Half Fast Nichitsu ghost town autumn leaves -- Nov 2, 2013

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,844
1,888
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Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
I'll wear my TCC long sleeve jersey, but will also bring my @GSAstuto wind breaker and my bicycle line winter jacket to wear either on top, depending on temperatures and weather.

So far it looks like we'll be 8 of us, including @JackTheCommuter and @MJang who will be ahead of the rest.

My alarm is set for a 03:50 start to be out of the door in Setagaya no later than 4:30.
 

Bartek

Maximum Pace
Jun 28, 2010
248
35
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120
Chchibu
ewaandbart.webtobiz.net
Do not worry about the tunnels. As Joe mentions the busiest road is R140 and the tunnels on that road start passed the turn towards Nakatsugawa. If you take the back road on the left side of the lake passed Takizawa dam you will bypass the worst tunnels on R210.

For anyone who would like to spice things up and add another climb to the route, I suggest turning left at 15.2km mark off R140 and ride up to Mitsumine jinja. Then turn right at Chichibu Lake and take the second left to get to the small road that will take you to the left side of Takizawa Dam. If you do try it though, watch out for the signs as the road may be shut down due to landslides. It's a rarely used road and the city forgets about it quite often. Also, if you'd like to ride rhe big loop bridge, you can do it and still be able to get to the road on the other side riding across the dam.

For all interested in Nichitsu or Ogurasawa (as known to the locals), i found some pictures that I took back in 2004. It was before a big tourist wave that began coming to Chichibu and the place was just another forgotten mountain village. To my surprise there were still a few people living in the town. There were many more buildings back then and many apartments looked like people simply vanished and nt moved out. There were even cans of unopened beer in fridges :). Most of hose buildings were demolished a few years back as part of a "clean up" that the current mayor is working on to make Chichibu a major tourist destination.

One interesting tidbit of information I hear often from the locals is that the mines were a place to make quick money for young men looking for work. Unfortunately they were usually single young men and the lack of single women forced them to leave quickly.

It's hard to believe that tt one point, in such a remote place, there were as many as 2000 people living there.

Please look at the buildings back then and compare them to what you find today.

The onsen
2004-11-14 Ogurasawa Abandond Town 005.JPG

A new chimney
2004-11-14 Ogurasawa Abandond Town 069.JPG

2004-11-14 Ogurasawa Abandond Town 044.JPG

2004-11-14 Ogurasawa Abandond Town 047.JPG

View attachment 483

Across the bridge you can see the hospital which is almost completely demolished today.
2004-11-14 Ogurasawa Abandond Town 101.JPG
2004-11-14 Ogurasawa Abandond Town 108.JPG

It seemed like someone played table tennis not long before.
2004-11-14 Ogurasawa Abandond Town 123.JPG
2004-11-14 Ogurasawa Abandond Town 008.JPG
 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
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Setagaya, Tokyo
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Forecast is partly cloudy during the day - about to head out of the door. See you in front of the station!
 

Caryakine

Cruising
Sep 17, 2013
39
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And of course even bigger thanks to Joe for organizing this ride! This is really something to stay in my memory.

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