okinawa strong: multi-sport weekend

Escape the cold and jumpstart the new year in southern Japan for a long course swim, bike, run extravaganza!

4 days / 3 nights ・winter 2021

Jan 7 (Thurs) – 10 (Sun)

register by  26 November, 2020

Jan 11 is a public holiday

all-in   ¥75,000

total varies by payment method (see “Payment” below)

Open

max. capacity 20
(minimum 12)

winter
13 – 19°C
55 – 66°F

Naha | Onna | Kariyushi Beach | Motobu | Manza Beach | Mission Beach 

about the trip

Put 2020 behind (let’s face it, we all want to) and start 2021 with a new multi-sport challenge! 

Based on the concept of Long Course Weekend, athletes will train across three disciplines over the course of a three-day weekend. It may be the dead of winter in early January, but we’ll be based in Okinawa, where mild temperatures make for ideal training conditions. Why not jumpstart the new year and reset your focus for what’s ahead? 

With the exception of the Friday morning bike commute and Saturday’s long ride, athletes have the freedom to choose a distance or time that suits them. Swim as much or as little as your shoulders will bear on Friday afternoon. Complete one 10km lap, jog three hours, or pace your buddy’s half-marathon on the Sunday morning run. 

So, the party’s over – put Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the winter holidays squarely in the rearview mirror. For the price of a full IRONMAN race, we’ve included airfare, land transport in Okinawa, three nights of accommodation, ¥12,000 of Go To travel coupons, and three days of multi-sport fun.

We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but we are saying there’s no better way to usher in the new year with a bang.

Notices

・We’re working on the possibilities for a post-ride social on Saturday (while implementing COVID-19 measures).

All In (¥75,000)

includes
Airfare: Haneda to Naha, Naha to Haneda
All Okinawa Land Transport: Naha Airport -> Pacific Hotel Okinawa -> Okinawa Beach Resort Ocean Spa Kariyushi -> Naha Airport
Accommodation: 1 night Pacific Hotel (Naha), 2 nights Okinawa Beach Resort Ocean Spa Kariyushi
Training Sessions: 2 rides, 1 open water swim, 1 run 
Cycling Guides: 2-3 local + 1 bilingual support
OWS Lifeguards: 1 -2
Meals: 3 breakfasts
Other: ¥12,000 Go To Travel coupons (use at applicable convenience stores, restaurants, and shops), Wahoo ELEMNT bike computer (free optional rental; Garmin mount adapters available)
Twin Rooms ONLY
Single Supplement Fee: +¥21,000

trip highlights

trip goals

Hop on the saddle and let’s roll! Our first activity will be a brisk 50km ride to the Okinawa Beach Resort Ocean Spa Kariyushi (OBRO Kariyushi). This is a ‘commuter ride’ and ‘shake out ride’ combined – we needed to figure out a good way to get y’all north of Naha, so here it is! The course is best described as rolling hills, with the single biggest climb approximately 90m (300 feet). We’re scheduled to  arrive just in time for lunch. 

・BYO nutrition, hydration, and anything else you might need or want during the ride 
・Load luggage onto the support vehicle – bike with only what you need for the ride. 
Traffic is a part of cycling in Okinawa; you must be comfortable with riding outdoors and sharing the road with vehicles. 
Roads are always paved asphalt and tarmac roads in average to slightly below average condition. 
・Our itineraries are an approximation of our trips and at times, routes may change at the guide’s discretion and/or due to weather conditions to improve the trip experience. Athletes MUST follow all instructions and defer to decisions made by cycling guides. 
・You must bring your own road or TT/triathlon bike. 

Though the swim is optional, we strongly recommend taking part in the swim to make the most of your long course weekend. A course will be set at Kariyushi beach, a short walk from the hotel. 

・Athletes may swim any distance within the cut-off time at 1600
・Athletes are responsible for recording their own distance and time
・Buoys will be set for a 300-400 meter course on the private hotel beach
・Athletes can opt for one continuous swim, or take breaks between laps on land
・BYO nutrition, hydration, and anything else you might need or want during and directly after the swim
・A lifeguard will be on duty during the duration of the swim
Inclement weather conditions may necessitate modification to or cancellation of the swim
Wetsuits are recommended, but optional
Expected water temperature: 20-24C (69-74F) 

Meet, Return

Haneda Airport

Thursday (Jan 7) 1500

Sunday (Jan 10) 1730

Pacific Hotel Okinawa (Naha)

1 night

2 nights

Bring your own bike

register by November 26

Imagine yourself running here

It’s all about the bike! The highlight of the weekend is Saturday’s 180km (112 mile) bike ride around the heart of Okinawa. Meant to mimic race conditions, this training ride features minimal breaks and is an opportunity for athletes to challenge the full Ironman distance. The ride will be separated into two groups with one group led by a past Tour de Okinawa champion, and a separate group will be led by a local cyclist. 

