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Friday, November 30, 2012

Kyoto Super Sento Tambaguchi Yamato Yu

Super Sento自転車で壬生やまと湯

Among the great experiences to be had in Japan - for long residents or short-term visitors - is the public bath.

From the humble neighborhood sento to the massive "super sento," getting naked with a bunch of strangers and soaking in a variety of baths is divine.

One of Kyoto's Super Sento is located a short walk from the Tambaguchi Station on the JR Saiin Line.

The area is not on any tourist route. It is an average area, a bit cramped, and aside from Mibu Temple and the Motenashi Museum (a former geisha house), there is not much to see in the area.

But we are here for bathing.

The bath is a 10-15 minute ride from Kyoto Station, one block north of Tambaguchi Station.

You enter the large establishment, take off your shoes and store them in a small joker (the 100 yen is returned after you retrieve your shoes). Next to the information counter is the ticket machine. Press button one. You give the ticket to the person at the counter, who will take your shoe locker key and give you a locker key to the changing room on the second floor.

The procedure is the same as for any sento: you get undressed, take your towel in. First you wash yourself, and rinse all the soap from your body. Then you begin the Big Soak. There are multiple baths and saunas to choose from. When you have had your fill of the soothing waters. there is a restaurant on the first floor in which to enjoy a cold beer.


Mibu Yamato Yu Super Sento
Open daily from 10 am to 1 am
General Admission: 700 yen weekdays, 800 weekends
Bike parking on the left

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kyoto Shichijo Dori Bike Lane

Kyoto Bike Lane京都七条通自転車専用レーン

In CycleKyoto's annual awards of Worst Three Bike Lanes and Best Three Bike Lanes, Shichijo Dori did not make the grade for either category.

That is mainly because we were unaware of the lane.

Shichijo is the large boulevard that runs east-west two blocks north of Kyoto Station.

Close to the area around the Kyoto Aquarium, there are lanes on both the north and south sides of the street.

Aside from the worst lane in Kyoto, which is north of Daimaru Department Store and is the width of a normal bicycle's handlebars,  this has to be the narrowest lane in the city.

A single cyclist can however ride on the lane comfortably. Moreover, it is separated from both cars and pedestrians.

However, bushes are growing into the lane, bus stops break it up, and it only runs for several hundred meters.

Product of the Day

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kyoto Exhibit Utsuwa's Capacity to Make Life Beautiful

asahi_utsuwa-hamadaアサヒビール大山崎山荘美術館うつわのちから ―くらしを彩るいれものたち

In the Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum south of Kyoto, an exhibit of "Utsuwa" - containers and dishes made of materials such as clay, wood, glass and metal - is now under way.

It features works by Kanjiro Kawai, Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach, and Lucie Rie, an all star line up.

Moreover, there is antique pottery from East to West from the museum collections.

For those with time, also close is the Suntory Yamazaki distillery.


Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum

5-3 Zenihara, Oyamazaki-cho, Otokuni-gun, Kyoto Prefecture, 618-0071

10:00 to 17:00 (Last admission until 16:30). Closed on Mondays (Closed on Tuesday when the previous Monday is a holiday), and the New Year's holiday period.

Telephone: 075 957 3123

Admission: 900 yen for adults.

Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

Tour hours: Every hour from 10:00 to 15:00 (last tour) from 10:00 -16:45. Reserve by calling +81 75 962 1423

10 min. walk from Yamazaki Sta. of JR Kyoto Line.

Telephone: 075 962 1423

Admission: Free

Product of the Day

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kyoto Temple Illumination Schedule


Each fall temples and shrines in Kyoto are illuminated to highlight the gorgeous colors.

Here is a schedule of the remaining "light up" for 2012.

Daikakuji Temple: until December 9, 5 pm - 9 pm

Tenryuji Temple: until December 7, 5 pm - 8:15 pm

Kibune Shrine: until November 30, sundown - 8:30 pm

Eikando Temple: until December 5, 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Manshuin: until November 30, 5 pm - 8:30 pm

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine: until December 9, sundown - 8 pm

Shorenin: until December 9, 6 pm - 9:30 pm

Chionin: until December 2, 5:30 pm - 9 pm

Kodaiji Temple: until December 9, sundown - 8 pm

Kiyomizu Temple: until December 2, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Tofukuji Temple: until December 9, sundown - 8:30 pm

Daigoji Temple: until December 9, 6 pm - 8:10 pm

Product of the Day

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Kyoto City Council Symbol Matakichi


Who knew?

