Gavin and I took advantage of the sun yesterday and went bouldering. It was actually sunny for two days straight, so that meant Mitake would be dry. Even cool in the shade this time of the year.
We set up shop at the Ninja Boulder. A slow day, only one other Japanese climber. I climbed a few problems that I like to warm up on. Then played on Ninja and Kodomo Gaeshi. At one point during a rest Dai Koyamada walked up with a coffee in hand. He was filming some commentary for a new climbing movie that he is working on. A rather large production too I might add.
It was a short session, but it was a nice break from the city. We are planning on going to Mizugaki this weekend for some highball bouldering. Hopefully the weather will hold up.
I wanted to go take look at this area (Tennoiwa)since it is so close. Is it pretty easy to find? I have biked in that area, so I know how to get there. Is the climbing area easy to find? I would really appreciate any info you could give me, I would love to find a close place to climb.
Yes I think it is very easy to find. You are a member of MP so I am assuming that you have gone to my Japan page there. I added a Tennoiwa section there with an easy to follow description. There are many places to climb near by instead of Tenno. Tenno area is generally used guided trips. What I mean by this is that there are usually a boat load of folks that are there. The other reason I would steer clear is due to the parking situation. The fishing club down the street owns the parking areas near by. If you do choose to climb there I would recommend parking at the farthest parking area to minimize climber-fishing club conflict. Many Japanese climbers choose not to climb here because of this issue. Like I said though, there are many places to climb close to Yokota base, id est within 30 to 40 mins. I am always going to many of these areas, so let me know if you need more information than this. I am writing the only English guide right now to a few of these areas. I can let you know when I have it finished. Until then let me know of anything else you want to know and see you at the crag!!
This is a photo of one section of the lower wall. I have more information up on the Japan Mountain Project page.
Stone Brewery's Ruination IPA, what a beer! This beer measures in at 7.7% ABV and more than 100 IBU's. The Ruination has a very interesting taste and color. Unlike most IPA's that I have enjoyed in the past, this IPA has a very hefei feel to it from start to finish. The color is very golden, with no visible sediment. This is not abnormal for an IPA, but what followed was very different to me.
The smell is very aromatic, with a floral and hint of citrus added to it. I felt like one of Pavlov's dogs right away. Once this beer hits your palette your mouth screams satisfaction!!! The powerful hoppy punch to the smooth, surprisingly tasty citrus finish is delectable. I had this beer with a nice, light summer meal and the IPA fit in very nicely. This beer is said to be very overwhelming to your palette. I do not disagree with this, but I do like it. It did change the taste of my dinner but in an unusual way. I was more attentive to the flavors of my BBQ'ed veggies and burger. I was expecting a total ruination but received a total reevaluation instead.
I think this is a great year round brew, but I will prefer to drink this one on warm summer days and nights due to the Ruination's refreshing overall experience. This IPA is one of my Favorites and goes to the top of the list. I give this IPA a 1 on the EGS.
Yesterday for Father's Day, Team G met up with Jack and his wife to check out a few bouldering areas. The weather was OK, but it is the rainy season so all of the boulders under trees or overhanging were wet. We were not able to climb anything but it was sure nice to see these boulders for the first time.
The first area is home to the Cabin boulder. A tall, steep block that sits very secluded next to a beautiful river making this boulder a great alternative to the Mitake Gorge. There are about seven problems here ranging from v1 to v-hard. The boulders here are the same as Mitake, chert, but much less frequently visited. I will be making my way back when the weather changes for the better.
The next area was near the Black Tea Cafe. On the water, below the cafe sit about six or seven boulders in a variety of sizes and difficulties. The nicest of these boulders is the Black Tea boulder. There are seven problems on this boulder from what I could see. A nice clean corner and a blocky overhang make this boulder a gem in my eyes. I had seen this boulder in the past and wanted to climb it but, it was August and too humid. I will visit this one again in September.
The name sake to this area, Black Tea Cafe, is amazing. The cafe is a traditional Japanese restaurant offering a large variety of foods. Luckily for us we had Jack and his wife with us to order for us. We started with a small sampler of tofu, pickled veggies, apricot, and river shrimp. Next was the main course of table grilled chicken, veggies, and river trout. All of the food is cooked on the table on fresh coals. The fish is served whole. We were told that it was OK to eat the guts due to the fishes diet of algae. We tried everything. Then there was the tempura, sea weed rice, and dessert. Dessert was a sweet tomato in a "soda" water. This was surprisingly good. All I can say is thanks to Jack for spending the day with us and ordering great food. You rock!!!
This past weekend was spent at the climbing gym. The weather here is very hit or miss and the best way to get a nice workout in is to go to a gym and really push it. It will rain for days then be sunny for an afternoon, then start raining again at 5pm. Not enough time for the rock here to dry. But it is OK, Caramba and Base Camp are very close. I spent most of my weekend on routes at Base Camp. And it looks like I will be headed to BC tomorrow too.
Enjoy the photos from my first Father's Day. I thought black and white was appropriate since were went to the Black Tea Cafe.
The Midnight Sun's Sockeye Red IPA is a very nice, well rounded IPA. The Sockeye is a bit daintier IPA than the Melt Down DIPA. When first cracked open the beer has a sweet smell, opening your senses to the soon to be experienced flavors of this IPA. This IPA weighs in at 5.7 ABV and 70 IBU's. These are weaker numbers than I usually enjoy, but the Sockeye makes up for it in the overall experience.
Like most IPAs the start of this beer is very floral and ends with a smooth, residual bitter taste to finish. The main reason that I like this beer is because the bitter taste does not overwhelm what you are eating. I had this IPA twice in my visit to Anchorage and once back here in Japan. I enjoyed this beer with a soup and sandwich first, a burger second, and with fish the last meal. Not once did I take a sip of the Sockeye, then a bite and have the bitterness from the beer dominate.
Most of the beers that I love wind up being a fuller, heavier IPA. This one is lighter than some, but should not be taken lightly. I give the Sockeye Red IPA a 2 on the EGS. Midnight Sun Brewery has a good thing going here. Keep this one as a year-round!
Over a couple of nights last week I polished off the fantastic Ninkasi DIPA and IPA.
The Total Domination IPA is my favorite of the two, it has more of a traditional northwestern IPA taste, which is my style. It being called TD I was not sure if it was going to be a total let down, but Ninkasi came through. At 6.7% ABV and 65 IBU's the TD has a nice floral start with a smooth hoppy finish. The TD combines three taste hops Summit, Amarillo and Crystal with a pair of malts that don't distract from the aromatic hoppiness. I have had this beer with both a spicy coconut curry and a burger and I give this one a 2 on the EGS.
The Tricerahops Double IPA is a more full, robust IPA. Not in terms of hoppiness but more of a stout or heavier bodied DIPA. This seems to be attributable to its three different malts. This beer has an ABV of 8.8% and 100 IBU's. On their website Ninkasi says this beer is earthy, I will totally agree with this and then some. This is a heavier DIPA than I'm accustomed to. I give it a 3 on the EGS. My buddy who favors Belgian beers loved this one and says he will drink it again should he find another.
In my time drinking IPAs I generally categorize them as 1,2, or 3 on the EGS (Eddie Gianelloni Scale). This is in terms of their repurchase-ability. 1 meaning that I go straight in and look to buy at least one on my next trip to the store. 2 meaning that I will forgo it on the next trip unless there are no number 1's and no new IPAs to sample in stock. 3 is left for the IPAs that I have sampled and will leave for someone else to enjoy.