Category Archives: japan
Chari and New Balance

Chari and Co teamed up with New Balance recently on an updated design of their U520 silhouette. Check out the promo video above and swoop a pair from Chari Japan.

Sep 25, 2017 3 comments
Being Kankōkyaku 観光客 in Japan

Japan is one of my favorite places to travel in the world but it took a few trips there for me to have that realization. Partially because on previous trips, most of my time was spent in Tokyo, leaving much to be desired in terms of riding experience. The main reason was, however, is how embedded the Japanese culture is in their respect for nature. For a country that believes Mt. Fuji is a god, or at least god-like in the modern ethos, I hadn’t seen any of that first hand. Last year’s trip to Nagoya to see our friends at Circles really solidified my love for Japan, but it wasn’t until Cari came out to Japan for a week-long city tour that I saw the true nature of this amazing, yet small and intimate country. (more…)

Jun 16, 2017 25 comments
the Japanese Odyssey

The Japanese Odyssey is a self-supported race across Japan, totaling 2,400 kilometers. This race takes you from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, through the mountains, onto the island of Shikoku, before ending in Osaka.

Apr 30, 2017 2 comments
Bicycle Quarterly Tests the Open UP

The team at Bicycle Quarterly took the Open U.P. to Odarumi, one of the highest passes in Japan, at 6600′ in elevation. Watch this video to find out how a carbon bike handles the climb.

Apr 10, 2017 3 comments
Shaping Cycling Culture in Nagoya with Circles Japan

Japan. An incredibly diverse country, filled with a rich history, which up until the modernization of the automobile, relied heavily on the bicycle. In fact, from the 1930’s through the 1960’s the bicycle was the most prized possession in Japanese households. Naturally with modernization comes new technology and with new technology came more affordable cars, designed specifically for the Japanese consumers. Soon, the attention of the Japanese people shifted towards the automobile. Alas, the bicycle may have taken a blow in terms of popularity, but it’s hardly fallen off the map. Almost every household still relies on a bicycle. With fuel taxes double what we have in the USA and pricey annual inspection bills, many families still run errands on bicycles. In Nagoya, the wealthiest city in Japan, made possible by Toyota being located there, the bicycle can still be found on the streets and sidewalks in mass numbers. (more…)

Jul 16, 2016 23 comments
Arigatou Gozaimasu, Japan!

After three weeks on the road in Japan, I’m finally heading back to Los Angeles and just in time for summer. I wanted to thank everyone that made this trip so memorable and to the Circles family for making it possible. I’ll miss this place and its people, but will be back for sure!

Expect regularly-scheduled posts to commence this week, thanks for your patience… ;-)

Jun 20, 2016 2 comments
Makoto’s Doppo Sim Works Tourer

Doppo Kunikida was a Japanese naturalist, one of the best. In fact, he’s the founder of the movement which focuses on, you guessed it, nature in literature. This love of nature inspired Sim Works to develop their own touring bike, one that would take a 27.5 or 29″ wheel and be prepared for just about anything you’d encounter on the road or trail. The Doppo is a steel bike, made in Nagoya by the framebuilder Shin and was first debuted at NAHBS this year. This is Makato’s personal bike, which he affixed with racks and panniers for our tour, while utilizing the “anything” mounts on the fork and the Sim Works “Homage” tires. You can read more about the Doppo at the Sim Works blog and contact them for ordering information…

This bike looked so good on the top of Mount Mihara that I had to shoot a few photos of it. Enjoy!

Jun 17, 2016 15 comments