Ride For any TCC 'tilers'

Karl

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Shame to see a nice car like that just left to collect rust and dust. It looked to be in good shape in the 2014 picture. I wonder if it was more trouble to keep it licensed, insured and maintained than the owner thought it was worth.
 
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joewein

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Seeing the forecast for Saturday and Sunday, I moved my cycling to Friday (177 km on Strava).

I headed to Hinohara to clear up some tiles, including the one near the Tengu Falls that I failed to get earlier this month. This time I approached it from the opposite direction. I headed to Rt201, then before the temple I took the turnoff to to the quarry and the limestone cave. The tile started just a little after where I turned around on previous rides in that neighbourhood.



The second tile was a little before Kanoto Iwa. I went there via a fairly steep concrete road, which was very slippery in some places. I had to change into my sneakers as the SPD shoes didn't have enough grip.

Then back to the Hinohara T-junction and up the left (Tomin no Mori) side. A km or two before the Rt33 turnoff to the tunnel I crossed the river and headed up a rindo. The scenery was pretty nice.



The river was supposed to split in two, with a road next to either side leading me to the east tile and the west tile, respectively. The east tile was the more valuable one, as it's on the edge of my max square. It also had the nicer road. However, soon I saw some trucks and heavy machinery moving and loading tree trunks.


No way to pass. Why did I pick a Friday, not a Sunday? Oh right, because it will be pouring with rain on the Sunday, that's why! So back to the split, I should at least be able to get the west tile. That road was overgrown and muddy, until it disappeared:




Forget it!

So back to the main road and up Rt33 to the tunnel, over to the Yamanashi/Kanagawa (south) side. I knew I was running out of daylight. I could have gotten the west tile from some steep rindos on the south side, but I was more interested in the east and south tiles, which both border and thus limit the max square.

After passing the two golf courses I ended up on some gravel roads while trying to find the shortest route to Wada west. I got to the bottom of Wada just as it got dark (but after some beautiful Fuji views). Pushing my bike up an extremely steep concrete rindo to a small shrine, I made it to a corner of the south tile.

Then down to Rt20, over Otarumi Toge, Hachioji, back to the Tamagawa and home to Setagaya, where I arrived around 22:30.

So while I didn't get to grow my 25x25 to a 26x26 because I couldn't grab the east tile, I checked off some others that had been on my list for a while. I loved the Hinohara scenery. And while it was still warm (and very windy in the morning), it was cooler on some of the climbs and in the forest. With Autumn Equinox next week, autumn will be officially here pretty soon.
 

Karl

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@joewein Some really nice pictures. Love the one of Fuji and another one you posted on Strava of the mountains and low clouds. Beautiful scenery up that way. Too bad about the construction/foresting blocking access to the tiles. Seems like this year it has been really hard to find a day or two on the weekend when it wasn't raining.
 
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Karl

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Yep. Tiling forced me to dip my toes into the world of hiking and now I found out I really like it. When/if the weather ever clears up for two days on the weekend, I hope to hike from the Mitsumine shrine to Kamosawa and stay in the lodge up at Kumotori overnight.
 
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joewein

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I did quite a bit of hiking in 2011 and early 2012, but then shifted more and more to cycling. For example, my first visit to Tomin no Mori was actually by bus from Musashiitsukaichi to hike from the trail head to Mito-san (三頭山) and then down to Okutama-ko.

Technically I must already have cleared some of the tiles that are still on my list now, but I didn't record any of the hikes on Strava back then. As we know, that means they never happened ;)

 
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Half-Fast Mike

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but I didn't record any of the hikes on Strava back then. As we know, that means they never happened
I was fortunate –some might say "doomed" – to get a head start on tiling because I was a relatively early adopter of consumer GPS, having had an awful experience getting lost on a ridge hike in Okutama and ending up sliding down about 500 m of mud on my butt, with a friend. We emerged from a mountainside cemetery onto the road, looking like zombies, and were fortunate enough to have landed right by the Hebi-no-yu onsen.

My First Garmin was later pressed into service for cycling, initially held onto the stem with knicker elastic. I'm very glad I had it to record my hikes up and down Fujisan in 2005; I have no intention of going back up to the top of that boring cinder-cone.

