22 March 2012

Rite of Spring

The upper Daigo River -- near the forest road climb to Wada Pass
Tuesday was a national holiday in Japan, to celebrate the Vernal Equinox.  So Dominic (aka Dave), Graham and I headed for a ride in the nearby countryside.  The rest of Tokyo decided to try to visit the cemetery in the family car.  I saw many lines of traffic, standing, over the course of the day.

Dominic made it to our stop near Itsukaichi, before turning around to get home by around Noon.  Graham and I continued on and did the climb from Itsukaichi over Iriyama Pass and down to the Daigo River ... a mere stream trickling down from the hill north of Wada Pass.

Graham's and my bicycles at Iriyama Pass.  Left to Togura (near Itsukaichi).  Right to Daigo.
As Manfred was kind enough to point out in January, Graham and I took the "Bonbori Rindo" over Iriyama Pass.  At the Daigo (South) end of the forest road, Graham turned left and headed back to Tokyo, while I turned right for the climb up Daigo Rindo to Wada Pass.  Two young Japanese cyclists resting at Wada were shocked to see me emerge from the forest on the gravel path.  We chatted, and I assured them that the road was beautifully paved until the last 200 meters or so.

Hard to imagine a better way to celebrate the arrival of Spring.  Now if only we could get some Springlike temperatures!
Looking to the Northwest from Iriyama Pass.  Spring is coming!


Manfred von Holstein said...

What a coincidence! I was hiking over Wada Toge, Daigo-san and Iriyama Toge the very same day. We could have bumped into each other!


David L. said...

Manfred: It is great that you are able to enjoy hiking, even if your back issues are not permitting you to cycle.

I saw plenty of folks in complete "trail running" gear on that route and on the rindo up Wada, (though most were hiking, not running). I think trail running must be the next boom for 40ish Japanese guys, after road cycling. Well underway, of course, by the time I notice it.

Manfred von Holstein said...

Indeed. I think the trails were particularly busy last weekend, because people are starting to train for upcoming races, now that it is getting a little warmer and snow and ice are gone.

Apart from the fact that running is probably the worst thing I could do for my back, I don't feel tempted to join the fad. Most hiking trails have a lot of rather steep up and down, which means that when going up it makes no difference whether one is "running" or hiking (in fact, we overtook some trail runners when ascending), and when going down one cannot run anyhow as the trails are very steep and difficult. In fact, I wonder how many runners hurt themselves by slipping.

Alexander said...

Just came across your blog and read that Positive Espresso starts their tours in my neighbourhood in Setagaya. Before I became an ExPat I used to ride A LOT and I am now looking for somebody to join occasional weekend rides. I brought both MTB and Road. Please contact me and I'd like to join you from next weekend!!!

David L. said...


Would be great if you can join us. How do we get in touch with you? Send me a private message on the Tokyo Cycling Club site (I'm "dgl2") with your email.

Sometimes (like today) we do not plan ahead, and just a few of us head out without real advance notice.

Next week I may do a TCC ride on Saturday, or try to put together another P.E. ride on Sunday. ... If the latter, I will try to post the fact that we are riding. April is full of events for me -- the first 3 weekends, and then a long event over Golden Week.