Archive for the 'Japan' Category

Posts relating to Japan and things Japanese

A Superficial Introduction to Japanese Traffic Signage for Bicyclists

Japanese roads often have different rules between bicycles and cars, such as a bicycle being allowed to go against traffic on many one-way roads, or a bicycle being prohibited from certain road sections. However, the related traffic signage can be confusing even for Japanese natives.

Making it even more confusing is that certain kinds of situations have different signage in different parts of the country.

This article goes into some of the details as I understand them (which is imperfect, for sure).

First of all, under Japanese law, a bicycle is a vehicle, just as a car is [...]
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My First Visit to the Suzuka Circuit Enduro Races

I attended a cycling event this weekend that was really fun, even though I didn't ride in it.

The Suzuka Circuit, best known for hosting F1 and motorcycle grands prix, also sometimes hosts bike racing. The entire event is officially called "The Suzuka 8-Hour Enduro", though currently races are only three, four, and six hours.

It's really more of an "event" than a "race", where you can challenge yourself to do as many laps as possible within the allotted time. Those trying for more laps than anyone else are racing, but it's perfectly okay to just plod along and have [...]

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Demolishing an Almost-New Building, Because Why Not?

This photo is from a blog post seven years ago, "Exposing for Single-Shot HDR (Sort Of)", using photos from a special visit to a newly-built about-to-open wedding venue in Kyoto. (Photos from that visit also appeared on "Heian Shrine Gate From a New Perspective".)

As lovely as the new venue was, it seems that they weren't able to make it as a wedding venue; they stopped doing business a few years ago (prior to COVID). The lovely building in the super-amazing location has been vacant since.

But the building won't be vacant for much longer, because the building won't be [...]

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Konpira: Checking Out One of the Most Difficult Climbs in Japan

I recently heard about a very hard climb -- over 3km/2mi at an average of almost 16% -- not too far away. Many cyclists could not climb for 50m at 15%, much less do it for 3,000m. It's just ridiculously steep. This climb sounded to rival one the most difficult climbs in Japan, Kuragari West, which clocks in at 2.3km/1.7mi @ 17.3%.

Of course, I had to go check it out. It was quite the adventure.

The start of the climb was about 30km north of Kyoto, along the shore of Lake Biwa. To save energy for the hard climb, [...]

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A Very Unintended Gravel Ride

So, the idea for the day was simple: join Antti's farewell ride until they hit gravel, then go off on my own to find a spot to set up a hammock and relax with a book for a while.

It didn't work out that way.

Antti is returning to Finland after many years in Kyoto. He's left his mark on the Strava leaderboards, and on his friends' hearts. His farewell ride was to be a gravel affair; I have no interest in riding on gravel, but I thought I'd join for the road part, bringing along my hammock to set [...]

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