Archive for the ‘Kazu’s diary’ Category

Rinko (輪行) to Hanamigawa cycling road

October 6, 2014

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This is Kazu writing. Peter and Kathy, our friends who are repeat guests of our bike tour had wanted to try something new. So we had suggested them to join our trial tour to Hanamigawa, Chiba Prefecture to test our plan by RINKO, train and bike. They had got interested in this idea, so that we decided to do the bike tour on September 19, 2014.

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(Rinko literally means “putting bike into a bag”. Black bag next to Peter is the Rinko bag and a bike is inside.)

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There are cycling roads in good condition and adequate distance along three rivers; Tamagawa, Arakawa and Edogawa in Tokyo and its neighborhood. Compared with these three cycling roads, Hanamigawa Cycling Road is not so famous but much better, I think. It has more varieties in scenery. It starts from sea shore in Tokyo Bay. As we go on along the river, it leads to a valley rich with woods and then open field of Inba-numa, swamps.

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(Rice paddy is so beautiful and rice stalks are ready to be cultivated.)

 

The weather was just nice, neither hot nor cold on that day. Four of us, Peter, Kathy, Yuki and I enjoyed cycling, viewing Autumn flowers such as cosmoses, red spider lily and ripe rice just before harvesting.

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As it was a trial, we made a few U-turns. Sorry, Peter and Kathy for the inconvenience. The distance we ended up was about 41 km and it took about 6 hours including breaks, sightseeing and lunch. It was a fun to explore countryside of one-hour train ride from Tokyo.

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(A short break at the old Samurai’s house. Me, Peter and Kathy)

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Rinko to Kamakura – Bike and train

April 4, 2014

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This is Kazu writing. TGCT has been operating three wonderful bike tours in Tokyo downtown and getting good reputations from many guests who had experienced them. There are also nice places to visit outside Tokyo in about one hour range by train. So we have made a plan for an optional bike tour to Enoshima and Kamakura by “RINKO”; traveling with wheels in Japanese, which means to put a bike in a light weight but strong textile bag, then get on a train and ride a bike again from the destination. By this way, we can skip dangerous and uncomfortable bike ride on heavy traffic roads.

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Four of TGCT tour guides, Yukiko, Yakko, Keita and me went together for a trial bike tour on March 24, 2014 to check how the plan works. We took conventional JR Tokaido Line to Chigasaki Station, Kanagawa Prefecture. We started the tour there and went along a beach bike lane facing the Pacific Ocean and then stopped Enoshima, Kamakura Daibutsu; about 760 years old big bronze Buddha statue, Tsuruoka Hachimangu; about 830 years old shrine and Hohkokuji Temple famous for its beautiful bamboo garden. We went on back streets in Kamakura where we enjoyed old and quiet atmosphere of the city. Our tour ended at Kamakura Station and we took JR Yokosuka Line back to Tokyo.

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When you carry a bike of about 12 kg weight in a bag on your shoulder, you may feel heavy and not easy to walk. But your efforts would be rewarded when you see shining blue sea at the beach or taking Japanese green tea at a breathtaking bamboo garden outside Tokyo.

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Tokyo’s Great Restaurant Vol. 6 ~ by Kazu ~

September 25, 2013

Restaurant Name: New Kayaba  (ニューカヤバ)

Area: Kayabacho

Address: 2-17-11 Nihonbashikayabacho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Category: “Izakaya”, Japanese Tavern

Business Hour: 17:00-21:00 Monday thru. Friday

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Hello, this is Kazu. I would like to introduce my favorite Tachi-nomi (Stand and drink in Japanese) style “Izakaya”, a Japanese tavern, near our office. It’s only 3 minutes walk from our office and a wallet friendly tavern.

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The tavern has counter tables with no chairs, so that customers stand and drink. What makes this place different from others is that there is a small BBQ
grill in the center, where customers can cook their own yakitori.
Yakitori is all self-service, so you can season with as much yakitori sauce
or salt as you wish!

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Drinks such as draft beer, bottled beer and “Hoppy”, and foods including yakitori (raw), sashimi, salad and more dishes at @300 yen or less / each are served cash on delivery basis by shop employees. Sake (rice wine), wheat “shochu” which is a distilled alcoholic beverage, sweet potato “shochu”, and buckwheat “shochu” are supplied by vending machines. You can have enough drink and food there with 1500 yen or less. Of course, you can drink more, but you may feel tired after 6-hours bike tour and stay standing 🙂 Now it’s a good time to go back to your hotel with good memories of the day. If you are interested, please try this place!

M.N.YKanpai!! Together with other guides, Masa, Natsumi and Yukiko

Karuizawa Great Cycling Tour in Golden Week

May 17, 2013

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Hello, I am Kazu. I would like to write on 2013 Karuizawa Great Cycling Tour (KGCT). It was held at Karuizawa, Nagano, known as an old and famous resort area in Japan, on May 4, 2013, in the middle of Golden Week, national holiday week.
It was a beautiful day, just blue sky without clouds, perfect for cycling. Participants of the tour were fifteen(15) ; Yukiko, Carlos, Masa, Naoko, Akane, Yayoi, Etsuko, Haruna, Nobutaka, Takk, Linda, Jan, Yoshiko, Yoshiko’s daughter and myself.
We joined either A-Course with a hill of 250m elevation or B-Course without it. Both courses merged in a half way and all of us went on the same course after that.
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The spring has come here in Karuizawa, which is about one month later than in Tokyo. We enjoyed seeing beautiful flowers including cherry blossoms and vivid green leaves on trees under sunshine on our way. We stopped at a park and had lunch under cherry blossoms, viewing Asama Mountain in the distance.
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We also stopped at a popular sweet shop for coffee break and enjoyed chatting at open air space of the shop. All of us finished the tour after 3 p.m. with feeling of satisfaction. Nobody failed. Good job, everyone!
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