Athletes may opt for one of two pace groups. Group A will be led by a former Tour de Okinawa champion and aim for an average of 30kph (about 19mph), Group B will be led by a local cyclist on a no drop ride averaging 25kph (about 16mph). We’re working on the details for the pace groups and potential breakaway points.
・The course will feature no more than 2,500 meters (about 8,200 feet) of climbing but is best described as rolling hills. The biggest single climb is about 350 meters or 1,150 feet.
・There will be short 15-20 minute breaks at convenience stores and the like, but no lunch break. Athletes must carry their own nutrition and refill bottles, as well as purchase snacks as necessary, during these breaks.
Traffic is a part of cycling in Okinawa; you must be comfortable with riding outdoors and sharing the road with vehicles. 
Roads are always paved asphalt and tarmac roads in excellent to slightly below average condition. 
・Our itineraries are an approximation of our trips and at times, routes may change at the guide’s discretion and/or due to weather conditions to improve the trip experience. Athletes MUST follow all instructions and defer to decisions made by cycling guides. 
・You must bring your own road or TT/triathlon bike. This is a good opportunity to ride long distances on your tri bike. 
・Depending on the number of athletes, there may be an option for a third group to cover less distance and/or different pace.

The run is optional, and it may be painful, but there’s no better way to cap off a multi-sport weekend with a little challenge! On Sunday morning, have a go on the 10km out and back (5km one-way) course along the beach – just outside the hotel. Athletes may run as much as possible until a cut-off time, or sleep in until check out…But we think you’re up for the multi-sport challenge. 

・Athletes may run, jog, or walk the 10km course any number of times until the cut off time (we’re thinking 0930)
・The run course will ‘open’ at a specific time (we’re thinking 0630), but athletes may start their run up until one hour before the cut off time
・The run takes place on one side of a pancake flat, sidewalk (no sand) with the road on one side and the beach on the other side
・Athletes may start the run earlier to log a full marathon distance, but the aid stations will not be set up until the designated start time. 
Aid stations are self-supported. Drop off nutrition and hydration with name labels for each aid station (2.5km/7.5km, 5km) at the hotel lobby by the assigned time in the morning. These items will be made available on the course at the respective aid stations. 
・Around this time of year, the sun rises at around 0715 in Okinawa
・Inclement weather conditions may necessitate modification to or cancellation of the run

itinerary

Travel day!

We’ll meet at Haneda Airport at 1500 in time for our flight to Naha at 1600. Come with your bikes packed (see notes below) and get ready for your winter escape! 

Once we land in Okinawa, we’ll take private transport to our accommodation at Pacific Hotel Okinawa. We anticipate arriving at our lodging by 2000, if not sooner. Whether the night is still young or it’s nearing bed time, you’ll have some time to explore a little bit of Naha at night. 

Dinner is at the athlete’s liberty. There are many restaurants near the hotel – don’t forget to use your Go To Travel coupons at applicable locations!

・Stay: Pacific Hotel Okinawa 
・Meals: n/a

* Bikes must be packed in rinko bags, bike bags, i.e. Scicon, or bike box. While there are no guarantees, baggage handlers for domestic flights handle bikes with care and checking in bikes in rinko bags are permitted. Bikes may also be brought in more secure containers.

Rise and shine!

The day starts at 0630 with an optional morning run, with the purpose of waking up the body and getting those muscles ready for movements. This run will be at an easy, conversational pace for about 30 minutes. 

After the run, load up at breakfast before we check out, load luggage in the support vehicle, and hop on our bikes. We’ll ride a little over 50km to our host hotel at the Okinawa Beach Resort Ocean Spa Kariyushi (OBRO Kariyushi). We’ll arrive by 12 noon and check in at the hotel. Lunch is at the athlete’s liberty – don’t forget to utilize your Go To Travel coupons whenever possible!

At 1400, we’ll begin our swim at Kariyushi beach. The swim is optional, but we hope you’ll take advantage of an open water swim course with buoys and a lifeguard. It’s a great chance to take a stab at swimming 3.8km (or more!). All swimming must conclude by 1600. 

