These are the questions we receive often from our guests preparing to join us for a group guided cycling tour. Do you have a question that’s not addressed here? If so, please reach out: [email protected]
If you have specific questions about your private tour, please reach out to your Trip Designer directly for assistance.
Please see our full cancellation policy on this page
We offer high-quality hybrid and road bikes for all guided and self-guided tours at no extra charge. Our road bike option is the Cannondale Synapse 2019 and our hybrid option is the Cannondale Quick. If you prefer an e-bike, please let us know ASAP as our availability is limited. There is an extra charge for the e-bike rental (listed on each tour page). Please see detailed descriptions of our bike options here.
Our cycling tours are ranked on a scale of 1-5 from casual to high intensity. If you are uncertain about your ride level, just send us your strava profile or ride file, and we will find the perfect trip for you!
Level 1 – Flat roads and bike paths. Cycling a means of getting between cultural activities, delicious meals, and magical ryokan experiences. Riders are comfortable with 3-4 hours of light activity on the bike per day.
Level 2 – A conversational pace allows us to explore shrines, capture view points, and enjoy conversations over coffee. Riders are comfortable with 4-5 hours of light to moderate activity on the bike per day.
Level 3 – The route is challenging at times but oh so rewarding. We will take on some epic climbs and descents, but still take time to enjoy cultural stops along the way. Riders are comfortable with 5-6 hours of moderate to strenuous activity on the bike per day.
Level 4 – Riders are looking to push their limits up big climbs, pace-line on the flats, and challenge themselves on massive climbs. If you enjoy the thrill of completing tough century rides, this is your level. Riders are capable of 6-8 hours of strenuous cycling each day.
Level 5 – Riders who chase epic routes and seek out big climbs. Pace-line on Japan’s most notorious roads for back-to-back days of cols, volcano summits, and routes of epic proportions. Riders are capable of 7-9 hours of intense cycling each day.
On BTJ group trips, we provide options to add distance and climbs on each route. BTJ also has a support vehicle so that you can always skip a portion of the route. If you’d like to ride on a trip that seems just past your cycling ability, then we highly recommend asking us about our electric assist bike option! It’s a great way to get an extra boost up the challenging climbs while staying in the saddle.
Any riders who would like to upgrade rooms on group trips should contact your trip guide(s) as soon as possible. Feasibility varies from trip to trip, and depends on availability at your time of booking. We will get back to you with pricing and availability for room upgrades once we confirm with our ryokan partners.
Absolutely! All guests under the age of 18 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. On group guided cycling tours, the minimum age is 13 years old. On private tours, there is no minimum age, and we will work with you to design a bespoke trip that meets your family’s specific needs and travel preferences.
Definitely! If you plan to bring it with you as luggage, please make time to set up your bike prior to our start date. Please let your trip guides know, and they will make arrangements so that you’re ready to go on our start date. If you plan to ship your bike in advance, simply let your trip guide(s) know, and they will give you our HQ shipping address. Please confirm with your shipping service that your package will arrive safely in Japan prior to your trip’s start date. Your guides will set up your bike so that it’s ready to ride on the morning of your trip’s start date. There is no discount for bringing your own bike on group tours.
We understand that many guests travel in pairs or groups, but don’t necessarily have the same riding levels. For that reason, we offer add-ons to routes, allowing different guests to ride together for a while, then split up to enjoy different routes based on his/her ride level. Your pace is always entirely up to you. For trips with multiple days in the same location, you can always skip a day of cycling in exchange for a day of exploration at lively markets, local shrines, or nearby hikes. You can also choose to unwind at our ryokan’s natural hot-spring onsen.
The single supplement fee applies to solo travelers who have private rooms on his/her tour. This fee varies between trips, since some of our ryokan partners charge per room while others charge per guest. Please see your tour page for the single supplement associated with your tour.
If you are a solo traveller who does not mind sharing a room with another solo traveller, please let us know, and we will confirm if there is another guest who is also willing to share a room. In this situation, the single supplement fee is waived for both guests.
You never have to carry your luggage on a group guided cycling tour. Everything you need during the day will fit into your handlebar bag or a small daypack that you can leave in the SAG vehicle. All other luggage is transported by our team to our next destination. Your luggage will be waiting in the ryokan hotel when you arrive at the end of your ride.
On a private bespoke tour, luggage porterage options depend on your needs, and your trip designer will clarify those options with you prior to booking.
On BTJ’s group guided cycling tours, we welcome travelers of all ages, backgrounds, and origins. Solos, pairs, friends, and families come for unforgettable experiences throughout the incredible Japanese countryside. In the past year, we have welcomed incredible guests from Australia, USA, England, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland Italy, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Austria, Singapore, and China. All of our group tours are organized in English, so each of our guests speak English as a first, second, or third language. We strive to only work with guests who are respectful of the local culture, natural landscape, and other travelers.