Home > Pre-Japan > A Blast From The Past

A Blast From The Past

*You may notice I’ve updated the look of my blog…I’m trying to go with a more seasonal theme, but we’ll see! At least now because it’s a wider theme I can make the pictures bigger!*

 

They say that waiting makes the heart grow fonder. I hope that means you guys are busting out of your chests with fondness, because it’s been forever. I was recently looking through my pictures and noticed I had a number of albums which I had not shared!! I keep saying: “Well I have nothing to share” but it turns out that’s a damn lie.

As you may or may not known, my friend Kelsey and I are planning this year’s Oita JET charity bike ride! This is a bike ride the Association of JETs (AJET) has been organizing for the past 13 years. It’s a three day, 300ish KM ride through Oita and the surrounding area to raise money for “Room to Read”, a charity which builds schools and libraries in South East Asia. I participated last year and it was an amazing time! Made some great new friends and we were able to raise more than $6,000 for the charity!

This year Kelsey and I are organizing it, which has meant a lot more work, but it’s been a lot of fun so far. We started off trying to plan a new route. Our original idea was to go from Taketa (where Kelsey lives) down to Mt. Aso, a pretty big active volcano in Kumamoto Prefecture (neighboring Oita.) We would then bike around Mt. Aso (not over it thank you very much…) and head on towards Takachiho, quite possibly one of the prettiest sights in all of Kyushu.

(Warning: History content!!)

Takachiho is a gorge where myth states Amaterasu, the sun goddess, locked herself in a cave for a time because she was insulted and embarrassed by her brother Susano-o. Susano-o (remember, BROTHER, not SISTER) had challenged Amaterasu to a child bearing contest, and won! So, as anyone would do after you just beat your sister in a child bearing contest, he did a little jig. He threw it in her face a little bit. And then he pooped all over her castle. At least, so the story goes. Now, I’ve never had anyone defecate all over my house before, but I can imagine it’s not a pleasant experience. I frankly can’t blame Amaterasu for locking herself in a cave for a few days. (/end History content)

Anyway, Takachiho is technically located in Miyazaki Prefecture. This route appealed to us for a number of reasons, not only because we’d be doing 300 kilometers in 3 days through 3 prefectures. But alas we just could not find a decent enough route for the second day. Instead, we had to revert to a route which was run five years ago. It takes us from Beppu city up through the Kunisaki peninsula (also called Oita’s nose.) From there we’ll go on to Yabakei and Yamaguni before circling back to Beppu. Of course this means absolutely nothing to you! But if you click here, you can see the route at least! It’s a bit under 300 km, but the distance is subject to change as we fine tune the roads taken, etc.

Anyway, I’ve lost track of the original reason for blogging this. In order to check out our original route idea Kelsey, Dave and I (Dave is also helping out with the route, he’ll be heading up the volunteer aspect of it) took a trip down to Mt. Aso and Takachiho to check out the viability. This was right during the fall season so the leaves were changing colors and it was really very pretty. I hope you enjoy these pictures!

-Dash

Mt. Aso

A wider look

The photo is a bit dark, unfortunately, but the colors do show up

The beautiful Takachiho Lake

 

You can take boats out onto the lake, but the wait as you can imagine is quite long

That says Takachiho, in case you were wondering 🙂

I probably could have stayed there all day and taken pictures...


It’s a real shame we couldn’t figure out a way to make this bike ride work…it would have been absolutely breathtaking.

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Categories: Pre-Japan
  1. Rachel
    January 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I wish you’d told me you were going there, I have a friend there with a buddhist temple in the mountains just out of town, she loves having people come and stay. The road from there to Nobeoka is very pretty too, or does that take you too far south?

    • January 24, 2011 at 9:09 am

      Hey! It was kind of a spur of the moment thing! Also it was last fall so quite a time ago. However, when I go back there (and I certainly will, we’re planning a fall bike trip down to that area!) I will let you know for sure

  2. Cam
    January 28, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Hey Dash, long time no talky talky… I’ve been stalking you via blog but I don’t have your email or anything. It’d be sweet to catch up! Add me on skype, that is, if you haven’t died in a fiery volcanic ash cloud yet!

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