Home > Pre-Japan > My hachimenzan face…

My hachimenzan face…

My hachimenzan face…nah nah nah NAH!

On Sunday, my bike and I made it all the way to the top of hachimenzan, Nakatsu’s largest mountain. Kate, Alex and I decided that, since the first leg of our bike ride is going to be 60km but a bit uphill, we should get some practice doing just that: going uphill. And what better target to set than the tallest mountain in Nakatsu, right?! Standing at just over 600 meters above sea level, “ole Hachi,” as I have just now dubbed him, loomed large as we biked the first 6km up to the foot of the mountain. I would soon find out just how large it loomed. Large.

I will place probably 75% of the blame on me, and 25% on my bike, but regardless of the proportions I knew almost immediately there was no way in jigoku I was biking up this mountain. My bike, too small for me to begin with, has only 6 gears, and the highest gear is still not high enough to do much climbing. On top of that, not being used to hills, my legs shut down real fast. So, after maybe 20 minutes of climbing I gave into the futility of the situation and walked. Alex, who probably could have made it up there by bike, graciously stepped down and walked with me while speedy Kate biked and waited, biked and waited.

Up and up we went, taking frequent breaks to check out the views and take pictures. Even walking was tough, but a bit more manageable. Finally after about an hour and a half we reached the top. No matter my failure to bike to the top, pushing our bikes up was quite strenuous, and much exercise was accomplished, so that wasn’t a total loss. Once at the top we hiked another 20 minutes or so to the highest elevation possible, some 657 meters, where it was a balmy 20 degrees in the sun.

From there on we zoomed down to the bottom. Zoomed is indeed the correct word in this situation. Reaching top speeds of up to 57km/hour, we nearly passed a car and what took us an hour and a half to walk was done in 15 minutes, flat. Going 57km/hour on a bike is really quite thrilling. If you haven’t done it yet, you should really find a way to experience it.

Overall our total biking distance was only 35km, but considering the slopes it was probably as much a work out as going 80km on a flat surface. Luckily the day after I have very little pain, which is always great news. Please enjoy these pictures I took while we were making our way up the mountain.


This photo came out quite nice! I couldn’t really tell from the little viewfinder

“I will give you three seconds to get out of my face!”

“I will give you five!”

“You may have all the time you require, young friend.”

“I’m contemplating.”

This looks extremely man-made.

Oooo, artsy!

“You get water, or the fist!”

I wonder which she chose…

I swear that flower was on my seat when I got off! I didn’t put it there!

Taking pictures of people taking pictures. How meta

Rice paddies!

Nakatsu from afar

We’re coming back and doing that next!

Oh my god the tree!

“I can see for miles and miles and miles!”

Damn Kate and her pillow seat.

It’s a good thing that lake was inaccessible. Otherwise it would have been drunk.

I assure you that is me on the right. But even I did a double take.


Hachimenzan’s peak.

Yet another meta shot. I wonder what his picture turned out like…

Here is a video of one of the parasailers taking off. Don’t mind the loud noise, I dropped my bike.

Categories: Pre-Japan
  1. Peri
    March 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    great post and pictures! uphill on the bike trip won’t be a mountain, hopefully. But keep training!

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