Monday, January 31, 2022

Monday, January 24, 2022

Brompton snow ride in Mt. Hakkoda, Aomori prifecture.

Brompton and I went out for a snow ride in Mt. Hakkoda. Mt. Hakkoda, situated at the northern end of Japan's main island, is famous for terrible snow storm in winter. 

In order to ride on the snow road, Brompton was equipped with Schwalbe Winter, a pair of 16-inch stud tires.


Arriving at Aomori airport, I hurried up to Sukayu hot spring lodge by car. 



Sukayu is famous for deep snow, usually reaches 3 to 5 meters in winter. Snowfall beyond 1 meter over night is quite common here. Snowfall recorded 538 cm high in one day on Feb. 26, 2013. A good place to experience a snow adventure as well as nice hot spring.



The lodge is a historic hot spring accommodating people for the past 200 years.



Sukayu lodge preserves its historic wooden bath house and bath tab.  Hot spring here is extremely fresh because it directly comes out from the bottom of bath tab. Yes, the bath house is build just on the natural hot spring.



Let's go out for a snow ride! Please watch a movie below.





While road was completely covered with snow, Schwalbe winter tires ensure a comfortable ride.


However, it's too cold. Strong snow storm blew with wind speed of over 10 meters per second.



Due to deep snow, I can't continue to ride any more. I started to push Brompton.



Finally Brompton and I arrived the distination, Hakkoda Hotel. 



Receptionist opened the door to invite me in.



I had a lunch reservation at the main dining.



Wonderful meals awaited me. bon appetit.





Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Brompton hill climb: Ubayu Hot Spring in Yamagata Prefecture

Last Sunday I climbed up toward the end of the mountain trail in another part of Azuma Mountain Range located over Northeast Japan to enjoy hot spring which has cured local people for 500 years.  The name of the hot spring is "Ubayu Onsen". Ubayu's Uba means a mountain witch and Yu means hot spring. 


The hill climb ride is supposed to be  8.45 km in distance and 527 meters to ascend.



Early in the morning I took a bullet train from Tokyo to Fukushima Station to change to a local railway running through mountain range between Fukushima Prefecture and Yamagata prefecture.

Local railway line starts at Fukushima station to go through a dozen of tunnels and bridges in the deep mountain range.

Finally arriving in Toge Station. The name "Toge" literary means "Mountain Pass" in Japanese. Very simple name because the station is located just on the Pass. The station was built in the age of steam for switch-backs to tackle one of Japan's toughest climbing railway routes; even after electrification for a while (now the yamagata Shinkansen and local trains run without switch-backs.)

Brompton and I started from Toge Station. The trail continues narrow and steep but I can enjoy such a view everywhere.

The trees provide shades all the way through Ubayu hot spring.

The slope is getting steeper grade in the last half way to the destination.

Still 2 kilo meters to go.

Experiencing extra steep slope of 22%.

Even a wagon vehicle struggles at one of the sharp bends with extreme slope.

Suddenly the valley of the hot spring appears in my sight. Famous Ubayu hot spring comes from that half-cup crater.

Upon arrival, I checked in at Ubayu Hot Spring Inn for bathing. It only costs 600 Japanese yen. (approx. 5 US dollars)

What fresh hot water it is!

The location is dynamic. It is surrounded by a trace of large scale volcanic eruption of 15,000 years ago. Volcano is still active. Hot water gushes out from the naked mountain surface. The hot spring is bluish white and smells like sulfur. 

Lying on the shallows of this hot spring pool and looking up a volcanic crater. It's nice and healing.



It was a great day in fall after hard hill climb ride with Brompton to be soaked and healed in the best "hidden bath" ever.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Brompton hill climb: Nuruyu Hot Spring in Fukushima Prefecture

 Last Sunday I climbed up toward the end of the mountain trail in Azuma Mountain Range located over Northeast Japan to enjoy hot spring which has cured local people for 300 years.

The name of the hot spring is "Nuruyu Onsen". Nuruyu means relatively low temperature water of about 30-40 degree Celsius. 

The hill climb ride is supposed to be 9.5 km in distance and 762 meters to ascend.


[data]
Distance 9.51 km
Time 1:18:43
Average Speed 7.2 km/h
Total Ascend 762 m
Equipment M6L-X 38T chainring



An hour later, I reached Nuruyu Onsen Nikaido Inn. The historic buildings are registered tangible cultural property.

A lovely cat welcomed me and Brompton.

The hot spring is famous for curing. The spring directly comes from the earth beside the bath house. It is not at all oxidized, very fresh hot water. Japanese hot spring enthusiasts believe that fresh onsen maximizes efficacy to cure  illness, injury and fatigue.

Wow. Nuruyu of 31.8 degree Celsius cools my overheated legs and cures muscle pain.

On the way down, I looked over Mt. Azuma, beautifully sitting there with the September blue sky. It is one of the best rides after my return to Japan.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Brompton with Tulips in full bloom

Last Sunday Brompton and I went to see tulips in full bloom at Akebono-yama agricultural experiment station in Chiba Prefecture.


Akebono-yama agricultural experiment station is famous for a Dutch Windmill and tulips in full bloom in spring.


 
Spring is in full bloom. 

Today Brompton wears yellow handgrips and saddle.

Yellow handgrips and saddle of M6L-X match with yellow tulips.

Do you enjoy Brompton ride?