Winter seems to finally have eased, hooray for that as I was getting depressed being indoors all the time! I decided to try my luck at seeing Mt Fuji. I have a poor record on this after my first ride in Japan in 2008 it has been mostly obscured by clouds when I have been passing but not today.
I don’t want to sound too negative to begin but the ride did not get off to a great start. I chose to ride the shortest route from my home along the ocean and via Hakone, both of which were a bad idea. Off the highways in urban areas traffic can be very heavy in Japan and today despite the pre morning peak departure I still spent an hour to travel about 25 km then once I got to Hakone another hour in a log jam of cars. This is one down side to living so close to Tokyo.
Anyway late arrival at my chosen view point but alas I cannot show you any photos from my first stop as the new Panasonic Lumix LX100 camera I purchased seems to have major focusing issues. Oh well here is a shot from my iPhone take just a few km into the Hakone Skyline ride with Fuji poking it’s head up to say hello.
Next I dropped down onto the west coast road. I have not posted any Japan road signs for awhile so here is one for trucks, another type used for heavy vehicles has a parachute out back which I will try to remember to capture next time.
More heavy traffic which would prove to be the theme of the day, I am sure with local knowledge I could have avoided much of it but I eventually made it to the coastal fishing western side of Izu peninsular and with such a nice view of Fuji I decided to stop and have a very early lunch even though it was just going 11.00am since breakfast had been 6.30.
From here the riding was excellent along the ocean with just light traffic. The rail lines below reminded me of the movie Spirited Away with the train that crosses the ocean but actually these are slip rails for a dry dock.
Next I climbed back up high to ride some of the wonderful roads that criss cross the mountainous interior of Izu.
I have stopped taking so many road photos these days even though I know riders love to see them (as do I) but often I have just managed to pass another string of cars all stuck behind an even slower lead vehicle when a nice photo opportunity presents itself and I just think do I stop or look for another spot later, which of course never eventuates.
Down to the ocean with some interesting rocky islands and then back up another mountain pass, some excellent riding to be had in this area.
I came across this intriguing piece of infrastructure on route 414 before reaching the Izu Skyline road. Must have been built in the bubble economy days as it is a rather elaborate way to ascend a small ridge on a minor country road.
No photos on the return of Fuji in afternoon sun thanks to the LX100, sigh what did I say last post about maybe having a couple of wins.
Actually further to that I really did over state last post how much better the FJR was with the revised steering geometry. I have since sharpened it up a little further, the forks now raised 20mm in the triple clamps which has made a difference when the fuel load is under 1/2 but above this where the bike is mostly operated the whole heavy steering running wide push the front end thing is largely unchanged. As much as I don’t want to I am now mostly resigned to selling but I have no idea what to replace it with.