CycleKyoto HP LInk

Sunday, March 31, 2013

World Cycling News 31 March 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年03月31日

A shorter Philly Cycling Classic set for June 2 Phillycome

Mark Cavendish wins stage two of Three Days of De Panne BBC

Best winter gloves for cyclists London Cyclist

André Fontaine, ancien directeur du "Monde" Le Monde

Rapha cycle clothes: easy to mock, but also easy to love Guardian

Asilo diplomático para ciclistas amenazados El Pais

VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 3a&3b
まるで昨年度のリプレイ、シャバネルが大逆転でデ・パンネ3日間を連覇!変則的な1日2ステージの最終日前半はクリストフがスプリント勝利!後半はシャバネルが得意の個人TTで圧勝! Cycling Time

Amsterdam cyclists rage over shortage of parking spaces The Times of London

Cycling: Softly spoken Froome maturing into team leader Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

Bicycle Goods

Japan Buyers

Japan SALE
Extra 15% off when you spend JA YEN 15,000
Code: 15-EXTRA

Landing page for Japan:


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Saturday, March 30, 2013

On the Road Somewhere Along Lake Biwa...

Lake Biwa Japan自転車で琵琶湖一周のどこかで。。。

As you have your coffee and web surf, we are somewhere en route to Otsu, then up the east side of Lake Biwa.

One night in a business hotel, then we continue around the northern end of the lake and back to Kyoto - in the rain.

Sunday is not looking good, weather-wise.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review The Bicycle Wheel 3rd Edition

The Bicycle Wheel自転車の書評

Engineer Jobst Brandt has long been a consultant to the bicycle industry and is rightly lauded for his work on Avocet's line of road tires.

The Bicycle Wheel is the 3rd Edition of Brandt's series.

In the series, Brandt uses engineering data to make an argument for the what he considers the best materials and construction methods for bicycle wheels.

This work is dense in places, but for any avid bicycle rider it will be a pleasure to read.

For those who want to build their own wheels, there are detailed instructions.

An excellent work.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cycling Lake Biwa

Bike Path Lake Biwa Japan自転車で琵琶湖一周

We are finally taking the plunge, though not we hope literally.

A friend and I are cycling the Lake Biwa circuit.

We both live in Kyoto, so will meet at Heian Shrine, say a quick prayer to the Cycling Gods - and then head up and over Sanjo into Otsu.

The plan is to head counter-clockwise, so we will head south from Otsu down to the bottom of the lake. Then we will head north towards Seta, Hikone, and Nagahama.

We will crash in a business hotel for the night, then start early on Day Two.

Cycling Gods willing, we will make it back to Kyoto by Sunday dinner, having cycled the entire 200+ km circuit of Mother Biwa.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Saitama Japan Tour De France Race Course Set

自転車:さいたまツールドフランス 10月開催、正式決定−−調印式 

The inaugural "Tour de Saitama" will be held this October.

The race will host many of the world's finest cyclists and is being held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France.

The official name is:

The Saitaima Criterium by Le Tour de France

Try saying that 10 times fast.

Following an official signing ceremony with Amaury Sport Organization, which organizes the Tour de France, the name and course were announced.

The course is 3.1 kilometers long, and riders will do 30 laps. It passes in front of the Saitama government buildings, JR Saitama-Shintoshin Station, and is close to Saitama Super Arena and JR Kita-Yono Station.

Here in Kyoto, we have often fantasized about a Tour type race that ends with riders pedaling under the massive torii gates of Heian Shrine.


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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Japanese Importer of Bianchi Bicycles to Pay 150 Million Yen

Bike Shop Harajuku「ビアンキ」の自転車事故で1.5億円賠償命令

The Japan importer of Bianchi bicycles was ordered by the Tokyo District court to pay 150 million yen ($1.58 million USD) in damages to a sixty-three year-old man who was injured when he was riding a Bianchi.

The man, Hiroshi Nakajima of Tsukuba, suffered paralysis of the limbs after falling because the front wheel of his bicycle fell off while he was riding.

