Cycling in Japan: Break-Away Tour Diary

Nadia Abdul Aziz and Eka Jabar travel wide and far with their bicycles, documenting their experiences in amazing detail through their travel blog, Folding Tales – Stories of Cycling Travel and More. Vivid words, wonderful photography and plenty of practical tips (including Strava routes of their rides) come together to give the reader a front row seat into their travel experiences, all of the riding done on some sort of bicycle that's made to make traveling easier.

For their rides through Japan, Nadia and Eka throw legs over their Ritchey Steel Cross Break-Away bikes. As we say, "The Break-Away isn't a travel bike, but a bike that travels." Traveling by bike allows the traveler to be completely immersed in the local culture – experiencing  life as it happens, interacting with locals and taking in all of the beautiful and unique scenery. With this five-part series, Nadia and Eka explore all of that and more - bringing us along to share the experience.

Below, you'll find an excerpt of each installment of this series and a link that takes you through to the full post on their blog.

All words and photos by Nadia Abdul Aziz and Eka Jabar.

Cycling and exploring Tokushima for the first time

Ritchey Break-Away in Japan

"We all have a great fondness for Japan and her history and all her quirks. Eka and I had not been back for almost two years, and while Maya was in and out of of the country for work multiple times, it is still one of her favourite travel destinations. So off to Japan we went. But the tour itself is a completely different story. Before saying goodbye to our normal creature comforts and traveling purely on two wheels accompanied by whatever we could carry on our bikes, we wanted to take a bit of time to explore Tokushima City, the capital of the Tokushima prefecture on Shikoku Island." More...

Cycling Shikoku, Japan: Part 1 – Journey to the Oboke Gorge

Ritchey Break-Away in Japan

"The Oboke Gorge (大歩危) and the neighboring Koboke Gorge (小歩危) located further downstream, are narrow, steep sided gorges along the Yoshino River that mark the entrance into the Iya Valley. Oboke means “big dangerous steps” and Koboke means “small dangerous steps” as their jagged rock formations make them challenging to navigate through. As treacherous as they might be, the raw and beautiful landscapes draw quite a lot of visitors looking to enjoy the outdoor activities and adventures, especially whitewater rafting and canoeing, or simply taking in a leisurely boat tour." More...

Cycling Shikoku, Japan: Part 2 – Journey to the Shimanto River

Ritchey Break-Away in Japan

"It was approaching lunchtime by the time we hit this coastal stretch, and it was hard not to be distracted by the stunning views of the azure water crashing against the jagged cliffside, illuminated by the golden rays of the sun. It as a glorious day after all, and the threat of rain had yet to manifest. Thankfully we could still enjoy the scenery from the saddle, and continued pedalling until we reached the end, exiting onto the main route to continue to our midday checkpoint." More...

Cycling Shikoku, Japan: Part 3 – Journey to Dogo Onsen

Ritchey Break-Away in Japan

"We soaked ourselves in the luxurious and more private and gender separated bath chambers of Tama-no-Yu, lined with granite and marble. We immersed ourselves in the soul-reviving hot water that is said to be a soothing alkaline blend pumped from eighteen different wells. It was a wonderful moment of relaxation and meditation, and a splendid way to soothe the muscles." More...

Cycling and Island Hopping along Japan's Shimanami Kaido

Ritchey Break-Away in Japan

"You can’t talk about cycle touring in japan without being asked if you’ve done the Shimanami Kaido route. It is admittedly one of the best cycling highways in the world, connecting Honshu Island (mainland Japan) and Shikoku Island, and in between spanning six different islands with breathtaking views of the Seto Inland Sea. It’s a tolled road for cars, but completely free for cyclists." More...