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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by HadesOmega, Aug 31, 2017.
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So I've made it Odawara Castle. Last year I stopped by and the castle was being renovated I guess. Also one thing you should know about Japanese castles is that most castles are in ruins. After the Japanese emperor came back into power during the Meiji era the emperor had the samurai castles destroyed because they were a symbol of the samurai' power. So many of the castles you see today in Japan are either in ruins or have been rebuilt for historical purposes. Anyway here it is!
You will see many of these large spiders around the castle. Particularly around the moats.
The inner moat of the castle. Castle have moats around them to make it more difficult to assault. The main castle is in the center of the property of to the back of a cliff.
The Akaganemon Gate, also mon = gate. There are series of gates to control entry to the castle.
Picture of the outer moat from a guard tower
Admiring that medieval Japanese architecture
The large outer moat you can see a long bridge in the distance.
Walking around the moat on the sidewalk.
There are duckies and koi fish in the moat. The koi are HUGE. It like 4 feet!
View from the red bridge
Inside the gate there are beautiful tree lined walkways
Stairwell up to the castle courtyard
A map of the castle grounds
Lots of students on a field trip today
The Tokiwagi Mon, large gate going to the castle courtyard. Last line of defense so its very hefty.
There's a giant monkey cage in the courtyard. Check out these two.
These are a souvenir shop and a restaurant. Notice the little owl hanging out there.
Little owl :)
There it is Odawara Castle. I wasn't able to see it last year because it was covered being renovated.
Last year 2015
The Castle's Entrance. I would also like to say it was interesting seeing the white castle with the overcast sky today. It was like a white on white. :)
Some info about Odawara Castle
Heading into the castle. This would be my first time seeing the inside of a Japanese Castle!
View from the top of the castle
Interesting stats on how tall popular Japanese Castles are. Odawara ranks somewhere in the middle.
Little model of Odawara Castle.
Different ornaments for the castle.
Samurai bogu (armor)
Samurai bogu and katana blades
Looking down at the courtyard from above.
Several panoramics from the top of the castle.
Some more shots of the castle tower from farther away
On the way out I notice there is the Samurai Exhibit, in the best interest in saving time and money I decided not to go though. Supposedly they would dress you up in samurai armor too.
A small garden for crops it looks like
There was something special about this tree but I can't read the sign here. It's probably really old.
Picture of one of the inner mons
More students on a fieldtrip
Lilipads line the moats
Back on the tracer next stop is Hakone for a bit. A few miles or kilometers down the road is Hakone. Last year I kinda wandered here after realizing its right next to Odawara. The next stop I'm headed to is a crowded shopping district where the Hakone Evangelion store Eva-Ya is. There is also a waterfall called Tamadare here that I'm going to look for.
After riding around looking for parking I wound up parking the YamaKyu in the same place I parked last year at some back road with a little dirt parking lot.
If you are familiar with one of the most popular Japanese anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hakone is the setting in the anime except it is called "Tokyo-3." Many scenes from the anime were drawn based on Hakone. So one thing Hakone is known for is Evangelion. I'm at the store "Eva-ya" where they sell Hakone Evangelion souvenirs. These are probably the only place you can get these. You'll also notice there is a hotspring theme with these Evangelion souvenirs, is because Hakone is also a hotspring town. Its a town known for it's hotsprings or onsen.
This is a lifesize figure of Rei in a kimono. The ice cream model next to her is the evanglion unit-01 icecream. It's basically an icecream that is the same colors as unit-1 one, green and purple. I actually got this last year.
So this year I got the Unit-01 drink. It's like a melon soda and jelly drink. It was pretty good!
Here is a menu of the food they have here. I guess I will have to try the NERV redbean cakes next time :)
On a pillar near the store is this nice Eva-ya poster with Rei Ayanami on it.
