Category: Unknown Nichigo

Rain, Rain, Go Away

April in Tokyo can get wet, but it can also be warm and dry.

Unfortunately, today it’s the former.

On the upside that means more photo opportunities and a slower pace to enjoy riding.

Make no mistake, though, April is when spring really starts to, well, blossom in the Japanese capital.

Not far from Kangaeroo’s home is the delightful Yakushiike Park.

The park has some delightful archetypically Japanese scenes, with the crooked bridge over a pond, terraced rice paddies and beautifully manicured gardens.

Flowers and new greenery sprout everywhere and days are longer and generally warmer.

Then there’s the wind.

Cherry blossoms in Japan are world-renowned for their beauty, but there are plenty of other delightful flowers to see in this season, too.

It also has a section of wisteria of different colors growing through trellises and looking absolutely delightful. The wisteria hadn’t bloomed yet, but that didn’t stop the rest of the park looking delightful, even in the torrid rain.

Strange Days, Indeed

There have been better days than today, but this one is up there for peculiarity (in a minor sort of way).

The morning ride was nice in spite of tiredness that became increasingly more obvious the more Kangaeroo rode. Not helping was having woken before 3 a.m. again and not being able to get back to sleep.

Sunrise was spectacular, but fleeting, and didn’t really make for the nicest of photos. Still, it is a wonderful time of the year in Tokyo.

Following a morning meeting, there was enough time left before work started to nick over to Costco to pick up some emergency supplies.

But it was surprise that resulted as Kangaeroo arrived to find that the store wouldn’t open for another hour.

Costco came at lunchtime instead.

Most of the afternoon was spent waiting to be given work and looking after the lovebird.

Cheating Death!

Kangaeroo recently added a recumbent bike to his collection.

A recumbent has long been part of the Kangaeroo dream.

When Kangaeroo started cycling, he often shared his commute through suburban Tokyo with a seasoned Kiwi cyclist called John.

Kangaeroo was a rookie (and still is, really), but John had been riding for decades, and often shared his knowledge and experience.

This went on for about a year. Kangaeroo came to appreciate and admire John as he put into practice the advice he had been given.

One day, John turned up riding a bike where he was lying down. Kangaeroo immediately wanted to mimic him.

But John worked in finance and money was no problem.

Recumbent bikes are pricey.

And they were out of Kanageroo’s league.

Years went by.

Early this year, a Facebook post arose, offering to sell a recumbent at a price that Kangaeroo could afford.

Only trouble was, the bike was on sale in Nagoya.

Kangaeroo jumped on a night bus, headed to Nagoya and pocketed the bike before anybody else could get it.

The plan was to spend the weekend riding the recumbent back to Tokyo.

It would be a cinch! Except, it was almost impossible to ride the bike.

It was a front-wheel drive and every time Kangaeroo tried to pedal, he’d fall off the bike. The planned nickname of Lay Down Sally soon gave way to the Death Machine upon realization that riding this bicycle would be an invitation to a premature death.

Quick change of plans and it was disassemble the bike and head back to Tokyo.

Unfortunately, unprepared for rail travel, Kangaeroo lacked the mandatory bike bag and the velo was a mess by the time he made it home.

What’s more, the chain broke, parts got lost and the seller had no idea of the brand of the bike to try to track down anything.

Fortunately, Google soon came up with answers. After a few weeks of discussion with the manufacturer overseas, and pleading for help from the local bike store, the recumbent was ready to ride (and the associated costs meant it would have been cheaper and easier to buy an expensive new bike…)

The problem of being able to ride it remained, though.

Weeks of using spare moments of free time finally built up enough confidence to ride on a cycling track.

One cycling track ride was enough to inspire confidence to try out a longer ride.

And that ride finally happened!

And it went perfectly…except for getting lost, but that’s another story.

Neighborhood Stroll

After a warmer than usual winter (despite initially showing signs of being a cold one), spring is suddenly upon us and cherry blossoms have bloomed at one of the earliest times ever, though the covid pandemic prevents them from being widely enjoyed.

On the weekend of higan, the vernal or spring equinox, when the day has roughly the same amount of daylight and dark, Tokyo got hit with a horrible spring storm.

One benefit of the rain was bringing the opportunity to go for a stroll around the local neighborhood and catching a glimpse of sights like this one.

Glorious Greeting

Waking early is never easy, especially as the nights get longer and the temperature cools.

But nature sometimes does its best to reward those who drag themselves out from under the covers as the birds begin to sing.

The photos here come from one of those times.

Goings On

It’s been a strange old start to the year, really, mainly because Kangaeroo is strange and old.

Tokyo has been experiencing a mild winter.

So far there has been no snow and daytime temperatures have been closer to what you’d expect in March than the opening month of the year.

That’s been perfect for walking, which allowed for the capture of the shots in this post.

Kangaeroo was helped deeply by being able to use cameras and photography to seek out the beautiful things around us.

Though he didn’t really do a great job of it, sometimes he would snare a good shot.

But all good things come to pass and now the camera has been passed on to someone else to see if that can help them to find the same everyday blessings.

Cranking Out the Clicks

For Kangaeroo, 2019 was a year in which cycling played an influential role.

This was the first year for Kangaeroo to commute daily by bike.

Apart from a week overseas and a couple of weeks recovering from an injury incurred while slipping off the bike, the yearlong commuting mission was accomplished.

It was only fitting, then, that the year ended with a concentration of cycling.

And that’s exactly how it panned out, averaging more than 100 km/day for the nine days from the end of work on December 27 to the end of the year four days later.

These are photos from the Shiraishi Pass in Saitama Prefecture, the Tama River in Tokyo, which is still showing some of the effects of the October typhoon, and trendy Odaiba, an artificial island in central Tokyo.

Shiraishi Ride

Tama River Ride

Odaiba