Kyoto’s “Happy Bicycle” Craft Shop
Happy Bicycle -- 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)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 220 — image data

The other day in March’s Higashiyama Hanatoro Lightup, I mentioned a business called Happy Bicycle (web site / Facebook) near the Yasaka pagoda.

Entrance to Happy Bicycle -- 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)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/2.2, ISO 2800 — image data
Entrance
to Happy Bicycle
Lots of Tiny Bicycles -- Happy Bicycle -- 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)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 1800 — image data
Lots of Tiny Bicycles

The shop is run by a guy from Chile who chats amiably with customers as he crafts a wire into the shape of a bicycle. Other than the pedals, he uses just one piece of wire for the whole bike.

He's got all the different styles... mamachari city bikes, kids' bikes, mountain bikes, race bikes... I even noticed a pennyfarthing.

Lots of Detail tire pumps, bottles, baskets, mirrors, derailleurs, brake calipers, fenders... -- Happy Bicycle -- 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)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800 — image data
Lots of Detail
tire pumps, bottles, baskets, mirrors, derailleurs, brake calipers, fenders...
Happy Bicycle -- 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)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 320 — image data
Tandem -- Happy Bicycle -- 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)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1600 — image data
Tandem
Happy Earrings Too -- Happy Bicycle -- 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)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 180 — image data
Happy Earrings Too

I had a nice chat with the proprietor, but unfortunately didn't take all that many pictures during this visit, figuring I'd stop in again later when I had more time. I hope I do.


March’s Higashiyama Hanatoro Lightup, 2017 Edition

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
some little temple in Kyoto

Sorry for the recent dearth of new content... I've been feeling remarkably unmotivated. At least I'm finally getting around to writing this post, which I've been wanting to do for the last three months.

Every year in March, just before cherry-blossom season, the Higashiyama area of Kyoto has a light-up event. I first blogged about it nine years ago, and again three years ago. This year I took a lazy stroll with some friends and a tripod, snapping some photos along the way.


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Gate
at the Chion-in Temple (知恩院), prior to the best light

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/100 sec, f/1.6, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Slowly-Encroaching Dusk
Maruyama Park (円山公園)

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/100 sec, f/1.6, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Nene-no-Michi Street
lined with lanterns for the event

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/100 sec, f/1.6, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Art Installation
and a lady wearing a shopping bag on her head

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/100 sec, f/1.6, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/80 sec, f/3.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Restaurant Entrance

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Temple Entrance
Entoku-in Temple (圓徳院)

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto Night View
my photos of this view always look so much worse than reality

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/10 sec, f/4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Road To the Kiyomizu Temple
so much nicer than when the view was filled with utility cables

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 3 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Delicate Flower Sconces
on the wall on the left

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/25 sec, f/1.4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

It was dark so I was taking these with a tripod, and the light would change considerably as cars and people moved by, so the shot above and below have a different feel due to the different color light.


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/5 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 2.5 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Flowing Crowd
gets blurred a bit during a 2.5-second exposure

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/80 sec, f/1.4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Happy Bicycle
I've written about this place here: Kyoto’s “Happy Bicycle” Craft Shop

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Rich Light

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 0.5 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 0.6 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/13 sec, f/1.4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Road To the Chion-in Temple
looks much nicer in real life than this photo

The photo would have been improved marginally if the big gate seen in this post's second photo was lit up, as it is sometimes.


Pulling Out Your Own Hair, and Other Joys Of Cell-Phone Contracts
長岡天満宮 -- Nagaokakyo, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2012 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 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/4, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos

What an ordeal. I spent almost eight hours at a SoftBank mobile-phone store today, trying to get some new phones set up. I have the phones in hand, but I'm still only halfway there.

The two-year contract for my and my son's iPhones is up for renewal this month. We've been with provider Docomo, and if we stick with them for a two-year renewal, our thanks is a 60% price increase(!) So, I'm moving to SoftBank, where for the same price we would have had for our two old phones, we get upgraded to the latest iPhones, and also add in another iPhone for my wife for essentially free.

And as another bonus, the SIM-lock can be removed after half a year, as opposed to Docomo, which refused to remove the SIM-lock on the new phone I'd paid full-price cash for.

So, that's the good news. The bad news is that it took almost eight hours to get the purchase done. It was ridiculous. Much of the problem came from the SoftBank store manager, who was either too sloppy about things, or perhaps purposefully over-promising early on in the hopes that once committed I'd not hold him to his word later on. I dunno.

