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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cycling Kobe

Kobe No Bikes Sign自転車で神戸へ

Kobe is an elegant port city in western Japan, not far from either Osaka or Kyoto.

The city is widely considered to be one of Japan's most cosmopolitan and its residents very stylish.

On a recent visit, both of those boxes were indeed checked. Thanks no doubt to its long history of contact with the West and its large expat population, foreigners are very much a part of the fabric of the city. And, yes, Kobe women and men were very well turned out.

Cycling though appears to be less popular - or less done - than in Kyoto or Osaka.

That may be geography: one side of the city is the Pacific Ocean and the various port facilities, the other a ring of mountains.

Thus, outside the main center of Sannomiya, the the city is not as flat as either Osaka or Kyoto.

Also, much of the city is veined with long shopping arcades in which cycling is banned (see photos).

Kobe No Bikes SignStill, being Japan, cyclists were about, and bikes parked on every sidewalk.


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Global Gender Gap Report 2013 Japan


The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 has recently been released by the World Economic Forum.

Japan fared badly, falling four spots to 120th out of a total of 136 countries.

In the words of this year's report:

The Global Gender Gap Index introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, is a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress. The Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education- and health-based criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups, and over time. The rankings are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them. The methodology and quantitative analysis behind the rankings are intended to serve as a basis for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps.

Here are the rankings:

1. Iceland
2. Finland
3. Norway
4. Sweden
5. Philippines
6. Ireland
7. New Zealand
8. Denmark
9. Switzerland
10. Nicaragua
11. Belgium
12. Latvia
13. Netherlands
14. Germany
15. Cuba
16. Lesotho
17. South Africa
18. United Kingdom
19. Austria
20. Canada
21. Luxembourg
22. Burundi
23. United States

33. Mongolia

69. China

120. Japan

Japan does badly in the number of female representatives in its parliament and dearth of executives at companies.

The data gathered are true enough, and life in the public sphere and halls of power are heavily biased towards men, and in particular older men.

However, in other hard to measure ways, Japanese women hold great power. In home finances, the neighborhood, shopping decisions, and often at the PTA Japanese women rule.

And on the roads of Japan, Japanese women of all ages are well represented pedaling their bikes.

Still, it comes as no surprise that talented Japanese women often end up at foreign companies, starting their own companies, or working abroad.


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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cycling Tours in Cambodia


Cambodia is not exactly synonymous with cycling tours.

However, in recent years the southeast Asian nation has experienced a tourist boom.

Angkor Wat is of course the country's main draw.

However, not far from the World Heritage Site there are many less known spots missed by the tour bus hordes that are easily cycled.

For more information, click here.

Photo © Daniel Allen &


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Monday, October 28, 2013

Chris Froome (Team Sky) takes the win in the Saitama Criterium


In the Saitama Criterium road race, Tour de France winner Chris Froome of Team Sky won.

The race was cheekily (?) billed the 22nd stage of the Tour de France, and some 200,000 turned out in suburban Tokyo on October 27 to enjoy the race.

The course was 2.6 km course was short and tight, and the event was hybrid of keirin and road racing.


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Sunday, October 27, 2013

World Cycling News 27 October 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年10月27日

How Safe Is Cycling? It’s Hard to Say New York Times

Tour de France 2014: Chris Froome delighted by Britain start BBC

How would you respond to this text message about dangers of cycling? London Cyclist

Soirées d'information Velo Quebec

Are electric Boris bikes a good idea? Guardian

La revolución de la clase creativa El Pais

工房探訪記 OGRE ~ チタンの鬼が作る至極のフレーム、繊細なチタンビードは世界屈指の腕前、専門メーカーを凌駕する個性に彩られた世界トップクラスのチタン加工技術 Cycling Time

A537 is most dangerous road in Britain The Times of London

Froome backs new cycling chief to tackle tarnished image Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

Bicycle Goods

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Making Public Transportation Sexy


The wonderful blog Community Architect recently addressed the theme of sexiness and public transportation.

It begins:

Are There Easy Fixes to Make Transit Cool?

Transit and "cool" would not have been used in the same breath until recently. Lately, though, getting around in "share mode" has, indeed, become cool and many cities boast cool transit innovations. Here a short sampler:

Cool transit exists

Copenhagen's subway glides driverless through the tunnels of the Danish capital and the tracks are separated from the platform with glass doors as we know it from airport shuttles. The Hongkong metro has glass walls on the platforms as well plus 3G coverage in tunnels and an "Octapus" smart card that can be used for transit fare, fast food and parking meters...