P1010021.jpeg
 
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Half-Fast Mike

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Didn't get all the tiles I planned today, but got all the tiles I deserved.

Tsuru Oshino.gif

One of my medium-term objectives is to expand my cluster to include the summit of Fujisan. This was a good step closer, filling some missing tiles between Fujimichi and Dōshimichi.

Took my Niner on the train for the first time. It's really heavy compared to my road bikes, but I figured it would be needed for these unknown rindōs. Started from Tsuru, and took the most direct route towards Dōzaka-tōge. Within a few hundred meters I was off-roading, and the early morning sunlight through the trees and my iPhone's lens conspired to create a nice photo of an aqueduct..

20200922-090026-exploring-tsuru-oshino.jpeg

I didn't bother ascending all the way to the tunnel as I've been there already. As I got the tile I needed, I noticed a turning to a camp site. According to the map, this offered an alternate route for part of the descent. The route out to be really gnarly gravel, and I enjoyed it very much... not least because it was unnecessary for today's mission, and because I kept up with three lads on motorbikes after they overtook me.

The main course was to be a long rindō around Shakushiyama 杓子山, with a couple of diversions to grab tiles not collected on the road. Nice peaceful scenes of harvest time on the preamble. It got steeper after the fishing hole and ski-slope, then the inevitable gate and warnings to proceed no further especially if your vehicle has more than 11 seats. But to my surprise the rindō was well-paved and clean along 99% of its length.

20200922-104434-exploring-tsuru-oshino.jpeg

Lots of views like this, along the Shishidome river valley:

20200922-111017-exploring-tsuru-oshino.jpeg

And of course, as I was now between closed gates, there was zero traffic. Nice.

It did get really steep though. Or was it me (lacking fitness) and my (heavy) Niner bike? I did a lot of zigzag riding to reduce the effective gradient.

Then the first diversion...

20200922-111611-exploring-tsuru-oshino.jpeg

The DO NOT ENTER admonition leads (once past a gate) to another beautifully paved, but steep, rindō. I rode a long way up this before admitting to myself that it was not going to join up with the trail I actually needed to be on to get a needed tile. It's not on any may that I could access with my phone, and looks new, so I figured it was a rebuild. Wrong! It was a nice ride, but I used up time and energy. Back down at the junction, the 'real' route was apparent - a gravelly, muddy, ratty climbing route with sections of concrete that suggest it was once a road navigable by 4WD cars. I rode and pushed as much as seemed sensible, then abandoned the bike for the last 500 m or so.

20200922-115103-exploring-tsuru-oshino.jpeg

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Back on the main rindō, the steep but smooth asphalt continued, until it turned a corner for a long, flatter, winding section. Coming out of the gated section, I found myself at Nijū-magari tōge 二十曲峠. Sadly, by this time of day the clouds had descended and the promised panorama view of Fujisan was not to be had.

I knew the second diversion was going to be really steep - the contour lines on the map were scary. But fortunately for me it was paved almost all the way, so I was able to push my bike up and then zoom back down, saving my knees from that particular torture.

IMG_7232-exploring-tsuru-oshino.jpeg

A tunnel takes r717 from the north end of Oshino town down the hill toward Fujiyoshida. I wanted to avoid the tunnel, and ride instead over Toriichi-tōge 鳥居地峠 for my final diversion. I could not find the start of the road, and after some hunting I gave up and took the tunnel instead. I was tired and hungry, and figured the missed tiles would still be there another day.

(After much scouring of maps back at home, I realize where I was going wrong - I'd plotted the route correctly, but had spotted and ridden a shortcut and misunderstood the angle of my approach. If I find myself in Oshino again, I might do that rindō, as it looks rather tasty.)

So I carried on rolling down the hill all the way to Ōtsuki; though I was tired and hungry, I wasn't so tired that I would take the slow, clunky, overpriced Fuji-kyukō line on a nice afternoon. Got home around 18.30.

Grand day out. 17 tiles out of 22 planned. With luck, my legs will recover by the weekend.

 
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joewein

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175 km for a single tile. It sounds worse than it was. On a gorgeous day like yesterday, the first really sunny day since autumn equinox, what better thing can you do than cycle all day?

I worked on the weekend to take Monday off and planned to do some bike + hike, when I received a note from @microcord that he was going to do a ride. So I dumped the tiling plans that would clear more tiles at the edge of a max square in favour of riding with friends and just a single square after lunch together.

