Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A trip to Kyoto

My friend Craig in US comes to Japan.

He was thinking to visit somewhere out of Tokyo but had no idea yet. I recommended some places and finally suggested to go to Tokyo.
I was off today and I took them.

It's also exciting to me because the last time in Kyoto was very long time ago.

I pick them up at the hotel lobby and go to Tokyo Station.

This is the first time for them to ride the bullet train, and it has been a long time to me to ride the Tokyokado one.

We have 6 in total, and rotate the seats facing each other, but it was not a good idea.

It is too narrow for Americans. Their knees hit each other.

Arriving at Kyoto and taking a van service.
If I were accompanied with 2 or 3, I could drive but I am not confident to drive a large van. I don't know the road much either.

The first place is Kinkakuji (The golden pavilion).

It's good for the weather, but it gets hotter. It has been cooler in Tokyo and it becomes tough to me.

The next place is Ryuanji.

The rock garden. 14 rocks are seen, and just one little piece is behind a big rock.
You would see all from the heaven.

We go to Yakitori restaurant the driver picks for us.
They like it and order extra plates.

The next place after the lunch is Nijo castle.

They like the Uguisubari floor (singing floor, a floor makes noise when somebody, even a Ninja, walks).
Nijo castle is also new to me. It is interesting.

Nishiki market.

They are getting tired, just arrived in Japan yesterday.

The last one is Koyomizu dera, a temple with a big stage.

There are some rental stores of Yukata, or an informal summer kimono. We see some girls in Yukata.

They ask me what is the difference between the girls and Maiko.

We have dinner at a small restaurant.
Maiko show is included.

After the meal we see Maiko dance.
Then we play a game called "Kompira fune fune".

The rule is very simple. You put a hand on the cup one by one, or take the cup away. When the cup is taken you have to put a fist. If you put a wrong one, you lose.

I lose the game but Craig wins, as he is a good video game player.

It is a good time to see Maiko's dance.

Then we go back to Tokyo.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cycling-Day 25-Tama river and Sagami river(97.5/4,746.5km)

Day 25, 79days for cycling, total distance 4,746.5km, total climb 60,476m
Tama river and Sagami river 5:24-16:09
Distance today 97.5km, climb 698m, duration 5:56, avg speed 16.4km/h, burned 3,012kcal
Gear: Specialized Rockhopper Pro

Route today.

Nice weather today. It's good enough to go far. I planned a route from Tama river to Sagami river, over 150km in total.

I get up early and start at 5:24.

The sunrise is still shining.

Running on Tama river.

Getting cooler and nice to run.

At 6:58 Left Tama river and turn to Koshu road.

Running along Asakawa river, a branch of Tama river.

I lost several times and finally arrive at Sagami river.

Kami Oshima camp site, the place where kayakers are practicing tricks.
I have been there once.

At 8:47 Oshima.

A kayaker on a yellow STAR is practicing. We chat for a while.

Now I run along Sagami river.

The road ends and I had to climb to go back. Too bad.

Running in residential places, going down to banks and going back, the route is not efficient.

Finally the road gets smooth and nice to run.

At 10:12 Atsugi, crossing with Odakyu line.

I also crossed with Odakyu at 6:00 on Tama river. It's emotive to cross again in such a far place.

Sagami cycling road is not well organized.

Nice road, but..

it gets like a single track.

I was lucky to come with MTB.

At 10:56 Hiratsuka arena.

At 11:10 mouth of Sagami river.

40km, 2 hours and half from Oshima.

Then running along R134.

A long cue for parking lot.

Today is the last sunday in the summer vacation.

At 11:47 arriving at Enoshima.

I wanted to have lunch at Enoshima, but every restaurant is full.
It is miserable not to eat anything at Enoshima.

Kayakers on Sakai river.

Then I go along with Kashio river, go through Totsuka, Yokohama then reach to R15.

At 15:18 crossing Tama river.

Come home at 16:11.

Today I am exhausted on the way back and could not pace up.
It is because I was running with higher gears.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cycling-Day 24-Kan7 around(97.5/4,649.1km)

Day 24, 78days for cycling, total distance 4,649.1km, total climb 59,778m
Kan7 around 8:26-14:59
Distance today 97.5km, climb 698m, duration 5:56, avg speed 16.4km/h, burned 3,012kcal
Gear: Specialized Rockhopper Pro

Route today.