The Kyoto City Council has a mascot. It is a cat-like character that rides its bike around town.

His (her?) name is Matakichi.

And, good mascot that s/he is, s/he is riding in the bike lane.

Product of the Day

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These sunglasses would look fabulous on Matakichi.


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Sunday, November 25, 2012

World Cycling News This Week 25 November 2012

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2012年11月25日

Critical Mass bike movement at 20 years San Francisco Chronicle

Call for mayor and TfL to cut cycling casualties BBC

Is your company part of the Cycle to Work scheme? London Cyclist

Voyage à vélo - Costa Rica (circuit sud)
Vélo Québec

Why is there no safety in numbers for London's cyclists?

De Vespa a Bianchi El Pais

看板2変化 自転車盗警告 Yomiuri Shinbun

Cycle trips double in Scotland but death toll rises
The Times of London

UCI set to open doping hotline

Last Week's Cycling News


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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kyoto Bike Lanes Best Three

Bike Lane South Kyoto京都市専用自転車レーンベスト3

As we noted in yesterday's blog, Kyoto does not have proper bike lanes that are completely separated from either pedestrian or automobile traffic.

However, the city does have a handful of lanes that are pleasant enough and functional.

Here are the three Best Bike Lanes in Kyoto.

3. Bronze Medal - Takeda Kaido in Deep Deep South Kyoto

In deep, deep south Kyoto is this short, attractive bicycle lane. Pictured above right, it is south of Jujo - Kawaramachi, goes under a highway ramp, and is just a bit west of the Kamo River. We're not sure who would use it - or why it was necessary (there is almost no pedestrian or bicycle traffic on the wide sidewalk) - but is a step in the right direction. It is separated from pedestrian traffic by a low row of bushes - plants! - and on from the street by a low curb. Both the landscaping and signage are tatstefully done.

Nice job.

Bike Lane Kyoto2. Silver Medal - Kujo Dori

It was a toss up between Kujo Dori (9th Street) and the Bronze medalist. The reason we give Kujo the silver medal is that this lane is used, it is in a densely populated area.

The lane runs along Kujo in the heart of south Kyoto, from Takeda to Kawaramachi, which is not far from Toji Temple.

It has to be one of the first, if not the first, bike lanes in Kyoto.

The paving is uneven, the signage not to our taste - but you ride in a mostly separated lane while pedestrians generally keep to their part of the sidewalk.

Not bad at all.

Drum roll, please. It is time for the 2012 award for the Best Bicycle Lane in Kyoto. And the winner is:

1. Gold Medal - Gojo Dori

On the sidewalks of one the city's major boulevards is a pretty good bike lane. Pictured below right, the Gojo Bike Lane runs on both sides of the street (north and south) from the Kamo River until Horikawa. The Gojo bicycle lanes opened in March of 2011.

It has clear, well-spaced signage and the pavement also indicates whether you are in the bike lane or pedestrian area. In places, though, the lane is broken up by pedestrian overpasses - bridges to the other side of the street - and in other places there are long gaps in the quasi-barrier, so pedestrians do wander into the bike lane.

Still, it is the best the city has to offer.


Bike Lane Gojo Kyoto©

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Kyoto Bike Lanes Three Worst

Bike Lane Kyoto京都市専用自転車レーンワースト3

Kyoto does not have any bike lanes that are completely separated from either pedestrian or automobile traffic. It thus has degrees of separation, or degrees of less bad bike lanes.

In recognition of the city's half-hearted effort at laying down an infrastructure for cyclists - excluding, of course, the many parking lots for bicycles - well done, Kyoto! - CycleKyoto hereby hands out the first annual awards for Worst Three Bicycle Lanes in Kyoto.

We have not included any of the "lanes" painted onto sidewalks. The winning lanes are on the road.

