Japan Is ON! I Love Cycle Touring

I’ve always had the travel bug, probably inherited from my parents who have long loved exploring – from wandering through remote mountain passes and hiking along the Silk Route, to sunning themselves on the shores of the med or even working in places such as Russia and Iran. It’s certainly no surprise that just as soon as I could travel independently, I took off with my snowboard and explored the world.

I always like to have a trip to look forward to, whether it’s a weekend camping and surfing in Cornwall, or something slightly more exotic, and I often spend return plane journeys day-dreaming about my next adventure. Some of my trips are spur of the moment, I just hop on my bike with tent and some beers, but other times I delight in hours spent pouring over maps, cross referencing guide books, tripadviser, forums and hand-written lists from friends.

Pic by Dave Noakes

Pic by Dave Noakes

I’ve always wanted to go to Japan, and I’ve always wanted to spend more time cycle touring, and this past weekend myself and Mr Bikes-N-Stuff were house-bound due to a rather revolting cold we’d both caught. We spent the time finalising details of our trip for next year, and thanks to my new 0%APR credit card, the flights are now booked. I think that we’ve got our itinerary sorted – I’m meticulous (or anal) about such things, and have actually drawn up a spread sheet…but I’d still love to hear any Japan travel tips to add to those I’ve already amassed.


I’m so over-excited about exploring this new country by bicycle! We’ll both be riding the new Charge Plug 5 bikes, all decked out with panniers and whatnot, so the hunt is now on for a super lightweight tent and some other bits and pieces. Does anyone have any recommendations for tents? I’ve been looking at the Black Diamond ‘Mirage’ tent, has anyone used one?

Comments (6)
  1. Andy November 28, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Nice site 🙂

    Check out the terra nova voyager superlite. Served me well on the Canada to Mexico leg of our bike tour. Not cheap but built to last and light. I had it in a ortlieb dry bag (sausage shape) with a hi vis hump cover for visibility. You can see it on our blog –


  2. Emily Chappell December 2, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Another vote for the Terranova Superlite Voyager. I used it all the way across Asia, and it served me well.

  3. Robert Beal (@robertbeal) December 26, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Have a look at Tarptent (American brand). They’re far cheaper than Terra Nova and usually lighter. I had a large one man tent weighing around 900g, which given the space I had inside was great. Cost me around £170. The only negative is that it’s single skin so suffers from moisture build-up and eventually drips on the inside but that is manageable.

  4. Robert Beal (@robertbeal) December 26, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Also what parts of Japan are you looking to tour? I was there during a year long tour, but as a break so only did the odd bit of day cycling. Hokkaido is where I’m planning to go eventually. And west of Kyoto avoiding any big cities towards Kyushu. Japan and Taiwan offer some of the best cycling I’ve done in Asia.

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