The evening is free – athletes are encouraged to spend their time relaxing at the hotel and surrounding area. Again, dinner is at the athlete’s liberty. There are many restaurants near the hotel – don’t forget to use your Go To Travel coupons at applicable locations!

0630
optional morning run (easy conversational pace)
0900 depart Naha (Pacific Hotel Okinawa) by bike
~1130 arrive Onna (OBRO Kariyushi) 
1400
swim start
1600
swim finish

・Run (optional): about 5km (3 miles)
・Bike:
about 52km (32mi) | +450m (1,476ft)
・Swim (optional): 2 hours; distance up to athlete
・Stay: Okinawa Beach Resort Ocean Spa Kariyushi
・Meals: Breakfast (from 0700)

Ohayou! Hope you’re ready for a big day on the roads! Today is all about the bike and conquering about 180km with 2,000 meters of elevation gain. 

Group B will set off first at 0730, followed by Group A at 0800. The ride should finish by 1600. This ride is meant to mimic race conditions; while there are breaks to refill and replenish, there is no lunch break. 

After the ride, athletes are welcome to gather at the hotel for light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Depending on availability, a seminar (optional) may be scheduled. 

The evening is free – athletes are encouraged to spend their time relaxing at the hotel and surrounding area. As usual, dinner is at the athlete’s liberty. Wherever you opt to dine, don’t forget to use your Go To Travel coupons at applicable locations!

0730 Group B departs
0800 Group A departs
~1600 ETA OBRO Kariyushi

・Bike: about 180km (112mi) | about 2,000m (6,000ft)
・Stay:
Okinawa Beach Resort Ocean Spa Kariyushi
・Meals: Breakfast (from 0630)

Last day! Time to run. While optional, if you’ve come this far, why not?

We’ll have a flat 10km out and back course along the beach just outside the hotel. Athletes may run as much as possible within the specific timeframe (3 hours). Athletes can choose when their run starts and finishes – just start by 0830 (enough for one 10km lap). 

We’ll start check out at 10AM and board our ride to Naha Airport by 1045. Our flight departs at 1515, which means we’ll have a bit of time at the airport. With an arrival time of 1730 at Haneda Airport, most athletes should be home by 1900. Monday (January 11) is a Japanese public holiday; whether you have the day off, it’s likely to be a day for recovery 🙂 

0630 run starts 
0930 run ends
1045 load for airport
1515
depart Naha Airport
1730 Arrive Haneda airport 

・Run: about 3 hours; distance up to athlete
・Meals: Breakfast (from 0630)

more information

PACIFIC HOTEL OKINAWA (NAHA)
Located an 8 min. drive from Naha Airport, the Pacific Hotel is a simple, convenient accommodation near Naminoue Beach and Kokusai Dori. The hotel has free wifi and will serve as our starting point on Friday ride to Onna.

OKINAWA BEACH RESORT OCEAN SPA KARIYUSHI (ONNA)
Located in Onna, the Okinawa Beach Resort Ocean Spa Kariyushi is about 7km from Manza Beach and 46km from Naha Airport. With a private beach and easy access to running and cycling routes, Kariyushi is an ideal base for a multi-sport weekend. In the past, the hotel has also hosted the Japanese national Paralympic triathlon team and professional cycling teams. Free wifi is available. 

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following measures are implemented by the hotel: all staff must wear protective masks, alcohol-based sanitizer liquids are placed throughout, maintenance of social distancing protocols, and disinfection and thorough cleaning of guest rooms and facilities.

Single Supplement Fee: +¥21,000

***This trip is priced per person based on twin occupancy (two per room). Please note that the accommodation listed may change at the discretion of the trip guides and/or Samurai Sports to improve the trip experience.

Please note that with the exception of breakfast provided by the hotel, athletes are free to eat where they please for lunch and dinner. 

In an effort to steer clear of closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings, we do not have group meals planned. We acknowledge and understand that athletes will likely eat among themselves at various restaurants; please take the appropriate measures to keep yourself healthy and the community safe. 

All athletes will receive ¥12,000 worth of Go To Travel coupons. These are the equivalent of cash money, so spend wisely and don’t lose them! There are many restaurants, eateries, and convenience stores where the coupons can be used within a 1km radius of both hotels.