3. Bronze Medal - Oike Dori on the south side of Nijo Castle

Going east towards downtown as you ride past Nijo Castle on your left, the left lane of Oike Dori in is a "bike lane." (A picture of the lane is on page 12 of this Kyoto City report on bike lanes.) We know this because on the street in large block white letters it is noted 自転車専用 (exclusively for bicycles). However, the lane has been colonized by cabbies, salarymen, delivery trucks, and others who park there, which forces cyclists back out into the remaining lane and traffic. Moreover, aside from the lettering, there is nothing - no construction, no signage, nothing - to indicate its putative purpose.

Useless and dangerous.

Bike Lane Kyoto2. Silver Medal - on Shinmachi Dori in front of the Police Headquarters

This "lane" is brilliantly bad (see left). It is just one city block, or roughly 250 meters long. It goes to nowhere, and comes from nowhere. It is the Dante Tenth Circle of Hell Bike Lane: you can circle the two sides of the street, within the lanes, forever, getting nowhere, going nowhere, accomplishing nothing.

Moreover, a taxi lane is built into part of the lane on the west side, so that cops and bureaucrats at the prefectural government building next store can catch a ride home. Also, because of complaints about the coloring - it was too bright and blue - the lane was repainted a more subtle, a more "Kyoto," brownish purple. According to the Yomiuri, that cost the taxpayers 6.5 million yen ($78,500). In typical Kyoto fashion, the awful original paint job, and then the money involved to redo it, nearly caused a riot.


Drum roll, please. It is time for the 2012 award for the worst bicycle lane in Kyoto. And the winner is:

1. Gold Medal - The "lanes" pictured at the top right and below right on Rokkaku Dori, Higashinotoin, etc., in the center of town north of Daimaru Department store. The lanes are barely as wide as normal handlebars. Outside the white line is the space prescribed for pedestrians; cyclists are allotted the space within the white and purple lines; and automobiles are squeezed into the middle space.

Absolutely hopeless. A complete and utter waste of time and money.

To give the city its due, we will look at the best three lanes in a future blog.

Bike Lane Kyoto©

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Thursday, November 22, 2012


Torii Gates at Fushimi Inari KyotoCycling Kyoto Fushimi


In deep south Kyoto is Fushimi. It is a world apart, hard by the Uji River and a series of canals.

Riding south from central Kyoto or Kyoto Station, a good first stop would be Tofukuji Temple. It is a large zen complex, much of it is free, and bike parking is easy.

Continuing south is Fushimi Inari Shrine, the number one of some 32,000 of such shrines in Japan.

To get to Fushimi proper, near the Fushimi Momoyama (Keihan Railways) and Momoyama Goryo-mae (Kintetsu Railways) train stations, cyclists should continue south on the narrow north-south route 119.

In Fushimi are sake breweries, an inn where national hero Sakamoto Ryoma was attacked and badly injured, and other sites.

Ride Fushimi ride.


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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bike Lights for Commuting and More


As the days shorten, the need for a good bike light is more pressing.

Even around 5 pm, it is getting dark here in Kyoto.

Without a front and back light, we feel nude, exposed.

Here is a selection of great lights.


Smart Lunar 25 Lux Front Light
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Your Wiggle price: £13.99

Moon Gem 1.0 LED Rechargeable Front Light
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Your Wiggle price:£14.99

Smart 7 Lux Front and 7 LED Rear Light Set
List price £24.99
SAVE 48% = £12.00
Your Wiggle price: £12.99


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nijo Castle Festival 2012 Cycle

Nijo Castle二条城お城まつり

Until November 25, the Nijo Castle Festival 2012 will be held.

Every autumn the World Heritage Site holds a festival that hosts events and performances.

Among them are a showing of the castle's collection of ink paintings, a castle and garden tour, and more.

For cyclists, Nijo is a short, flat ride from central Kyoto.


Admission: 600 yen
Hours: 8:45-17:00 (entry until 16:00)
Access: Kyoto City Bus #9, 50, 101, get off at Nijojo-mae
Telephone: 075 841 0096


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Monday, November 19, 2012

Fall Colors in Kyoto

Myoshinji Temple, Kyoto京都の紅葉

Kyoto is fast approaching the peak of the annual fall color season, as can be seen in Myoshinji Temple (a few years ago).

