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You’ve booked your flight to Japan. You’ve confirmed your ticket to ride the wild rindo in the Japanese countryside. We can't wait for you to experience some of the world’s most incredible traditions and countryside landscapes. Now, it’s time to make sure that you are prepared for the unforgettable journey ahead.

Every good adventure requires good preparation, so please explore some of the resources below to get ready for your upcoming tour!



We recommend using Japan Guide as a key resource while planning your off-bike travel in Japan. The website has full descriptions of the top museums, temples, shrines, onsens, and restaurants in Japan’s highly-visited towns and international cities.

Want BTJ to organize your ryokan/hotel bookings as an add-on to your countryside cycling tour?


Japan’s train transit services are extremely punctual and comfortable. Conveniently, most of the main stations have English signs and announcements. In our experience, the most challenging aspect of train transit in Japan is navigating transfers between stations or within a large station.

An important thing to keep in mind: many of Japan's train stations (even in Tokyo) do not accept credit card. So please be sure to keep some cash on hand to purchase your train tickets.

Especially in the Tokyo area, there are many lines/transfers that will allow you to get to your start location. Below, we outline our recommended routes with minimal transfers. However, please make adjustments depending on your exact start location and time of transit. We recommend utilizing Google Maps, which has exact train/bus schedules. The app is very accurate in predicting the optimal route(s) to get from A to B.

Tours & Start/End Points List

Japanese Alps Tour (Level 5) - Start: Matsumoto Station, End: Takasaki Station

Nikko North Alps Tour (Level 3) - Start: Nikko/Tobu Nikko Station, End: Shin-Kiryu Station (option: JR Kiryu Station)

Valleys & Volcanoes Tour (Level 2) - Start: Ashikaga-Shi Station, End: Shin-Kiryu Station (option: JR Kiryu Station)

Tokyo Escape Tour (Level 4) - Start & End: Ashikaga-Shi Station

Shimanami Kaido Setouchi Sea Tour (Level 2) - Start & End: Onomichi Station

Self-Guided Cycling Adventure Gunma & Tochigi - Start & End varies, please see your custom itinerary.


SNOW COUNTRY by Yasunari Kawabata (modern Japanese literature)

CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN by Sayaka Murata (quirky/funny, modern woman's perspective on life in Japan)

IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS by Jun Ichiro Tanizaki (philosophy/aesthetic)

JAPANLAND: A YEAR IN SEARCH OF WA by Karin Muller (self-reflection/autobiography)

KUSAMAKURA by Natsume Soseki (Edo/Meiji fiction)

SHōGUN by James Clavel (historical fiction)

HIROHITO & THE MAKING OF MODERN JAPAN by Herbert P. Bix (non-fiction biography)

THE BUDDHA IN THE ATTIC by Julie Otsuka (novel, Japanese immigration to the West)