† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.
THE RIDE: Beyond Tokyo's hyper-technical urban landscape and Kyoto's ubiquitous temples and shrines lies Japan's hidden gem -- Kyushu. The gateway to Japan and Asia, Kyushu is a Zen-inspired haven complete with hot springs, fresh cuisine, lush verdant landscapes and welcoming, friendly locals.
Kyushu was the early center of Japanese civilization; much of Japan's history and mythology originated in Kyushu. The cultural profile of “the Rome of Japan" reflects a unique blend of traditional Japanese and foreign influences.
Kyushu is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. The island is mountainous, and holds Japan's most active volcano, Mt Aso at 1,591 meters (5,220 ft).
We spend our first two days in Yufuin, located in the northwest section of Kyushu. Yufuin is a popular tourist town renowned for its many onsen baths. On Day 2, we cycle a short loop route witnessing along the way magnificent views of Mt. Yufuin.
After leaving Yufuin, we cycle across the island's mountain passes from Days 3-10, which reveal scenic wonders of volcanic calderas, steaming vents, green tea plantations, old growth forests, sand dunes and white sand beaches. We will cycle along the “Yamanami Highway,” one of the 100 best scenic roads of Japan, pass by Mt. Aso, cycle the five bridges of scenic Amakusa, and see much of the eastern coastline.
On our 10th day, we take a jet ferry 36 miles to the south to Yakushima Island where we spend two nights to the end tour. Yakushima Island receives the most rainfall in Japan, resulting in dense, thick, often cedar forests. It is known for showy rhododendrons. Yakushima's unique remnant of its warm-temperate ancient forest is designated a Natural World Heritage Site.
The tour is fully supported by Cycling Japan, which has previously led other BAC tours in Japan. Cycling Japan will supply our tour with two eight-passenger vans, and another guide who will cycle with our group.
This tour will be finishing a week before the start of the Noto Peninsula and Japan Alps tour, which starts in Kanazawa on May 28, 2023 and ends in Gifu on June 8th, 2023..
For a day by day itinerary, click on this link: Kyushu
RIDE RATING: This ride is a 3C. There are eight mandatory cycling days in which the average distance is 50 miles/day and the average elevation gain is 2607 feet/day. There are no days which exceed the far range of the "C" rating of 65 miles. Day 3 at 4547 feet and Day 11 at 4737 feet exceed the far range of the C rating of 3500 feet.
Cycling and driving in Japan are on the left-hand side of the road. Most routes are lightly trafficked and have been scouted.
As with most BAC tours, this is a tour for independent experienced cyclists. We do not cycle together as a group on the road and do not have a “guide” with us at all times. The vans are primarily luggage transport vehicles but will be available, as needed, for those with injuries or illnesses. Riders should arrive for the tour in sufficient physical condition to ride the distance and elevation set for each day.
BIKES AND RENTAL: Tandems are not “legally” allowed throughout most of Japan with a law that expressly prohibits more than two cyclists on a single bike, applying also to tandems. The law’s rationale was to prevent two people from riding on a bicycle designed for one person but did not contemplate the safe use of a tandem. Nevertheless, Cycling Japan strictly follows the law, and does not allow tandems on its tours.
If you wish to bring your bike, equip it with 28cc tires and gearing that can take you up the average elevation gain per day. Your bike box will be shipped to the last hotel for about $50.00. Cycling Japan will rent hybrid or road bikes for 20,000 Yen, and E-bikes for 40,000 Yen. For those renting bikes on this tour as well as the subsequent Noto Peninsula tour, the total costs of rental for both tours is 35,000 Yen for the hybrid and road bikes and 70,000 Yen for E-bikes. You should contact Cycling Japan directly to rent a bike.
Cycling Japan will provide a basic Garmin bike computer loaded with the GPS tracks. GPS tracks will be provided for all routes, but it is up to you to know how to use your GPS device before the trip begins. Ride with GPS links will also be provided for all routes which could be downloaded to smartphones and bike computers.
WEATHER: The weather will be variable as we will cycle along the coast, inland and at elevation. In May, in Kyushu, the highs will be in the high 70’s with the lows in the high 60’s. At Yakushima Island, the highs will be in the mid 50’s with the lows in low 50’s. Any weather conditions are possible and as always, riders should bring layers and rain gear.
LODGING & MEALS: The tour provides for 11 nights lodging, staying mostly in traditional Japanese inns called “ryokans.” Most ryokans have futons as beds although some ryokans may have a Western bedroom with a traditional bed. Some rooms do not have private showers, and you must bathe in a communal bath called an “onsen”. Onsens have both multiple showers and a large spa. There are separate onsens specifically for men and women. Some ryokans have a public “onsen spa”, which allows all genders to bathe.
At the ryokan, street shoes are not allowed inside. In the room, riders will find up to three sets of slippers, with each specifically earmarked for use in the shared areas of the ryokan, your room, and the toilet/shower area.