Athletes will be asked to describe any dietary preferences upon registration. Though only breakfast is included, this serves as an important point of reference. We will make occasional stops to fuel up throughout the bike rides; if you have specific dietary preferences, you are personally responsible for your meals/fuel/nutrition.

Temperatures may fluctuate throughout the day and your trip, so it’s best to be prepared with some cold weather gear and layers to keep you warm on the chilly mornings and overcast afternoons. Please check the weather before you depart – we want you to have the right gear and be prepared for all weather scenarios! 

We ride as scheduled, rain or shine. Exceptions may be made in certain circumstances, i.e. due to heavy rains, strong winds, and severe weather.

Two payment options are available. 

ONLINE PAYMENT
・Easy, secure, immediate online transaction using a credit card
・Incurs 5% online processing fee (about ¥3,750; total ¥78,750)

BANK TRANSFER
・Send us an email to let us know you’ll process a bank transfer for ¥75,000 (any and all transaction fees are borne by the sender; estimated total ¥75,000 to ¥76,000)
・Once your payment has been verified, we’ll send you a one-time use code necessary to complete and submit a registration form for your entry. 

みずほ銀行(0001)
浜松町支店(148)
普通口座
口座番号:1599845
口座名:サムライスポーツマーケティング合同会社

Mizuho Bank (0001)
Hamamatsucho branch (148)
Normal account
Acct #: 1599845 
Acct Name: サムライスポーツマーケティング合同会社

For Swim, Bike, Run 
Bike

Helmet
Rinko bag or similar
Wetsuit (optional; recommended)
Emergency kit (spare tube, CO2 (carry on), patch kit, multi-tool, etc.)
Cycling shoes
Water bottle (at least 2)
Running shoes
1-3 tri kit; alternatively, appropriate apparel for swimming, cycling, and running

Recommended Street Wear
Rain gear 
Comfortable clothes (two sets should do)
Sweater and/or jacket
Mask(s) or Buff 

Also consider:
Bike computer, i.e. Garmin Edge
Socks
Sunglasses
Chamois cream
Sunscreen
* Lightweight windbreaker or jacket or arm sleeves / arm warmers
* Cycling gloves

Other Useful Items
Camera and/or cellphone
Charging devices
Toiletries and personal items 
Personal identification
Cash
Credit/debit cards
NHI card or proof of medical insurance coverage
Spare masks

This multi-sport weekend trip is only sold in conjunction with the Go To Travel campaign. The prices presented are made possible because of travel subsidies from the Go To Travel campaign meant to encourage and promote domestic travel. All athletes will be asked to sign a form agreeing to abide by the rules and regulations of the Go To Travel campaign. 

Go To Travel Campaign Fee Schedule

* This tour is legally obligated to display this information. 

About the Trip
Our Pledge to Participants
During the trip, staff will diligently wash his/her hands, gargle, and thoroughly manage his/her physical wellness.
Staff will wear a mask or buff throughout the duration of the trip. Though the mask may be unsightly and inhibit participants from hearing staff clearly, we ask for your patience and understanding. Please note that depending on the weather and intensity of physical exercise, staff may opt to wear no mask and instead, practice social distancing.
Participants who understand Japanese are encouraged to view the Japan Travel Associations guide to travel etiquette in the midst of COVID-19 here.

Upon Check In
Staff are required to take each participant’s temperature with a non-contact thermometer.
Participants with a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher will be asked to leave and will not be refunded their trip payment (“Go To Travel Actual Payment”); transportation expenses must be borne by the participant.

During the Trip
Staff are required to take each participant’s temperature before breakfast.
Participants with a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher after the trip starts will be asked to leave and will not be refunded their trip payment (“Go To Travel Actual Payment”); transportation expenses must be borne by the participant.

During the Trip
Make liberal use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands and fingers throughout the trip.
・Wear a mask at all times during the trip, including to and from the destination. Participants must bring their own mask(s).
Please note that according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s Heat Stroke Countermeasure Leaflet (Japanese only), masks are not recommended during strenuous physical exercise. In principle, this trip follows these guidelines pertaining to mask usage. However, if you cannot maintain your social distance during cycling, you may be asked to wear your mask.

Will I get a refund if the minimum number of registrants is not reached?
Okinawa Strong: Multi-sport Weekend requires a minimum of 12 athletes. If less than 12 register by November 25, the trip will be cancelled. All athletes will receive a full refund. 

I can’t go all of a sudden for whatever reason, can I transfer my entry?
No, the flights are booked under your name, so transfers are not permissible.