Nakajima sued Cycleurope Japan Co. for 180 million yen and was awarded almost that amount, which is unusual.


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Sunday, March 24, 2013

World Cycling News Kyoto 24 March 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年03月24日

More good news for the Philly Cycling Classic

2013 Tour of Britain: Women's race planned for London finale BBC

BikeTouch Pro Cycling Gloves review London Cyclist

Le Waterbike à Hydrofoil pour faire du vélo sur l’eau France-Soir

Why the London Cycling Campaign designed a bike-friendly lorry Guardian

Carta al Subsecretario de Control de Tránsito de la SSPD Bicitekas

天国から地獄!総合リーダージャージのヴァルベルデがクイーンステージの下りでクラッシュリタイア!マーティンがなんと逃げ切り勝利で総合リーダーに!ホアキンは好調、ウィギンスはまったく伸びず Cycling Time

Commuting by bike soars by nearly a fifth The Times of London

Contador out of Criterium International with influenza Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

Bicycle Goods

Japan Buyers

Japan SALE
Extra 15% off when you spend JA YEN 15,000
Code: 15-EXTRA

Landing page for Japan:


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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Kyoto Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Trees Kyoto桜前線駆け足にやきもき 京の観光関係者

After a cold winter, the cherry trees were until recently predicted to blossom later than usual.

However, thanks to a few warm weeks, the blossoms are nearly upon us in the ancient capital.

The "front line" of the cherry blossoms has reached nearby Osaka, and is heading north to Kyoto.

Last year the blossoms opened up on April 3, which is six days later than a normal year.

The early blooming this year may as a result miss many of the city's illuminated events. The canals, for example, in Okazaki that wend through museums and city's zoo are lined with cherry trees. They will be lit up from March 30 until April 21. Canal boats however cannot change their schedules.

Still, weather permitting, the canals are lovely with or without the perfect blossoms.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Friday, March 22, 2013

Studies show bike commuting is one of the best ways to stay healthy


Our friends at Baltimore Spokes have passed along the not surprising news that commuting by bike is great for your health.

This confirms our very biased suspicions.

The article is below:

According to Australian epidemiologist Takemi Sugiyama, lead author of a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “Commuting is a relevant health behavior even for those who are sufficiently active in their leisure time.”

Analyzing the research, The Health Behavior News Service notes, “It may be more realistic to accumulate physical activity through active transport than adding exercise to weekly leisure-time routines.”

The four-year study of 822 adults found that found that people commuting to work by car gained more weight on average, even if they engaged in regular exercise, than people who did not commute by car. The authors of the study recommend creating more opportunities for everyone to walk or bike to work.

An earlier study by researchers at the University of Sydney School of Public Health published in Obesity Reviews (the journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity) supports the thesis that leisure-time exercise alone is not enough to prevent obesity. Sixty to 90 minutes of daily physical activity is recommended to curb obesity, which is more time than most people can fit into their busy schedules. That’s why the study’s authors recommend “active transport” like biking and walking for commuting other common trips.

Beyond fighting fat, biking and walking for transportation also boosts overall health. A 2007 paper in the European Journal of Epidemiology concludes “Commuting physical activity, independent of leisure time physical activity, was associated with a healthier level of most of the cardiovascular risk factors.”

The key advantage of traveling by bike over working out at a fitness center is that most people find it easier to do. Instead of vying for scarce free time with many other fun and important things, exercise becomes something we do naturally as part of daily routine. As a study by Portland State University professor Jennifer Dill in the Journal of Public Health Policy shows, 60 percent of Portland cyclists ride for at least 150 minutes per week (the recommended exercise minimum for adults) and that “nearly all the bicycling was for utilitarian purposes, not exercise.”

She adds “a disproportionate share of the bicycling occurred on streets with bicycle lanes, separate paths, or bicycle boulevards”—confirming the importance of bike infrastructure improvements to public health.

In my opinion, all this research also suggests that if I bike a lot for everyday transportation I can sometimes ditch the skim milk in favor of the brownies, and may save enough on auto expenses to both take a cool vacation and fund my retirement account.



