Morning Bike Ride

I had a nice, long bike ride this morning — part of my ongoing effort to minimize the flab I am slowly but surely accumulating during this summer vacation. Today’s ride took me in a giant, two-and-a-half hour loop during which I passed numerous, tantalizing roads to nowhere…

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…through sun-speckled cedar forests…

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…under sagging canopies of bamboo…

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…along very random but beautiful rolling, grassy fields…

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…and eventually out to the foot of a relatively remote valley in which I wouldn’t particularly mind living.

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One thing I really like about Kanazawa, though it’s a feature of many regions in Japan, is that although the area around the city is unsurprisingly cemented over and hideous to be around, there are numerous towns/villages like this only 20 minutes or so away. The transition from sprawl to countryside happens very rapidly in this country, and he effect is that you can end up living in a very green, natural place while still being within a reasonable distance of ‘civilization.’ The only drawback (it’s a drawback in my mind, at least) is that these places are often devoid of people within 30 years of my age in either direction.

(Just as a side note, when I opened up the Flickr editing software today it had all sorts of fancy new tools and effects to play with. I used the vignette feature on the second photo.)

The big news, however, is that we dropped some yen on a new car last weekend. We bought a Toyota Voxy, which was the car I first had my eye on. It’s a mini-van, but a pretty slick one as far as these things go. To spice things up, we splurged for twin moon roofs, which was the one thing I was pretty hard-line about having. I don’t know why Japanese people (and maybe other nationalities?) have such an aversion to them, but for the life of her Chieko couldn’t understand why I wanted them so bad, and even the salesman was trying to talk us out of them. Almost every car I have owned has had a moon roof or sunroof, and given that the Voxy has not one, but two, I was hell-bent on getting them if it was at all possible.

Chieko wanted a back up camera to help when parking, since she’s not used to driving such a big car (and everyone in Japan backs into parking spaces, myself included at this point). If you want a camera, you need to get a navigation system that includes one as you can’t just get the camera, so we sprung for one of those as well.

The model we bought is a bit of a sportier one, so it has 16″ wheels that are a pretty good looking, push button start, xenon-type headlights (the cool, bright, white ones), fog lights, and some aero-ish body moldings. We got the seven seater, as opposed to the eight seater, so the second row is captains chairs that can be rotated 180 degrees, allowing passenger in the back to face each other a la the shinkansen seats. We opted for black despite the fact that Japan is crawling with black Voxies. White costs an extra $300, dark violet (or something along those lines) was tempting but we weren’t sure we’d like it in a year, and silver was just not cool looking. It’s pretty pimpy, I must say. I’m excited.

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All told, after some haggling and the salesman eventually just wanting to get my wife the hell out of face, we ended up spending right around what we had initially determined our budget to be. The only downside is that we have to wait until the beginning of October to take delivery. We could have it sooner if not for those pesky moon roofs — ha!

I think that’s about it from me. Time to do something productive. Stay well.

 

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12 thoughts on “Morning Bike Ride

  1. thanks dad, trying to think about it too much but hoping it gets here sooner than expected…as for the z4, i know how hard that is for you πŸ™‚

  2. Foxy Voxy, Casey! I hope to have a ride in it someday. Enjoy your vacation. Looking forward to seeing you AND Ray in December.

    1. hi jen, thanks for the comment! we briefly entertained the idea of a kei but decided on the van for safety and for the fact that we can barely fit all of the junk we have to lug around in our civic, so something smaller wouldn’t be practical…so i say go for the voxy πŸ˜‰

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