BQ in Japan

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The Bicycle Quarterly team is in Japan for a few weeks of visiting manufacturers and builders, enjoying the culture, and cycling. Above is the view from our window in Kyoto. Doesn’t it look like a dream spot, with temples in the foreground and rugged mountains in the background?
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Our wonderful hosts for the first part of the trip are Harumi and Ikuo Tsuchiya of Cycles Grand Bois. Spring is starting, and the cherry blossoms are painting the landscape white and pink. They are barely budding in the mountains, but already fully blooming in the ancient city of Nara in the lowlands.
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The riding is spectacular. Small roads with almost no traffic that go up and down incredible mountains in series of switchbacks. Many of the passes are still covered with snow from the winter, so we’ve done a lot of out-and-back exploration…
The food is great and the people are incredibly friendly. Japan really seems like a dream destination for cycling.
Hahn is using Instagram (search for user hahn_rossman) with the hashtag #bqinjapan, so you can follow our travels here. A full report will come in the Summer issue of Bicycle Quarterly.

11 Responses to BQ in Japan

  1. Alex Wetmore April 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Here is a direct link to Hahn’s instagram:
    http://instagram.com/hahn_rossman

  2. Rando Theo April 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    Thanks for sharing the lovely photos, Jan. I’ve been enjoying Hahn’s photos over the last several days. Looking forward to the Summer issue!

  3. David Pearce April 7, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Isn’t that great! Enjoy yourselves! Hope you find what you are looking for from the manufacturers, and take me with you on your shoulders! Most of all, thank you for a great blog, magazine, & company.

  4. Gabe April 7, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Love Kyoto. We rode around the city on comically dilapidated basket bikes from the Ryokan we were staying at. We took a day trip up into the mountains and I was itching for my regular bike. One of these days…

  5. timothygmd April 7, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    Just when I thought I could be a bit less jealous……..

  6. Takashi April 9, 2014 at 5:41 am #

    Glad to see that you are having good time in Japan.
    I suppose that the photo which says “trying to orient ourselves on kanji maps” was taken near Nagiso Station?
    That’s one hour bike-ride away from where I live.
    Too bad that I missed the chance to meet you!

    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly April 10, 2014 at 2:32 am #

      Yes, that was at Nagiso. We had a beautiful ride over the Lida Pass Road… It would have been wonderful to meet you. Maybe next time?

  7. Thomas Blak April 9, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    I just got back from Osaka/Nara yesterday after spending ten days there. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom. Also went to the Bicycle Museum in Sakai City for a behind the scenes private tour. Great museum if you ever get the chance. Rode a mama-chari for fun. Having a Japanese wife from Osaka really helps!

  8. Bubba April 10, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    The green bicycle in the second photo looks has brifters. They have the SRAM shape but the brake lever and the shift lever are silver in color. Many of us who prefer the silver aluminum look would love to get a little info on that product. Is it a DIY cleanup of one of the black models? Is it another brand altogether?