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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kyoto Shimogamo Shrine To Undergo Renovations

Shimogamo Shrine Kyoto宵に浮かぶ仮遷宮 下鴨神社、21年ぶり大改修へ

Kyoto's Shimogamo Shrine is set to undergo renovations.

On March 20, work began on what is a once in twenty-one year transfer of the shrine deity.

Work on the Main Hall will not start until May.

To prepare for this, ancient rites were held at the shrine.

This is the 34th such transfer. and in the spring of 2015 the deity will return.


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cycling Kyoto Ninja House


Kyoto's famed Ninja House is open after several years of renovations.

The private home is known as Nijo Jinya that has been owned by the same family, the Ogawas, for several hundred years.

The 17,600 square foot house has 24 rooms. To protect the powerful guests who stayed in the inn, security measures were intense.

The building has the following security measures:

1) hiding places between cupboards
2) low ceilings to limit swordplay
3) design features that allowed the secret and constant monitoring of visitors
4) removable floor tile
5) sliding panels that could pivot thus allowing a guard to "disappear"
6) a trap door in a that could drop an attacker into a hidden pit filled with a row of poisoned spikes.

Visitors need a reservation and the tours are conducted in Japanese only.

Thus, an interpreter may be required (i.e., you must supply your own).

Time table

Tours start at 10 am, 11 am, 2  pm, and 4 pm

Each tour lasts 50 minutes and is conducted in Japanese.

Entrance fee

Adult 1,000
High school student 800


Tel: 075-841-0972
Reception hours


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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kyoto Sanga Wins For First Time in 2013

Kyoto Purple Sanga Fansサンガ逆襲、今季初勝利 サッカーJ2

Kyoto is a professional sports desert.

There is apparently a women's baseball team. And then there is the Kyoto Hannaries (which is local dialect for "elegant," "restrained" - to be honest, most of the people we asked under the age of 40 were not sure of the exact nuance of the word). The fighting Hannaries are a basketball team that plays in the BJ league in Japan.

Both of the above teams are niche, and have few fans and little presence in the city.

The one "major" team in town is Sanga, Kyoto's professional soccer club. They are currently in the second division of the J.League (teams can be demoted from J1 down to J2, and conversely can be promoted up to J1 from J2, depending upon the standings at the end of the season).

Last year was crushing.

In the second-to-last match of the 2012 season, Sanga, which was strong all season, had to do was win away at Kita Kyushu - a real patsy of a team - to clinch a spot in J1. They lost.

The result was that the team finished in fourth place, one point behind the third place team. The top three teams are eligible for promotion. And thus we are back in J2, watching small-market clubs.

Sanga, which is sponsored buy the likes of Kyocera, Wacoal, Nintendo, and many of the city's world-beating corporations, should be in J1.

Over the weekend, in the third match of the 2013 campaign, Sanga won! They defeated Fukuoka, having had tied the first two matches against strong teams that will be vying for promotion: Gamba Osaka and Tokyo Verdy.

We are praying to the Soccer Gods at our local temple for the team.

Cycling Information

Sanga plays its home matches at Nishi Kyogoku, which is a multi-use complex next to the Katsura River. The stadium is a bit grim - and the seats far from the field - but the atmosphere is good, safe, and family-friendly. It is about 20 minutes from central Kyoto, and parking is available in front of the stadium.

View Cycling to Kyoto Nishi Kyogoku Stadium in a larger map


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Monday, March 18, 2013

Kyoto Minamiza Theater Tours of Stage and Backstage

Kyoto Minami Za Theater歌舞伎ファンが憧れの場所に 南座で舞台体験

Kyoto's famed Minamiza Theater opened its stage to tours on the 16th of March. It is the main kabuki theater in Kyoto.

The tour allows visitors to get a close up look of the "hanamichi"- the part of the stage that comes out into the audience - and other parts of the theater usually off-limits to all but the actors and stage hands.

Minamiza staff lead the tours. They explain the history of the theater, which was founded in 1610. The current building was completed in 1929 and seats 1,086.