So that takes car of this stop. They didn't have much stuff compared to last last year but they had the Rei tenugui (Japanese towel) that they didn't have so got that one, all I need is the Unit-01 tenugui :)
I also spot this nice Toyota Estima minivan across the street. I'm a big fan of these little vans. I have the US version the Previa.
Further down the road sort of was a VERY narrow road and it took you to Tamadare Falls. It was kind of in a hotel kind of area which was strange. Not used to seeing a waterfall near a hotel and shopping district. But it was very nice place to hangout. I found a place to park sort of and walked to the waterfall.
There were ducks just casually walking about.
At the front of the waterfall there was a pond with koi and ducks swimming in it.
This is 1 of the 2 waterfalls. It is called Hien no Taki or Hien Falls.
Behind Hien no Taki was a large pond with more fish and ducks in it.
To the left of Hien no Taki was a jinja or shrine.
This is the purification fountain near the steps to the shrine. You are suppose to cleanse yourself before going to the shrine.
The steps going to the shrine, about three flights!
Then like the sign says Tamadare Falls or Tamadare no Taki is 20 meters to the left. tada!
There's a kind of plank you can walk on to get to the center of the falls.
There's me next to the waterfall :) Not the best picture it was so white today everything is overexposed.
There a garden back there and there's a board you can take a picture that looks like your standing under the waterfall like a monk.
On the way back to the bike, I had to cross this bridge that goes over the Sukumo River. When you are riding through this section of Hakone you are riding along this river.
HadesOmega's Lap of Mt Fuji Episode 4 - Odawara Castle, Eva-Ya, and Tamadare
So for some reason the parking lot I parked in wouldn't take my money I don't know why, I probably forgot to do something so I just rode around the arm machine.
The next stop is the first touge section of the day! The Mazda Hakone Turnpike. It's a popular toll road where motorcycles and sports cars drive up it. They even hold racing events here. I basically head back to the Odawara from where I came a bit and kind of in between Odawara and Hakone is the Hakone Turnpike. The Hakone Turnpike will take you to Ashinoko Skyline, Yuguwara, and Moto-Hakone. Last year i took it to Moto-Hakone this year I take it to Yuguwara and back to Ashinoko Skyline Road. At the top is the Mazda Skylounge. I stopped by here last year but I didn't have time to look around.
See that track going up into the mountains? That's the Hakone Turnpike.
This is the Mazda Skylounge at the top.
Pictures from one of the rest stop places on hakone Turnpike. Hakone Turnpike is a highspeed touge. There's not a lot of tight turn, it's a lot of sweeping turns. The Yamakyu makes quick work of it. Also cherry trees line the bottom section of Hakone Turnpike I bet in the spring time its a beautiful place to ride.
A observation point. You can see out to the ocean from here. Just over the mountains this way is Yuguwara where I rode last year.
At the top of Hakone Turnpike is the Mazda Skylounge. It's a little shopping center with little shops and restaurants people who ride or drive on the turnpike can rest and hangout at. The Japanese do rest stops well! Here is the Yamakyu at the Mazda Skylounge.
The fairly new Honda S660 kei car. If you want more info on the S660 check out the video I made about it later in the trip when I visit Honda Headquarters.
Lexus RCF, I guess Japan has Lexus also.
Inside they have a Yamaha Stryker on display.
Here is what the inside of the Skylounge looks like
Here is the view from the little walkway outside the Skylounge. Nice view of Lake Ashinoko. Unfortunately not a clear day so we can't see Fuji-san.
Inside there is a made of the Mazda Hakone Turnpike. I think its warning you not to exceed the 50km/h speedlimit, haha yeah right.
A picture of a car crash on Hakone Turnpike, I think they're warning you not to end up like that dude.
A nice map that shows your stuff about the Izu Peninsula. Too bad its online Japanese.
There is this neat little cafe in the Skylounge with all this motorcycle stuff.
They had these little motorcycle figures.
