The 'land of the rising sun' is certainly more renowned for its railway system with its high speed trains and expensive prices rather than for its cycle touring. It is true that in the past Japan wasn't a place that could be called cheap and cycling has been treated in a rather dismissive way.
But taking into consideration that there are few countries that can offer such amazing diversity as Japan, it is pleasant to realize that due to deflation and the weak Yen, prices have dropped by half if not two thirds. In other words Japan has become relatively inexpensive in comparison with western countries.
In the last decade cycling has become increasingly popular in Japan and is now well established as almost a national sport.
Cyclists themselves talk about a boom that includes road racing, mountain biking and cycle touring. Strict laws against inconsiderate and inattentive motorists contribute to favourable riding environments, even in metropolitan cities. In fact Japanese motorist’s attitude can be considered very respectful; this attitude can be witnessed throughout their culture as a core value.
Japan is as difficult to explain with words as it would be to successfully discover it on a touring bike. (We believe that, particularly in Japan, a 3 day intensive course will be essential in helping you to discover every nook & cranny, whilst saving quite a bit of money and having the best possible holiday).
Though it’s hard to explain, let’s give it a go anyway:
The very first thing that hits most visitors is the culture; Japan has its own style and their people have their own way to do things - giving a very unique ambiance to the place. Perhaps only people who have visited Japan before understand what we are trying to describe. This ambiance, but also the cleanliness, almost perfect organisation and the honest, disciplined and polite people with their unique way of hospitality are appreciated and admired by visitors.
Japan's cultural heritage is mostly well conserved and maintained at places which can be easily accessed by bike, although in the cities much of it was destroyed during the war.
As the country is relatively long, many different landscapes can be visited from Hokkaido to Okinawa - seaside, mountains, volcanoes, forests and much more.
Japanese cities also have a variety of appeal that has no comparison. One reason is without doubt the above mentioned particular ambiance, but also because nowhere else are traditions as well maintained and practised in daily life, remaining side by side to the pinnacle of progress.
Chris has lived and worked FOR 5 YEARS in Japan, speaking and writing Japanese fluently and practising the language daily for over 13 years. We believe that especially in a country like Japan, the help of an experienced expat who is more in tune with the needs and desires of foreign visitors, is extremely valuable. Besides, in Japan many privileges are reserved for foreigners, which can make the experience even more enjoyable.