Mt. Fuji Climb On A Varadero

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Edmond Dantès, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    In 1823,176 years before the first Honda XL1000V Varadero rolled off the production lines in the Hamamatsu Plant, Shizuoka Prefecture, the ekiyo-e woodblock painter, Katsushika Hokusai's famous series known as, The 36 Views Of Mt. Fuji was first published.

    The most famous view being: The Great Wave off Kanagawa

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    and Red Fuji
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    Red Fuji has to be the best known of Hokusai's works. Hokusai used only four colors in this picture yet manages to express the height and strong presence of the peek. I have actually seen the mountain looking just as Hokusai has painted it here.

    One of my favorite pictures. View from Surugacho in Edo
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    Hokusai did not paint in any facial features with his people, yet they seem to express so much.
    A short skip north of Nihonbashi in Tokyo, one finds the Mistukoshi Department Store on the left side of the street. Mitsui Hachiemon built a clothing store on this spot around 1655. The signs in the lower part of the picture announce,"No credit. Fixed prices. Fine clothing" "Cash payment only. Materials and thread."

    I thought I'd have a ride out to Fuji and see if I could take my own 36 views of the mountain. I am sure Hokusai would not disapprove too much.
    While I was at it, I thought I'd see how far up the mountain I could ride my bike!
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Thanks for the historical intro and pics :thumb

    Let's see your 36 views of Mt. Fuji :lurk
    #2
  3. samuraider

    samuraider eurasia-riders

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    :lurk
    #3
  4. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Here's my Top Ten Tarantino Characters:

    1.Jack Scagnetti
    2.Seth Gecko
    3.Sex Machine
    4.Jules Winnfield
    5.Zed
    6.Mr. Pink
    7.Red Apple Cigarettes
    8.Pistolero
    9.O-Ren Ishii
    10.Hattori Hanzo
    11.Mr. Blonde
    12.Johnny Mo


    I was mulling the list over while on the ride.
    #4
  5. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Getting there
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    There are two expressways that run out to the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
    from Tokyo. The Chuo Expressway and the Tomei Expressway. Both are fast and convenient. But if you have enough time I recommend Route 413. 413 can be found by riding the 412 out of Atsugi towards Sagami Lake. It’s a peach of a road. About 40 odd clicks from Sagami to Lake Yamanaka, the first of the Fuji Five Lakes. Most of the traffic is on the expressways which leaves this road empty for motorbikes. The huge bonus is there are hardly any traffic lights. If you have ridden a bike in a Japanese city you will be well aware that you can’t go 500 meters without a traffic effing light! I hate traffic lights.

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    No Autumn colors yet.
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    Once a proud army
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    Route 413 will plop you out near Lake Yamanaka, or if you don't pay attention, in lake Yamanaka.
    Yamanaka is the first of the Five Fuji Lakes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuji_Five_Lakes
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    It is my least favorite lake. It is the most commercialized of the five. Shops, tacky souvenirs, tourist boats.
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    I decide to post up near the vending machine and get a buzz on.
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    Oh Georgia. I love you!
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    What's in that coffee? I am seeing things. Feels like I am in some weird Tchaikovsky ballet.
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    I am seeing pink swan boats. Leave the lake now!
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    #5
  6. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Vincent Vega needs to be on that list. How can I compile a top ten tarantino without V V ?

    Follow the road to the next lake, Kawaguchi Lake.

    View No.1 Varadero by Lake Kawaguchi
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    View No. 2 Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi Shoreline
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    View No. 3 12:05
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    View No. 4 Garden Party
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    View No.5 Rock The Boat
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    View No.6 Mirror Mirror
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    View No.7 The Far Rim Of Lake Kawaguchi
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    #6
  7. Fustercluck

    Fustercluck Been here awhile

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    Awesome pics, I really want to ride there someday.
    #7
  8. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Following the road along lakeside drive leads one to Lake Saiko (pronounced Psycho) This lake is eerie especially in the winter when all is still and no one is around. The water is deep, dark and quiet. There is a large pine forest along the side of the lake that is a favorite spot for Japanese to go and commit suicide. Apparently compasses do not work in the wood due to iron in the soil. A few years ago I was riding through the wood on my KDX when the bike just cut out. It wouldn’t start for the longest time.

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    Psyched
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    #8
  9. grizzzly

    grizzzly The Pre-Banned Version

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    :clap :ear
    #9
  10. Perp

    Perp Museum Piece

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    Wow, very nice. Great ride report!
    #10
  11. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    View No. 8 The Ice Garden

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    On the grounds of this hotel during the winter months they have some pretty cool ice art. Still a tad warm for that. No snow on top of Fuji yet this autumn.

    View No. 9 In A Grove
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    Following the road around brings you to the fourth Fuji Lake. Lake Shoji. This is the smallest of the five lakes.
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    View No. 10 Fuji At Shoji Lake
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    View No. 11 精進湖
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    View No. 12 3,778 Meters
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    #11
  12. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    The roads around the lakes are great fun to ride.
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    Arrive at the last of the Five Lakes. Motosu Lake.
    This is the deepest lake. I love the blue water color of this lake on a sunny day.
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    View No. 13 Fuji Through Motosu Lake Reeds
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    View No. 14 Varadero At Motosu Lake
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    View No. 15 The Lake Motosu Shoreline
    (To make records with a mobile we didn't have much time)

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    View No.16 The Errant Bungy Cord
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    View No. 17. The Five Thousand Yen Bill
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    I am standing on the spot where the picture was painted for the old five thousand yen bill.
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    The note was suspended on April 2nd 2007 when a new design was introduced. Shame, I liked this bank note.
    The obverse showed a picture of Nitobe Inazo a politician during the Meiji Period.
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    View No.18 Space Trucking

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    View No. 19 Layer Cake
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    Right, that's a wrap with the Five Lakes. The Five Lakes is a really good ride. Easy to do day trip from Tokyo. if you ever find yourself in the Tokyo area with a free day, rent a bike and ride the Five Lakes.

