Rob fell in love with cycling as a way to explore natural landscapes at the perfect pace. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music, he spent a year working, cycling, and creating a community in Japan. Since then, he has returned each year to delve deeper into the secluded countryside. Above all, Rob is driven by curiosity and the desire to create unforgettable cycling trips for BTJ guests. He loves surprising travelers with unique and immersive experiences that exist just outside the international hubs of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. In addition to creating intimate adventures throughout Japan, Rob also previously worked with Duvine Cycling in Northern California. When he is off the bike, he enjoys teaching classical guitar to students around the world.
Michael is a Canadian-American photographer, writer, and teacher. He can usually be found on his bike, exploring new places. Michael spends much of his time reading books, improving his Japanese, and getting lost in conversation with guests and friends over coffee. In 2014, he set out to walk the 88 Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage, a historical and spiritual path in Southern Japan. Upon visiting the first temple, Michael fell in love with the country, and decided to build a life here. Since completing his Shikoku trek, Michael continued to explore the Japanese countryside by bicycle, and has become conversationally fluent in the language. He enjoys introducing curious guests to the countless hidden joys of his second home.
Michelle loves seeking out the best hidden snack breaks throughout the Japanese countryside. After graduating from Yale University with a degree in Economics, she has been working hard in the office so that she can enjoy quality time on the bike with friends before sunset. She is passionate about creating immersive, refreshing, and environmentally-conscious experiences through intentional travel. Most days, she is brainstorming new initiatives to enhance the BTJ guest experience, strengthen local community, reduce waste, and maximize the positive effects of tourism on the economic vitality of rural areas.
Born in Italy, Paolo was six years old when began cycling, skiing, and hiking in the European Alps with his family. Through these travels, he has become fluent in Spanish, English and French. Prior to coming to Japan, Paolo received his Masters in International Development and worked as manager for a Swiss child relief agency in Africa and the Middle East. He has also hiked in the Equatorial Forest in the DR Congo and the Bolivian Uplands. For the past five years, Paolo has found his home base in Japan. In addition to his explorations on the bike with BTJ guests, Paolo also guides travelers on treks up Mt Fuji and on backcountry snowboarding expeditions in Hokkaido.
OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
At BTJ, WE ARE obsessed with experience.
Our team takes care of all the subtle details so that our guests can savor each moment. Bike Tour Japan’s expert guides are unbelievable hosts and knowledgeable ambassadors who will guide you on roads that have yet to be discovered by the outside world.
OUR CORE VALUES
UNIQUE EXPERIENCES THROUGH CULTURAL CONNECTION
We believe that traveling by bicycle is the best way to experience a place. Cycling brings you closer to the land and its people than just about any other mode of travel. But as much as we love cycling, it’s not always about the bike. Let us show you our favorite places to experience, learn, eat, explore, and relax, hidden in Japan’s mysterious countryside. We can’t wait to have you hop on the saddle with us to discover the joys of cycling in Japan.
It is our passion to encourage and empower YOU, our guests, to hop on the saddle to experience Japan on your own terms. We believe it’s not only an excellent way to connect with the culture, but it’s also good for our environment. At BTJ, we are consistently pushing to decrease the environmental impact that travel has on our world. This means refusing single-use plastics when possible, reducing food waste, promoting the use of reusable items such as water bottles, and recycling everything that’s left. We want memories of your holiday to last for years to come, but in terms of physical waste, we strive to LEAVE NO TRACE.
We like to keep things local on our trips. While many travel companies take guests to hotel chains that exist all around the world, 96% of our ryokan and restaurant partners are small, locally-owned businesses. We believe that we can build luxury experiences that are also authentic and true to the places we visit. Supporting local entrepreneurs and small businesses strengthens the small towns we ride through, improves quality of life, and gets re-invested back into the communities we know and love. Plus, you came here to explore the real Japan, not to stay in the Four Seasons.
We like to question industry standards and test new initiatives to make incredible experiences for both our guests and guides. Learn about our Fair Wage Promise and how Bike Tour Japan takes a different approach to tipping. [Learn More]