Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Vespa Spot (16)


Well I know this blog is about Vespa's in Japan, however as I am in Australia at present, I couldn't help getting a shot of my first Australian spot.

Located in Milsons Point, just above Luna Park and below the Sydney Harbour Bridge, we found this modern version.

Sydney has incentivized the public to buy scooters by offering free parking and other benefits. I have seen a couple of modern Vespa's on the road in the last couple of days, and below you will also see the signage of a Vespa dealer I found.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vespa Spot (15)

Two in two minutes!

Immediately after my first spot in Kobe, I spotted my second Vespa of the day. Only 100 metres north from where I was and directly opposite the Hotel b kobe, I found this nice blue PX.

Almost identical to my second ever spot back in early May and owned by a Chef at the Kyoto Royal Hotel & Spa, the only difference was the storage on the back of this Vespa.

Again, I love the big windshield which would make riding far more enjoyable.

The location of this Vespa was in Sannomiya in the heart of Kobe's entertainment area.

The Hotel b kobe is part of a chain of hotels called "the b". More information can be found here: http://www.ishinhotels.com/theb-kobe/en/index.html

Vespa Spot (14)

I knew today would be my lucky day for spotting Vespa's, because today was the day I was going to Kobe.

Whenever I visit Kobe, I always manage to see Vespa's. In my laziness, I decided to take the Shinkansen from Kyoto to Shin Kobe instead of the local train, and immediately after hopping in a cab for a short ride to my destination, I spotted one immediately on the side of the road.

Unfortunately I didn't have my camera on and I missed it, but within a couple of minutes I spotted my first for the day.

Located just north of Tor Road, I found this modern Vespa, red in colour. I am a little confused what the rider was trying to do, but on the left side rear engine cover, you will note a 4 leaf clover. Not quite Italian, however who really cares.

Kobe is a great city and considered one of the most international in Japan. A little piece of information about Kobe can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vespa Spot (13)

I had a false alarm this morning when I spotted a nice red Vespa travelling south along Horikawa Dori. Unfortunately, after taking some shots and returning home, I discovered that I had already spotted this Vespa earlier.

However, all was not lost as a valuable spot by my daughter occurred shortly after. She found this silver Vespa 100 on Marutamachi Dori, between Karasuma Dori and Horikawa Dori, almost directly opposite the Kojima Pet shop.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Osawa's Lake - 14 June 2009

I have been lazy, the post has taken longer than expected!

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I decided to take the Vespa for a nice drive through an area I had discovered a couple of weeks before.

One of my favourite areas to ride through is the road leading from Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), past Rioanji and Ninaji Temple. If you follow this further along heading south west to wards Saga, you will come across Osawa's Lake.

The lake is in the middle of nowhere and you will find it surrounded by Rice fields. Around the shallows of the lake and the surrounding rice fields, many kids are in the water catching what us Australians call Yabbies, or the Americans might call Craw fish. I don't know what they do with them once they are caught because they seem remarkably small, but it looks like a lot of fun.
Surrounding Osawa's Lake, is a specially designated historical area where some previous Emperors of Japan are entombed. I had never known this and its certainly not on the tourist route, but I think its quite amazing you can get so close to some of the former emperors, dating back to when Kyoto was the capital of Japan.

I couldn't find much information on the lake, but here is a little. Its a great place to visit and rest: http://www.gardenvisit.com/garden/osawa-ike

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Vespa Spot (12)

Maybe there is something in the air, maybe its because the weather is warmer, but suddenly the Vespa's are out and about.

Yesterday I spotted three Vespa's and whilst today I only have one spot, I did see two others on the road.

The following Vespa, a PX200 was parked outside a convenience store on Kawaramachi Dori, slightly north of Imadegawa Dori.

For those of you that don't know, Japan has more Convenience Stores per person than any other country in the world. And as a resident of Japan.....they are the greatest thing ever!

Some of the larger brands are 7/11, Family Mart, AM/PM, Lawson...the list goes on....

Friday, June 5, 2009

Vespa Spot (11)

A third Vespa on the same day!! Well a bike made by Piaggio, and maybe not exactly a Vespa Scooter that you see on this blog, but from the same company.

Maybe it had to do with the pizza, but driving home in the same street as my apartment, this was the latest find.

These are called a Vespa Ciao and have pedals as well as a small motor. I believe this one has seen better days, but it still seems to be in use on the roads.

I have included some information on the Vespa Ciao here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piaggio_Ciao

Vespa Spot (10)

Same day, same Street, another Vespa!

Can you believe it? I have picked up the pizza and was heading down Omiya Dori when I spotted the next Vespa.

This little Vespa has seen better days and doesn't seem to be registered for the road anymore. No number plate and the rear light smashed off, but still another valuable spot.

Interestingly enough, it looks great outside of this Deli. I have never noticed the Garnish Deli before and its something I will definitely go back to have another look.

Vespa Spot (9)

In the process of buying some take-away pizza, I took a walk towards Omiya Dori in Kita Ku. Luck was upon me, when I discovered this nice Vespa outside of a fish shop.

Initially I thought this was a Vespa I had already photographed earlier in this blog, but after reviewing both bikes and comparing number plates, they are different.

Omiya Dori has a great set of shops running from north to south, between Kitaoji Dori and Kitayama Dori. Basically there is every type of shop you desire in a village type atmosphere. There are also some very nice cafes towards the southern end of Omiya Dori.

Unfortunately the quality of the images are poor as they are taken with my mobile phone.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vespa Spot (8)

Today whilst venturing along Shijo Dori, at the intersection of Teramachi / Shijo, I discovered at the traffic lights this well weathered Vespa.

Ridden by a girl, who I believe was most shocked that a Gaijin (Foreigner) was taking photo's of her, she seemed to be having the same problem faced by most Vespa riders.
If you view the close up photo of her hand on the left hand grip, you will note she is trying to do something with both hands. What she is attempting to do is get the bike out of first gear and into neutral whilst stationary. It is a common problem that when idling in first gear, even with pulling in the clutch, its extremely difficult to get the Vespa into neutral. Whilst this is happening, the bike is normally creepeing forward or you are burning out the clutch.

Oh the joys of a Vespa!!