Part of the problem may not be SoftBank's (or the manager's) fault, but whatever organization they use for credit checks. They entered umpteen permutations of my name in English and Japanese, along with various supporting documentation (passport, residency card, utility bill, etc.), and had to wait 15~20 minutes each time for the answer to come back. And wait we did, as the manager literally just sat there pressing refresh on his order-entry iPad, over and over and over again until the result (rejection) came in.

At one point he'd run out of ideas with what I had on me, so I ran home to get my passport and some utility bills. He neglected to say that the utility bills had to display my home address on them, which almost killed things, but luckily one of the ones I happened to bring did have my address on it.

After so many failures, he even suggested that maybe my 14-year-old son could be the owner of record. This was just ridiculous. But luckily, after about five hours, the approval came through and he quickly set up my new phone, as well as my son's.

When I asked about my wife's new phone, he said Oh, that's in Uji. Uji is a city to the south, perhaps an hour's drive away during an off-season rush-hour like today. Early on he'd said there's be no problem getting all the phones today, and now that he had confessed that it was so far away, he suggested to set up a temporary phone for her and have it swapped to the real one another day.

I got a bit testy and said I expected him to do what he said. There was some thought that he'd personally go to pick it up, which would take hours. In the end, someone from that store brought it via the train, so that saved half of a round trip. It still took more than 90 minutes.

Finally, it shows up and I'm about ready to sign the final contract and suddenly the price is $20/month more than he'd told me earlier. He casually explains about how they weren't able to get such-and-such a discount to stick for one of the three phones, so the price is higher. NO! More than a bit testy, I told him that I expected him to honor the price he told me, and that any issues about how to arrive at it is not my problem.

All that settled, I return home, but my problems were just beginning.

I hooked up my wife's new phone to her computer so that I could restore it from an iTunes backup, and was told that the phone requires a newer version of iTunes. Unfortunately, there is no newer version of iTunes for the version of OSX on her computer.

So, that means that we have to upgrade her operating system, but her computer is so old that it's probably not supported by Apple, which means we probably have to get a new computer for her. Such fun.

Not wanting to deal with any of that now, I just backed up her old phone to my modern computer, and then restored her new phone from that backup. It all seemed to work fine, except I guess music is not part of an iPhone backup, so all her music is gone.

Sigh. Modern smartphones are super convenient, but when things don't go smoothly, it's a special little slice of hell.


Volunteering at the Tour of Japan Pro Cycling Race
Peloton Flying By Stage 2 (Kyoto) of the Tour of Japan -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Peloton Flying By
Stage 2 (Kyoto) of the Tour of Japan

The second stage of the eight-stage Tour of Japan was held yesterday in southern Kyoto Prefecture, a ways south of Kyoto City. I was a volunteer to help in crowd management, as part of an effort to supplement the various civic and government groups with cycling-specific knowledge (e.g. to be able to foresee what lines the cyclists would take, to predict where spectators would be especially dangerous, etc.)

I wasn't there to spectate or take photos, but I could do both when I wasn't otherwise occupied. It's my second cycling race to see live, the first having been amateur races in March. This time the racers were professional.

Preparation -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — image data
Preparation
Starting Area quiet, an hour and a half before the start -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting Area
quiet, an hour and a half before the start
Chance Meeting Noriko Okabe, whom we last saw on this post , rode by -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Chance Meeting
Noriko Okabe, whom we last saw on this post, rode by
Practicing Their Routine their shirts spell “ Allez! ” (cycling for “ Go! ” ) -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Practicing Their Routine
their shirts spell Allez! (cycling for Go!)

There's a preschool right next to the start line, and the kids were to perform for the racers just prior to the start.

“ Welcome to the TOJ Kyoto Stage ” -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Welcome to the TOJ Kyoto Stage

Among the various cars and motorcycles lining up for the start ahead of the athletes is this signboard motorcycle. If a cyclist or a small group breaks away ahead of the pack, she lets them know how far ahead they are (in seconds) via the signboard.

Celebrity this UCI staff with a German accent was popular -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Celebrity
this UCI staff with a German accent was popular
Photo Op -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 54mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op
Pre-Start Performance the cyclists are all lined up in front of the kids -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pre-Start Performance
the cyclists are all lined up in front of the kids

The race was 6½ times around a 15km (9mi) loop, though actual racing didn't start until a few miles after they left the starting area. Prior to that, everyone just rolls along behind the race-commissioner's car, until he replaces a red flag with a green one and zooms ahead out of the way.

Eventually the cyclists completed the loop and raced by for the first of six times they would pass the general area where I was stationed.

Where I was stationed was at the end of a long, lovely descent during which they fly at impressive speeds, but that's petered out quite a bit by the time they get to where I was standing, just before a sharp 90° bend.