To read the entire article, click here.

Our wish list in Kyoto for making public transportation here "sexy" would be light rail. Bring back the old trolley lines that criss-crossed the city from the late 19th century until 1978.

The replacement for the trolleys were buses, which are smelly, slow, and except on routes into the hills not as good an option as light rail.


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Friday, October 25, 2013

Kyoto Kurama Fire Festival 2013

Kyoto Kuruma Fire Festival勇壮な炎、夜空きらめく 鞍馬の火祭

The annual Kurama Fire Festival took place on October 22.

In a village in the mountains in the far north of Kyoto is the village of the same name, the festival takes place every year on the 22nd of October.

It is held at Yuki Jinja Shrine in the village of Kurama, and is thought to reenact the scene of receiving a deity that had travelled from the Imperial Palace to the village.

At 6 pm, fires are lit in front of the local houses. These "kagaribi" are lit; then people with small and large pine torches parade through the town.

The Kurama Fire Festival is one of the three "most eccentric festivals" of Kyoto. The other two are Yasurai Matsuri at Imamiya Jinja Shrine (on the second Sunday of April), and the Ushi Matsuri (Bull Festival) at Koryuiji Temple (which is currently suspended).

The highlight of the festival is the more than 250 three-meter tall pine torches. Like other festivals, there are portable shrines that are carried through the town.

For those cycling, it is possible to get into the town if one arrives prior to roughly 3 pm. At that point, the police close off the road.

By about 6 pm, cycling will be impossible due to the crowds. Moreover, the road is not reopened until after the festival, which means waiting until the wee hours of morning for the return ride.

At other times of the year, Kurama is a good ride.

Photo © Kyoto Shinbun


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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art 80th Anniversary Takeuchi Seiho Exhibit

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art革新の栖鳳、鮮烈 京都市美術館開館80年展、22日開幕

To celebrate its 80th anniversary, the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art will be holding an exhibit of works by Takeuchi Seiho.

Takeuchi was painted in the nihonga genre, and lived from 1864 until 1942.

The exhibit runs from October 22 - December 1.


124 Okazaki, Enshoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Tel: 075 771 4107

Tuesday - Sunday 9:00 - 17:00


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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Potential of Shifting Trips from Car to Bike


The blog Copenhaganeize gathered data on the effects of shifting trips from automobile to bicycle.

51% of trips in the EU made using carbon fuels could reasonably be made on a bicycle.

Of those trips, the highest potential is for shopping.

As e can attest, many many trips in Kyoto are on the bike to the supermarket. All supermarkets in Kyoto are equipped with large bicycle parking lots and attendants.

To see all of the cool graphics, click here.


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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bicycle Goods For Christmas


Christmas, egads, is just around the corner.

New Nike Flash Pack Range available now

Nike Ladies Free 5.0 Shield Shoes - HO13
Get free delivery with this product to United Kingdom

Nike Element Shield Full Zip (S) - HO13
Get free delivery with this product to United Kingdom

Nike Air Pegasus 30 Shield Shoes - HO13
Get free delivery with this product to United Kingdom


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Calcutta Bans Cycling


Bicycle commuters make more than 2.5 million trips in Calcutta every day.

More trips are made on bike than in a car.

Why then has the Indian city effectively banned cycling?

Police say the reason is: growing traffic. The roads of the city are often narrow, clogged lanes on which cars, cycles, buses, auto-rickshaws, motorbikes, cycle-rickshaws, hand-pulled rickshaws, and tramcars, and human beings fight for space.

Average traffic speeds just 8 mph-11 mph (14-18 kmph).

Protests are now engulfing the city. Protestors are a combination of rickshaw drivers, environmentalists, and cycling advocates.

For more, read here.

If a heavy-handed government here in Kyoto were to try that, housewives would riot - and the government and police would back down in seconds.

Up to 40% off Best Selling Bike Brands


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Monday, October 21, 2013

Kyoto Sanga Update October 2013

kyoto purple sanga京都サンガ2013年10月

In a cold driving rain on Sunday, Sanga faced one of the worst teams in the second division of the J.League in the 36th week of the season.

