CycleKyoto HP LInk

Friday, May 31, 2013

Kyoto Zoo and Kyoto Subway Anniversaries

Kyoto-subway開園110年、動物電車でGO! 京都市営地下鉄

The Kyoto city subway system and Kyoto Zoo joined forces to celebrate their respective anniversaries.

The city's first subway line - the north-south Karasuma Line - opened for service on May 29, 1981.

Kyoto Municipal Zoo, which is now serviced by the city's second line - the east-west Tozai Line - at Higashiyama Station, is celebrating this year its 110th anniversary.

Thus on May 29 animal characters rode on the subway passing out leaflets. The campaign will continue until June 12.


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Thursday, May 30, 2013

New Kyoto Cycling Site


We recently discovered a new site on cycling in Kyoto.

Cycling Kyoto is a great addition to Kyoto's English-speaking and bilingual cycling community.

It is a source of information and simultaneously a call to turn off the PC and hit the road with like-minded people.

In the words of its HP:

行きましょう! (Let's go!)

Let's ride together!

We love cycling for many reasons: it can take you to and through breathtaking places, give you a huge sense of achievement when you conquer that particularly steep mountain and let you enjoy a healthy and active life.

Soaring mountains, wild coastlines and centuries of rich history combine to provide a wealth of exciting cycling opportunities across Kyoto, Kansai and Japan as a whole.

We hope you will enjoy finding out about us, what makes us tick... and then join us for a ride!

To dispel any possible confusion, CycleKyoto (this site and blog) and Cycling Kyoto are not affiliated.

15% off when you spend £150 on all cycling shoes
Offer ends 2pm (BST) 30/05/2013


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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kyoto Cuisine Kyoto Culinary Museum and Cooking Center


Kyoto is full of tangible cultural assets, both World Heritage sites and those recognized by the Japanese government.

In addition, the city is justly famed for its less than tangible assets.

Among them is Kyoto cuisine, which traces its roots to the Japanese royal family and aristocrats that populated the city for a thousand years until 1868.

At the city's Kyo no Shoku Bunka Museum Ajiwai Kan (Kyoto Culinary Museum and Cooking Center), there are permanent exhibits, rotating exhibitions, and cooking classes.

For cyclists, it not far from Mibu Temple or Kyoto Station, on the west side of Tambaguchi Station.


Admission is free.
Hours: 8:30 - 17:00 
Closed on Wednesdays
TEL:075 321 8680 


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rainy Season Begins in Kyushu and Southern Japan

Kyoto Hydrangea九州・中国・四国地方で梅雨入り

It was announced yesterday that the 2013 rainy season has officially commenced in Kyushu, Chugoku, and Shikoku regions of Japan.

That is a bit earlier than a normal year.

Kyoto and the Kansai area, which are north of those regions, are also expecting an earlier than usual start to the six-week rainy season.

The weather lady this morning on NHK said that rainy season will begin on June 7 here in Kyoto.

For cyclists, it is not all bad. Days can be cool and rain-free.


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Monday, May 27, 2013

Japanese Paper Doll Exhibit Arashiyama Shigureden

和紙人形、わが子のように 嵐山・時雨殿で展示

At Shigureden, in Arashiyama, there is an exhibit of paper dolls that runs until July 21.

Shigureden is an exhibition space cum villa that opened in 2006 in the western part of Kyoto.

Shigureden also is part of the mountain villa where the Ogura Anthology of One Hundred Tanka by One Hundred Poets first appeared. The anthology of poems was created between the 10th and 11th centuries by poets and nobility from the House of Fujiwara.

The dolls are made out of washi Japanese paper and took four years to make.


Shigureden is closed on Mondays.

High School students and older 500 yen, junior and elementary school students 200 yen

11 Sagatenryuji-Susukinobabacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, 616-8385
Tel: 075 882 1111


For cyclists, it is a short ride from central Arashiyama or the bridge, and parking is not a problem in the area.