The first time they came by, I took a short video via Facebook Live, but it came out sideways because I held the camera properly and Facebook requires it to be held in the wrong orientation. Converting to YouTube, I could rotate the low-quality Facebook video:


low-quality video (30 seconds)

I'd expected to be blown away by their speed, but at this flat-ish area just before a 90-degree bend, they seemed positively pedestrian. The video above matches the lack of zoom feeling I had. Heck, I felt that I had gone just as fast when I test-rode the course last month. I suppose it makes sense, since safety dictates slowing considerably for the turn.

How silly of me. The data tells a different story.

These guys passed the camera at 50kph (31mph), while I had passed that spot at 30kph (19mph). The sense of speed is quite different on the bike vs. off, I guess, and my own sense of grandeur differs substantially from reality. 🙂

To be fair, they're riding in different conditions. The road was closed to traffic for the race, and the road surface had been cleaned the night before. It had been strewn with debris from recent storms when I rode it. I'm fast on descents, but both conditions (road open to traffic, and dangerous road surface) contributed to a fairly slow time for the long fun descent. It took me just shy of four minutes (3:58). Removing those restrictions, on my best day I imagine that I could do it in 3:30.

But on my best day, I'm not even in the same universe as these guys. During the race, one guy with a very appropriate Strava name did it in 3:00, a feat that, having ridden the road, I can't comprehend. And these guys are entry-level professionals; I imagine that world-class Tour-du-France level athletes would blow these guys away.

Second Lap -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Second Lap
Bike Change -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bike Change
Could Have Been Lovely next year, I'll bring a real camera -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Could Have Been Lovely
next year, I'll bring a real camera
seems to be Cheating Yudai Arashiro (新城 雄大) -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos seems to beCheating
Yudai Arashiro (新城 雄大)
seems to be Cheating Tomoyuki Iino (飯野 智行) -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos seems to beCheating
Tomoyuki Iino (飯野 智行)

Drafting behind the team car is clearly cheating if done for more than a few moments, but there were no UCI race officials around, so they could apparently get away with it. The lack of integrity pisses me off.

Not Cheating Kenji Takubo (田窪 賢次) -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Cheating
Kenji Takubo (田窪 賢次)
Bloody Face no idea how Australian Jai Crawford ended up with a bloody face... maybe an unfortunate encounter with a low -hanging branch? -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bloody Face
no idea how Australian Jai Crawford ended up with a bloody face...
maybe an unfortunate encounter with a low-hanging branch?

As can be seen in these photos, I've moved to the 90° bend for this lap. Here's a 30-second clip of the peloton coming through:

Another “ Could Have Been Lovely ” -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Could Have Been Lovely
Farther Upstream from the 90° bend -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 52mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Farther Upstream
from the 90° bend

For the last two laps I moved farther upstream to the curve at the end of the aforementioned long fun descent, just before they enter the areas I was at first. They've slowed down from the descent, but not quite so much, so it felt much more zippy here, just a few seconds upstream from the first place:

seems to be Another Cheater Dadi Suryadi , from Indonesia spectators just looked at each other and said “ I thought that was illegal ” -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos seems to beAnother Cheater
Dadi Suryadi, from Indonesia
spectators just looked at each other and said I thought that was illegal
Not Cheating -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Cheating

I tried some panning shots with a slow shutter, but I guess I don't know how to use the controls on my mini camera well, because setting the shutter-speed dial to 30 didn't actually change the shutter speed, so I didn't get much background blur...

Bloody Elbow Slovakian David Per probably had a minor crash -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bloody Elbow
Slovakian David Per probably had a minor crash
大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Marco Canola the Italian was the eventual winner of the stage -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 62mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Marco Canola
the Italian was the eventual winner of the stage
大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
seems to be Too. Much. Cheating Maral-Erdene Batmunkh from Mongolia -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 56mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos seems to be Too. Much. Cheating
Maral-Erdene Batmunkh from Mongolia
All Muscle Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki , from Malaysia -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
All Muscle
Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki, from Malaysia
Spokes? If they're spokes, it's difficult to imagine how they came to be scattered around the course. -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- Kyotanabe, 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
Spokes?
If they're spokes, it's difficult to imagine how they came to be scattered around the course.
Tools of the Trade -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Tools of the Trade
Volunteer Group with our leader, Koshi Hosokawa, standing rear center -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Volunteer Group
with our leader, Koshi Hosokawa, standing rear center

Century of Wazuka Climbs, Part 2

This post picks up on last month's Century of Wazuka Climbs, Part 1, about what was for me an epic day of beauty and climbing, and some trials and tribulations. Part 1 ended with a delicious lunch, so this part picks up from just after.

