How much does it cost to participate?
Registration fee pricing information is available on the >Pricing page.
What is the date for the next edition?
The >Event Calendar page has the dates for all our scheduled rides. Note that you will need to arrive in Tokyo the day before the ride to allow for the early start (hotel accommodation included) and you will check out on the day AFTER the ride (again, accommodation included).
How much is the single room supplement? (Note you will only need to pay this if you do not want to be paired with another rider of the same sex)
US$600 for the entire epic.
Can Mad Dogs help us to hire bikes?
YES - but only if you start the ride in Tokyo. 40,000 yen for the hire of a nice road bike, and then a transporting fee of 12,000 yen (that’s returning the bike from Sapporo to Tokyo). The returning fee will be less if you return it from a nearer location.
What's the climate like?
Autumn is a special time in Japan - it is not yet cold, but the muggy heat of the summer will be gone. It will be warmer near Tokyo, however it cooler as we head north. Bring some cooler weather gear, but this weather should be ideal for cycling.
My friend or significant other would like to join me as a non-cyclist, is this possible?
Yes, given Japan's extensive and efficient public transport system, this is more than possible, in style! Rather than travel all the way as a passenger in our vehicle, which would be rather dull, a non-cyclist can travel and explore independently each day very easily. We would recommend that they purchase a 7-day Japan rail pass to make the most of their time - which can be used on the shinkansen (bullet train). You will need to share a room, pay the US$600 single room suppplement, and there is also a fee of US$300 which will cover the transportation of baggage each day in our vehicles (one suitcase).
What is the terrain like?
The terrain is varied - the first couple of days are fairly flat, but thereafter there are gentle undulating hills mixed with some long flat coastal sections. The final day involves some climbing, but the excellent quality of the roads means that you’re able to coast magnificently down the other side and you can therefore still make good progress even if you’re not an expert climber.
What type of bike is appropriate?
We think a lightweight tourer, hybrid or road bike is best. The roads are of a high quality, but if you use the cycling paths which run beside most roads there is the odd rougher patch.
Where does the Epic start?
In the Asakusa district of Tokyo. You can however easily join anywhere along the route.
How do I get to the start in Tokyo and from the finish back to the airport?
You can reach this easily by either taking the limousine bus from the airport, or by train. If you arrive at Narita, you can come easily by Keisei train, because the change at Aoto is just a shuffle to the other side of the platform. The journey takes approx 90 minutes. You also have the option of arranging a private transfer - please enquire for details.
It's easy to reach Sapporo's airport by a convenient limousine bus service but of course private transfers can also be arranged.
Is the cost of the ferry to Hokkaido included in the registration fee?
YES - it's included!
Which flights should I book?
Tokyo is well connected with international air routes. From Hong Kong, you can fly direct with ANA, JAL, Cathay, Hong Kong Express. From Singapore, you can use ANA, Delta, JAL, Scoot, Singapore Airlines and United. Your flights should ideally allow you to get to the hotel in Asakusa, Tokyo by 8pm on the day before the first cycling day. This will allow you to meet the team and other participants as well as sufficient rest before an early start. Flying back from Sapporo, you can either fly back through Tokyo (Air Do, Jetstar, ANA, JAL, Skymark, Vanilla Air - this is the busiest air route in the world and is very inexpensive) or you can fly from Sapporo direct to many destinations, including Beijing (Air China), Hong Kong (Cathay - this is a codeshare with JAL and is sometimes cheaper if booked on the JAL website) and Bangkok (Thai).
Will we travel on large roads?
Due to the very nature of covering so much distance in such a short period of time, it’s sometimes necessary to knuckle down for a few hours on a national road (NOT a highway/motorway), and we do cut off to the backroads wherever possible. In any case, you’ll be able to appreciate the surroundings and there are nearly always pavements for cycling by the side of the road, in addition to hard shoulders.
Do I need a Visa for Japan?
Most nationalities can enter Japan without the need to obtain a visa. https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/visa.html
"A great week, a fantastic adventure, organization was perfect, the route was very scenic, it really was superb. I lived in Japan for 14 years, but never saw what we saw last week, never been to that deep in rural Japan. I loved it." Jérôme Limozin, IT manager, French
"As always, the personal touch and the camaraderie were great, I loved the food and I have become a fan of the onsen." - Daniel Insunza, economist, Swiss
"Now home, it is a real pleasure to be able to write to you, to say how much we enjoyed ourselves on the recent Tokyo to Sapporo challenge. It was bloody tough, but we got to see so much of the real Japan, and I am now much fitter than I have ever been. I would 100% recommend anyone to undertake this, or your other, similar challenges no matter how daunting they may seem to be. The organisation was just right, not overpowering but well detailed and backed up with excellent interpreting, mechanical expertise, and refreshments never far away. Your use of the local Ryokan hotels gave a great insight of traditional Japanese habits particularly bathing ... the Onsen is a great leveller. I very much hope to take part in further challenges with you in the future. We had a great time and it was a real pleasure, at the age of 63, to prove the Hare and Tortoise adage was nearly correct." - Stephen Collett, retired, British