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Sunday, May 26, 2013

World Cycling News 26 May 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年05月26日

Bike-Share System for New York Is Built With Ideas From Around the World New York Times

Giro d'Italia 2013: Stage 19 cancelled because of heavy snow BBC

Riding the MITIE London Revolution London Cyclist

Le vendredi 31 mai, je fais MON Tour la Nuit Vélo Québec

Why we pedalled on the Scottish parliament Guardian

El curioso caso de Emma Way El Pais

Di Luca tested positive for EPO
再びの失墜、ジロ直前にヴィーニ・ファンティ-二/セッラ・イタリアで復帰したばかりのダニーロ・ディ・ルーカがまたしてもEPO陽性!ここまでのジロでの活躍はまたしても幻だったのか? Cycling Time

L-drivers will get lessons on how to watch out for cyclists The Times of London

Former Giro winner Di Luca tests positive for EPO Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

Bicycle Goods

Japan Buyers

Bioflow Sport Bracelet
List price £29.99
SAVE 57% = £17.09
Your Wiggle price: £12.90


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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cycling Takaragaike Kyoto

Takaragaike Kyoto自演車で京都宝ケ池へ

Today we are off to the northern end of Kyoto, cycling to Takaragaike.

Today it is a park north of Kitayama, in which there is a lovely pond and where the city's International Conference Center is located.

It is about as tranquil a spot as you will find in the city, with 660 cherry trees lining the lake. However, it was not always so.

The lake itself, which is 1.5 km in circumference, was created thanks to irrigation projects in 1746 and again in 1763 for rice fields in the village of Matsugasaki. In those days there was a 3.6 meter high embankment to prevent flooding.

The origin of the name "Takaragaike" is thought to come from "serious disputes" among neighboring villages over the valuable source of water. In Japanese, "takara" means jewel or treasure, and "ike" means lake. (Another theory is that the "takara" comes from the name of the emperor Horeki (1751-1763), whose kanji are 宝暦.)

In 1931, the city of Kyoto bought the land and in 1942 plans for a park were unveiled. Following the war, the park was built. In 1948, another set of plans were put forth that included a "comprehensive park" and baseball stadium. However, in the middle of construction of the baseball facility - plans suddenly changed. Instead a Keirin race track was built (1948-1959).

On that site, the Kyoto Kokusai Kaikan, built in 1964, now sits.

Ane on that note, we are off.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kyoto Flea Market Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Flea market, Kitano Tenmangu京都天神さん25日

Kyoto is well known for its flea markets.

Every 21st of the month Toji Temple hosts a big flea market on the grounds of the temple, which is south of Kyoto Station.

In north-central Kyoto, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine holds a flea market on the 25th of every month. This month that means tomorrow.

Tenjisan, as it is known locally, tends to have clothing, antiques, and food.

Go early, bargain hard, and enjoy.

Most of the good stuff will be sold and gone by 8 am or earlier.

Parking for cyclists is not a problem, but there will be a lot of people on foot.


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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kyoto Weather Update Cycling


Kyoto is closing in on the six-week period known as "rainy season." It is not always rainy and not always sticky, but it is in general not a pleasant time of year.

Normally, mid- to late-May is one of the best times to be in the city, but this year it is already hot.

Rainy season usually arrives around June 10 and runs, according to local lore, until Gion Matsuri festival (July 17) when the skies magically part and blue skies reign until the September rains.

Global warming appears to be messing with the calendar however.

Kyoto is already experiencing high summer (mid-July to mid-September) like weather.

Still, humidity is not through the roof, and early mornings and evenings are divine.


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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cycling Maizuru to Kobe Japan


It is still in the planning stages, but a Sea-to-Sea ride is going to take place this summer.

Weather- and health-permitting, we ride.

The concept is simple: we will cycle from the Sea of Japan (Yellow Sea for our Korean friends) to the Pacific Ocean.

The closest and shortest route from Kyoto is to take the express train out to the port city of Maizuru and alight and ride from Higashi Maizuru Station, which is a stone's throw from the Sea of Japan. From Kyoto Station, express trains take 95 minutes. If you bag your bike, JR (Japan Railways) allows you to bring it along at no cost.

From Maizuru, we will dip a big toe in the Sea of Japan (perhaps not, the port area is pretty built up), check out the Red Brick Museum, and then set out for Kobe.

The route follows the Yura River and Fukuchiyama train line for much of the ride.

Using MapMyRide, we fiddled with many possible routes, and the one below appears to be the flattest. At 149 km (92 miles) it is a bit longer, but the climbs are more manageable than a more direct route.

The last stretch is down the picturesque Mt. Futatabi Driveway and into Sannomiya, the heart of Kobe. We will press on a just a bit farther from there, and wiggle our sore toes in the direction of the bay below, which is part of the Pacific.

