Japan – skyscrapers, crowded trains, neon lights, weird inventions… But if you have a bicycle and know how to get away from the big cities then scenes like these are everywhere.
When it comes to photography the rainy season is probably my favourite. All 3 photos taken one rainy morning cycling in Gifu
Camera – Panasonic Lumix TZ60
Bicycle – Fairdale Weekender Drop
Last summer I took a two week trip travelling around previously unexplored areas of central Japan. In, or on, the car, were three bikes – two were mine, the other was my wife’s – a tent, and a bag full of clothes.
One of the planned rides for the trip was a tour around the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture. It was the first time taking the Fairdale Weekender Drop on a tour and it didn’t disappoint.
It’s been a while. Nothing’s changed though. Lots of cycling, and intermittent photography thrown in too.
This is Mt. Ontake. It erupted in September 2014 and there were, unfortunately, quite a few casualties.
To my surprise though last spring it was possible to cycle up the skyline road to within a few kilometres of the actual eruption (it’s still erupting now).
The route I took from Takayama, a popular tourist destination to Agematsu, was probably one of the best solo rides I’ve done in Japan.
Most of last year was spent riding alone, which as you can imagine has both benefits and drawbacks. However, at the start of this year I made a decision to mix it up a bit more and be more social.
I’m glad I did. There is a great group of people in Japan that spend most weekends out on two wheels exploring the amazing countryside that can be found here.
I started a Facebook group – Chubu Cycling Club – for cyclists in the area.
Currently hiding in the spare room while my wife has yet another afternoon tea party. As it looks like rain cycling is not really an option (although that’s obviously an excuse).
So instead I’ve taken the opportunity to look back at some photos from last year and pulled out these completely unrelated ones.
I still can’t get enough of Fuji Provia.
Another winter bike trip and I still haven’t learnt from my previous mistakes. In a failed attempt not to encounter as much snow as I did on my last adventure (see previous post) I decided to stay below 350m in altitude. I thought that would be sufficient to avoid the snow. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Since moving cities 2 years ago I’ve been trying to explore new areas north of Nagoya. Previously, heading east was the default option.
I picked up a cycling bag from Fairmean a couple of months ago and that too has opened up a whole new area to explore as I can now just jump on or off a train with my bike thanks to the superb Japanese train system.
So on the last weekend Saturday of January I took the morning train to Gero in central Gifu and cycled back to Inuyama through snowy valleys and over mountain passes. I wasn’t expecting so much snow but in hindsight I’m happy it was there.