Sanga defeated Gunma 3-2 and remains in third place with 66 points with six matches left in the season. First place Kobe Vissel has 75 and is followed by Gamba Osaka with 74.

The top two teams win automatic promotion to the first division. The next four teams in the table - #3 - #6 - play a two game home-away playoff and one of those teams will go up to J1.

Of the remaining six matches, one is against league-leader Kobe and another is against Gamba.

Next week Sanga plays at home Sapporo, which is fighting to get into the top six.

Ticket Information (in Japanese)

Cycling for home games at Nishikyogoku is a flat and easy 20 minutes from central Kyoto and parking is free and readily available.

Up to 40% off Best Selling Bike Brands

View Cycling to Kyoto Nishi Kyogoku Stadium in a larger map

Asics running shoes, now up to 40% off!


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Sunday, October 20, 2013

World Cycling News 20 October 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年10月20日

In Sickness and in Health, Long After the Bike Is Due Back New York Times

European Track Championships: GB pursuit teams win golds BBC

Endura Urban Leather Glove review London Cyclist

En octobre Velo Quebec

The Bicycle Academy: learn how to build a frame by making a bike for charity - video Guardian

El 63% de ciclistas fallecidos en España en 2012 llevaba casco El Pais

UCI World Tour Ranking 2013
年間ランキング決定、ホアキン・ロドリゲスが2年連続年間王者!チームランキングはモビスターが最終戦で逆転王者に!国別は圧倒的な強さでスペイン勢が制覇! Cycling Time

Mother’s emotional plea for ‘proper cycling lanes’ The Times of London

Frears to start shooting Lance Armstrong biopic in France Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

Bicycle Goods

New Official Prudential Ride London clothing range now in stock


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Saturday, October 19, 2013

WHO Air Pollution Leading Cause of Cancer


Air pollution is a leading cause of cancer, according to the World Heath Organization.

"Outdoor air pollution is a leading cause of cancer in humans, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organisation (WHO)," writes Al Jazeera.

There is now evidence that exposure to outdoor air pollution has caused and can cause lung cancer and raises the risk of bladder cancer.

The main sources of outdoor air pollution are: transport, power generation, emissions from factories and farms, and residential heating and cooking.

Japan has plenty of home grown sources of the above. However, in addition, tiny particulates blow in from China.

Diesel exhaust and these "particulate matter" have also been classified as carcinogenic by the IARC.

Time to pull out the bike mask - again.

Bicycle Goods

Castelli Squadra Long Waterproof Jacket


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Tags t

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cycling Kyoto to Osaka

Cycling Yodo River京都八幡木津自転車道線となにわ自転車道

This past weekend, a friend and I cycled from Kyoto to Osaka completely along bicycle paths. The first part of the journey follows the Katsura River, on one of Japan's best cycling roads. It goes from Arashiyama all the way to Kizu, which is not for from Nara.

For those heading to Osaka, at the confluence of the Katsura, Kizugawa, and Yodogawa rivers - at the town of Yawata, which is roughly halfway to both Kizu and Osaka - one leaves the Kyoto to Kizu route, crosses a bridge, and then heads down a utility road that parallels the Yodogawa River.

It has to be noted that the Kyoto portion - built and paid for and in Kyoto Prefecture - is far superior. The Osaka portion - from Yawata to Osaka - is a mix of utility roads, bumpy pavement, and lots of gates (see below). Still, it is no problem to cycle.

The trip to Osaka was smooth, clear, and quick. We made it to Osaka Castle, where the path ends, in three hours.

After lunch in Shinsaibashi and a trip to a great bike shop in Honmachi, we started back to the Yodo River for the return trip. Headwinds made it harder, but we made it back in four hours.

Getting to the Starting Point

The Kyoto to Yawata part of the ride can be picked up at any point close to the Katsura River, in Kyoto, from Arashiyama to Nishi Kyogoku to parts in south Kyoto.

Anti-Bicycle Gate Yodo River OsakaDirections

The Kyoto to Yawata part of the ride is marked with bollards that display the name - in both Roman letters and in kanji - of the area or bridge and the number of kilometers remaining.

The key to not getting lost is this: on the way to Osaka the river (Katsura and Yodo) is on your right. On the way back, the river is on your left.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall Bicycle Goods


New Nike Flash Pack Range available now

Nike Ladies Free 5.0 Shield Shoes - HO13
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Felt F85 Special Edition 2013
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Happy Shopping!


