Monday, August 24, 2015

Critical fracture

Last weekend I suddenly noticed that body rigidity was lost during a ride on my Brompton M3L.

When I stopped riding and checked the flame and other parts, I found a crack and fracture in the rear flame. 

It's a serious injury!

I took my Brompton M3L to Wada Cycle immediately. The Brompton experts of Wada told that they've never seen such a case. The rear flame will be sent to Mizutani (Brompton authorized importer in Japan) and they will scrutinize.

A return is not yet scheduled. Brompton, come back!

Updated on Sep. 3, 2015:
My Brompton has come back! But it cost US$280 (34,000 JPY) !

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route and Onsen

After an adventure to Yumata Onsen, one of the hardest hot springs to reach, I moved on to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route. Of course, I was with Brompton.

If you want to go to Tateyama-Kurobe area, I recommend you to start from Shinano-oomachi Station. You can get this station by Azusa Express Train from Sinjuku Station. It takes about 3 and half hours.

example: Azusa #3 departing Shinjuku at 7:30am and arriving at 11:01am.

Then, you use bus or taxi to Oogisawa Station where a trolly bus starts to get through very long tunnel to another side of the moutain range.

Oogisawa Station. Change to a torolly bus.

About 30 minutes to get to Kurobe Dam Station.

You need to walk to another side of this dam. There is a cable car station to climb another mountain.

It takes 10 minutes to get to next rope way station.

You can enjoy wonderful scenary from the ropeway.

You need another trolly bus to ride.

Getting through another mountain!

Finally arrived Murodo Station. You will be surprised with this wonderful view.

Arriving today's lodge, Mikurigaike Onsen.

Mount Tateyama is shining in red!

Enjoy the highest hot spring in Japan at an elevation of 2405 meters.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Adventure for your own wild hot spring

Brompton and I went to Yumata Onsen, definitely the most secluded hot springs located deep in the Takase Valley.

I arrived in Shinano Omachi Station early in the morning.

The ride started from Takase Dam.

 There are three tunnels which were originally built for the construction of the dam.

When I looked back, there was wonderful scenery of the mountain range.

Trail started from here but I continued a ride.

What a beautiful color it is!

Finally reached Yumata Onsen Lodge.

Leaving my Brompton at Yumata Onsen Lodge, I went further toward the end of the valley to experience an extremely secluded mountain hot spring.

Here it is! Hot water gushing out here and there. You can make your own hot spring bath tub with rocks and stones!

Here we go!

After the wild experience of my own open air bath, I came back to Yumata Onsen Lodge and bathed again.

It was a wonderful experience of nicest hot spring surrounded by mountains!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Yari Onsen, the best hot spring above the clouds.

Yesterday, I went to Yari Onsen, the hot spring above the clouds in order to look over the mountain ranges and the earth from the best open-air bath at an elevation of beyond 2,000 meters. Though the mountain path to Yari Onsen never accepts any bike due to its rocky trail and dangerous snow ravines still existing in summer, I decided to bring my Bromton and left it at the entrance of the trail for a quick return to Hakuba Station, the nearest station, to catch a train to Tokyo in the afternoon.

Yari Onsen Mountain Hut is located in the midst of Mt. Yari at an elevation of 2,100 meters.  During summer, climbers often drop by and stay in the hut for the peak hunt to Mt. Shirouma (2,932 m), Mt. Shakushi (2,812 m), and Mt. Yari (2,903 m). Its hot spring, gushing out from the earth more than 700 litters per minute, is famous for its curing effect, wild location and incomparable panorama from the bath. The hot spring also attracts a lot of hot spring lovers. I am one of them.

It was early in the morning yesterday. The 4-hour hike to the hot spring started from Sarukura Lodge, one of the base camps for mountain climbing around the area.

It took about 10 minutes on foot to reach the entrance of the trail. Today's day trip begins here.

It was very fine though a little bit misty in some parts of the mountains.

After 2-hour walk in the trail, the wonderful panorama of mountains and glaciers appeared in front of my eyes. In the center I found a hut on the small flat area on the edge where was the destination. 

Before reaching there, I needed to go across those glaciers and debris area with a risk of rockfall.

I needed to climb up some more hundred meters.

Suddenly Yari Onsen appeared. A lot of hot spring water was flowing down on the cliff.

Let's enjoy the best open air bath ever.

Natural hot water is gushing out from here. Very fresh. I can wash out my muscle fatigue.

Looking over the earth. What an exciting moment it is!

The best mountain hot spring ever!

After ascending, I went back to Hakuba Station by Brompton quickly to catch an express train bound for Sinjuku Station.