Will I get a refund if I have to cancel my entry?
If you cancel your entry, you may be eligible for a partial refund depending on when you cancel. Please view the refund schedule below for details:

100% of your total amount (less 5% for processing fees) will be refunded if you notify us of cancellation no later than 1800 on December 17, 2020
80% of your total amount (less 5% for processing fees) will be refunded if you notify us of cancellation between December 18 and December 30, 2020
70% of your total amount (less 5% for processing fees) will be refunded if you notify us of cancellation between December 31, 2020 and January 5, 2021
60% of your total amount (less 5% for processing fees) will be refunded if you notify us of cancellation on January 6, 2021
50% of your total amount (less 5% for processing fees) will be refunded if you notify us of cancellation on January 7, 2021 before the trip commences
0% of your total amount will be refunded if you notify us of cancellation after the trip has commenced on January 7, 2021, do not notify us of cancellation, and/or are a no show.

Subject to an official emergency declaration, the bike trip may need to be cancelled less than two weeks before departure. In such instances, all participants will receive a full refund.

If the safety of participants, team members, and/or partners appear compromised, Taste of Japan Bike Tours reserves the right to cancel the bike trip at our discretion. Refunds are not granted once the bike trip has commenced. Samurai Sports and Taste of Japan Bike Tours are not responsible for any losses incurred for non-refundable travel costs.

Can I bring family/partner/friends who aren’t participating in the Multi-sport Weekend?
Guests who do not want to participate in the weekend activities are welcome to tag along for the journey (OBRO Kariyushi is close to Manza Beach, Mission Beach, and Churaumi Aquarium!). However, they must book flights and accommodation on their own.

Can you change my flights so I arrive earlier or stay later?
Okinawa Strong has been strategically packaged in a way that utilizes the best available prices and scheduling. We cannot make exceptions or modifications for flights on an individual basis. Whether you utilize one or no flights is up to you, but your payment will not change. If you know that you are not utilizing one or both flights, please let us know in advance.

Do I have to bring my own bike? Can I rent a bike?
We strongly recommend you bring your own road, triathlon, or TT bike. If you  absolutely need to rent a bike, please send us an email or use the inquiry form below.

Can I see the actual route maps? 
We will send all athletes the GPX files with the course map and elevation profile in the athlete guide about 1 to 2 weeks before the trip.

Is there a maximum number of participants? What about a minimum?
Yes, this trip is capped at 20 athletes. This allows us to ensure each athlete the personal attention and support they deserve throughout the weekend.

For Okinawa Strong, the minimum number of participants is 12. If less than 12 athletes register by November 25, the trip will be cancelled. All athletes will receive a full refund.

I’m not a confident swimmer / I don’t want to run / I’m intimidated by the bike.
The swim and run are optional. Athletes do not receive a discount for not participating. The Saturday bike session is meant to push athletes, and will not be easy for anyone. It’s ok to be intimidated, we want you to challenge yourself. That said, there will be a support car on the road for any mechanical troubles, and plans for the unlikely situation an athlete must retire early. 

Can children join? Is there an age requirement?
This bike trip is designed for adults 18 and older. All athletes should be 18 years old by the first day of the trip. If you have questions, please complete the inquiry form. 

Is gratuity included? Who do I tip?
If you believe the Samurai Sports team and/or the cycling guides have gone above and beyond, please tip them at your discretion. 

How much should I put aside for incidentals? What personal expenses should I anticipate? Do I need cash or is my credit/debit card ok?
Most people find that ¥2,000 to ¥3,000 per day is enough to cover incidentals. Guests typically spend money on souvenirs and snacks. To avoid any potential mishaps, we recommend carrying at least ¥10,000 in cash at all times and tucking away another ¥10,000 just in case. 

Should I enroll in bicycle insurance?
Yes, you should be enrolled in bicycle/cyclist insurance if you ride a bike at all! We won’t verify but for peace of mind, please enroll. 

What about accident insurance and medical coverage? What if I get hurt?
Please bring your NHI card and/or private health insurance card.

Who are the tour operators for this bike trip? 
This tour is operated by J Travel Center and is sold by Samurai Sports.

J Travel Center
1-7-3 Hamamatsucho
Daiichi Bldg 3F
Minato, Tokyo 
105-0013
03-5777-4884

inquiries

Group of cyclists in Okinawa
It's always a good time in Okinawa
Fuel to power your weekend