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Another item ticked off my list, I rode up to Motegi to visit Honda.

I was waiting for two fine days in a row, I had to settle on one and a half, the finest period for the month. To get north is either a 120km detour to avoid Tokyo or take a ferry across the bay.

I enjoyed a few back roads then onto the expressway. The Garmin took me far off course but I got there eventually just before the rain.

It is a superb collection.

A couple of Yamahas on display, some bad blood it would seem as they mention how their models were copied.

The road bikes are on one floor and race bikes another.

Doohans 1997 NSR500, the model won every GP that year.

Big surprise was the NR. It looks nothing like it’s photos in real life instead appearing fabulous despite being 26 years old.

Soichiro Honda was an amazing guy but what stands out to me is how much of a rebel he must have been. There is a Japanese saying “the nail that stands up gets hammered down” you have to live here to realise how much this sums up Japan. It is a country where conforming to societies expectations and  ‘the way things have always been done’ can be very limiting let alone starting his business in the hugely challenging times post war and not being one of the established powerful families.

I would have loved to spend more time, I barely looked at the cars, but it was already late and the rain had stopped thus inviting me to try make my hotel before dark.

For the return I had mapped out a big day of twisty roads – and weather was fine

Early rise, big breakfast at the Route Inn Shibukawa then into the mountains.

Nice clear air at Mt Haruna before the rice burn off of Autumn begins.

Always interesting to explore rural Japan.

Saw this rocket sitting off on top of hill in small town.

Free observatory (sorry about the reflection, silly of me not to use polarizer filter here).

I had lunch there. So peaceful. Autumn will be here soon.

Flower lined roads can be found all over countryside Japan.

In between towns I was riding twisty back roads. I no longer photo them but took a rest on one quiet mountain.

Lovely vistas of the rice glowing yellow in the sun before harvest.

Mt Fuji was obscured as often happens so I leave you with a message from Mr Honda.

PS. You may be interested in my visit to Yamaha.


  1. Oh that would have been nice to stroll around all those exotic bikes. Doohans and Gardners bikes in pristine condition, very nice mate. Rural Japan is looking spectacular this time of year. Are those photos from your new camera?

    • Yes Steve from the little Canon but I am still getting used to it and the new polarized filter. I got the first viewpoint wrong with the filter off angle in every shot but then nailed the lake perfect first try. More practice needed.

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