They had these cool Mazda Hakone Turnpike goods poster but I couldn't find the store to buy them. The top items are: Rotary Keychain, Mazda 3 model, 787B model, Mazda keychain
Bottom items are: ND Miata model, Mazda Hakone Turnpike Tenugui (Japanese towel), and a mug with a map of Hakone turnpike.
Man I totally want MOST of those! XD
HadesOmega's Lap of Mt Fuji Episode 5 - Mazda Hakone Turnpike
So the next section is the Tsubaki Line and Yuguwara Pass, I actually got the two mixed up also. From Yuguwara you take Yuguwara Pass to the Ashinoko Skyline Toll Road. The Tsubaki Line is a narrow and winding road that takes you down to Yuguwara another hotspring town that is along the coast almost. The Yamakyu is a handful on this road, its just not nimble enough to flick it around the tight corners. Also I'm still not used to the handling of this bike quite yet. It was still a fun road to ride, there are a lot of blind corners and the road is pretty narrow so you definitely don't want to go too fast.
Before I head down the Tsubaki Line I get distracted by this FD RX7 and Supra
There was also a nice Yamaha cafe racer style bike there.
So at the Mazda Skylounge I hang a left on to the Tsubaki Line. Last year I made a right.
Then it's twisties all the way down. There was some traffic along the way but not too much and I managed to pass them with the power of the Yamakyu.
More twists and turns until you get to Yuguwara
HadesOmega's Lap of MT. Fuji VLOG Episode 6 - Tsubaki Line Touge
The next touge section is Yuguwara Pass or Toll road out of Yuguwara. This will take you to just before the Ashinoko Skyline Road that parallels Lake Ashi. Yuguwara pass is a wide road with some fairly tight turns but not nearly as curvy as the Tsubaki line. The road condition is better also, not quite as bumpy. It is also very steep. With the power of the 900cc triple the Yamakyu seems to be having some trouble climbing it not that it couldn't but it definitely would call it breaking a sweat.
At the top it takes you just before the Ashinoko Skyline Road. There is also another toll both to pay. Just before I exit Yuguwara pass I run into that group of Skylines and Zs again from Hakone Turnpike. Later on I would find out that this was a group renting these dope cars and riding them on the touge. Anyway I rode up Ashinoko Skyline Road to the Fuji View cafe about halfway up Lake Ashinoko. Ashinoko Skyline Road is awesome to ride. I rode it last year and this year again and it didn't disappoint. The Yamakyu chews it right up and excellent views to the left and right. Unfortunately with all the clouds today its cold and not the best view. So, not much to do but head to the ryokan for the night and I still had some daylight left I decided to stop by the Fuji View Cafe.
I made it to the Fuji View Rest House. I just passed by it last year this year I stopped and checked it out because I had some time I wanted to do one last thing before I had to head to the ryokan.
Indeed spectacular views from here however it's very overcast we can't even see Fuji-san =/
There is this cool gokart in front of the cafe.
An Ashinoko Skyline souvenir sticker, I bought 2 I think I have to see if I can find them :)
In the rest house they have a wall full of car and motorcycle pictures. Pretty awesome!
So I saw this on the menu it's like a food diorama of Ashinoko Skyline. It was delicious! :)
The rice and curry are Lake Ashinoko
That mashed potato is Mt. Fuji
Compare here, it pretty accurate :)
This little place was great if your in the area check it out, it's got a lot of cool automobile memorabilia. I told the guy that was serving me that this place is kakoi (cool).
Across the street from the Fuji View Rest House is this Ice Cream shop. I stopped by here and took some pictures and I tried one of their ice creams. I forgot what it was, maybe it was a redbean icecream or something. They had some other sweets also.
Picture of Lake Ashinoko
Tried to get a picture of that fancy ship
Panoramic of Lake Ashinoko
Red bean and vanilla ice cream cone :) I'm actually not that big a fan of redbean but I like it in taiyaki!
View of the other side of the mountain.