On most days, after the ride, riders enjoy relaxing in the indoor onsen spas. After the onsen bath, most riders wear only the hotel-provided robe called a “yukata.” Most ryokans permit riders to wear the yukata throughout the ryokan and also during dinner if they are dining at the hotel restaurant.
As to meals, the tour provides for 11 breakfasts, no lunches, and 6 group dinners. For dinners on your own, you are free to eat at the hotel, or if convenient, at a nearby restaurant. Drinks and snacks will be provided during the riding day.
We eat most of our meals with chopsticks called “hashi” in Japan. We will be sitting on cushions on low tables. The diet is local and fresh – mostly fish and other products from the sea, both plant and animal, and some of it raw. (Although we will request a Western option when available, we should anticipate this to be the exception, not the rule.) If you like fish and other seafood, you will enjoy the meals. And the presentation of the food often involves numerous courses, and meticulous and artful layouts.
We will have a happy hour most evenings with some beer and/or wine provided as well as snacks as part of your tour costs. Any additional drinks with dinner are on your own. Happy hour will include information provided by our guides about the next day’s route, historical and cultural information, and points of interest along the route, in addition to socializing opportunities.
LOGISTICS: Use an airline search engine to find the flights which would lead you to Fukuoka Airport in Kyushu. From the airport, take the bus to Yufuin, which will take 1.5 hours to reach the tour hotel. You should arrive early enough to be ready for our happy hour on on May 9, 2023. If you intend to rent a bike, you will be informed of the time you should arrive to pick up and be fitted for your rental bike. Our tour ends after breakfast on May 20, 2023. . Cycling Japan will provide transportation to the airport or train station only on the last day of the tour. You can either take a plane or combine train and ferry travel to return to Fukuoka Airport.
COST & ADMINISTRATION: The total tour cost is $4800. A deposit of $2500 is required upon registration and a second payment of $2300 will be due on February 2, 2023 . The total tour is based on a currency exchange rate of $1.00 equals 100 Yen. The current exchange rate is currently more favorable, but it fluctuates. Depending on currency exchange rates, there may be an adjustment in the amount of the final payment.
At the end of the tour, riders will receive a refund of any remaining unexpended money in the budget. The price does not include airfare, transportation from the airport to the starting hotel, extra nights in the hotel, lunches and other optional food along the routes and the cost of rental bike. The cost does include 11 nights lodging, 11 breakfasts, all happy hours, 6 dinners, and ferry fees, and transportation to the airport or train station on the last day of the tour.
SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY: Solos will be allowed if the maximum of 14 riders is not reached. Singles who would like a roommate should try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until FFebruary 1, 2023 to find a roommate. If the single rider is unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the solo supplement. A solo supplement will be an additional 48,000 Yen (approx. $480). If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. The Ride Coordinator will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride. Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office by June 1, 2021. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check. They should be mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.
RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY: Please remember that BAC Ride Coordinators are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept mutual responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully, submit questions, if any, and respond to requests from the Ride Coordinator. While on the ride, support your Ride Coordinator with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Coordinator informed of any special requests you may have and respect the Ride Coordinator’s decisions.
CANCELLATION POLICY: The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled due to participation below stated minimum requirements. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund may be made at that time. If the cancelling participant cannot be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remain on the tour.
The contract with Cycling Japan allows changes to the start and/or end date of the tour – or cancellation, if weather or other adverse or threatening conditions exist AND which may affect the safety of participants and guides of the group.
In addition, the following cancellation policy of Cycling Japan, which outlines the time period before the start of the tour and the percentage which is non-refundable, applies: (1) 29-41 days 25% of tour costs; 22-28 days-50% of tour costs; 1-21 days and after-100% of tour costs. The tour cost is the charge per participant by Cycling Japan which is 400,000 Yen or approximately $4,000. These percentages will be applied to the tour costs, and not the total costs of $4800.
INSURANCE: Before participating in any BAC tour, members should review their medical coverage and assess whether what you have is sufficient. If it isn’t, you should purchase additional travel medical coverage. BAC maintains limited coverage for medical expenses associated with accidents incurred by US residents when on tours within the US. None of the policies maintained by BAC will cover costs associated with self-quarantines that may be government mandated. Members should also ensure that vaccinations are up to date (e.g., COVID, annual influenza, tetanus, etc.). If travelling outside your home country you may wish to consult with a travel physician or nurse to ensure that the appropriate vaccinations are up to date..
COVID: The specific safety precautions to protect participants from COVID will be determined 60 days prior to the tour start date. At that time, we will meet with tour participants using a video conference to explain any safety precautions that will be necessary. You may be asked to wear PPE in public, maintain social distance in public and limit social gathering in public according to the state's mandate. All participants must have been “fully vaccinated “prior to starting the tour and be prepared to present vaccination documentation for viewing by Ride Leader if requested. Negative COVID tests may be requested. Ideally, we would like to consider our group our COVID-free bubble. Your vaccination will help us stay safe.
SIGN UP: To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description. When you are accepted, the Ride Coordinator will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List. At this time, you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $2500 by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. To contact the Ride Coordinator, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.
Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 firstname.lastname@example.org