The tour is open until April 16 and is held nine days a day (except Thursdays).

The theater is in Gion just across the Kamo River from central Kyoto.


East side, Shijo-ohashi-bridge, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Telephone: 075 561 1155
Fee: 1000 yen
Tour Times:

Morning:  10:30, 11:00, 11:30
Afternoon: 13:00, 13:30, 14:00
Evening: 15:30, 16:00, 16:30

Closed: March 21, 28; April 4, 11

Photo©Kyoto Shinbun


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

World Cycling News Kyoto 17 March 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年03月17日

Wheelies at the Museum New York Times

British Cycling appoints Andy Harrison as programmes director BBC

Cycling in London in 2026 London Cyclist

Le Waterbike à Hydrofoil pour faire du vélo sur l’eau France-Soir

Boris Johnson's bold thinking could change the future of London cycling Guardian

Carta al Subsecretario de Control de Tránsito de la SSPD Bicitekas

彷徨うアンディ・シュレク、抜け殻と批判されたアンディをかばうチーム関係者、チームオーナーはそろそろ我慢の限界か?プロとしての自覚の無さを指摘、レースリタイア後の行動にも疑問が Cycling Time

Welcome to the age of the bike: cyclists ‘must be first’ as car use passes its peak The Times of London

Lobby group urge Armstrong to make full confession Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

Bicycle Goods

Japan Buyers

Japan SALE
Extra 15% off when you spend JA YEN 15,000
Code: 15-EXTRA

Landing page for Japan:


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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spa World Osaka Cycle

Osaka Spa Worldスパワールド世界の大温泉

Osaka likes things big and loud.

From its clothes to its dialect, its mobsters to its baseball fans, Osaka is not subtle.

Ditto for Spa World, a mega super sento (public bath) in south Osaka.

The emporium includes an onsen (hot spring), gym, hotel, "food zone," European onsen, Asian onsen, various massages, and a pool. We are probably forgetting something - but forgive us, it is big.

And a bit overwhelming at times. Basically, here is what you do to take a bath.

Cycle or take the train to Dobutsuen-mae Station. For those on a bike, it is not far from Tennoji.

1) When you enter, you buy a 1000 yen ticket at one of the machines.
2) Present that at the entrance.
3) You will be given a wrist band (do NOT lose this - you will be billed 5000 yen if you do).
4) Take shoes off before stepping up onto the carpet.
5) Put shoes in locker (you need a 100 yen coin, which you get back when you retrieve your shoes.)
6) Go up to the floor for your sex (on the day we went, it was the 6th floor for men; you will be told at the entrance).
7) In the locker room, put your clothes, etc., in an open locker. Grab a towel - in bins at the edge of each locker - and enter the bath.

After that, it is like a normal public bath: wash your body first, then enter the bath(s).

After you are finished, dry off, change into the blue pajamas - in bins as you exit the bath - and go back to your locker

8) When you leave, you have to do deposit the wrist band into a machine on floor two (the entrance). Take the receipt to the exit wickets and place the bar code on the glass portion of the wicket (a guard is there and will help you).

For a 1000 yen, it is an "experience." Compared to a good old sento, it is...large. The baths are fair, but it is very popular with overseas tourists.

Still, bathing in a room about half the size of a football field with 20 meter high ceilings is worth the price of admission.


3-4-24 Ebisu-higashi Naniwa-ku
Osaka 556-0002
Tel: 06 6631 0001

Spa World Online

View Cycling to Spaworld Osaka in a larger map

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Wind Turbine Collapses in Kyoto

Wind Turbine Collapse Kyoto伊根・太鼓山風力発電所 支柱折れ、羽根落下 先端部、金属疲労か

On Wednesday March 13th, a giant wind turbine collapsed in western Kyoto Prefecture.

The windmill, which is in the town of Inecho, is 50-meters tall. Along with three 25-meter long blades, the entire structure collapsed. No one was injured.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

During the day, winds were a powerful 15 km/hour. The turbine collapsed at around 7 pm.

