Taste of Japan Bike Tours

about us

what we do

Taste of Japan Bike Tours is a travel company and cycling tour operator based in Japan. Our extensive experience in the travel and sports industries play a key role in our ability to develop meaningful itineraries and efficient routes for your cycling journey.

Taste of Japan Bike Tours currently offers Shimanami and Beyond, a series of three nine-day cycling journeys that start at Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture and travel across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea via the Shimanami Kaido before setting forth into a deeper exploration of west Japan. 

In Summer/Fall 2020, we’ll also be introducing shorter cycling journeys around Nagano and abbreviated versions of the Shimanami and Beyond trips. More bike tours are in the pipeline – keep an eye on our website!

All of our bike tours provide the services necessary to ensure a comfortable experience. Each trip comes with two bike guides (including at least one certified bike mechanic), support vehicle (SAG wagon), and designated driver.

why travel with us

Our bike tours aren’t focused on logging epic miles and eye-popping elevation. Taste of Japan Bike Tours always endeavors to strike the balance between cycling and tourism. Our guests value interacting with people, learning new things, and trying something different.

So, whether it’s a crash course on riding public transportation or eating sushi without offending the chef, our local team members actively provide the context to make your trip come alive and the insight to consciously engage with the culture.

Explore the country with real people who enjoy cycling and call Japan home. Join us for a real taste of Japan.

who we are

Taste of Japan Bike Tours is a joint venture managed by Samurai Sports and Ridas: The Bicycle People. Since 2018, Ridas and Samurai Sports have combined forces and come together to craft interesting itineraries, develop our services, and carefully prepare each bicycle journey to deliver a comfortable, safe, and rewarding experience. Together, our collaboration makes Taste of Japan Bike Tours possible.

Conceptually, our cycling adventures in Japan were borne over a multitude of discussions at hazily lit izakayas in 2018, followed by hours of meticulous planning and video teleconferencing in 2019. Our first bike tours took off on an experimental basis in fall 2019 with several groups of friends from the United States. While a mixed blessing, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 gave us the time to fine-tune our services and itineraries to produce unforgettable bike tours around Japan.

Ridas are advocates of the cycle tourism industry and immensely knowledgeable of cycling routes throughout Japan. Led by Hisa, the Ridas team bring a wealth of information and resources valuable to the continued development of Taste of Japan Bike Tours. With their eye for detail and keen attention to guests, they’re an ideal partner to Samurai Sports expanding scope of services.

On the other hand, Samurai Sports has built a name and following in Japan’s sports and tourism industries. Through sports, fitness activities, and unique cultural insight, Samurai Sports has supported international residents and visiting tourists explore Japan in unique ways since 2017. The Samurai Sports team work year-round catering to an English-speaking audience eager for an authentic taste of Japan. 

the samurai sports team

Taste of Japan Bike Tours are organized by Samurai Sports. Since 2017, Samurai Sports has offered English support and consulting services in Japan’s sports & tourism industry. Through sports events, fitness activities, and unique cultural insight, Samurai Sports supports international residents and visiting tourists explore Japan. 

Samurai Sports is based on the idea of breaking down the barriers that often dissuade international visitors and foreign residents from fully taking advantage of fitness opportunities throughout Japan. By collaborating directly with local agencies and institutions, Samurai Sports provides a wide range of services that cater to an English-speaking audience. 

A1

Tour coordinator and bilingual guide by day, entertainer and sake enthusiast by night. With over 20 years of experience in the tourism industry, trust A-1 to show you the best of Japan.

Ome Trail Run participant checking in

Shige

Though he prefers mountain bikes, Shige opts for paved roads on the job as our support car driver. No matter where you are in Japan, he's your go-to guy for local snacks and drinks.

Faith

A self-confessed indoor training queen, Faith trains year-round for her triathlon pursuits and hopes to one day qualify for Kona. Faith understands both Japanese and English.

Yasuko

Yasuko is our professional tour planner and food concierge. A certified sake and wine sommelière, she has the answers to your questions about Japanese cuisine.

our cycling guides

Taste of Japan Bike Tours are led by licensed, professional cycling guides Hisa, Zac, and Geoffrey. All three are part of Ridas, a bike shop located in Shiga Prefecture and managed by Hisa. 

Our cycling guides were either born and raised in Japan or are long-term residents of 20 years or more. Hailing from a wide range of backgrounds and roots, their experiences in Japan are deeply rich and varied. Despite their different stories, their passion for cycling, broad knowledge base, and an eagerness to showcase the best of Japan combine to produce the most optimal cycling adventure. 

We believe our cycling guides are the special ingredient that truly make Taste of Japan Bike Tours. After all, if you’re going to discover Japan, shouldn’t you do so with people who live in Japan and consider Japan ‘home’?

Hisa

Born and raised in Shiga Prefecture, Hisa boasts over 35 years of cycling experience in everything from competitive riding to cycle-touring. Actively involved in cycling both on and off the road, Hisa is the owner of Strada Bicycles and Ridas. A JCGA-licensed cycling guide and certified bike mechanic, Hisa also has a knack for creative production, including 4K video, still imagery, and drone footage of cycling in Japan. Lifetime achievements include bike-camping across Japan, being the youngest finisher at Ironman Japan, and most recently, publishing a #1-ranked photo book about cycling on former Japanese trading routes. 

Support Vehicle

The Ridas support vehicle is an integral part of our multi-day, point-to-point Taste of Japan Bike Tour trips. Also known as the SAG van, the vehicle is equipped with the space to store multiple bikes, emergency equipment, and spare parts. A designated driver is responsible for the support vehicle at all times.

Geoffrey

Specializing in high performance rides, Geoffrey is most commonly a cycling guide for Ridas’ one-day bike tours. A resident of Japan for 26 years and counting, Geoffrey is based in Shiga Prefecture and a graduate of the University of Arizona, where he was a part of the cycling team. A poster boy by chance, he often models for Ridas and can be found on Shiga Prefecture’s cycling brochures.

Zac

Hailing from Australia, Zac has lived in Japan for the past 20 plus years. A former triathlete, an injury propelled Zac towards the world of competitive cycling and he is a familiar face at road cycling races (and podiums) around the country. Zac supports Ridas on a variety of guided cycling trips and can be seen on NHK World’s popular cycling program, Cycle Around Japan.

inquiries

Japan cycling tour start