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Cycling

Two wheels

Sake & mama-chari samurai

A weekend visiting old storehouses doesn’t sound that interesting, but when the storehouses contain sake breweries with tasting opportunities, things look a whole lot brighter.  It also helps that the storehouses are traditional old structures with a lot of character.  Aizu Wakamatsu and neighbouring Kitakata, north of Tokyo in Fukushima Prefecture, have lots of old kura (storehouses), samurai history, sake breweries, and a nearby onsen.  This was a visit to old Japan. (more…)

GEKISAKA hill race – Tour de Utsukushigahara

The Tour de France?  No, the real tough hill climbing cycle event is the Tour de Utsukushigahara, with its gekisaka (檄坂 – severe slope).  The race is only 22km in distance, but ascends 1,270 metres up to Utsukushigara from Asama Onsen (in Matsumoto) – the first few hundred metres of the race ascendup an 18% incline.  (more…)

Tour de Utsukushigahara

A 22km bike ride in the mountains?  No problems, put my name down.  What, a 1,270 metre ascent up the mountain?  What was I thinking?  Japan’s “gekisaka” (severe slope) hill climb event – the Tour de Utsukushigahara.  What a way to celebrate the first anniversary of my arrival in Japan.  I haven’t had time to post all the details yet, but to keep you interested, here’s a link to a photo album.  All you need to know for now is that I survived, but my legs are still sore.

Yamanote Line Circuit

Today’s excursion around the Yamanote Line reinforced that Tokyo is a great city to get around by bicycle.  Phil and I had been thinking about doing this ride for a long time, and finally put the plan into implementation today.  We met at the Marunouchi entrance to Tokyo Station this morning, and set out clockwise.  (more…)

Marunouchi

No 30, Back to Tokyo Station. Departed at 10.15am. Returned 4.40pm. 40.93km ridden. Riding time 2.50. Rest of the time dodging cars, pedestrians and stopped at red lights. (more…)

Kanda

No 29, Last stop on the Yamanote Line circuit ride!  Kanda Station.  (more…)

Akihabara

No 28, Akihabara Station, in front of the Tsukuba Xpress line entrance. Our Yamanote Line circuit ride is nearly complete. (more…)

Okachimachi

No 27, Okachimachi Station.  Another of the obscure Yamanote Line stations on our circuit ride. (more…)

Ueno

No 26, and back to one of the more major stations, Ueno Station.  Our Yamanote Line circuit ride is nearly all the way around now. (more…)

Uguisudani

No 25, one of the more obscure Yamanote Line stations, Uguisudani – which translates as Nightingale Valley.  The Yamanote Line circuit ride keeps on. (more…)