The wind turbine began operation in 2001 and was set up at a cost of 1.8 million USD. Its service life was an expected 17 years.

In 2011, it generated roughly 4,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. Because of breakdowns and weak winds, the turbine was operating at a loss. However, because of the increase in the tariff, it was thought that the turbine was just on the point of turning a profit.

photo ©Kyoto Shinbun 


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Thursday, March 14, 2013

No Parking Bike Sign and Fence Osaka Shinsaibashi

No Parking Sign Osaka Shinsaibashi駐輪禁止大阪心斎橋

Along a narrow north-south side street in Shinsaibashi, Osaka, an Italian restaurant is fighting the scourge of bicycle parking congestion.

Osaka is more intense than Kyoto, in every way.

In terms of cycling, it is paradise and hell.

The city is flat and compact: perfect for biking. And everyone does.

That means that sidewalks and any open space are clogged with parked bikes.

This restaurant, a few blocks east of the Daimaru Department Store in Shinsaibashi took measures into its own hands.

The fence is an architectural allusion to the "inuyarai" - elegant curved bamboo fences to keep the dogs away - that front many of Kyoto's famed machiya town houses in Gion and elsewhere.

In Kyoto, the purpose is to prevent dogs and drunken salarymen from urinating on the house. In Osaka, it is to prevent cyclists from parking (and drunken salarymen from urinating on the building).


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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Japan Feed-in Tariff for Solar Power to Be Lowered


Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced on Tuesday that the feed-in tariff for solar power will be reduced from 42 yen/kilowatt hour to 38 yen/kilowatt hour.

Other forms of renewable energy - geothermal, wind, small-scale hydraulic - will remain unchanged at their 2012 rates.

What this means is that a homeowner who has solar panels installed on her roof will pay X to the power company for each kilowatt hour (in Kyoto, 24 yen), and then receive from the power company 38 yen for each kilowatt power the solar panels generate above the amount used.

For example, if the homeowner uses 10 kilowatt hours and the solar panels generate 20 kilowatt hours in a month, she will pay 240 yen (10 hours x 24 yen/hour), and then receive 380 yen (10 hours used - 20 hours generated = a difference of 10 hours x 38 yen = 380 yen).

Early adopters got as much as 48 yen. In our neighborhood in Kyoto, many are receiving 42 yen/hour.

The reasoning for the reduction is that the cost of the panels and installation has gone down, and thus the period it takes to recoup the investment in the panels, etc., will not change. In many cases, that is roughly 12-13 years now with various local and national subsidies calculated in.

The spread of other forms of renewable energy are lagging, so the tariffs will stay at their current rates.

For wind power, the tariff will remain 57.75 yen/kilowatt hour for up to 20 kilowatts generated, 23.1 yen/kilowatt hour for more than that.

For geothermal, the tariff will stay at 42 yen/kilowatt hour for up to 1.5 kilowatts generated, 27.3 yen/kilowatt hour for more than that.

Small-scale hyrdaulic power will receive between 25.2 - 35.7 yen/kilowatt hour.


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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Every Lane is a Bike Lane

Bus in California全ての車線は自転車のレーン

God, we love this sign.

And, on the back of a bus - in California!

This photo comes courtesy of Baltimore Spokes, and is of a typical city bus in Los Angeles.

Here in Kyoto, buses are for the most part hulking, smelly, dangerous creatures. However, the drivers, impatient as some of them can be, are aware of cyclists.

That is, they expect a commuter on his bike to be in front of the bus, behind the bus, to the side of the bus.

Thus, unless a cyclist is half-mad or the driver half-asleep, trouble is rare.


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Monday, March 11, 2013

First "Kosa" Yellow Sands From China Arrive in Western Japan

Kosa Yellow Sands京阪神初の黄砂

The annual influx of sand blown over from deserts in northern China has arrived in western Japan.

The sand particles join another unwelcome visitor from China: toxic particles. The latter started arriving last month and are believed to be emissions from factories in China.

The sand, while mildly irritating, is not believed to be bad for one's health.