I met this little fellow on a rindo high above Aone on Doshi michi, not far from the tile border:



He blended in almost perfectly with the surroundings. It was a closed rindo, so he doesn't have to worry too much about getting run over by cars. Maybe he is guarding the tile.

On the way to the rindo I took a wrong turn and ended up at this shrine, which boasts a 700 year old tree:





After Aone I headed to Miyagase to see how far I could ride towards Yabitsu and to check out potential hiking routes. It was great to follow the old route, even though I had to turn around eventually as the road works haven't finished yet.



But there was a note posted that mentioned an end date of Heisei 2-nen, 9-gatsu 30-nichi, i.e. tomorrow. Does that mean the road to Yabitsu will re-open this Thursday?

Meanwhile I am pouring over maps to figure how to get those tiles west of my max square. The current Google Maps is useless for anything but driving on roads, I find. OpenStreetMap has much more information for hiking trails. I have installed the free Osmand app on one of my phones and downloaded the Kanto map.
 
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Karl

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@joewein Looks like a nice ride. As always nice pics! Also, thanks for the info on Yabitsu. Sure hope they open it up soon.

I'm planning to hike from Mitsumine shrine to Kamosawa and overnight in the Kumotori lodge this Saturday/Sunday. Anyone know anything about temps up there this time of year? Wondering if I can get away with a summer sleeping bag with down vest for upper body. Anyone? Bueller?

On the off chance anyone might like to join, I'll be at Seibu-Chichibu station in time for the first bus to the shrine (8:20-ish I think). Send me a DM if interested.
 
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luka

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I see early morning temperatures can go a low as 12C these days in Chichibu. up there at about 2,000m elevation, I'd expect 10C or so colder temps. I've done some proper winter alpine climbing (fuji san, yatsugatake etc in Jan-Feb, with tents or in snow caves) and would always always recommend to take two layers more than you think you might need (speaking as someone who is pretty OK in cold). personally, I'd not go up there in Oct with just a summer sleeping bag (unless you're staying indoors at Kumotori sanso, in which case they have futons and stuff?)
 

luka

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I see. then you shouldn't need a bag really. they have futons and blankets there. they got you covered ;)

I was there in Oct 2017, and remember the heating on so strongly I slept in T shirt and undies only, with a blanket half covered. I was also trying to open the window all the time, but others in the room were closing it (they tried to put 12 of us in a room for 8, but we protested and in the end succeeded in having the hut take one group of four somewhere else, and our group of four plus another one remained in the room. so overall pretty crowded, but that was probably because the peak is 2017 m elevation, and they made it a thing to climb there by all means in 2017 pffft)
 

Half-Fast Mike

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I'm planning to hike from Mitsumine shrine to Kamosawa and overnight in the Kumotori lodge this Saturday/Sunday.
Wish I could join you, but this weekend is booked with other things. Dang. I definitely want/need to do this, so will be interested to hear how you get on. Did you book a place at the lodge? (I don't know if that's a thing... I was planning to take my tent, when I eventually go.)
 

Karl

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@luka So you were in the lodge in October and it was almost hot. Good info. The info I have says I should bring 'travel sheets or an innerschlaf" I'm guessing an innerschlaf is a sleeping bag liner? So no sleeping bag needed then? Sorry for stupid question. I'm new to the mountain lodge scene.

@Half-Fast Mike Too bad you can't make it. I'm planning to collect a pot load of Golden Tiles then! And, yeah, I made a reservation. Now I just hope the weather holds.
 
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luka

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yeah, it's pretty wild. I don't think my experience means much after 3 years have passed. if they instruct to bring sheets or liners, it's better to have it. that night the hut was overbooked and overflowing, maybe they ramp up the heating in such situations. if it's half-full this time around (as I would expect with COVID and all) maybe it's gonna be a very different thing. note that these are extremely secluded places, no infrastructure and basically everything is brought in by helicopters. just one hut further down the ridge was abandoned in recent years, as general withdrawal of infrastructure proceeds apace in the geriatric and debt ridden J land
 

Half-Fast Mike

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I went on a bike ride [Stravr] and got some tiles on and near Fujisan, including the two I missed last week. It was tougher than I expected, but no tougher than I deserve.

