out that Elena had passed before I got there.

So, I moved to a spot a few minutes before the finish.


Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 380mm — 1/1600 sec, f/7.1, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Easy to Find in a Crowd

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 460mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Papa's Reward
from the aforementioned earlier blog post

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Auspicious Hat
see this post for why a sea-bream hat would be auspicious

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 340mm — 1/1600 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Staff Pace Runner
running at a four-hour finish pace

Despite having looked for the pace runners when I was at my initial location earlier in the day, I hadn't seen any until now. The two little balloons and the vest weren't as visually conspicuous as I remember from years past. She was right on pace, though... the folks around her with bib numbers all finished within 20 seconds of the 4:00:00 mark.


Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 240mm — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
As Seen on TV

staff video crew follow this guy for a while


Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 170mm — 1/800 sec, f/6.3, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Reaching Cruising Altitude
this guy was in a good mood and having a grand time

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 290mm — 1/1250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Soft-Serve Ice-Cream Hat?
DMC: Doshisha Masochist Club

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Elena Arrives

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 140mm — 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Thumbs Up
as she notices me

Everywhere near the finish line is off limits to non-runners, so I wandered over as close as I could get...


Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 50mm — 1/800 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Finish Line
is back there somewhere, behind the big gate

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 210mm — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos

The big area in front of the gate was also off limits, for no apparent reason.

Right at the gate was a pathway for spectators, then on the other side of the gate was where runners emptied into after they finished.


Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 50mm — 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Finish Corral
from the pedestrian pathway under the big gate
(Good luck trying to find a friend or family member in this big mess)

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Supplies

Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 58mm — 1/320 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Finish Line
sort of... one supposes it's near the clock.
This was as close as I could get

This year's finish design seems egregiously unfriendly for the spectator or supporter. The design for the 2014 race was much better.


Insanity!? Shopping Trip to Costco by Bicycle
I Must Be Nuts shopping trip to Costco by bicycle -- Costco Yawata (コストコ八幡) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ + front camera — 1/30 sec, f/2.2, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
I Must Be Nuts
shopping trip to Costco by bicycle

On a recent bicycle ride I was surprised to find myself passing the nearest Costco to Kyoto, about 25km (15mi) away. I was a member years ago, and mentally, it was a long way away, taking 45 minutes to drive there through traffic, with $15 of tolls along the way. Unfun. My driving geographic knowledge often never connects to my cycling geographic knowledge, so I'm surprised in this way often.

Anyway, I made a ride to Costco yesterday, explicitly to sign up for a membership and do some shopping. Manseki was going to be heading in the general direction, so we met up and rode with each other for the first while.

Meeting Up with Manseki he's the black smudge on the ramp at left -- 塩小路橋 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Meeting Up with Manseki
he's the black smudge on the ramp at left
Heading South taken while riding at 27 kph (17 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading South
taken while riding at 27 kph (17 mph)
Photo Op with some of his cold-weather gear, before the warm weather comes -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 62mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op
with some of his cold-weather gear, before the warm weather comes
Other Direction -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 37mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Other Direction
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Manseki Kanemitsu
SC-02H at an effective 21mm — 1/2900 sec, f/1.7, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

Not long after these photo ops, we went our separate ways, and I continued on for 15 more minutes to Costco.

As you can see in the shot above, I was wearing full cycling kit, which look really strange to those not accustomed to it, so to advertise that I was a cyclist (and hence explain the strange clothes), I kept my helmet on inside.

Inside looks like every other Costco on the planet.

