John and Mary Griffioen


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

We have not done many reviews but did feel that one was indicated in this instance, so bear with us. My wife and I participated in this tour during September of 2023. We had found this tour by simply using “google” and studying the various bike tours available in Japan. Our experience up until now has been unsupported multi day bike trips in North America and Europe ( ie LeJog 2022). Criteria included daily distance to be biked, elevation changes as well as the area of Japan that would be explored. My only experience with Japan had been 30 years earlier when I had briefly visited a number of the larger cities…ie Tokyo, Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Kyoto. That had been a positive experience and it brought me back…..but this tour was both vastly different as well as superior.
Firstly, the cycling experience was great. Our rented bikes were “Cannondale Synapse”; great shape and tuned up daily. The day would start with a review of what to expect…..including distances, elevation changes, planned stops. On average we did around 100km each day, and the elevation gain was about 1000m/day. If these values are more then you are comfortable with then there is the ebike option, or to take a ride in the support van that is always close at hand. Scenery is varied from rural agriculture (plenty or rice fields), small towns, tropical forests, mountain passes, and ocean views. I did miss having a better paved shoulder on the road, but traffic is very light, motorists are friendly and keep a safe distance. I was only honked at once; but this was well deserved. Bathrooms are frequent and clean. The one road negative was that on occasion there is a water drain that is uncovered and just beside the road; none of us went into it….but I did keep a wary distance from it. The guides were very capable, friendly, conscientious and very safety conscious.
Secondly what we did not appreciate coming into the tour, which was just as meaningful as the cycling was the cultural experience. Stops along the way included “Shrines”, “Temples”, a Saki brewery, bake shops, orchards, hot springs, museums…….. Accommodations were always at first rate traditional inns/onsens or modern hotels/onsens. Meals were a feast to the eyes and stomach. There is no way that I could have seen or discovered this aspect of Japan on my own; especially with the language barrier. This was completely different from my earlier more urban visit to Japan; vastly more meaningful.
So yes, we can highly recommend this tour. We can truly say that there was not a single negative memory. The tour company “Ride Experience” provided for an excellent tour and holiday, with only positive surprises. Our guides Tetsuya, Yoshi, Keijj were incredibly knowledgeable, capable and well prepared. By the end of the tour, you can’t help but feel that you have becomes friends. The people of Japan that we met were incredibly friendly, kind, polite, and went out of their way to be helpful and welcoming. I believe this is the signature tour for this company; they do have shorter ones also available. For us this tour was certainly epic, and of the bikes trips/tours we have done probably about the best.

John and Mary Griffioen

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