Archive for the 'Cherry Blossoms' Category

Pics of Cherry Blossoms and such

Century of Wazuka Climbs, Part 1

I had a nice ride through the mountains of Uji and Wazuka (Japan, near Kyoto/Nara) the other day. Both Uji (宇治) and Wazuka (和 束) have been famous for their tea for centuries, and have tea fields tucked away in the most seemingly-unlikely nooks and crannies of their mountains.

Here's the ride at Strava:

I had a number of specific goals when embarking on this ride:

Goal: ride at least a "century" of distance (100 miles, 161km). Actual: 167km / 105 miles. ✔

Goal: vertical climb of at least 3,000m (9,850'). Actual: 3,506m / 11,503' ✔

Goal: get a PR [...]

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Wild Cherry Blossoms and Fun Fast Descents

Cherry-blossom season in Kyoto is always hectic for someone like me who likes photography, made all the more busy because I now like to cycle and these are some of the first warm days of the season. I've been out with the camera and the bike a lot lately, but sort of punted on blogging about it because schedule already left me overwhelmed.

So, I'm getting back into the swing of things with a writeup on my most recent ride.

First I popped over the mountains from Kyoto to Lake Biwa...

I got 4th overall on this straight, steep climb; [...]

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Putzing Around Kyoto on a Fine Spring Day

It took a casual spin around Kyoto last weekend, as the cherry blossoms were starting to come in.

Looking down the street from next to the construction, toward the right, it was a mad house:

So, instead I went up the steep road that goes under the shrine arch seen two photos above.

Not long past the shrine gate, I noticed a huge statue off to the side, and wondered how long it had been there and how I had never noticed it before:

It turns out that it's been there since 1955, and is 24m (80') tall. I guess [...]

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Plum Blossoms and Some Mountain Climbs

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...

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...

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

A far cry from the first time I took in this [...]

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Confused Kyoto Cherry Trees Bloom Five Months Early

Today on a ride from Kyoto to Osaka Castle with Paul Barr, early on the trip while still in Kyoto we came across some cherry blossoms that had apparently gotten confused by the cold spell in October followed by a warm spell earlier this month... they seem to be blooming five months early!

Some varieties of cherry do normally bloom in November, such as we've over the years here, here, and here, but their branches are sparsely populated with blossoms. Today's were full:


Whatever they were, they were pretty and out of place.

I made a short video of [...]

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