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I rented a bike in Japan.

  1. #1
    Lifer catamount's Avatar
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    Thumbs up I rented a bike in Japan.

    As noted here, I was recently in Japan for 10 days (business related). During my time there, I realized that one of my Japanese co-workers was also into motorcycles.

    On my last day there, he offered to take me on a motorcycle tour, and help me with the translations in order to rent a bike (no one speakers English very well there... at all). I jumped at the chance.

    To rent a bike, you need your passport, US license and Int'l Driver's license (available for $15 from AAA).



    However, this was the legal form I had to sign. No idea what it said. I was slightly concerned about insurance deductibles, but just signed on the dotted line anyway.



    I rented a CB400, because my host has a 250 V-twin. Bikes over 400 cc are hard to license and insure there, so almost everyone has a bike 400 or less *yawn*. Pretty surprising considering their history with native, large race bikes.

    Cost was about $200 USD for 8 hours with the upgraded insurance (whatever that meant).

    My CB in the foreground.



    Saw this car wash at the gas station... it moves around your car. I'd never seen one like that before.



    This is how cars are stored in the more populated areas... racks. There just isn't enough room for parking spots.



    We pull off the highway because my co-worker had to take a piss. Nice cycle-only parking area, covered.



    I'm taking a picture of all the TWs I see. There have been many. TWs seem to be one of the most popular bikes, at least where I've been in the Tokyo area.



    Checked out the coast while I waited.



    Snuck in this picture of an old man and the sea.



    This is a pretty popular beach town, about 1 hr 1/2 from Tokyo. Lots of surfers, chillaxing, etc.



    Eventually we reach a toll road (one of many) which will bring us to the remote Lake Ashi.

    It's a sick road. That's what the sign says.



    We get to Lake Ashi...









    ...and have lunch (I have tempura over rice).



    Then we hit the bikes and climb the Hakone Skyline. So sick. Climbs up to 3,000 feet and is just constant curves, tight and sweeping. The drifters and racers love this road. Not a cop in sight, either.

    This shot sums it up (starts on the far left, continues over to the far right). It reminded me of Route 17, only much much longer and in perfect condition. They also have markings on the road to indicate tight or very tight corners. They're useful.



    Scenic overlook at the summit.



    Looking down on the lake we just came from.





    My rented steed (a real snooze compared to my Speed Triple)





    Some sick vintage racer.



    My coworker.



    Proof I was here. Interestingly, the toll booth guys were Japanese but had "US Army" hats on. Not sure if the US gets some of the toll revenue from this road, or what.

    It seems almost every single 5 mile stretch of road in Japan is a toll road.



    Other side of the mountain:











    You can usually see Mt. Fuji from here, but it was too cloudy today.



    Then we went to visit an 800 year old shrine built by some samurais warriors.





    On the way back home we spotted a Triumph dealership. I stopped in for a t-shirt but they were $70!!! Shit is fucking expensive in Japan.



    THE END.

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  2. #2
    i need to sleep Evadd's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    great photos! any close calls while getting used to riding on the left?

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  3. #3
    Lifer catamount's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evadd View Post
    great photos! any close calls while getting used to riding on the left?
    Oh hell yes!

    Especially when pulling out of a gas station, etc. In one case I remember riding in the right lane for a few seconds until I saw a car heading right for me, puckered, and quickly made it back to the left side. Man was that spooky.

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  4. #4
    Lifer a13x's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    I have enjoyed your pictures from Japan. Thanks for posting. Japan looks like a incredible place to visit. One of my riders lives in Kobe City. Hoping to make it over there sometime in the next few years.

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  5. #5
    Lifer catamount's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    Quote Originally Posted by a13x View Post
    I have enjoyed your pictures from Japan. Thanks for posting. Japan looks like a incredible place to visit. One of my riders lives in Kobe City. Hoping to make it over there sometime in the next few years.
    Hey, thanks! I have hundreds more on FB but most of them are not bike related so they did not end up here. Japan is insane, in all of the good ways. However, I came back to Vermont really appreciative of big displacement, open spaces and room to roam.

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  6. #6
    Cabin Fever kb1's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    Really cool dude!

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  7. #7
    Lifer NobodySpecific's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    Quote Originally Posted by catamount View Post
    Hey, thanks! I have hundreds more on FB but most of them are not bike related so they did not end up here. Japan is insane, in all of the good ways. However, I came back to Vermont really appreciative of big displacement, open spaces and room to roam.
    Not to mention no toll roads in VT!

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  8. #8
    Lifer catamount's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    Quote Originally Posted by NobodySpecific View Post
    Not to mention no toll roads in VT!
    I guess you've never been to Stowe!



    I rented a bike in Japan.-029-jpg

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  9. #9

    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    good shit man

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  10. #10
    Lifer NobodySpecific's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    Quote Originally Posted by catamount View Post
    I guess you've never been to Stowe!



    I rented a bike in Japan.-029-jpg
    1) I am amazed that I've never seen that sign nor knew that it existed, touche

    2) Motorcycles not permitted, so my comment stands!

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  11. #11
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    Cool pictures and story. Wish I'd done that when I was there.

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  12. #12
    Lifer
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    They still make the CB400? Awesome!
    I had a '78. Is it still a parallel twin? - Edit: Looks like a four now. Bah!

    I rented a bike in Japan.-stable_003-jpg

    But you're telling lies; that bike is a rocket ship.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 06-13-12 at 06:21 AM.

  13. #13
    TRACK RAT!!!!! Pigman's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    Great pics and cool story thank you....

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Damnut's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    I spent some time in Japan and it's one of my favorite countries that I have been to. Never got to ride there though.

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  15. #15
    Junior Member Jayjona8732's Avatar
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    Re: I rented a bike in Japan.

    looked like a good time out there great pics

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