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Get moving A Research Strategy for Active Cities


A wonderful article in The City Fix begins:

Many cities around the globe are home to dangerous roads, social stigmas that bicycling is “for the poor,” and urban designs that neglect walking and bicycling. Photo by Slightly-less-random.

Cities around the globe are seeing a creeping problem of growing physical inactivity, due in part to the lack of pleasurable every-day walking and bicycling. While in some cities there are ample facilities for a refreshing commute on bicycle, a leisurely stroll to the neighborhood market or park, or the ability to walk to high-quality public transport, many of the world’s metropolises are home to dangerous roads, social stigmas that bicycling is “for the poor,” and urban designs that neglect walking and bicycling.

According to the article, physical inactivity - sitting on your bum, driving everywhere, channel surfing - causes 3.2 million deaths annually. This number will rise as countries like China and Brazil increase their ranks of middle class car owning people.

To counteract this, planners and government officials need to become aware of the economic, health, and other benefits of building dense cities with public transportation and parks.

Another trickier issue is that of the social stigma of walking and or cycling. In developing countries, a pedestrian or cyclist is perceived of as poor and lacking any other alternatives. That will take time.

Here in Kyoto, there has never been a stigma towards walking or cycling or riding public transportation. It is a way of life.

New Nike Flash Pack Range available now


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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cycle Mode International 2013 Osaka

Cycle Mode International Osakaサイクルモード大阪2013年

Cycle Mode International is blowing into Osaka in early November. This is the largest bicycle show in Japan.

The annual convention will feature many bike makers, large and small, panel discussions, and hundreds of bikes and bike products on display.

It will be held for two days outside of Tokyo, at Chiba Makuhari Messe, and then the following weekend at Intex Osaka.

This year's Osaka confab is back at Intex and returns to its mega-scale of years past (last year was a much smaller version).

Though the venue sits on a manmade island in Osaka Bay, it is connected by both highways, rail lines, and roads on which cyclists can use to cross the bay.

The highlight of the convention is of course the bikes and bike gear.

Another highlight though is the chance to test ride new models. Within the convention halls there was a fenced off track set up.


Advanced tickets are 1,000 yen, walk-up 1,200 yen.

Intex Osaka

1-5-102, Nanko-Kita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka, 559-0034
Tel: 06 6612 8800 



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Sunday, October 13, 2013

World Cycling News 13 October 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年10月13日

Taking Off to Find Yourself? Be Sure a Self Is There New York Times

Women's Tour of Britain gets equal status with men's race BBC

Shoes built to withstand the rainiest place on earth London Cyclist

Miser sur la qualité de l’expérience Velo Quebec

Driver-less cars are coming – and they'll see cyclists coming too Guardian

Cerco a los ciclistas en Barcelona El Pais

ツアー・オブ・北京 第1ステージ
北京で輝いたのはフースホフト!スプリントで第1ステージ完勝で総合リーダーに!初日から素晴らしい逃げの西薗良太が総合5位につける! Cycling Time

The programme: four weeks to cycle fitness The Times of London

Musician Crow saw ex-boyfriend Armstrong dope: report Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

Bicycle Goods

New Official Prudential Ride London clothing range now in stock


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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Yellow Sands Blown in From China, Haze in Kyoto


The yellow sands that are carried from the Gobi Desert and building sites in China have arrived in Kyoto today.

That means a sickly yellow-brown film of grit is on car windows.

This is an unusual time of year for the sands to arrive.

For those cycling today - great fall weather - a mask or bandana might be in order.


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Friday, October 11, 2013

Kyoto Antiquarian Book Fair Autumn 2013

Kyoto Antiquarian Book Fair2013年京都秋の古本まつり百萬遍知恩寺

One of Kyoto's largest antiquarian book fairs is about to kick off.

It will be held in the grounds of Chionji Temple, which is a ten minute walk from Demachiyanagi.

The fair is open from October 31 - November 4, daily from 10 am until 5 pm.

The Autumn Used Book Fair (Aki-no-Furuhon Matsuri) is one of the three annual book fairs in Kyoto. There will be about 200,000 used and rare books.

It is a good day out, even for those who do not read Japanese.


The temple is on Imadegawa Street across from the campus of Kyoto University.

