Sunday, December 29, 2019

Autumn Touring

Winter is here and it won’t be too long before the famous Japanese winding roads will be covered in snow and salt. Two weeks ago I felt obliged to make the most out of these final days and got up nice and early for a long drive.

My morning started out the right way as I found myself chasing a BNR34 before sunrise in the proximity of Hakone. The afterburner taillights, the iconic Bayside blue and Mt. Fuji in the background: can it get any better than this?

This time I reached the top of Hakone Turnpike so early that the sun was till rising from below the valley and through the morning mist.

After a much needed cup of coffee I just waited around a bit for the sky to clear up.

It didn’t take long before other owners began to show up at the top of the turnpike. The variety of the machinery makes wandering around the parking area always interesting.

I then jumped behind the wheel for the second leg of my trip and drove another 50 kilometers up north to reach lake Yamanakako. Waking up at 5AM on a Saturday is not easy, but definitely rewarding.

On my way back I decided to stop by Hakone Shrine - possibly one of the most famous locations in the area.

As much as I love Tokyo places like this offer a unique opportunity to unwind, away from the chaos of the city.

Early morning hours are definitely the best to visit places like this as they tend to get flooded by tourists towards noon, which inevitably spoils a bit of the experience.

This time I felt it was a good opportunity to buy a small amulet at the shrine; I picked up something for protection and well being - hopefully it will keep me safe during my long drives!

Before lunch I headed towards Yugawara-machi, a small town famous for its hot springs and waterfalls.

The local park is definitely worth a visit and the small waterfalls combined with the autumn foliage make for an incredible backdrop. 

It’s in situations like this that I really wonder if I should invest in a proper camera.

The only thing that holds me back is the fact that I will need to carry it with me at all times, since I often don’t really plan shootings but rather just take photos as the day unfolds.

Speaking of which, after over 3 hours behind the wheel and quite a bit of walking I started to get really hungry. I ended up visiting Momiji-tei, a very famous soba and tempura shop in Yugawara. Unfortunately they had ran out of soba, but I managed to get one of the very last tempura bowls they could make for the day.

With the roads noticeably more slippery than usual (especially before sunrise) and some areas already covered by a thin layer of ice this was probably my last outing to Hakone for the year. Time to look for some more FR-friendly roads for my next trip!

Until next time.


  1. Hey Ale, whats going on with the GTR? As a fellow BNR34 owner, I'd love to see some more content surrounding it. Its a shame we only got a number of posts after it was completed as I found the process, especially during the final moments so exciting.

    I understand this is your blog and ultimately your decision on what posts you create although quality content like this is so hard to come by these days.

    As always it was a great read and hope you have a happy new year!

    1. Hi, thanks for the message and I’m glad to hear you enjoy the blog. I know the GT-R hasn’t seen much action recently, I will share an update about it in the next 10 days or so. Is there anything specific you were curious about? I hope you still enjoy the rest of the content. Happy new year!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.