Fujisan North.gif

Got straight off to a false start, following the line on my Garmin for a completely different course (Takizawa Rindō - my favorite way up to the Fifth Station, but definitely not today's plan). That cost me a half hour before I realized that I wasn't just imagining things and it was familiar.

Views like this all day:

20200930-100321-exploring-fujisan-north.jpeg

The first 36 km, including my unwitting diversion, were all well paved. The rindō is quiet; I'd recommend it if you're looking for a 1000 m climb that's not too steep or busy.

Then I got to the stupid stuff:

20200930-113939-exploring-fujisan-north.jpeg

I didn't actually go through/over this - the tile border was just before the crevasse. Although the 'road' continues on the other side, Mike did not.

20200930-115847-exploring-fujisan-north.jpeg

通行止 - and with good reason. I'm not sure I personally know anyone who would have enjoyed this 'road'. Maybe @bloaker. It started out as a fun 4WD track but descended into chaos.

20200930-122030-exploring-fujisan-north.jpeg

Yay - natural berms, blablabla. What's not so obvious from the photo are the huge lumps of pumice.

Many fallen trees. I could duck under or over some, but 5 or 6 times I had to scramble up to the bank to get around obstacles.

20200930-122326-exploring-fujisan-north.jpeg

This is all fine going downhill; just stop and walk for a bit if too gnarly. But after it bottomed-out, I knew there would be a 200 m climb, if I were to follow my course and get my tiles. No idea what to expect.

At the bottom, I was faced with a fence, and I choice to turn left (sanity) or right (my course).

While hiking last week I came across an attractive mushroom patch. In contrast, the 'streets' of Fujisan are paved not with mushrooms but with gol...

20200930-131814-exploring-fujisan-north.jpeg

...f balls.

20200930-131822-exploring-fujisan-north.jpeg

I'd come to the boundary of the 'Fuji Classic' golf course. It was heartbreaking to see a pristine asphalt golf cart track on the other side of the wire fence, while thrashing my way through the brambles along the overgrown 'track'. But I knew that turning back would put me on completely the wrong side of Mt Fuji for my objective, so I pressed on. I lost the trail once, but found it again - an uphill version of the stream bed I'd earlier been descending. Shortly afterward I lost the trail completely, and took a different vector in the hope that they'd connect-up. They did - and I have never been so happy to find an uphill gravel firetrack! The nightmare slog was less than 1500 m, but my lower legs were scratched to hell and I'd run out of water.

At the top of the climb, a construction crew were building a 1-km stretch of pristine concrete road in the middle of nowhere. I asked, but they wouldn't let me cross their handiwork because the concrete was too fresh. So again I had to scramble up a bank and through backwoods to get back on track. That connected to the start of the descent, which brought me past the entrance to Fujiten ski area & mountain bike park. I'd visited Fujiten once with @bloaker for bouncy-bouncy mountain bike fun, and when planning the route I noticed it would be possible to drop-in on Fujiten from above, ride a sneaky trail for free, and leave. I determined however to press on south for more tiles. More fool, me. (The ex-rindō I took was a far greater test of my skill (and skin) than anything Fujiten has to offer!)

The downhill leg was much more complicated than the outbound climb. I had more golf course boundary tracks to deal with, and a firmly-gated private holiday home village. But eventually I got off the rock, and set about collecting the two tiles I missed last week.

The approach doesn't look so bad in this photo, until you notice how small the orange traffic cone is.

20200930-160202-exploring-fujisan-north.jpeg

Here's the opposite angle.

20200930-163048-exploring-fujisan-north.jpeg

Someone stole your bridge, mate.

This is not the first time I've needed a ladder to complete a tiling quest. It probably won't be the last. Fortunately, a ladder was courteously provided, and there was no one around to tell me not to use it.

It was a short and not-difficult hike, but I was really tired.

Job done.
 

luka

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love how you strategically lick over the border and pick up various tiles as you progress on. like those in nishikatsura. you're a seasoned tiler for sure. I wonder what's gonna take to get the one on the NW slopes of Fuji. not sure if that's accessible at all, without even more risk then you usually take on. and that SDF blight to the right... see if you can pay the base an official visit or something, and secretly run stravr in there
 
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