Nozawa Gondola

On my revent trip to Nozawa, I used the GoPro to get a video of the trip down on the Gondola. The scenery over the valley was really beautiful.

Of particular interest to be was the variation in climate. The mountains on the left side of the shot have just about no snow on them whereas the ones on the right are quite snowy.

The video is 15 minutes but can be set to double speed and should be viewed at 720px if possible.

311yen Purchase for a gift (that I didn’t need in the first place…)

The CEO’s birthady is March 11th and consequnetly, the company depanneur was running a special offer that anyone who got a total purchase of 311yen would recieve a special gift.

It took about ten minutes of walking around the store to get the total just right and also required me to purchase things that I really didn’t need (like envelopes for gift money!) but I managed to find a set of products that totaled to 311yen.


And here is the gift… No really what I needed but fun nonetheless.


L-Breath Stock Holders’ Discount

Stock holder benefits are one of Japan’s hidden secrets of shopping. Most public companies offer some soft of reward to their stock holders and this is often in the form of rebates at their shop. L-Breath is a popular outdoor shop in Tokyo and it’s parent company (Xebio) is public and it offers 10% and 20% off coupons at their store as a stock holder benefit.

I found a bag that I liked at a store nearby work and I figured that L-Breath would likely have the same bag at the same price. L-Breath also regularly offers 10% discount to mail magazine subscirbers and this can be combined with the stock holder coupon. I don’t currently hold any of the stock but as the 20% coupons are the most sought after the 10% coupons can be purchased quite cheaply in online auctions or at the ticket shops.

After checking that they had the bag in stock at the L-Breath in Shinjuku, I walked to the other side of the station (near Omoide-yokocho) where several ticket shops are located and had no trouble getting my hands on a 10% coupon for 200yen. I then went back to the store and used it to get 1680 yen off the bag! A no brainer for anyone shopping at L-Breath (or any of the other subsidiarys of Xebio).

Xebio Hopepage:
Has a list of group companies

Xebio 10% Off Coupon

Patagonia Bag

Receipt At L-Breath
Receipt showing discounts.

Chiba Cycling

Distance: 107.8km
Total Elevation Change: 1,232m
Time: 4:28:16
Average Speed: 24.1kph

Chiba offers a refreshing change from Tokyo especially in the winter where it is a few degrees warmer. I usually drive to the rest stop in Minami-boso where I can park the car for free and start riding from there.


The Kawatsu Sakura around Sakuma Dam (佐久間ダム)looked as though they were in full bloom so instead of by usual counterclockwise route through Tateyama and Minami-Boso, I went clockwise so that I could go through the dam first. The cherry blossoms around the dam were as nice as advertised though it was quite a steep hill getting out.


My usual course is ocean side then mountains which lets me enjoy a rather leisurely ride alxng the coast before heading into the mountains where I am fairly tired. This course, however, leaves me tired after the mountains and consequently makes it difficult to enjoy the coastal road so I suspect I will revert to the seaside-mountain order from next time.


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