    Now let's head a little closer to the mountain.

    View No. 23. Somewhere North of Motosu [​IMG]

    View No. 24 Same As View No.23 (but different)
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    View No. 25 High Plains Drifter
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    View No. 26 Aye Aye
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    View No. 28 Skate Punx
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    Ah, dude. I am totally bringing my board for this road.
    Someone gotta hit this road up on a skateboard, might as well be me:wink: .
    #12
  13. Lo-IQ

    Lo-IQ Adventurer

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    #13
  14. strawbobrob

    strawbobrob n00bian

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    Right bike, right mountain, write more!:D Liking this.
    #14
  15. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Lo-IQ, if you make it over and need any help, let me know.


    Thanks man.
    #15
  16. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Revised Top Ten Tarantino Characters

    1.Jules Winnfield
    2.Vicent Vega
    3.Mickey and Mallory Knox
    4.O-Ren Ishii
    5.Detective Jack Scagnetti
    6.Clarence Worley
    7.The Bride
    8.Mr. Blonde
    9.Jackie Brown
    10.The Gimp

    View No. 29 Red Fuji
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    No one on this road. The light was green all the way on the approach but as soon I got near the light quickly switched to red!
    I stopped, I know there is a cop hiding in the rice field adjacent to the stoplight just waiting to bounce. Not today sucker!

    View No 30 Go Forth
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    Higher ground. Lake Motosu from the lower ridges.

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    The Fuji Subaru Line ? Sounds like fun.
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    1,600 yen ! I told the toll guy, I thought that was a bit 'steep'. He didn't like my joke and parried with his own, 'yeah, just had a pay hike.'
    I asked him if I could ride my bike all the way to the top. He looked at me as if I was radio rental. 'Halfway mate.' was his reply.

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    This is a good ride up the mountain, worth the $16 ticket. Wouldn't do it every day though. Started to get colder as I climbed.

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    What is this. Japanese Serow?
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    Is this the animal named after the Yamaha Serow? I would have a face like that as well if I was named after a Yamaha Serow. Poor creature.
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    The views are getting good.
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    The parking lot at the fifth climbing station. The climbing season is over so it is quiet up here.

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    If you want to go any higher, it's skankus pony:
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    View No. 31. The Slippery Slope
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    View No. 32 View my a$# !
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    The saying goes that Mt. Fuji is like Japanese women, beautiful from a distance but once on top it is disappointing. Generally speaking have no complaints over the years.

    Mt. Fuji, I love you ! And if there are any women, Japanese or otherwise out there reading this, I LOVE YOU, TOO !
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    The beginning of the hiking trail to the top.
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    Maybe if I had a Yamaha Serow, I could ride up that??
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    #16
  17. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    View No.33 Fuji From A Petrol Station

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    Regular gas 124 yen a liter. ($1.24) High octane 135. ($1.35)
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    View No. 34 Fuji And More Powerlines
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    On route 413 a few clicks away from Yamanaka Lake I found this place:
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    This is bizarre! Gout Temps? Good Time Cafe?
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    The Heart of England in Yamanashi.
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    The place was unreal. Kind of freaked me out. Like being in Lorna Doone!

    There was an MG in the front of the place with Texas Plates. Looks like a 1953 MG TF or MG TD.
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    Might have belonged to the last person who stopped here for a cuppa and was never heard of since.
    I bet this car could tell a few adventure stories.

    Stepping inside, things truly took a turn for the bizarre.
    A wedding altar
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    The owner presented himself and proceeded to give me a guided tour of the place. Yes, I know, he looks more like Worzel Gummidge than the great man himself.
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    I asked him if he had ever been to the west country of England. He would fit right in. He spoke not a word of English. He had never been to the UK before.
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    The upstairs of the place was littered with doll's houses,carnival wheels and the like. All handmade by his brother.

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    The walls adorned with all kinds of Brit Paraphernalia
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    Blame it on the MadJapBrit this time.
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    By all means stay. We would love to have you for dinner!
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    I mumbled something about the lateness of the hour and stumbled out into the parking area. I fumbled with the key in the ignition while hearing the crunch of wellington boots on the gravel behind me.....
    #17
  18. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Thanks for the fantastic tour of Mt. Fuji and the bizarre English pub :lol3
    :lurk
    #18
  19. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    You're welcome Gadget Boy. Thanks for the interest.

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    A nice thatched house on route 413. This is actually a hotel.
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    View No. 35 Motosu Lake Revisited
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    View No. 36 Shojiko Revisited
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    Well there you go, 36 views of Mt. Fuji in the tradition of Katsushika Hokusai. I apologize for my lack of skill with a camera but what's more important, the ride or the photos?

    Tokyo-Route 246- Route 412 - Route 413 -Fuji Five Lakes: Yamanaka,Kawaguchi,Sai,Shouji,Motosu.
    Approx. 300 km round trip.

    If you are new to Japan and looking for a good day trip or planning a trip to the country in the future and looking at ride intineraries, give the Fuji Five Lakes a whirl.

    Special thanks to the Honda Hamamatsu Factory in Shizuoka, Katsushika Hokusai, Hiroshige Ando, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Deep Purple and Georgia Coffee.

    Edmond Dantes (Fool and Errant Knave) AKA The Count of Monte Cristo
    #19
  20. Fustercluck

    Fustercluck Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Asheville, NC/ Muntinlupa City, Philippines
    Thanks for posting, great pics and great report.
    #20