After spending a night in Kobe, we will - again, weather- and energy-permitting - cycle back to Kyoto. After some industry on the way to Osaka, the last and longest leg with be car-free all the way from Umeda to Kyoto.

Maizuru to Kobe Cycling Route

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide


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Monday, May 20, 2013

Takigi Noh Performances Heian Shrine June 1 & 2

Heian Shrine平安神宮能劇6月1日と2日

We should admit at the outset that we do not get the Japanese classical musical drama Noh.

We have been to and enjoyed both Kabuki and Bunraku, in particular the latter with its puppets.

Noh however is an acquired taste - and we have yet to acquire it.

For those that have, on the evenings of June 1 & 2, Heian Shrine will play host to outdoor performances of Takigi Noh.

Three of of the major schools of Noh - Kanze, Kongo, and Okura - will perform on a special outdoor stage lit by fire torches.

And we are indeed tempted to go: seated under summer skies watching the howling masked performers surrounded by the devoted has us curious.


Tickets are 4,000 yen.

Gates open at 4:30 pm. The plays commence at 17:30 (in the event of rain, the performances will be cancelled).

Access on public transportation: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Kyoto Kaikan Bijutsukan-mae; Telephone: 075-771-6114 (Kyoto Takigi Noh Office).

For cyclists, it is a short flat ride from downtown to Okazaki and Heian Shrine.

© CycleKyoto Home Page


Sunday, May 19, 2013

World Cycling News 19 May 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年05月19日

Bike Sharing? Sure. The Racks? No Way. New York Times

Giro d'Italia: Mark Cavendish completes consecutive wins BBC

Bring your camera: 6 great photogenic spots to cycle to in London London Cyclist

Vélo en Afrique Vélo Québec

Where to park your bike? The question often missing from the cycling debate Guardian

Becinos con B El Pais

Giro d'Italia Stage 13
マン島ミサイルが過酷なジロ・デ・イタリアでダブル達成!雨中でも晴天でも強いんです!クラシック並みの長距離とアップダウンをきっちりとこなしたカベンディッシュは充実感十分! Cycling Time

Cycling changes gear as women take to the saddle The Times of London

Defending champion Hesjedal quits Giro d'Italia Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

Bicycle Goods

Japan Buyers

Bioflow Sport Bracelet
List price £29.99
SAVE 57% = £17.09
Your Wiggle price: £12.90


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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cycling Amidaji Temple Ohara Kyoto Japanese Primrose

Amidaji Temple“五重塔先端”鮮やか林立 左京でクリンソウ見ごろ

At Amidaji Temple in Ohara a rare species of flower is now in full bloom.

The temple was founded by Danzei in 1609 and is a small lovely space north of the main part of Ohara.

The prefecture of Kyoto has designated "kurinso" (Primula japonica, or Japanese Primrose) as a species threatened with extinction.

At Amidaji Temple, however, it is alive and well and flourishing.

Japanese Primrose grows in mountain wetlands.

In Japanese the flower is often described as resembling a five-story pagoda as its stem looks like a "kurin" - the nine vertically stacked rings of a pagoda finial. (For non-architects, a "finial" is an "architectural device, typically carved in stone and employed decoratively to emphasize the apex of a gable or any of various distinctive ornaments at the top, end, or corner of a building or structure.")

Ohara is a beautiful area north of Kyoto, which is thirty-minute ride from Kitayama.


The entrance fee for Amidaji Temple is 300 yen. It is open from 9:00-4:30
Telephone: 744-2048

Ohara Cycling Map

View Kyoto to Ohara Cycling Map in a larger map


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Friday, May 17, 2013

The Damage of US Congressional Bill MAP-21

Junction Trail可決されたMAP-21法案の被害

It's a long way from Kyoto, the but the actions of a short-sighted US Congress in far away Washington are cause for concern.

In the federal transportation bill passed last June 30, cycling and cyclists took it on the proverbial chin, especially the growing rails-to-trails movement.

In short, the bill 1) slashed funding for trails by 30%, 2) made more types of projects - for example, roads etc. - eligible for funding (and thus in competition with cycling needs and spending), and 3) increased opportunities for states to opt out of programs for cycling.

Trails like the Junction and Breakwater in Lewes, Delaware, may suffer - or never get built.


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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cycling Arashiyama to Daikakuji Temple

Daikakuji Temple自転車で嵐山から大覚寺へ

Today is as close to perfect for cycling as you will get.

