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Motorcycle Paradise

Hanami 花見


It is cherry blossom season in Japan. This signals the arrival of Spring, amongst other things.

2018 is year Heisei 30 in the Japanese calendar but April is the beginning of the new year, March the end of the cold winter. 

Girls can be seen in special kimonos at graduation ceremonies. Children leave home to begin careers in the cities. A new school year begins. 

Rice is planted and there is a small window of nice weather between winter and the first of many rainy spells that affect the warmer months in Japan.

No wonder much of the county heads out to a park to eat and drink under the trees and reflect on their hopes or time that has passed.

I cannot say why but I developed this heightened awareness or focus on time some years back. This compelled me to change my life.

Not in alarm. Just recognising it was a little later than I thought. I daydream a lot and have so many things I want to try so decided I better go do some of them before getting ‘too comfortable’.   

Easier said than done! It felt (and still feels) very peculiar to go against the common consensus that filling a big house with lots of stuff while driving a German car is the key to life.

I am not convinced giving up a successful career wasn’t the ultimate stupid thing I have done in a life littered with foolishness. 

But the cherry blossoms burst to life then before you know it half of them have already fallen to the ground and are swept away by a gust of wind.

The FJR is wearing new set of Bridgestone BT023GT tyres ready for the riding season. Did you know the name Bridgestone comes from the founders name Mr Ishibashi which means stone bridge in Japanese.

Mountain roads here will open in the south from now but the alps remain closed until we are into May.

Despite sitting outside in a freezer, not used for months nor having a trickle charger the bike started straight up and was running smooth shortly after.

I’d like a small 250cc dual purpose bike going forward but this big Yamaha is doggedly determined to win my heart with its reliability and ultra low running costs.

The roads are so congested where I am based that I stopped doing day rides but I hope to do at least one big tour this year.

Roll on warm weather! 



  1. Cherry blossom season in Japan. I don't think you could see a better spectacle of the blooms anywhere else.

    1. I like them at the late stage of blooming when all the petals are showering down. Where many trees are grouped together, it can look like it is snowing. But otherwise not being Japanese I do not find them as striking or meaningful as people here do.