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Sports Day ride through Yamanobe no Michi

This past Monday was a holiday here in Japan. The holiday is known simply as Sports Day or “Taiiku no Hi”. Since I came to Japan, I have annually enjoyed this “day off work” never exactly knowing why it existed. A quick Google search however, solved that. The holiday was first held in 1966 to commemorate the opening of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and is meant to promote sports and an active lifestyle.  For me obviously that just translates into one thing, a day of cycling!
The gears in my head hadn’t even begun to turn when suddenly the Instagram messages started coming in from the local Nara crew.  Before I could even get a word in, I had already been nominated as the Navigator for Sports Day. Okay, no problem, but where to go?  With a mixed group of riders, I thought the ride should be fairly flat, yet slightly challenging, but most of all scenic and fun.  My first idea was “Yamanobe no Michi” which I have ridden a few times.  After a KCDC also mentioned there, it was set in st…

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