Cycling: Still Riding & Beware of Bears

Photo above: You are never far from a rice field and keitora truck in the Japanese countryside.


Hello there keen hikers, cyclists, and all round outdoor adventurers. Remember that hike I posted last week? There’s something about it I neglected to tell you.

Remember that bear I saw?

I was excited. I hadn’t seen a bear in 19-years of living in Japan so I sent my wife a message immediately after seeing it that read, “I saw a bear! :)” I then carried on into the forest and down the mountain ridge into the valley for a 3-hour hike back to the car.

Fine. What’s wrong with that? Well I lost my phone signal for at least 3 hours. Almost as soon as I’d sent the message. I didn’t notice I’d it but my wife did and she was worried sick. Losing phone signal is a big deal in Japan, a country where you can get one almost anywhere, including – unfortunately – the top of Mt. Fuji. Everything was fine in the end of course, no harm done. I didn’t get eaten alive or attacked. But I’ve promised myself I’ll lay off the high mountains until at least the end of the rainy season when the climbs won’t be as wet and slippery, and I’ve bought my first bear bell for her peace of mind.

In the meantime I’m still cycling. I’m always cycling of course but recently it has been during the week because of hiking at the weekend. But then I saw that bloody bear! So today I’ve been around my local neighbourhood photographing a couple of spots that I’ve always wanted to see how they looked photographed.

There’s always a pachinko parlour.
And semi-abandonded house.
And of course a love hotel.
I genuinely like riding in the rain. It’s more fun.

Nothing amazing here. But it’s good to get out with the camera no matter where you are or whatever the weather. Just watch out for bears.

Cycled since I was a kid, moved to Japan in 2001, bought my first 'serious' camera in 2005. Spent the later half of the 1990s travelling in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Japan, and the Philippines and wish I'd photographed a lot more back then.

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