Already the leaves are beginning to drop in Kibune and Takao, and other areas up in the mountains.

However, in most areas this coming weekend will be the peak for checking out the red, orange, and yellow leaves under clear (we hope) blue skies.

If you do venture out, you will not be alone.

From the time the temples open until closing time, usually at 5, the roads in the areas around Kiyomizu Temple, Kinkakuji Temple, Ginkakuji Temple, and Nene no Michi are thronged with tourists.

Go early, cycle slow.


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Sunday, November 18, 2012

World Cycling New This Week 18 November 2012

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2012年11月18日

Flooding Apparently Damaged Equipment for Bike-Share Program New York Times

British Cycling coach Shane Sutton admits no memory of crash BBC

Learn to effortlessly maintain your bike in a weekend London Cyclist

Le Québec en 30 boucles • Vélo Québec

Build it yourself at the UK's first bamboo bike workshop Guardian

Bicipiquetes El Pais

女子留学生、路上で顔切られる 女が自転車で逃走 大阪 Asahi Shinbun

London Mayor to wheel out cycle corridor plan for city centre The Times of London

Exclusive: Livestrong cancer charity drops Lance Armstrong name from title Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News


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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cycling Fatalities by Country Japan


According to a Japanese Cabinet Report, Holland is the safest country in the world in which to cycle.

On page 99, amongst the jargon and charts and bureaucratese, there is a graph that represents daily kilometers pedaled and fatalities per 100 million kilometers.

The Dutch ride more than anyone on the planet - and are killed on their bikes less than anyone on the planet.

The rate for fatalities in Holland was under two people. By rank in terms of safety, Holland was followed by:

2. Denmark
3. Norway
4. Sweden
5. Germany
6. Japan (3.59 fatalities)
7. Switzerland
8. Finland
9. Great Britain
10. Austria
11. Italy

The Japanese Cabinet report did not bother to list the United States. Taking to the streets of America can be fatal, whether because of gun, knife, or car. The US, with the lowest rate of cycling, has however by far the highest rate of injury and fatalities.


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Cycling Rates By Country Japan


According to Cycling Info, Holland tops the world in terms of daily kilometers traveled on a bike at 2.5 (1.5 miles).

Other countries noted were:

2. Denmark (1.6 km)
3. Belgium (0.9 km)
3. Germany (0.9 km)

EU Average (0.5 km)

10. UK (0.2 km)

12. USA (0.1 km)

For EU countries and the UK, data is from 2002; for the USA, it is from 2003.

For some reason, though, Japan did not make it onto the list. A short online search turned up a Cabinet Office report form 2010.

On page 99, above graph V-5, it reads: "the average bike user [in Japan] rides 20.5 km a week, or 2.928 km per day."

That would make Japan number one in the world.

Tomorrow we will compare rates of cycling safety by country.


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bicycle Book Review Sloane's Complete Book of Bicycling: The Cyclist's Bible

sloane書評「Sloane's Complete Book of Bicycling: The Cyclist's Bible (25th Anniversary Edition)」

Sloane's Complete Book of Bicycling: The Cyclist's Bible is the first step many of us took onto the Planet Bike.

Author Eugene Sloane is the author of many books on cycling, many of them related to how to fix and enjoy riding the bike.

His work though is not just a series of diagrams with how-to advice; it is always sprinkled through with anecdotes to make it a good read.

This work will keep you on the road. It has plenty of gearing tables, sizing recommendations, and detail galore to keep any bike geek happy.

A must read.

Buy on Amazon USA


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

EV Sports Car Takes Test Run in Front of Kyoto Prefectural Government Building


An electric power vehicle - the Tommy Kaira ZZ - zoomed around the streets near Kyoto's elegant Prefectural government building on Monday November 12th.

The car will go on sale next fall.

The maker is based in Kyoto's Kita Ward, where the two-person convertible is manufactured. The project is a venture deal that is funded in part by Nichicon, a local company that makes capacitors.

The car will be priced between seven and eight million yen (USD $87,900 - 100,400).

On one charge, the sports coupe can travel two hundred kilometers.

