You'll cycle across the magnificent Seto Inland Sea traversing 7 of the incredible Shimanami Kaido bridges and move from the main island of Honshu to the 'small island' Shikoku.
Experience sleeping on tatami mats, try local foods, cycle with the locals and making new friends...this is a small and very intimate tour run by cycling enthusiasts from Wheel Women, not a tour company!
And who can forget the famous Cycling Shimanami event ride...we are gearing up for 2020!
Watch the video to the end to see the Wheel Women Team!
If you are seriously interested in joining our 2020 Tour, please click on the Expressions of Interest button...
COSTS, MISSION AND THE IMPORTANT STUFF
Our tours are not a commercial enterprise...it's about taking women outside of their comfort zones and realising that there is a whole world out there to explore, so we try to maximise the human experience, not profits. We like to build connections in Japan between cyclists and that is our mission - the social impact of building bridges across borders far outweighs any commercial benefits.
We like to cover costs, so our tours are often cheaper than many other tour operators - all your accommodation and airfares are covered in the costs, as well as some meals. Sometimes we cycle with Japanese friends, other times we meet new friends along the way.
All we ask is that you bring gifts, bring friendship, bring a willingness to share and connect. You might even like to make a donation to a local cycling group!
WHEN...APRIL OR OCTOBER
We've set the dates for April and October 2020. Though we aren't sure at this stage if April will go ahead, we really want to encourage less experienced riders to join us for an April tour. In October we'll be riding the famous Shimanami Kaido and joining thousands of other Japanese riders in the bi-annual event and we can't wait! We might even be presenting something to the locals about cycling in Australia!
CAN I BRING A MALE PARTNER?
Yes, male partners are welcome. In fact, you may wish to bring your bestie or your Mum or sister! But if you bring a male partner, all we ask is that they understand that Wheel Women is about empowering women on the bike...we've had a few brave blokes travel with us and they had a ball...we call them the Wheel Blokes!
"I have to be honest, I've had a love affair with Japan since I was about 10 years old and I met a Japanese business colleague of my father - Motoko was one of the most beautiful women I'd ever seen and so full of mystery. I knew when I grew up I'd visit Japan to find out more about where Motoko came from - it took another 12 years before I finally landed in the Land of The Rising Sun!
I was besotted...it was old and it was new, it was fast and it was slow, quirky yet magnificent! I've been travelling to Japan ever since and now a veteran more than 10 visits to Japan - cycling has taken me to places in Japan the average tourist never sees. I'm so excited to be able to take the Wheel Women riders cycling in one of my favourite places...the Shimanami Kaido and Hiroshima and Ehime areas"
Wheel Women Founder
WHO ARE THE TOURS FOR?
To undertake the October ride a certain level of skill and fitness is required - can you ride at least 70km a day with a few hills thrown in? Are you able to keep to a speed of around 25 - 28kmphr and manage multiple days in the saddle? Are you comfortable riding on the road and in a group?
For April, you will need to do some training and be able to manage at least 50km in the saddle, on multiple days. The expected speed you travel at is about 20 - 22kmphr, but mostly you like just rolling along.
Our tours are DEFINITELY NOT for setting Strava segments - they're about exploration, fun, and excitement. Do you like stopping to take photos, exploring villages and meeting the locals? If you can answer yes to all of these, then our tours could be for you!
Note: Wheel Women reserves the right to decline an application to ride from any rider if we believe they do not meet fitness or skill requirements.
"Thank you so much for the experience. It was everything I hoped it would be and I achieved more than I thought I would."
"...the order of the tour was excellent,
it was great to go to the country then the city.
...I felt language skills, riding and leadership
with Tina was great"
At this stage we do not have prices as we are still a way off from the tour...however, we will keep the page updated with details as they come to hand. Most hotels and airlines do not release their prices until at least 10 months out.
Airfares, accommodation and all breakfasts are included. We have a few dinners included, but other meals are an adventure in exploring local eateries, sidewalk cafes and subway food halls. It's not just a cycling adventure, it's a culinary adventure too! We also have a JR Rail pass included and all luggage transfers.
You can choose single share supplements and this adds an extra $890 to the tour costs. Our travel agent is also happy organise any tours you may wish to undertake separately after the Wheel Women Tour - these of course will be priced separately.
NOTE: we are still finalising costs and itinerary for the 2020 tour.
The tour costs vary depending on where the dollar is at the time of booking and what we decide to include in the itnerary. The fare covers airfares and accommodation as well as all brekkies and a 7 Day JR Rail Pass...you'll need it!
It doesn't sound like a lot of cycling, but in previous tours everyone ishappy to be off the bike for a few days for some walking. We'll can try our hand at e-bikes in Kyoto or you may choose to walk...that's the nice part about being flexible in our itinerary.
Extra costs will be bike hire (we don't recommend taking our own bikes as transport can be difficult, but we will advise on this closer to the day). The cost of bike hire varies depending on the type of bike you choose, but as a guide, budget for about $300-$500. You will also need to budget for taxi fares, lunches and dinners as well as spending money.
We try to be as accurate as possible but itineraries and hotels may change, as will the costs involved. Rest assured if you sign up to the Expressions of Interest Form we will keep you posted along the way of all the details.
WHAT KIND OF RIDER
This is not a beginner ride...you need to be comfortable on roads, have a reasonable level of fitness for around 70km daily and able to do some short hills (they get pretty steep). You will also need a good level of fitness for walking around all day in the city. We are very careful to make sure all riders are of a reasonable level of fitness to cope - this has an impact on your enjoyment and others too!
*Wheel Women reserves the right to update and/or alter the terms and conditions and tour inclusions at anytime, and it is the Clients responsibility to be familiar with them.