Low humidity, temperatures in the mid-20s (75F).

Where to go?

For those in the Arashiyama area feeling overwhelmed by the crowds, fear not.

A short ride away is Daikakuji Temple.

Daikakuji Temple is a spacious temple complex with an adjoining pond. It is a popular spot for September moon-viewing.

Daikakuji is part of the Esoteric school of Buddhism. It was a first a detached palace that served the Emperor Saga. In 876 C.E., it was rebuilt as Daikakuji Temple.

It is perfect for a picnic.

View Kyoto City Hall to Daikakuji Temple in a larger map


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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

RIP Al Fritz Creator of the Sting-Ray Bicycle

1968 Schwinn Stingray Orange Krate 6シュウィン スティングレー 発明者アル フリッツ死亡

Anyone alive in the 1960s or 1970s in the US either had or wanted a Schwinn Sting-Ray bike.

The inventor of that classic bike Al Fritz recently passed away at age 88.

The high handlebars, banana seat, bright colors made the Sting-Ray the most popular bicycle of the era.

Engineer and tinkerer Fritz designed the bike in the early 1960s.

After serving in World War II, he worked at Schwinn for 40 years.

According to the Washington Post, "...from 1963 to 1968, Schwinn sold nearly 2 million Sting-Rays. At one point, bikes in the Sting-Ray style — competitors were quick to pick up on its success — accounted for more than 60 percent of all bike sales in the United States."

In recognition, he was inducted in 2010 into the BMX Hall of Fame.


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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Summer Arrives in Kyoto


After a cold and wet April that extended into early May - the heater was on during Golden Week - it is now summer in Kyoto.

Temperatures in western Japan hit 30 degrees centigrade (86 F) yesterday.

Humidity is still manageable, but it was hot.

That is unseasonably so.

May and October are the two months of the year when cyclists are pretty much guaranteed good weather.

Still, mornings and evenings are crisp - perfect for riding - and the middle of the day while hot is doable.


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Monday, May 13, 2013

Hosomi Museum Exhibit

Hosomi Museum祈り込めた飾り美 細見美術館で荘厳展

The Hosomi Museum in Okazaki, Kyoto, is currently holding an exhibit of decorative religious items.

To commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the opening of the Museum, 90 decorative items wil be on display until July 21.

They include gold or silver lacquerware,)ink stone boxes、decorative objects used to conceal the head of a nail.

Cycling and parking are not a problem near the Museum.


6-3 Okazaki, Saishoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Tel. 075 752 5555

Museum and Shop:10 am to 6 pm; Tea Room: 11am to 5 pm; Cafe:10:30am to 6:30pm; closed Mondays

Entrance Fee
1000 yen

Hosomi Museum Map

If the map does not load when using Internet Explorer (IE) on a Windows PC, please hold down the "Control" key and refresh the page

View Hosomi Museum in a larger map


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Sunday, May 12, 2013

World Cycling New This Week 12 May 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年05月12日

Delayed Bike-Share Program Is to Start on Memorial Day New York Times

Sir Bradley Wiggins loses time after Giro d'Italia fall BBC

Finding a bicycle utopia in Belize London Cyclist

Voyages outre-mer et Amérique Vélo Québec

Can African cyclists follow in the footsteps of the continent's runners? Guardian

Militante o ciudadano El Pais

Giro d'Italia St.7 Comments
ジロ・デ・イタリア第7ステージコメント Cycling Time

‘Action hero’ Ed Miliband swoops to cyclist’s rescue The Times of London

Peerless Cavendish times it right again in Giro 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


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Saturday, May 11, 2013

World Naked Bike Ride and Why We Love Kyoto


As summer approaches, we give thanks for many aspects of life in Kyoto: local produce, a slower pace of life, cool evenings, strolls along the Kamo River or in the Imperial Palace, cold local beer on the decks by the river, the sound of cicadas, the spectacle of young people in heat.

Another reason is that the World Naked Bike Ride has not, thank God, found its way to Kyoto. And thanks to our stern friends in blue, we doubt it ever will. The police would not look kindly upon a bunch of naked or even semi-naked cyclists.

On a personal level, the sight of a bunch of nude tattooed white exhibitionists pedaling around on their fixed wheel bikes is not attractive.

In the United Kingdom,  LA, and other American cities, this "movement" is spreading. Alas, the image that comes to mind is of a sweaty ass glued to a (n unfortunate) expensive bespoke leather saddle.