Not as environmentally friendly as the old bike, but on the commute we would far prefer to be behind an EV than a gas- or oil-spewing bus, taxi, or normal car.


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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Winter Biking Goods


Old Man Fuyu (Winter) is around the corner.

That means commuting on two wheels, the ride to the supermarket, and just getting out and about is going to be chilly - and soon.

We recommend the following goodies to you warm over the winter months, which means from about now until late March.

Save £10 when you spend £100 on cycle clothing, run, and nutrition
Code: 10OFF
Offer ends: 13/11/2012 (2pm GMT)

Save £20 when you spend £200 on cycle clothing, run, and nutrition
Code: 20OFF
Offer ends: 13/11/2012 (2pm GMT)

Winter cycling goods.


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Monday, November 12, 2012

Hokusai Exhibit Landscapes, Beautiful Women, Unique Idea

「北斎」―風景・美人・奇想― 大阪市立美術館

The Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts is currently hosting a wonderful exhibit of works by Hokusai.

Ukiyoe artist Katsuhika Hokusai (1760-1849) lived long and cast an even longer artistic shadow.

His works influenced European masters Monet and Van Gogh.

The Osaka exhibit introduces types of works by Hokusai: landscapes, beautiful women, and what the curators have billed as "unique ideas."

Roughly 370 pieces are on display including “Two Beauties,” “Clam Digging,” and paintings, wood prints, printed books.

For cyclists, parking is easy as the Museum is in Tennoji Park next to the zoo.


Until December 9 (Sunday)
Hours: 9:30 am - 5 pm (last admission 4:30 pm), closed on Mondays
Adult 1,300 yen, high school and university student 900 yen
The Museum is located in Tennoji Park, a short walk from Tennoji Station (Tanimachi subway line or JR loop line)
TEL: 06 6947 5433


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Sunday, November 11, 2012

World Cycling News 11 November 2012

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2012年11月11日

Tour de Farce New York Times

Bradley Wiggins crash: Woman reported for summons BBC

Why cyclists should hope not cope London Cyclist

Vélo Québec Voyages Vélo Québec

Spoof website pokes fun at Rapha's cycling pretentions Guardian

Quiero una bicicleta vieja El Pais

バイクでかけっこ、楽しいな 愛媛で自転車型遊具の大会 Asahi Shinbun

How Copenhagen passed its cycling proficiency test — and what the Danes can teach us The Times of London

Wiggins and Sutton making progress after crashes Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News


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Saturday, November 10, 2012


kodaiji templeCycling Kyoto Kodaiji Temple


In the hills of eastern Kyoto known as Higashiyama is some of the best touring to be found in the city. There are hills to be sure, but the views and sites are about as good as it gets.

Down the road from Kiyomizu Temple, down the sloped Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka - beautiful old style roads - is Nene no Michi.

Nene no Michi (The Path of Nene) is drop dead gorgeous.

On the north side of Nene no Michi is Kodaiji Temple, which was established in 1605 by Nene, the wife of the late Toyotomi Hideyosh. The temple is also stunning.

On fall days, this area is very crowded.

We recommend parking nearby and walking.

Ride Kodaiji ride.


Kyoto Nene no Michi
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Bicycle Book Review Off to the Races: 25 Years of Cycling Journalism

bike-cover書評「Off to the Races: 25 Years of Cycling Journalism」

Off to the Races: 25 Years of Cycling Journalism is a well written look at the past twenty-five years of how the sport of cycling has been reported in newspapers.

Journalist Samuel Abt and photographer Graham Watson have created a great read.

"Off to the Races: 25 Years of Cycling Journalism" presents all of the titans of cycling in the last quarter century: LeMond, Indurain, Moser, Sean Kelly, Claudio Ciapucci, Laurent Fignon, Bernard Hinault, Chris Boardman, Jan Ullrich, Mario Cipollini, and more are featured in articles from the recent past.

A pleasing stroll down memory lane.

Buy on Amazon USA


CycleKyoto Home Page


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Visitors to the Kyoto Aquarium Top Two Million and Why We Won't Go

dolphin京都水族館200万人突破 4ヵ月余り早く 年間目標を達成

The Kyoto Aquarium, which opened on March 14 of this year, recorded its 2,000,000th visitor on November 5th.