Generic Costco -- Costco Yawata (コストコ八幡) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/30 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Generic Costco
Same Evil Products -- Costco Yawata (コストコ八幡) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/15 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Same Evil Products
Testing my Will Power -- Costco Yawata (コストコ八幡) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
map & image datanearby photos
Testing my Will Power
Wall of “ Happy Turn ” I never really paid attention to the name beyond “ Happy ” , but it turns out to mean “ turn back to happy times ” -- Costco Yawata (コストコ八幡) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ + front camera — 1/30 sec, f/2.2, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
Wall of Happy Turn
I never really paid attention to the name beyond Happy, but
it turns out to mean turn back to happy times
I'd Get a Couple of These but I don't quite have enough space in my backpack -- Costco Yawata (コストコ八幡) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/15 sec, f/2.2, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
I'd Get a Couple of These
but I don't quite have enough space in my backpack

Costco is both a blessing and a curse. If you need a 78-roll pack of toilet paper, it's great. If you don't need 78 rolls right this moment, it can be a curse because the low price in dollars (or yen) can blind you to the price in storage and logistics.

Shopping at Costco by bicycle means that I'm limited to what I can consume on site or carry home. I have to really think about each item. So no gazebo or fire pit for me today.

Some things can be consumed on site...

Standard Costco Cafe Hot dog and unlimited soad: $1.60 -- Costco Yawata (コストコ八幡) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Standard Costco Cafe
Hot dog and unlimited soad: $1.60
I Know I'm Going To Regret This (it actually wasn't so bad... a few burps on the ride home, and that was it) -- Costco Yawata (コストコ八幡) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/60 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
I Know I'm Going To Regret This
(it actually wasn't so bad... a few burps on the ride home, and that was it)
My Purchases -- Costco Yawata (コストコ八幡) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/430 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
My Purchases

The main thing I wanted was the nuts, which I think is a better evening snack than more-junky things like popcorn and potato chips. (Omitting them altogether would be better still, but I'm mortal.)

I was surprised that I could fit ten of the big tubs of nuts into my backpack. 10! Each is 2,198 yen. I could get them delivered via Amazon Prime for 2,732 yen, meaning I'd save 534 yen each, or 5,340 yen ($47) just on this trip alone. That's more than enough to pay for the 4,400-yen yearly membership fee. Plus, I get a cycling ride out of it.

Unfortunately, I didn't quite save that much because I made a rookie Costco mistake: I didn't have quite enough cash. So I ended up having to leave one of the tubs of nuts at the register. Doh!

Ready To Return Home at 16.2kg (36lb), the backpack weights more than 2× the bike -- Costco Yawata (コストコ八幡) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready To Return Home
at 16.2kg (36lb), the backpack weights more than 2× the bike

Since I wasn't pressed for time, I wandered around a bit in the area...

Oddly-Named Horse A this nearby horse-riding school, the stalls are marked with the horse's name; the nearest one, according to the sign, is named “ Shoeing Station ” :-) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 72mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Oddly-Named Horse
A this nearby horse-riding school, the stalls are marked with the horse's name;
the nearest one, according to the sign, is named Shoeing Station 🙂
Unique Building -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Unique Building

This building (or whatever it is) is visible from the highway, and is near the Costco. For the last decade I'd wondered what it was, having vaguely assumed it was some sort of religious building, but it turns out (if Google Maps it to be believed) that it's related to the municipal waterworks (a pumping station, reserve tank, or the like). Interesting.

Apparently-Unused Path with a tree growing in the middle, at the top of a flight of steps -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Apparently-Unused Path
with a tree growing in the middle, at the top of a flight of steps
Thankfully Not My Intended Route but a pleasant surprise while poking along a construction road -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Thankfully Not My Intended Route
but a pleasant surprise while poking along a construction road
Heading North to Kyoto along a cycling path that parallels the #2 Keihan Expressway -- Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 58mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading North to Kyoto
along a cycling path that parallels the #2 Keihan Expressway

The #2 Keihan Expressway connects southern Kyoto with Osaka in a fairly direct manner, and didn't exist 20 years ago. In fact, I wrote about the final parts of its construction nine years ago in A Kinki Drive: The No. 2 Keihan Expressway".

It's elevated for its entire 18-mile length, with a regular public-artery road built in parallel underneath that a bicycle can go on. A bicycle can also go on the minor parallel roads that flank the expressway/artery stack for much of the way, or the walking/cycling path that also parallels much of the way.

