Looking for others who want to ride up to Yachihou (propose from Hanno or Tokorozawa stn) via 299 which opens 4/9 (per my limited JP reading). My result won't be spectaculare thus hoping someone else may want to make the weekend a little bit more Epic.
The 299 from Hanno to Chichibu is a horrible road. Lots of tunnels with loads of cement trucks going to and from Chichibu. I wouldn't recommend it. After Chichibu things get a lot better. Riding via Ogawamachi would be a better route. Up and over Shiraishi Toge then drop down to Chichibu.
Yeah avoid the 299 from Hanno. If you want to start from Hanno, though, you could take route 70 and then 53 over Yamabushi-toge. You'll still have to use the 299 for a few KMs into Chichibu but it's a much nicer route and avoids the nasty tunnel just after Nishiagano.
I will be at the Yatsugatake HC this year, but not going by bike. Get ready for a long (very long) climb! And make sure you have warm clothes to put on at the top of the course. Last year there was still a lot of snow up there. The organisers will transport a bag to the top for you.
I haven't been to Yatsugatake for a few years. But that climb beats you all over for 15 rounds. Like Alan, maybe best to drive or train it there and save everything for the race. Climb it again the next day if you have any juice left!
Quite pleased with today's result: 14th out of 69 riders in Champion class and cut my previous best time by 3 and a half minutes. Champion class started early so we were at the goal just as a light rain began falling; it soon turned heavier so the following classes had a tougher time near the summit. It's a long, long climb with no real respite; even the shallower gradient sections require you to get on the big ring and lay down some power, or be caught, and there are plenty of steep little bumps at 10-11% to sap your energy. @Naomi was fighting her way back from a severe cold and snagged 4th in the ladies and @basilleroux put in a great time in the heavyweight (for Japan!) class.
Thanks @AlanW and well done to you and @Naomi. My time was not as impressive as on the results sheet. I started in my age group pen (not weight) as had assumed there would be a timing mat at the start(now I understand why some guy was pulling my jersey before the starter gun!). Anyway I did a 1:23:32, which was happy with. As you say its a long, long climb!
Congratulations all! I think I got 1st place in slowest gaikokujin group. Tough climb but weather was much better than last year and this event has to be one of the most fun on the calendar. See u next year...
Yatsugatake. Always a brute of a climb and way too early in the season. Best from memory was 4th Champion Class, think about a 1:02:00. @andywood and I always had a good time going to that race. Ah, the memories...
@Adam Cobain that is an awesome time and would have won on Sunday! I was happy enough with my 1:07:26 and to beat my rival Ishida-san (he and I are always within a few seconds of each other) with a big effort in the closing 600m of the race. @basilleroux still a great time!