That landmark was reached four months earlier than predicted.

The aquarium is relatively eco-friendly, and it hosts many local species.

But we were not among the two million, and we will not be joining the throngs in the future since Kyoto, like most Japanese aquariums, has as its main event a dolphin show.

Those dolphins are no doubt the leftovers from annual kill off the coast of Wakayama Prefecture, which was so poignantly depicted and exposed in the The Cove.

For those who have no objection to the dolphin show, see below for details.


35-1 Kankijicho Kyoto Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8835 (inside Umekoji Park)
Tel: +81 75 354 3130

It is a fifteen minute walk from Kyoto Station. There are also buses.

For cyclists, the aquarium is about 5-6 minutes northwest of Kyoto Station in Umekoji Park, which is in front of the tracks of the JR Saiin Line. Ride west on Shichijo Dori to Omiya Dori and turn right, heading north. The park is on the left and there will be signs.


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ronis' beloved Parisian life WILLY RONIS Kyoto Exhibit

ronis_bastille-loversロニスの愛したパリの日常 WILLY RONIS展

Kyoto's Kahitsukan Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art is holding an exhibit of French photographer Willy Ronis's works until later this month.

Ronis, who died in 2009 at 99, originally aspired to be a composer, but abandonned that dream at age 22. From then on he followed in the footsteps of his father, who was s a photographer.

He was enormously successful: in 1957, he was awarded the Venice Biennale its Gold Medal; in 1979, he was given the Awards Grand prix national des Arts et des Lettres pour la Photographie.

The Museum is a short walk from Shijo - Kawabata, or the Shijo Keihan Train Station in Gion.

Walking towards Yasaka Shrine, from the Kamo River on Shijo Dori, it is on the left just beyond Hanamikoji Dori.


October 6 - November 25
10:00 - 6:00 pm (last entry 5:30 pm, closed Mondays)
Adults: 1,000 yen, students: 800 yen
Telephone: 075 525 1311


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Walk Ten Kilometers to a Public Bath in Kyoto

Kyogoku sento Kyoto10キロ歩いて銭湯へ! 京都市が活性化企画印刷用画面を開く

Though scholars doubt its authenticity, one of several pithy quotes attributed to Mark Twain speaking of his ultimate demise is, "When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always twenty years behind the times."

Though Kyoto is also known for its embrace of things modern and new, it is in some ways somewhat like that: a bit behind the times, clinging to things discarded in the rest of Japan.

While the neighborhood public bath (sento) is fading fast around the rest of urban Japan - replaced by Super Sento (modern, mega-baths with dining and other facilities) or nothing at all - Kyoto still has many local sentos sprinkled around the city.

However, Kyoto is not immune to trends that have hurt the sento industry: namely, that all private homes now have their own bath. In 1970, the city had 461 public baths. As of 2010, just 187 remained.

The city though is concerned about a decline in the number of baths, and is sponsoring an event to encourage sento use. The city has divided its 40+ km marathon course into four sections - each 10 km long - and is sponsoring walk-and-bathe days.

Gojo RakuenTo help rectify the the decline, the city will sponsor four walks. The first will be from Nishi Kyogoku (close to where the local soccer club Sanga plays) and wind its way to Ninnaji Temple. At the starting point, participants will receive an entry ticket to a sento. After a three-hour walk, it's off to a public bath.

The fee to participate is 410 yen - the amount public baths charge - and applications are being accepted until November 7.

For information, call 075 222 3433.

Kyoto Sento Map


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Monday, November 5, 2012

Villa Kujoyama Kyoto Exhibit

villa-kujoyama-300pxVK3F ヴィラ九条山招聘アーティストによる 2週間の特別展示

At Villa Kujoyama, a French government run art residency in the hills of eastern Kyoto, French artists come and work for stints from four months to one year.

At the end of their stays, there are exhibits and happenings.

It was inspired by the Villa Medicis in Rome, and has been open since 1992.

Recent events include "at least we still have joy," an exhibit by Alexandre Maubert. Entrance is free and the show will run until November 10.