We are old school - no tats, not into public nudity, try not sprinkle our speech with "like," do not use "so" at the beginning of sentences - and find the whole concept of nude biking bewildering.

Sorry, folks, no photo today.


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Friday, May 10, 2013

Mifune Festival in Arashiyama


May 19 will witness the annual Mifune Festival in Arashiyama.

At 2 pm, 30 boats bearing participants dressed in imperial garb will sail up the Oi River. Prior to that, at noon, the procession will start from nearby Kuramazaki Shrine.

The festival is affiliated with Kurumazaki Shrine and dates back some 1,100 years.

For cyclists, Arashiyama is always tricky. There is so much to see, yet the hordes can be off-putting.

On May 19, you can expect 100,000 to watch the "action" from the bridge and river banks.

Go early, park perhaps a distance from the river, then walk.

Kurumazaki Shrine is a patron saint of the performing arts.



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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Osaka Midosuji Bicycle Lane

Daimaru Department Store Midosuji大阪御堂筋自転車レーン

Rumors are starting to swirl about new bicycle and pedestrian lanes along one of the most stunning boulevards in Japan.

Osaka's Midosuji runs north to south through the heart of Shinsaibashi and down to Namba.

It is lined with department stores, consulates, boutiques. On side streets are many of the city's best bars and restaurants.

Since Osaka is mostly flat and compact - both unlike Tokyo - it is a great city for cycling.

The one exception is Midosuji. Sidewalks are wide, but with many pedestrians it is not a good place to ride. Indeed, let the boulevardiers have their piece of pavement for strolling.

Mayor Hashimoto, a runty firebrand ex-lawyer, however may change that.

According to NHK tv news, the city is in the planning stages of creating safer walking and cycling spaces. Construction is set to be complete in two years.


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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Kyoto Karasuma Bicycle Lane

Karasuma Bike Lane京都烏丸自転車専用レーン

And yet another bike lane has sprouted up in Kyoto this spring. Unlike the "line lanes" in central Kyoto - meaningless, dangerous, narrow "lanes" painted on the edges of the either side of the street (see below left) - the lane on Karasuma is an actual lane with symbols and a comfortable width.

It is a replica of the "bike lane" that passes in front of the police headquarters.

That is, it is not technically separated from traffic but rather a lane that has been painted onto both sides of the street.

It ends/starts at Marutamachi, but we are not sure how far it goes south of that and there is little information online (in Japanese; there is none in English).

Though perhaps a step in the right direction, we wonder:

Bike Lane Kyotohow will drivers react to this?
how will cyclists behave in the lane?
how much did the paint job cost?
why isn't the lane completely fenced off from vehicular traffic?


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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Murakami Haruki in Kyoto for Lecture

村上春樹さん新作「新しい試み」 京大で公開インタビュー

Renowned author Murakami Haruki spoke at Kyoto University yesterday.

500 fans showed up on the final day of the Golden Week holiday for the public interview in the university's Hyakunen Kinenkan (Centennial Hall).

The author and perennial pick to win a Nobel Prize took questions from the audience for two hours.

The audience was limited to 500. Many more than that applied and those that got in did so via a lottery.


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Monday, May 6, 2013

Craft Beer Festa Kyoto 2013

Kyoto Craft Beer Festival 2013地ビール祭京都2013

The annual craft beer festival will take place this Saturday in downtown Kyoto.

To be more precise, it will take place on the city's best shopping arcade: Sanjo Arcade. Thus, safely under the roof, rain will not affect the merry-making.

Tickets can be pre-purchased for 2000 yen for a packet of six. Each ticket entitles the bearer to one seven ounce beer.

On the day of the festival, one seven ounce cup costs 400 yen.

Tickets can be purchased here. Online purchasing is not available, and tickets cannot be used to purchase food or any other items.

Many of Japan's best craft brewers will be on hand.

For cyclists, it is a short hop from Nijo Castle or central Kyoto.

Note: it is of course illegal to cycle while inebriated.


