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Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride Report(26 posts)

Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:20 PM
Wow, what a start to December! I went on the most incredible ride Monday, considering it was December 1st. The day started off pretty cool, but warmed up quickly. Clear sky and temperatures into the low 20s C. I cycled 109 kms and 1665 metres of climbing with an average of 22.8 km/hour. Yes, another day in the mountains! Unfortunately, I was dressed for a cool day of riding. I ditched my riding jacket 7 kms into the ride, and by km 25 I was wishing I'd worn my leg warmers instead of my full length bibs.

Here is a pic taken at the entrance to a temple. Look at that sky!
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:25 PM
My photo assignment for this ride was pictures of houses; as per request from the RBR members. Hope you enjoy the house photos! I guess you could call this a Japanese subdivision. The bullet train tracks are running behind the houses.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:28 PM
There's not a whole lot of space in this valley, but they manage to pack in the houses and save room for the rice fields.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:32 PM
The further you get from the cities the housing density starts to drop off. This is the more traditional Japanese house design, for people with $$$$
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:35 PM
More country homes with the rice field between the house and the road.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:39 PM
Bonus photo, garden and house in one photo! The root that is hanging up to dry is Dycon (SP?); it is like a radish and found in lots of Japanese food.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:42 PM
Better pic of the Dycon hanging to dry.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:45 PM
Another country home, but check out the colour of that tree left of the house!
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:49 PM
Houses on the hillside to keep the agricultural space undeveloped.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:52 PM
New homes that really don't look Japanese
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:55 PM
I couldn't get a good photo of the house on the hill above the road, but got a pic of their overgrown garden and fantastic view.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 9:58 PM
Another pic of house clustered together to save space for the rice fields.
God, that is absolutely gorgeous.purplepaul
Dec 1, 2003 10:02 PM
What great terrain for riding.

Wish I didn't have to go to bed just now, but I guess the pics will still be here in the morning.

I'm green with envy ya bastid.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 10:00 PM
A new home under construction.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 10:05 PM
This is a real traditional country home; as it has a Kura (fortress). The Kura is the white faced stone building to the left of the main house that is built of wood.
Question:Asiago
Dec 2, 2003 8:49 AM
Beautiful pics as always. But what is/was the Kura's purpose?

Asiago
Stronghold!GeoCyclist
Dec 2, 2003 6:26 PM
It is my understanding a Kura was used as a stronghold, like a castle Keep. Apparently, the local farms would gather into the Kura when there were maundering bandits pillaging the countryside. I received this information from one of my cycling buddies who has lived in Japan for many years. I have not researched this personally; however, looking at the way a Kura is constructed it makes for a pretty reasonable explanation. A Kura is always two stories with no windows on the ground floor, only a single (very sturdy looking) door.
Speaking of fortresses...The Walrus
Dec 2, 2003 12:05 PM
...how are you fixed for castles in that part of the country? (Just in case I ever find myself able to go back...) Along with the temples, shrines and gardens, those were a focal point of my travels--I don't know if I'll ever get over visiting the one in Himeji.

Wonderful pix, as usual.
Speaking of fortresses...GeoCyclist
Dec 2, 2003 6:29 PM
There are a few castles in the Yamaguchi and Hiroshima prefectures. Iwakuni castle is close to my home. I'll try to get a good photo of Iwakuni castle for one of my ride reports.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 1, 2003 10:13 PM
Back in Iwakuni suburbs. This is a pic of route 2 just outside of the city of Iwakuni. Note the bike / motorcycle lane that is next to the protected sidewalk. No, the white line does not designate the shoulder. This is truly a multi use lane that motorcycles can use. Also note where the girl is riding her bike, and that she is riding against the flow of traffic (yes, we drive on the LEFT side of the road in Japan).

I hope you enjoyed the photos! Ride on and enjoy what good weather you happen to get this winter. It rained for four days straight before this ride.
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportFattrax
Dec 1, 2003 10:25 PM
Yea. Fist decent day in I don't know how long and I'm stuck at work with chest congestion because of all the crappy weather. Looks like a beautiful day in your neighborhood. Thanks for the pics. Falls finishing up further north and winter is definitely in the air. BTW the Japanese radish is spelled daikon. Nara is apparently famous for pickling them (among other vegetables). .
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride ReportGeoCyclist
Dec 2, 2003 4:48 AM
Sorry to hear your down with a cold. After four days of rain I was starting to climb the walls. I've never spent a winter in Japan; as I've always gone off to another country for work during the majority of the winter months. It should be interesting during the transition months between cycling and snow skiing. Maybe I'll get a job in Africa or SE Asia for six or eight weeks and this will solve the problem. . If I can get a day or two a week like Monday, I'll never want to go back to work.

Think Sunshine!!!
Is this December in Yamaguchi? Ride Reportinsmanblue
Dec 1, 2003 11:15 PM
Thank you for posting. I have been enjoying your pictures of Yamaguchi. I remember visiting there when I was a teenager many years ago. It was in December but the snow was about 5 feet deep.
How are the drivers in Japan?sanrensho
Dec 2, 2003 1:13 AM
Those photos sure bring back memories. I lived in Japan for six years but never rode a bike seriously while I was there. How do the drivers treat you when you are riding out in the country? Are they respectful and do they give you enough room when passing, etc.? Safer than riding in rural US/Canada?
How are the drivers in Japan?GeoCyclist
Dec 2, 2003 4:40 AM
My experience with the motorist in Yamaguchi / Hiroshima area has been pretty good. I would say the drivers are much more attentive to operating their vehicles, and give cyclist more room on the road than in the USA. I haven't cycled in Canada yet, so couldn't make the comparison for that country. The traffic is pretty light out on the narrow country roads, so not too much of a problem there.
How are the drivers in Japan?sanrensho
Dec 2, 2003 9:58 PM
That's good to hear. I would love to go riding in the Japan Alps some day. My wife grew up in Matsumoto so hopefully I'll make it over there to ride some day.