The Japanese Odyssey

September 17th, 2016

An epic, one stage, 2400 km endurance bicycle journey across central Japan.

Start your journey Live tracking - follow the riders !

The Japanese Odyssey

The Japanese Odyssey is a bicycle endurance event.
The second edition will start on Saturday, September 17, 2016. It will lead the riders from Tokyo to Osaka.

While the 2 major cities are only about a few hundred kilometres apart, the imposed detours will take the entrants into remote and mountainous regions. They will go through places of cultural significance to Japanese people. And will experience the magic of the “rural” Japan. They will zig-zag all over the road on steep climbs. They will ride through big cities that may be an assault on their senses, and may possibly lose their way in those densely populated and futuristic downtown areas.
Are you prepared to venture into our new odyssey?

One stage

You will have to go within 14 days through mandatory mountain passes and check points till the finish line in Osaka.
When, where and how long to stop off, that decision is entirely up to you.

Go your route

Apart from the mandatory check points nothing is imposed.
Speed along highways or venture off the beaten track, the choice is yours.


The Japanese Odyssey is a long distance unsupported cycle adventure. We want to ensure equal opportunity for all riders, either local or non-japanese.
This means that private assistance or pre-arranged support are prohibited. You may eat - sleep - and service your bike at places also available to the other riders or at commercial shops.

No stopwatch

The Japanese Odyssey is a demanding adventure. And yet, it is not a competitive event. We definitely don’t see it as a race. Some riders will try to reach Osaka as fast as possible. Others will ride for the sheer pleasure of making it to the finish line. There won’t be any ranking, nor official finishing times. Successful riders will be those who accomplish the course within the 14 days.
And that’s it.

Nothing to win, but so much to experience. Discover the route.

Live tracking

The route

The second edition of the Japanese Odyssey is about taking the entrants up a series of steep and famous climbs in Japan, and getting them to course their way through mountainous areas.

map of Japan


Nihonbashi Bridge will mark the beginning of your adventure. It is the point from which Japanese people measure distances ; what better place to start the Odyssey?

Mt. Azoji

We will ask entrants to ride the full stretch of the unnamed road passing a few miles north on the Mt. Azoji.
Road to Mt. Azoji

Mt. Haruna

Make your way along the several hairpins of Haruna-san by daylight and you'll be rewarded by a beautiful view on Haruna lake.

Mt Kusatsu-Shirane

Mount Kusatsu-Shirane is an active volcano - as such, it offers a surreal, moon-like landscape.

Mt. Norikura

At more than 2700 m elevation, Norikura is the highest you can go by road in Japan. Situated in the heart of the Japanese Alps, Mount Norikura ascent is a grueling, 38 km long climb.

Mt. Nyukasa

Mount Nyukasa is located on the northernmost edge of the Southern Alps.

Mt. Ōdaigahara

Located in the heart of a UNESCO reserve, Mount Ōdaigahara is the highest point in Mie area.

Okawara Pass

You will by-pass Mount Tateshina by the east, and ride towards the Okawara Pass at 2,100m high.

Mt. Ontake

Mt. Ontake is the nation’s tallest active volcano. The peaks offers outstanding panoramic views - if you don't mind the sulfur fumes.

Mt. Sasayama

We will ask entrants to ride the following stretch of Road 332 (in either direction) to validate the control.

Tengu kogen Ski area

Tengu kogen is a renown ski area. Prepare yourself for a steep and twisty ride up. At 1,300 meters high, the rest house at the Tengukogen park station which connects Roads 48 and 383 is your control.


At 1954 meters high, Mount Tsurugi is the second highest mountain on the island of Shikoku. Should the fog lift, you'll be able to enjoy the view on Shikoku incredibly green landscapes.


Your adventure ends in Osaka, Japan’s third largest city. You will have to reach Ebisu-Bashi Bridge on the Dōtonbori district, characterized by its large illuminated billboards and TV screens, all ashing modern commercial messages.We want you to savour and relish the end of your odyssey at the billboard for the confectionery manufacturer company Glico, displaying the image of a runner raising his arms in a victory pose and crossing a nishing line.
It is seen as an icon of Osaka within Japan. For you, it is time to enjoy a well-deserved caramel candy.

It is going to be brutal. It is going to be hard. Are you in?


They roll with us

  • Papersky Magazine
  • Pelago Bicycles
  • Champion System custom apparel
  • Far Ride Magazine, documenting cycling journeys around the world

How about a partnership ?

Organising and directing a successful bicycle adventure event takes a lot of hard work. If you would like more information about sponsoring the Japanese Odyssey, contact us at:


Registration for the second edition of the Japanese Odyssey is closed.

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