The Japanese Odyssey is an endurance cycling event.
It is not a race.
It’s about discovery, about exploration, about challenging yourself.
A bit of history
2015 – Four pioneer
The first Japanese Odyssey was launched with minimal communication.
We selected 4 checkpoints, and the route was going to take the riders from Sapporo to Kagoshima, crossing all Japan, North to South.
We hadn’t any partners at the time and counted on word of mouth to get our event noticed.
Four pioneers answered our call, an so went our first foray into endurance riding.
Sapporo – Kagoshima – approx. 3200 km – 25000 m vertical ascent
2016 – Year of the typhoon
For 2016, we got inspired by the Nihon Hyaku-meizan – a book listing 100 remarquable mountains.
So we selected 13 checkpoints, all high-altitude passes and mountainous areas.
With a little less distance but a lot more vertical ascent, that would be an Odyssey for the climbers.
But typhoons got in the way, and riding in the non-stop torrential rain proved to be the real difficulty.
Tokyo – Osaka – approx. 2800 km – 35000 m vertical ascent
2017 – Where is the road?
During the previous years, we realised that the roads we enjoyed the most were the small, remote, secondary roads ; usually the one we encountered when we got lost.
So we decided to take the riders on those.
We set up segments instead of checkpoints, forcing the riders to take the roads we selected.
This edition promised to be the wildest and more exotic so far.
But unseasonal heavy rains hit Japan a few weeks before the event, and damaged severely some backroads ; to the point that some of our selected segments proved themselves unrideable.
Our motto « be prepared » took another turn as the riders and the organisers had to improvise on the fly to pursue their ride toward Kitakyushu.
Tokyo – Kitakyushu – approx. 3700 km – 38000 m vertical ascent
2018 – The hidden Rindo
The fourth Japanese Odyssey marked a turn in the history of the event. We took the best elements of previous editions, and packaged it in a more refined version.
For the first time, the Odyssey would be a loop, starting and ending in Tokyo, under the Nihonbashi, kilometer zero of Japanese maps.
12 checkpoints, all in small, forest roads (Japanese call them rindo), located in beautiful areas, where the riders could enjoy the stupendous autumnal colours only Japan can offer, while still enduring some seriously challenging climbs.
All in a shorter period of time, upping the challenge a notch.
Tokyo – Tokyo – approx. 2600 km – 32000 m vertical ascent