Contact (in Japanese): 080-6141-7925


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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Louis CK on Driving


Thanks once again to our brothers and sisters at Baltimore Spokes for sharing this very profane and very germane video on driving.

Comedian Louis CK riffs on how we change behind the wheel.

As cyclists, we say Amen - and please go a bit slower.

This is not to be watched around the little ones.


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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kyoto Court Bans Anti-Korean Activity as Hate Speech


Kyoto is home to roughly 30,000 long-term Korean residents, known in Japanese as "zainichi."

Per capita Kyoto has the second highest number of Koreans in Japan. Osaka is first and neighboring Hyogo Prefecture third, making western Japan home to the largest concentration of Koreans.

The overwhelming majority are third, fourth, or fifth generation who were born and raised in Japan and have never lived anywhere else. Though their roots are in the Korean peninsula, culturally and linguistically they cannot be distinguished from their Japanese neighbors.

Their ancestors were forcibly brought to Japan by the Japanese Imperial Army in the pre-War period in the 1930s to work in factories. After the War, many stayed on.

Though more and more young people are taking Japanese nationality, they remain the largest group of non-Japanese resident in Japan. There are still more than half a million zainichi Koreans in Japan.

With the exception of those who attend Korean schools - similar to parochial schools in the US - where much of the curriculum is taught in Korean, many (most?) Koreans in Japan do not speak Korean.

However, Koreans remain a favorite target of the racist far right.

With territorial disputes between Japan and South Korea - and worse with North Korea - as a backdrop, rightists have recently paraded in areas that are heavily Korean screaming hate speech at residents and shop owners. Tokyo's Shinokubo, Osaka's Tsuruhashi, and Kyoto's Minami (south) have all witnessed trouble.

At a school for ethnic Koreans in south Kyoto, rightists known as Zaitokukai have been demonstrating near the school, mainly they claim as a protest against special permanent residence (like an American green card) that Koreans are accorded. The protestors screamed "cockroaches!" "Get out of Japan!" and more.

However, a Kyoto court on Monday recently banned such demonstrations as "hate speech," as racist behavior targeting a particular group - which it most certainly is - and terrifying the children and teachers at the school. Moreover, the Zaitokukai has been ordered to pay 12 million (USD $120,000) in damages.

Well done, Kyoto.


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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Kyoto Mega Solar Facility to Open in Yamashina


At a water treatment plant in the Yamashina section of the city, which is on the way to Shiga Prefecture and Lake Biwa, a new solar plant will begin operation on November 2.

The "mega solar" will produce 82,500 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is roughly a year's supply for 180 households.

The electricity will be sold to the region's power company, Kansai Electric, and is predicted to generate 33 million yen (USD $330,000).

Those funds will be used by the water company to maintain and update its pipes, treatment plants, etc.

This plant joins a larger facility that opened in August in south Kyoto. That facility, not far from the Katsura River, is also at the site of a water treatment plant. It consists of 4,144 solar panels that are expected to generate 90,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, or 36 million yen ($360,000).

In addition,the city has plans to open other mega solar facilities at the Matsugasaki and Ishida water plants.


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Repairs at Chionin Temple to Protect the Forgotten Umbrella

Kyoto Temple Roof知恩院の七不思議は壊さない 御影堂の修理

Repairs are currently taking place at Chionin Temple. They are not however, according to the temple, a threat to one of its "Seven Wonders."

The seven wonders are:

Nightingale Hallway
Plainwood Coffin: A Symbol of Nonattachment to One’s Life and Body
The Forgotten Umbrella: A Symbol of Gratitude
The Sparrows that Flew Away: A Symbol of Polishing One’s Mind
The Cat That Sees in Three Directions: A Symbol of a Parent’s Heart
Large Rice Paddle: A Symbol of the Buddha’s Salvation
Cucumber Rock: A Symbol of Encouragement

Of those, the Forgotten Umbrella is showing its age and is scheduled to be removed and fixed.

According to the temple's site:

This umbrella can be found between the eaves on the southeast section of the front of the Mieido (hall which houses the image of Honen). According to legend, it was forgotten by Hidari Jingoro, a master carpenter. However, according to another legend, it was left behind by a white fox as a sign of gratitude to Reigen, who protected his nest during the construction of the Mieidō. Supposedly, the fox also promised to guard Chionin. Since the umbrella has a relationship with water, it is thought to protect Chion-in from fires.