There will also be a performance on November 11, from 4 pm until 7 pm.

On the 12th, from 7 pm, there will be a video exhibit and a talk with the artist.

For cyclists, it is near Nanzenji Temple. Here is a map.


Villa Kujoyama Kansai Franco-Japanese Institute, 17-22 Hinooka Ebisudani-cho, Yamashina-ku, Kyoto 607-8492
Phone: 075 752 7171

10 minute walk from Keage station on the Subway Tozai line


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Sunday, November 4, 2012

World Cycling News 4 November 2012

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2012年11月04日

One Way Around the Traffic Muddle in Brooklyn: Riding a Bicycle New York Times

Wada accepts Usada evidence against Lance Armstrong BBC

What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the road London Cyclist


How cyclists and pedestrians can share space on canal towpaths Guardian

Las ciudades más contaminadas BiciMexico

NCDなど、東京・品川で自転車共同利用の社会実験-環境負荷低減、普及の好機 Asahi Shinbun

Cambridge rower hits out over career-ending accident The Times of London

No winner for 1999-2005 Tours, says UCI Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News


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Saturday, November 3, 2012


Kumogahata KyotoCycling Kyoto Kumogahata


In the far north of Kyoto City is a mountain village that is a world apart from the rest of the city.

Kumogahata is a rural village within the city limits.

To get there is a bit of a climb, but from downtown will take only about one hour.

The villages that make up Kumogahata feature several temples, rural scenery, a river (that is in places unfortunately filthy with trash) that is the source of the Kamo River, and mountains.

The area has been inhabited for than a thousand years.

A highlight is the annual August 24 the Kumogahata Torch-throwing Festival.

On weekends, there are a fair number of cyclists on the roads.

Ride Kumogahata ride.


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Friday, November 2, 2012

Cycling Kanga-an Temple Kyoto

Kanga-an Gate自転車で閑臥庵

This area of north central Kyoto is among the few areas we would consider moving to, if circumstances allowed and/or the stars aligned. We love our area of western Kyoto but the area north of Shokokuji Temple is very tempting.

The neighborhood north of Imadegawa, west of Karasuma, Shimei Dori on the north end, and just east of the Kamo River is hemmed in by barriers human and natural. Thus, traffic is minimal.

It is close to several subway stops, bus routes, a hop skip and jump to the Kamo River, and a short ride into central Kyoto.

It also is home to many temples. The largest is Shokokuji Temple.

Among the other temples Kanga-an is small and quirky.

It is at the northern end of the area, almost to Shimei Dori.

In its garden is a gaggle of Buddhist statuary.

In the 17th century, retired Emperor Go Mizuno asked the head priest of Manpukuji in Uji, to open Kanga-an and "enshrine the Holy Spirit of Residential Protection, Chintakurefushin. Chintaku is thought to bear the impressive burden of controlling the movements of the universe, guarding the zodiac, expelling evil spirits and "protecting people from the wrong direction."

Until 1869, when the Emperor relocated to Tokyo, Chin's holy barricade safeguarded Japan's royals. Following that, Kanga-an was relegated to being just one of Kyoto's 3,000 temples and shrines. It is small and not on a the tourist route.

However, one thing separates Kanga-an from the many small and large temples: it serves traditional Kyoto Kaiseki cuisine that is wonderful. Eating in a temple is one of the many exquisite experiences to be had in Kyoto, and Kanga-an is one of the few that opens its doors to the public.

Kanga-an StatuaryInformation

Kangan-an Temple
500 yen
278 Kuramaguchi-Higahiiru, Karasumadori, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 603-0000
Telephone: 81 75 256 2480


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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Kyoto Kitayama Pumpkins

Kyoto Pumpkins京都北山カボチャ

Every October, the Kitayama area of Kyoto hosts a pumpkin festival that has blossomed into an annual party that takes place in front of the Botanical Gardens.

The event even has its own web page.

On a visit to the area on October 31, the pumpkins were lined up a bit forlornly in front of the Botanical Gardens.

A check on the above web page confirmed that the big event had already taken place.

On October 27 and 28, the annual party and parade took place.

We are not sure what will become of the post-Halloween Jack-o-lanterns.


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