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Old school fool
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5,720 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Location: Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures Japan, South of Kyoto proper, Running between Uji City and Otsu along the Uji River, the river draining lake Biwa. The road itself is marked on maps as Route 3 and easily reached by highway from the Keiji Bypass or from the towns themselves.

Approximate Length of Road 20 Miles

Comment:

The Ujigawa Line is famous throughout Western Japan as a motorcycle and sports car destination. Friday and Saturday nights find dozens of sports cars running the road as fast as they can and the whole experience resembles something right out of The Fast and The Furious. Sunday mornings, tire marks, smashed in guardrails, broken glass and pieces of wrecked cars serve as proof of what went on. In August, summer vacation for Japanese high school and college students, the road is closed to all motorcycle traffic due to the number of fatalities that were occurring.

The Uji River line begins close to the Uji bridge, a famous landmark that was the scene of many samurai battles during feudal times. The road runs past the Byodoin temple, a World Heritage Site, and gradually works its way up from the river valley. The drive is very scenic and spring and autumn often find the roads choked with sight seers. It is a beautiful place to see at any speed.

A mile or two from Uji bridge, the Amagase Dam spans the river and creates a lake dozens of miles long. The road passes the damn and clings to the cliffside, with one side a sheer drop into the drink (fortunately protected by a formidable guard rail) and the other an equally sheer rock wall. Elevation change is nominal and the road is wide and fast by Japanese standards. The lack of shoulders does not leave much room for error however. During heavy rains washouts and rock slides are common and parts of the roads are often blocked by construction work for weeks after.

During the day the Uji line is a major arterial and is frequented by trucks, family cars and other slow moving vehicles. The road is twisty for most of its length and offers few opportunities for cautious passing. Good speed runs can be had, however, if riders filter to the front of lines of cars waiting at construction sites.

I have spent a great deal of time running the Ujigawa line. My particular favorite place is the Uji end of the road, close to where I was teaching and close to my wife's parents' home. With a minimum of creative map use, riders can find dozens of fast -less traveled- roads in the area and have a wonderful time. It is well worth the trip from Kyoto or Osaka.

The attached Pictures include various views of the river and road. Since parking is scarce, the road is not easily seen and those that I have taken or found fail to do it real justice. One photo in particular is interesting, it is of the guardrail at one particularly dangerous corner. The sign reads, "Danger!" "Deadly Road!"
 

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Lingerie Bandit
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5,623 Posts
Beautiful! I watched the video.

Hopefully I'll be able to move to Japan eventually.
 

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Fatass Ninja
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598 Posts
I am envious of you. I really want to travel Japan, but I am a poor college student!
 

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Old school fool
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5,720 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
^^^ As once was I. Things change, usually for the better.

Did you guys count the semis? It amazes me how many of them are up there. I wish I had a camera with me when used to go up there on Saturday nights (back before I was married) - the carnage was unbelievable.
 
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