Just when you think you're tough enough


The Japanese Odyssey: Ultra-cycling 2700km in 14 days

Japanese Odyssey

The Japanese Odyssey is a bicycle endurance event starting in Sapporo on Hokkaido and covers the four major Japanese islands to Kagoshima in the South. Entrants will be riding approximately 2700 km across various landscapes offering spectacular sceneries.

But it is more than a race. It is an adventure, one’s own adventure. So get ready to experience inspiring cycling moments.

Success in the event is measured by its completion in 14 days, make it within the time limit and you are a winner.

One stage

You will have to go within a time limit through a few mandatory mountain passes and check points till the finish line on Kyushu. Where, when and how long to stop off, that decision is entirely up to you.

You will be able to see how others are doing on the Strava club linked here.

Go your route

Japan is an amazing country. The Japanese Odyssey will take you on a journey through many cultural and scenic landmarks. Apart from the compulsory check points, nothing is imposed. Follow the route of your choice. And why wouldn’t you alternate those straightforward but hectic motorways with more mind relaxing one-lane roads

Japanese Odyssey Scene
Image from Japanese Odyssey/Facebook


The Japanese Odyssey is a long distance unsupported cycle adventure. The organisers want to ensure equal opportunity for all riders, either local or non-japanese.
That means :

  • 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, not deemed as a race. It is about performance for sure, about challenging yourself. But there won’t be any ranking nor official finishing times. Successful riders will be those who accomplish the course within the time limit. And that’s it.

Japanese Odyssey Map

The Route


  • The capital of Hokkaido, and Japan’s fifth largest city. We hope to start the event in Odori Park, that stretches over 12 city blocks and separates the downtown city into north and south.

Shiretoko Pass

  • Located on route 334 on the far east of Hokkaido. With 738 m above sea level, it connects Utoro with Rausu, and offers spectacular views of a preserved mountainous area.

Norikura Pass

  • Prepare to exhaust yourself. At more than 2700 m elevation, Norikura is the highest you can go by road in Japan. Situated in Gifu in the heart of the Japanese Alps, Mount Norikura ascent is more than 38 km long, through zigzags and hairpin bends.
  • Get prepared, view the google map here.
Norikura Pass on the Japanese Odyssey. Image from Google Maps
Norikura Pass on the Japanese Odyssey. Image from Google Maps

Mount Aso Pass

  • Mount Aso is an active volcano in central Kyushu. The island offers an incredible variety of landscapes, but also epic ups-and-downs.
  • View Google map here.
Mount Aso on the Japanese Odyssey. Image from Google Maps
Mount Aso on the Japanese Odyssey. Image from Google Maps

Cape Sata

  • It is the southernmost point of Kyushu, and the end of mainland Japan. This remote place will probably make you feel being at the world’s end.


  • That’s where your adventure ends. You made it. Congrats.

Travel advise

 The organisers advises  that the Japanese Odyssey will take you on Japan’s main islands which are connected by tunnels and bridges. However, some of these bridges do not allow bicycles, therefore you will then need to use ferry services on routes like the Hakodate – Aomori,  Tomakomai – Hachinohe, Wakayama – Tokushima and Yawatahama – Usuki.

Keep in mind that you need to carry your bike in a bag in all trains, and in some ferries. Take one or both wheels off, to pack it. You can find small and light bags at any bicycle shop for approx. 4,000Yen.

For more details, follow Japanese Odyssey on Facebook.