The temple will be open on November 2 and 3 between 10 am and 4 pm as repairs proceed.

Photo © Kyoto Shinbun


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Monday, October 7, 2013

Enact a US Law to Protect Bicyclists from Driver Harassment


Elizabeth Jones commutes by bicycle (and train) daily from Baltimore to work in Washington, D.C.

In, she writes:

I am urging you to enact a lifesaving law to protect bicyclists from driver harassment. Each morning I am forced to risk my life in order to choose a healthy, environmentally friendly and fiscally responsible mode of travel in Baltimore City...

To read the entire article, click here:


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Sunday, October 6, 2013

World Cycling News 6 October 2013

tofu seller bike kyoto今週のサイクリング2013年10月06日

Intersection: Style on Dutch Wheels New York Times

Geraint Thomas: Pretty much everything went wrong at Worlds BBC

5 of the best selling bike lights London Cyclist

La nuit tombe de plus en plus tôt Velo Quebec

The course that teaches female cyclists to 'own the road' Guardian

La guerra del casco llega al Congreso El Pais

UCI プロツール&プロコンチネンタル ライセンス申請
2014年度ライセンス申請出揃う、プロツール(ワールドツアー)チームが18チーム、プロコンチネンタルが16チーム Cycling Time

Doctor who killed cyclist is cleared of careless driving The Times of London

Armstrong's medal back with IOC Yahoo

Last Week's Cycling News

Bicycle Goods

New Official Prudential Ride London clothing range now in stock


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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Kyoto Bicycle Lane Karasuma

Karasuma Bike Lane京都自転車専用レーン烏丸通

Kyoto recently added a new bike "lane" along a stretch of Karasuma Street. In addition, there are plans to extend it further south.

It runs on both sides of the street from Marutamachi, at the corner of the Imperial Palace, down to Shijo Street.

According to a city handout, the lane will ultimately stretch south from there to Gojo, Shichijo, all the way to Kyoto Station at Shiokoji Street (the orange colored part of the map).

Lanes are on both sides of the street. Each is an umber colored space painted onto the road, unfenced, and 2.5 meters wide.

View Kyoto Bicycle Lanes in a larger map


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Friday, October 4, 2013

Kyoto Monthly Bicycle Rental Emusica


For those who are in Kyoto for a few days, bicycle rental options are many.

For those who live here, bike shops abound.

However, for those on a longer stay or those who don't want to buy, a third option exists.

Monthly rental, or bike share, is now available for 3,000 yen.

A group in Demachiyanagi called Emusica is now providing that service.

The bikes are standard mama chariot bicycles and the store is next to Demachiyanagi Station, exit 9, along Kawabata Street.


24 Tanaka Kamiyanagicho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
京都市左京区田中上柳町24 リヴィエール鴨東1F
Tel 075 200 8219
Open Monday - Friday : 7:30 am - 11:30 pm
Saturday, Sunday, Holiday : 9:00 am - 10:30 pm


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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kyoto Shorinin Temple Celebrates its 1,000 Anniversary of its Founding

Kyoto Ohara声明、大原の里に響け 勝林院、建立千年で法要

Shorinin Temple is celebrating the 1,000th year since its founding in 1013.

The temple is located Ohara, in the hills north of Kyoto.

From October 5th until the 20th, monks from the temple and other sects will be chanting "shomyo" to celebrate that fact.

The chants date from the early Heian Period when they arrived from China to the Tendai sect, to which Shorinin belongs.

The chants can be heard twice a day, once at 10 am and once at 2 pm.

Tickets will be passed about approximately one hour prior to each chanting session. The normal fees to enter the grounds apply.

Ohara is a gradual climb from the Kitayama section of Kyoto. From the center of Kyoto, it is a one-hour ride, from Kitayama a bit more than 30 minutes.


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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Kyoto Mulitlingual Emergency Telephone Number 119


Kyoto introduced a new service for those who do not speak Japanese and are in need of emergency services.

The new number - 119 - was introduced on October 1.

It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Five languages are available:


The service is free of charge.


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Tuesday, October 1, 2013


kodaiji templeCycling Kyoto Kodaiji Temple


In the Higashiyama area of Kyoto is some of the best touring to be found in the city. There are hills, small and very doable, but the views and sites gorgeous.

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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