According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, "...yellow sand was blown up from the Asian Continent by a frontal wind with low atmospheric pressure and was brought to Western Japan by the prevailing westerlies there."

Beyond weather and news reports, one becomes aware of the sand when a yellowish-green film appears on car and home windows, and on particularly heavy days on the road itself.

In Kyoto, visibility on Saturday was just 8 km and Osaka (pictured) worse.

We will continue wearing our ungainly bike mask.


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Sunday, March 10, 2013

World Cycling News 10 March 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年03月10日

Seattle Bike Expo this weekend: What’s there (and how to get there) Seattle Bike Blog

Cavendish finishes second on Tirreno-Adriatico stage three BBC

Amsterdam look out, London is competing for the cycling crown London Cyclist

J'ai testé le fixie Le Monde

The Art of Repair: bikefix - video Guardian

Aló Biciclista El Pais

ウィギンスとフルームだけじゃない!スカイの第3の総合系の男リッチー・ポートがその才能を開花!黒服のオージーはフランスでダンディーに決めた!忍者メンショフがステージ2位! Cycling Time

London ‘bike Crossrail’ planned for 2016 The Times of London

Spain seeks parliamentary approval for new anti-doping law Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

Bicycle Goods

Japan Buyers

Japan SALE
Extra 15% off when you spend JA YEN 15,000
Code: 15-EXTRA

Landing page for Japan:


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Saturday, March 9, 2013

River Work in Arashiyama Kyoto

Togetsukyo Bridge嵐山桂川改修に3案 国交省 景観へ影響必至

Work is set to begin on the bridge and paths along the Katsura River in Arashiyama.

As a result of damage from a typhoon in 2004, work on weirs will take place, embankments will be raised, and the river bed lowered by 1.3 - 2.4 meters.

In addition, the bridge itself will be extended. 

As with any work in a culturally rich - and sensitive - area, one worries about the look of the work.

Can the Ministry of Construction and local officials and companies come up with a plan that is environmentally friendly, not terribly corrupt in terms of awarding contracts, fiscally responsible, and attractive?

Also, from a cyclist's perspective, one of Japan's best and longest cycling paths - from Arashiyama to Kizu, not far from Nara - begins almost at the foot of the above bridge. What disruption, change, improvement is likely to occur?


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Friday, March 8, 2013

Kodaiji Temple Illumination

Kodaiji Temple光で描く秀吉の夢 8日から高台寺で夜間拝観

The annual illumination of Kodaiji Temple begins on March 8th.

Blue, green, and other colored lighting have been set up.

Within the grounds of the temple 670 lights.

The "lightup" will continue until May 6th and is open every evening from 5 - 9 pm.

There is an entrance fee.

For those cycling parking is not a problem. Along the Path of Nene, you should be able to park.

Photo ©Kyoto Shinbun


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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Kyoto Cuisine Named an Intangible Cultural Asset

Hyotei Chef Takahashi京料理、無形文化財に 「瓢亭」当主を認定、全国初

Kyoto's traditional cuisine - in Japanese, "Kyoryori" or "Kaiseki" - has been named an Intangible Cultural Asset by the Kyoto prefectural government.

One of the chef's premier purveyors of such cuisine, Eiichi Takahashi (pictured), the fourteenth generation chef at the Michelin Guide three-star restaurant Hyotei, was was of those recognized by the government.

Other examples of Inangible Cultural Assets include washi paper, weaving, pottery, metal work, glass work, and Japanese dance.

Kyoto's traditional dining traces its roots to the court, which was until the 1860s located in Kyoto. Its history is some 400 years old.

Today, the best known restaurants are mainly in Gion or Arashiyama.

©Photo Kyoto Shinbun


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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Telephone Poles and Wires Buried in Kyoto Kamishichiken Geisha Area

Kamishichiken Kyoto上七軒、すっきりどす 「北野をどり」前に無電柱化完了

Street work in Kyoto's oldest geisha area, Kamishichiken, is now complete.

The unsightly telephone poles and wires have been buried under the street.

The photo above right is dated and gives an idea of what the otherwise lovely streetscape looks like.