Event: Craft Beer Festa Kyoto 2013
Date: May 11 (Sat), 2013
Hours: 2 pm - 8 pm
Location: Sanjo Arcade (Sanjo Dori between Horikawa and Senbon)


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Sunday, May 5, 2013

World Cycling News 5 May 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年05月05日

Judge Orders Blood Bags Destroyed in Doping Case New York Times

Sir Bradley Wiggins: I've improved ahead of Giro d'Italia 2013 BBC

London’s Bicycle Collectives – From bike repairs to second hand bikes London Cyclist

Voyage à vélo - Costa Brava Vélo Québec

Motorist given community sentence for causing death of second cyclist Guardian

A pedales, güey El Pais

Giro d'Italia Rider's Comments
ジロ・記者会見:選手たちが見せたレース前の表情、嵐の前の静けさか、それとも余裕綽々の高笑いか、予測できぬバトルの行方やいかに Cycling Time

Olympic champions call for cycle petition support The Times of London

Doping trial should not penalize Madrid bid: Blanco 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


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Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile" Book Review

strap書評「Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile」

Taras Grescoe is American and - not an oxymoron - passionately pro-public transportation.

We grew up bumping along inside the 23 trolley en route school in Philadelphia. Thus we are the target audience for this book and know whereof Grescoe writes.

Thanks ironically in part to global warming, the image of public transportation has improved - slightly.

Still, to many suburban Americans trains and buses and subways in the US are the last resort of the those without other means: dirty, dangerous, and always late.

Thanks to US government policy, developers, sprawl, and businesses that favor the automobile - and suburban living - there is often truth to this.

The same people who scorn riding pubic transport in the US are only to happy to gush about how convenient the London Tube or Paris Metro or Tokyo subway is.

In Straphanger, Grescoe fights back, angry and full of factoids. (Among our favorites was this: nine out of ten commuters in America drive to work, 75% of them alone.)

He travels and uses the New York, Moscow, Paris, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Bogota, Phoenix, Portland, Vancouver, and Philadelphia public transportation systems.

Moreover, he examines how we can "undo the damage that car-centric planning has done to our cities and create convenient, affordable, and sustainable urban transportation—and better city living—for all."

For those of us commuting by bike in Kyoto, we can only say Amen.

Buy on Amazon USA


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Friday, May 3, 2013

Velo Taxis in Kyoto "Taku Taku"

Kyoto Bicycle Taxi自転車タクシー 地域の足

The old "rickshaw" is in a chic, modern incarnation making a comeback in Kyoto.

There are of course rickshaws in the city - Arashiyama, Nene no Michi, Gion, Heian Shrine - for the tourist market.

But the new velo taxis are aimed more at the local market. The pedicabs currently can be used to go to traditional restaurants and festivals.

The company that runs them, "Taku Taku," began service in 2011 in central Kyoto. This fall the company plans to expand its routes.

In Shimogyo Ward, where they operate, 23% of the population is elderly. This is less than the citywide average, but many of those people live alone and have come to enjoy the service.

Each of the taxis is equipped with a motor.

For more information:

075 371 2063


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Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Inka Empire Revealed Century After the Machu Picchu “Discovery” Museum of Kyoto

Museum of Kyotoマチュピチュ-「発見」100年インカ帝国展

Spanning some four thousand kilometers north to south along the Andes Mountains in South America, the Inca Empire flourished from the early 15th century until the early 16th century.

The Inca civilization will be featured in an exhibit at the Museum of Kyoto, which is located in downtown Kyoto.

Some 160 pieces will be on display, most for the first time ever in Japan.

For those cycling, the Museum is on Sanjo south of Oike. There is bike parking at the museum. If that fills up, there is parking on Oike.


The Inka Empire Revealed Century After the Machu Picchu “Discovery”
April 16 - June 23, 2013

Hours:10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Fridays until 7:30 p.m (last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Closed:Monday and April 30 and May 7 (Open :  April 29 and May 6)

Adults ¥1300(¥900)
College and senior high school students ¥900(¥500)
Junior high and elementary school students ¥500(¥300)
*Prices shown in ( ) indicate advance or group (more than 20 persons) discount tickets.


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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Finding a Toilet in Kyoto

Kyoto public toilet京都でトイレを探す

Whether you are long-term resident, fluent in Japanese, know your way around town, or are a short-term visitor, can't speak or read a word of Japanese, and have no idea where you are going in Kyoto - you will need a toilet at some point.

The best options are convenience stores, department stores, restaurants, and inside train stations (that is, after you have paid and entered the station).

When those options are not readily available - unusual as convenience stores are everywhere - here is a map that notes public, free, and sometimes wheelchair-accessible toilets. (For the final type, your best bet is department stores.)

Kyoto Public Toilet Map

View Public Toilets Kyoto in a larger map


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