So, after lunch, I made my way south to the deeper, even-less populated mountains of the Wazuka region of southern Kyoto Prefecture.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Last Sign of Civilization for a While

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Selfie
at the top of a small climb

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Defenders of the Traffic Rules!

I thought that I had posted these guys before, but it seems that I didn't. It's the same intersection as this photo from Tea Tour with Manseki and Gorm last year.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 60mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely, Little-Used Road

This mild climb was really pleasant, but it seems to be little used, as only 30 Strava users have ever ridden it in the direction I went (300 have used it in the other direction, which still seems like a small number for such a lovely road).

Perhaps so few folks use this road because a nearby alternate route goes near a scenic spot.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Just Lovely

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Road Narrows

The nice wide road just stops, with a narrow road that looks like an afterthought trailing away to the right. This kind of thing is seen every so often, when modern repair work is done to a very old, narrow road. The thought, I'm assuming, is that if they're going to redo the road for whatever reason, they may as well put in a modern two-lane road while they're at it. Over the decades, after enough of the road needs attention of some sort or another, they'll have gotten around to making the full length nice and wide. Until then, it comes in little spurts.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 43mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bicycles
Let's be Careful!!

It's not clear to me whether Bicycles is the subject or a direct object (that is, it's not clear whether this is admonishing cyclists to take general care, or cautioning drivers to watch out for bicycles). Actually, the way it's written is clearly directed at children, so perhaps it's warning children to watch out for bicycles, or maybe a clever way to get (Japanese-native) cyclists to subconsciously worry that children might be present. I dunno.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Skirting the Top
of a green-tea field

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Roundish

Green-tea bushes are always this roundish shape. I don't know why, but I suspect it's to increase the surface area, and hence the yield. Some years ago I made my first visit to a great-tea field while working with Lake Biwa Tours as they considered a tea-themed tour. During that visit, the bushes were being trimmed...


Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Trimming

Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Curved Blade

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots to Do

Back to my ride, after a lot of undulation the road finally pitches down down down at roughly 8%, in two thrilling parts of three and two kilometers, respectively. The first part, the Dosenbo Descent, breaks out of the forest and into sweeping vistas of gorgeous tea fields. Unfortunately, the camera on my bike is lower to the road, so it doesn't catch the lovely vistas, but for what it's worth, here's the descent:

After a short break with a little climb, the road again plummets down toward sea level via the Kiya Descent. It's a more-standard twisty mountain descent:

I had fun with both, not pushing too hard but hoping to do well. Ended up getting the KOM on both. 🙂


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pretty Wisteria
near the start of the Yaruki Jizo climb

After 15 minutes of riding into the wind, I came here, to the start of the full Yaruki Jizo climb.

I've been meaning to blog about it since first visiting it in March, but like so many things, have not gotten around to it. In short, it's really brutal.

It starts off fairly flat:


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching The Mountain
The koinobori flying at the house show the strength of the wind

Thankfully, the wind didn't bother in the mountain, but I had other things to worry about. My only goal was to be able to complete it.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Representative Hairpin
only 19% at this point

The road surface is not nearly as bad as the 32%-max climb at Kyoto’s Ushio Kannon Temple, but it's got its issues, especially toward the top where it's deeply-cross-rutted cement.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 67mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Moss Growing
in the ruts

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
For Scale

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
At the Top
The Yaruki Jizo (やる気地蔵) is in the background
at the Kaijusenji Temple (海住山寺)

I'll write about it more later, but I like this climb in particular because of its namesake Yaruki Jizo, which very roughly translates to guardian of motivation or deity of fighting-spirit. You need what it offers in order to get there.

And if that's not enough motivation, you also have a big eggplant:


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 49mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Eggplant

It's grindingly slow, but here's a video of the climb:

Happy to complete that, I made my way to the last big climb, which slowly ramps up over eight kilometers, to end with three kilometers at 9%. I took it slowly, stopping for photos and to rest.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 52mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Early, Mild Part of the Climb

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.6, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Steeper

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.3, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Watch Out

Once you reach the top there are two false descents leading to two small climbs, then finally a long, lovely descent to the river path that leads to Kyoto.

The last 34km (21mi) were flat, but into a strong headwind, so that wasn't fun, but I was just happy to have survived.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Home

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sunset

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 37mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.7, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Back in Kyoto

Despite the cramping issues discussed in the first blog post, I was very happy to have completed the entire route I had planned. 100+ miles with 3,500m (11,500') of climb. I was satisfied.

There's also a relive.cc video of the ride.