Those poles and the wires overhead are now gone, hidden below street level.

This follows the example in areas of Gion.

We are hoping in the current political climate that some of the Abenomics windfall will make its way down to Kyoto and start work on burying the rest of the city's wires.


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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Has Sprung in Kyoto


It is still chilly this morning in Kyoto, but spring - temporarily at least - is on its way.

According to the NHK weather report, Kyoto is going to enjoy high temperatures of around 20 (68F) starting tomorrow and lasting through the weekend.

Time indeed to take a ride.

Winter is not through with us yet this year, but the plum trees have bloomed, crocuses are pushing up, and in a month or sooner we will be under the cherry blossoms in Hirano Shrine drinking sake and ogling Ritsumeikan University students.


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Monday, March 4, 2013

Doll's Festival Kyoto Kokusai Hotel

Hina Matsuri Kyoto京のひな祭in国際ホテル

Hina Matsuri is a Japanese doll festival that is held on on March 3.

People set up platforms in their living rooms, drape them with red carpet, and then place ornamental dolls on each of the rows.

The dolls represent the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional in Heian period dress.

Because of changes in lifestyle, fewer families pull out the old dusty set of dolls, screw together the frame, and figure out where all of the dolls should go.

Also, with more women working and smaller homes than in the past, time and space also have made the festival less of a family affair.

Kyoto's Kokusai Hotel, which is across Horikawa Dori from Nijo Castle, is now hosting a bitter-sweet exhibit of many of the dolls.

When the exhibit was in the planning stages, a call went out to those who had old Hina Doll sets - and were going to throw them out. More sets than the organizers knew what to do with poured in. Students and faculty from Setsunan University then created bamboo platforms and a fabulous space on which to display dolls.

Of the many sets donated, a handful were chosen to be displayed in the lower level of the hotel.

The owners of the dolls wanted them to be shown one last time prior to being ceremonially cremated.

Hina Matsuri KyotoInformation

The exhibit runs from February 28 - March 6, 2013
Hours: 11 am 6 pm

Admission is free


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Sunday, March 3, 2013

World Cycling News 3 March 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年02月24日

Sprawling Memphis Aims to Be a Friendlier Place for Cyclists New York Times

Double world champion Becky James plays down Rio 2016 hopes BBC

Free entry in to the London Revolution if you sign up to Ride Across Britain London Cyclist

Une minute pour voler un vélo, et personne ne bouge Le Monde

Spinning through the city, Mexican style. Maybe Manchester can copy Guardian

“No estoy dispuesto a renunciar a dos horas de mi vida al día por el coche” El Pais

1軍と2軍は同時にレースに出られない?UCIのルールにオメガファルマ・クイックステップの監督ルフェーブルが物申す、若手育成か八百長防止かのせめぎ合いの行方はいかに Cycling Time

Police too ‘stretched’ to protect cycle lanes, MPs told The Times of London

Armstrong's charity says bowed, not crippled by doping scandal Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

London Bike Festival Pier

London Bikeロンドン自転車

A friend sent along a picture of a bike shackled to a fence near Festival Pier.

The locks remind us of riding - locking up - in Philadelphia.

Here is Kyoto, aside from a lock to keep the seat from being swiped, such precautions are not generally necessary. The standard pop lock is more than enough.


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Friday, March 1, 2013

Kyoto Station Kotochika Shopping Center Opens Today

京の玄関、最大コトチカ 9店舗、3月1日全面開業

Attention shoppers: Kotochika Kyoto opens today.

Kotochika is a bit of nirvana within Kyoto Station. In the newly renovated part of the underground shopping mall in the station near the subway Karasuma Line, the new Kotochika store is 630 square meters of heaven close to the north exit.

"Chika" alludes to "chikatetsu," or subway. There is a Shijo Kotochika at the Shijo Station within which are eight stores. At Karashume Station is a smaller version with two stores

Kyoto Station's Kotochika is the largest to date.

We try to avoid the Kyoto Station area when on bike, but there is ample parking in the area.


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