Today the weather is not so good but it looks ok when I got up.
I won't go far today in case it starts raining.

I live close to Kan Nana (Circle street #7) and I wanted to go around it once.

Kan Nana, or circle street #7 goes around Tokyo city. There is Kan Pachi, or circle street #8 is outer than #7, but it is not a perfect round. Then Kan Nana is the outmost one.

8:38 I start at the cross with Meguro street.

Going to the South.
9:23 Jonanjima island.

An aircraft is flying. The island is close to Haneda Tokyo international airport.

I am not sure where is the west end of Kan Nana.

Perhaps this is the west end.

Now I run on the bayside of Tokyo.

11:00 Kasai Rinkai Park. This is the east end of Kan Nana.

Tires of my bike look as large as the Ferris wheel.

Now the start of Kan Nana.

Wow! How steep!

My bike is a MTB but I have no skills to go up and down on stairs.

There are three stairs all the way of Kan Nana street.

I turn aside to Taishakuten temple (Indira temple).
12:03 Taishakuten temple.

I came here last September.

I eat sweet rice dumplings just like last time.

This is my breakfast and lunch as well.

I found I have not ate anything.

Now I come back to Kan Nana and resume again.

13:23 Shikahama bashi bridge. Probably this is the north end.

Arakawa cycling road is seen. It should be much better to run with fresh air and no traffic signals.

Keep running. Arriving at Toyotama at 14:01.

This is where I turn to Kanetsu highway when I go to Hakuba. I know the road very well from here.

14:27 Sasazuka.

I attempted to eat curry with rice at one of my favorite coffee shop when I worked around here.

It is closed on Saturday. It is good that it is still there.

14:53 Coming back to the start point.

Less than 6 hours to go around. I hopped to Jonanjima and Taishakuten, so the net should be less than 5 hours.

Google map told me the total was 84km last night, but the actual total is 97km.
Is it because I went to Jonanjima and Taishakuten?

Today I ran less than 100km and not so hard.

Kan Nana is just a road and I thought it was boring, but so far it was fun.

Monday, August 15, 2011

MTB-Day 1-Minekata(16.4/38.2km)

Day 1, 6days for cycling, total distance 38.2km, total climb 959m
Minekata 9:39-13:45
Distance today 16.4km, climb 201m, duration 1:42, avg speed 9.6km/h, burned 577kcal
Gear: Specialized Rockhopper Pro

The last day for my summer vacation.

It's already the day 4 for cycling. Now I feel exhausted and run on MTB for a short course.

Today I go with a friend Mr.M, as we met at powder skiing in January.

We go together to Minekata, that's the only one I know as a trail.

It's cloudy and Hakuba summits are not seen.

Very cool air above 1000m elevation.

We chose a longer course.

It's good that he likes this course.

On the way back, we met my backcountry mate yukomiso-san.

We have lunch together.

Poke burger at Sounds Like Cafe.

Pretty much enjoyed for four days. Many thanks to my friends.

I left Hakuba very late to avoid traffic, but it was still jammed. It took 1 hour longer than usual.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cycling-Day 23-Tsugaike Natural Park(23.4/4,551.6km)

Day 23, 77days for cycling, total distance 4,551.6km, total climb 59,080m
Tsugaike Natural Park 7:09-10:38
Distance today 23.4km, climb 1,067m, duration 2:56, avg speed 8.0km/h, burned 1,209kcal
Gear: Specialized Rockhopper Pro

Route today.

After running very long yesterday, I thought no more activities today.

My friends yuko-san and miso-san told me they climb to Tsugaike. Then I also come with them.

Nice weather in Hakuba.

Three different bikes.

We start at 7:16. Elevation 940m.

At 8:43 Arriving at Tsuganomori, the end of the gondola lift.

At 9:37 Arriving at Shizenen, or natural garden. Hiked elevation is 900m.

Ice cream for our reward.

Then descending.

Good cycling, but it is getting hotter at the base.

We took lunch at Taco Tako, a Mexican cafe.

I hiked 4,200m in total for last three days. No more climbing!!