Kazahari Toge: Mine, all mine !

#1
I did my proper ride of 2010 today - in fact my first real ride for a long time. After a month back home in the UK with no exercise, followed immediately by an abysmal jet-lagged semi-ride last weekend (aborted a little after Ome) I ventured out this morning with a certain trepidation, and a hope that I wouldn't meet any other cyclists so I could safely humiliate myself in private.

And if privacy was what I wanted, privacy was what I got - Kazahari Toge ! I'd read that motorcycles had thankfully been banned recently from this road, and on top of that I guess the cold weather had kept away the car day-trippers as well - approaching from Itsukaichi I had the whole road practically to myself, and once on the climb proper I saw three cars in total and one other cyclist. I've never known this road to be anywhere near so peaceful.

I'd heard from the 7-11 staff in Itsukaichi that there had been snow two days before and the road was closed beyond Tomin-no-Mori, but when I got there it was fine - snow on the verges but the actual road was clear - only a few small patches of ice, easily avoided - and some amazing views. The temperature display just after the top of the pass showed 0 degrees - not too extreme, but certainly pretty chilly once in the shade and especially on the downhill. I had to thaw out my fingers on the Soba shop's gas heater for 15 minutes before I was able to handle a pair of chopsticks...

Anyway, it's a bit chilly up there, but I definitely recommend trying Kazahari toge in winter --

Cheers
Steve
 
#5
unless you count shovelling snow !
Of course, Chazzer, I'd almost forgot ! That, and the cross-country skiing down the high-street for a pint of milk ...

Having a bike break now myself...and just starting to think of my own back in the saddle ride.
Well it's perfect timing Phil - I recall you have a cyclocross bike stashed away somewhere ...;)

Good to know that Kazahari is still doable from the south side. I tried from the north side yesterday, and found it would have been possible only with a cyclocross.
Hi Ludwig - sorry, I didn't make it clear in my post - I actually descended on the North side down to Okutama-ko and it was fine. What time were you there ? Maybe the roads hadn't yet been salted ..? I got there pretty late - about 13:30 at the Soba shop by the bridge. Nice report by the way: before cycling out from Tokyo I had also been considering Imagawa Toge and Tsuru Toge but thought "in for a penny in for a pound", opted for Kazahari. Looks like I lucked out !
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#6
Hi Ludwig - sorry, I didn't make it clear in my post - I actually descended on the North side down to Okutama-ko and it was fine. What time were you there ? Maybe the roads hadn't yet been salted ..? I got there pretty late - about 13:30 at the Soba shop by the bridge. Nice report by the way: before cycling out from Tokyo I had also been considering Imagawa Toge and Tsuru Toge but thought "in for a penny in for a pound", opted for Kazahari. Looks like I lucked out !
I was there a bit earlier, but I don't think that made the difference. The road was already salted. And it was totally fine up to where I went - but it thought that would change just the way it had changed on Imagawa Toge and towards Kosuge - both roads were also salted...

Now we know that Kazahari is passable even when lower passes aren't. Important learning for the winter!