Looking Down from a Bridge on a cycling path I've taken many times that leads to Ide, Nara, and other points south -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Down from a Bridge
on a cycling path I've taken many times
that leads to Ide, Nara, and other points south
Complex Intersection well, not really, at least not compared to what's coming up -- Kuse-gun -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Complex Intersection
well, not really, at least not compared to what's coming up
Now This is a Complex Intersection the Kumiyama Junction (久御山JCT) -- Kumiyama Junction (久御山JCT) -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Now This is a Complex Intersection
the Kumiyama Junction (久御山JCT)
Kumiyama Junction (久御山JCT) -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kumiyama Junction (久御山JCT) -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

This rat's nest of bridges and tunnels is four unrelated layers of transportation:

  1. Old, very minor surface roads providing farmers access to their fields.
  2. Over them, Two new major city-connecting surface streets cross here.
  3. Cycling roads on both sides of the two surface streets connect in an elevated cycleway that allows transfer among any of the eight cycling roads without stopping or interacting with any motor-vehicle traffic.
  4. Floating above this all is a full all-direction interchange between two major expressways.

Just to keep things interesting, there's a river just north, and a creek just south.

The look in Google Earth is impressive:


View in Google Earth
Stuff Heading Off in One Direction -- Kumiyama Junction (久御山JCT) -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Stuff Heading Off in One Direction
Little-Used Farmer Access Road -- Kumiyama Junction (久御山JCT) -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Little-Used Farmer Access Road
View From That Road -- Kumiyama Junction (久御山JCT) -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View From That Road
From a Distance -- Kuse-gun -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
From a Distance
Another Local-Access Road someone's taking a nap in the parked car -- Kumiyama Junction (久御山JCT) -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Local-Access Road
someone's taking a nap in the parked car

It was fun to poke around this complex at my leisure. This part of the highway was completed perhaps 14 years ago. I actually mention it in my fifth-ever blog post 12 years ago.

When I was done, it was time to get back to the major trunk road, which at this point was at a level well above the surrounding ground:

Stairs+Ramp Up -- Kuse-gun -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 26mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Stairs+Ramp Up

I rode up the ramp and encountered the biggest problem with the heavy backpack: it's side-to-side movement as I chugged up the super-steep ramp almost threw me off balance. It was a dicey 10 seconds.

Rice Harvest -- Kuse-gun -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 65mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Rice Harvest
Long, Flat Bridge over the Uji-River flood plain -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Long, Flat Bridge
over the Uji-River flood plain
Reed Harvest? -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Reed Harvest?
Picturesque Bundles -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Picturesque Bundles
Diving Into Kyoto City Proper -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Diving Into Kyoto City Proper

While crossing the Uji-River flood plain, we have three lines of transportation all next to each other at the same level. In the center are two lanes in each direction for the expressway. These are flanked by two lanes in each direction for the Route One Bypass. This is all flanked on the outer edges by cycling paths. It feels quite odd when they're all parallel at the same level, but once across the river, only the expressway lanes remain elevated.

Seems Mundane in Comparison almost back to an area I know well -- 京都南大橋 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 34mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Seems Mundane in Comparison
almost back to an area I know well
Last Step so to speak -- 京都南大橋 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Last Step
so to speak

I'd ridden by on the road at the base of the steps many times, but had never even noticed that there were steps leading up to the bridge, or thought much about what the road above might be. It was gratifying to add a new piece to my geographical puzzle.

I rode down the steep ramp, only to be surprised at the center pause that the ramp didn't continue for the last step, so the dropoff was unexpected. At least I was less surprised when the same thing happened at the very bottom as well.

Anyway, I was now retracing the first few kilometers of the ride. Here's another photo from the Meeting Up with Manseki location, but five hours later:

塩小路橋 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/1100 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos

I may have to head back soon, to pick up a gazebo or two.