Archive for the 'Kibune' Category

About the Kibune area of northern Kyoto

Finally Venturing Inside Northern Kyoto’s Kurama Temple

I'd heard that the Kurama Temple (鞍馬寺), nestled on the side of a mountain in a northern suburb of Kyoto, made for a nice visit, but despite riding past it dozens of times since I got into cycling, I'd never actually entered it. This week I finally did.

The main part of this post is about this week's visit, but first let me recount my prior experiences with this temple...

Normally I just ride past and perhaps snap a photo along the way, such as the following shot from my first "real" bike ride 2½ years ago:

Sometimes I [...]

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Nigel’s Birthday Craziness: Ascending Hanase Pass on a Mamachari


Nigel Randell usually does something sort of crazy on his birthday, such as this ride two years ago that I joined in on for a short portion.

This year, Nigel rode his heavy rusty mamachari (built-like-a-tank city bike) up to Hanase Pass, the 600+ meters of climb (2,000') being a challenge on the best road bike.

Neil, whom we've seen on my blog here and here, among others, is an extremely strong rider, but today on the occasion of Nigel's mamachari ride, was creating a challenge for himself by riding an old used bike with the seat dropped all [...]

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New Year’s Tangerines on Cars, and More….

For reasons I've yet to fully investigate, it's common around this time of year to see vehicles in Japan adorned with some kind of display incorporating twine, an evergreen twig, white strips of paper, and sometimes a tangerine. Just based on what else I know of Japan, I'm sure it's related to Shinto, because the white strips of paper are usually the zigzag streamers used in Shinto rituals. It's probably mostly just a non-religious custom now, having evolved from a religious purification ritual of some sort. That's my guess.

Anyway, the picture above is of an old truck on Kakeroma-jima [...]

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Visiting the Shrine in Kibune with Thomas

Continuing with more from my Visit to Kibune two weeks ago with Thomas Hertel, after we had dango at the restaurant with the old wooden gear, we were walking along the road and were beckoned by the tranquil sight of a tranquil site...

The photo above almost makes it look like some kind of miniature site, but the gate at left is plenty tall enough to walk under, and the bridge itself is about ten feet long.

Thomas posed for a picture, strictly as a size comparison...

If Thomas were to turn to the camera's left, he'd be looking up [...]

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Visiting Kibune with Thomas

Today was another day of overcast and occasional rain, like yesterday but much colder (10°C vs. 21°C). With my friend Thomas Hertel visiting from Germany, we headed into the mountains of northern Kyoto, to Kibune, where nature is always quite pretty. I've been there enough over the years that I have a Kibune category of posts on my blog.

Kibune has been a popular destination for over a thousand years (some of its story being told in my Kibune Shrine (sort of) post). It's famous these days mostly for the coolness it offers in Kyoto's oppressively hot summers, and for [...]

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