Takayama by the slow roads

The forecast had been for rain all weekend, but I soon put a sto

The weather forecast had been calling for rain all weekend, but I soon put a stop to that (my luck with the weather when I want to ride makes me seriously consider the possibility that there really are rain gods, and that I’m their favored son). We took off our raingear on the outskirts of Tokyo and never needed it again.  Noji-kun had plotted us a brilliant twisty route from West Tokyo up through Chichibu, over Yatsugatake through Chino to Ina, over Gombei Pass to Kiso, then over Norikura to Hirayu. It worked out to an all-day ride when we could have done it mostly by expressway in a few hours, but it’s nice to cover that distance only using beautiful misty winding roads.

Bikes at Norikura Plateau

The long roundabout way around up and down Norikura Pass meant we got to the campground just before dark, but it was worth it.

Supermoon through the trees

The supermoon peeks in through the trees above our cabin, as we relax after a soak in the onsen.


My carb had been coughing, sputtering, and overflowing, so we gave it a good campsite overhaul in the morning.

Usui's Mach 3

I love that our rides these days always seem to be roving museums, since so many of the people I ride with prefer these beautiful old pieces of art. Here’s Usui-san’s Mach 3.

Kano's Z2

And Kano-san’s Z2.

Noji's W3 -- Aside from my intruding 1993 Harley, our group was

And Noji-kun’s W3.

I even felt a little guilty breaking the theme of this mobile exhibition of 1960s–1970s Kawasaki history with my early 90s piece of American steel (but I suppose at least the Evolution engine is mostly 70s-level technology).


Packed up and ready to roll!

I love this old town.I wanted to pass through the old town of Takayama, since I love these old buildings.

Gyukushi--You can't do takayama without steak-on-a-stick, even i

And I can’t pass through this region without sampling the Hida gyu-kushi (steak on a stick!), even if it’s only 10AM.

As soon as my bike started running right again, it was time for

After some minor carburetor tweaks, my bike was purring along beautifully, which meant, of course, that it was someone else’s turn to break down. Noji’s W3 decided to throw an easily solvable electrical tantrum.

But the break gave me a chance to admire the flora.

Which gave me a moment to take some pretty flower pictures.

Noji looks back to make sure i noticed the awesome view of Ontak

Back in action, Noji-kun turns back to make sure we all noticed the view of Ontake (unfortunately blocked by the tree and some clouds at this point).

Ina from Gonbei pass

Heading down toward Ina from Gombei.

This trip really reminded me of how much I love real roads. I should take the long way around more often.

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