|(above) tourists' messages posted on hotel wall
When riding across Japan, the northenmost point is Cape Soya, and southenmost is Cape Sata. At Sata-Misaki Hotel, the lobby wall is full of the messages posted by the cyclists that completed the journey. As for BIKE ACROSS JAPAN, expecting south wind, the route starts from the sourthenmost Cape Sata and head north, through 16 prefectures en route.
BAJ route features scenic ocean views throughout the island nation of Japan. Once you start Cape Sata overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you will see Mt Kaimondake and Sakurajima island over Kinko Bay (Kagoshima Bay). You will then aboard the ferry to cross Bungo channel which takes you from Kyushu to Shikoku. Then the route from the island of Shikoku to the main island of Japan, Honshu, takes riders through Shimanami Kaido, passing over many small islands of Seto Island Sea. When hitting the sea of Japan at Wakasa bay, it barely marks the first 800km of the travel. Then ride along the long coast heading north for almost 1000km, you'll finally leave Honshu by the ferry across Tsugaru Straight onto the northen island of Hokkaido. At this point, only 600km to reach the finish point at the Sea of Okhotsk. The route avoids Japan's mountainous areas, but there are lots of small hills and nameless ups and downs.
Route goes through these prefectures:
Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Oita, Ehime, Hiroshima, Okayama, Hyogo, Kyoto, Fukui, Ishikawa, Toyama, Niigata, Yamagata, Akita, Aomori, Hokkaido
Route last checked by organizer: No.1-157 in late May 2015, No.157-229 in late September 2015, and No.229-261 in July 2015.
- No preride is planned just before the event. Beware that roads and landmarks in the cue cheet can be changed or gone. Unexpected road constructions may block the route. Usually a sign showing a detour route is available but that's not always the case, but there will be no official instruction by the organizer. Each rider is expected to make appropriate judgement, just as in a self-planned personal travel. To make this easier the route uses main roads which also means heavy traffic in some locations.
- No Bicycle / Bicycle prohibited
Some sections along the route include roads where bicycle traffic is prohibited. These sections are marked in the cue sheet to use frontage roads (proceed slowly on sidewalk at one section in Fukuyama city). Be noted of such cases especially if for those planning to use GPS for navigation. Be aware of these traffic signs listed below.
| Bicycle prohibited
| Vehicle prohibited
|No vehicle entry
Do not enter
- "Passage Check" on cue sheet is just like other PC (Controls) except there're no open or close time set. The time indicated in the cue sheet for passage is only for reference.
- If a convenience store is designated as passage check, make any purchase and keep the receipt as a proof of transit.
- No.258 "Kouhone no ie" is a photo control.
Take photo showing the sign "Kouhone no ie (こうほねの家)" and your bicycle.
- Send mail with photo attached to : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Before: May10 (Tue) hard-deadline
- Subject: Check Photo
- Make sure to include your full name in the mail. Mail with no name will be disregarded.
| ▲Kouhone-no-ie (こうほねの家) sign and bicycle
(photo by: T.Otsuka)
| ▲sign on the left side of the road before arriving at Kouhone-no-ie
- There will be no staff. As a proof of arrival, do one of the following:
- Obtain receipt at any of the nearby shops (make sure date/time is printed). Certificate of footage at northenmost last also accepted (with date/time stamp)
- Take photo of Soya Misaki Ryuhyokan souvenir shop including the wall clock and your bike. The phone can substitute the receipt.
When using photo as a proof, send it with Kohone-no-ie photo.
| ▲Japan's northenmost monument
|| ▲Soya Misaki Ryuhyokan (photo:Y.Ochiai)
- The route include two ferry sections. The distance is not accumulated but the clock keeps ticking, but it can be a good napping time. Plan your boarding schedule accordingly and you are responsible for getting your own tickets
Caution You can take your bicycle without bagging/boxing it, but there's a maximum number of bicycles that can go aboard ferry. In case the number of bicycles exceeds the limit, you may need to bag/box your bicycle to have it treated as hand luggage.
- Usuki - Yawatahama (No.29 - No.30)
There are two ferry operators: 94 Orange Ferry and Uwajima transportation Ferry.
Both are located in the same place. You can use either one.
Maximum number of bicycles allowed varies by ship but approximately upto 15. Reservation by the day before is preferred
- Aomori - Hakodate (No.225 - No.226)
There are two ferry operators: Seikan Ferry and Tsugaru Kaikyo Ferry.
Both are located in the same place when boarding, but arrives at different locations in Hakodate.
No.226 on Cue Sheet is based on Tsugaru Kaikyo Ferry. If Seikan Ferry is used, take any route to Passage Check (Control 19) which is a convenience store Sankus
Alternatively, train is available between Aomori and Hakodate to get across Tsugaru Straight. Taking train may be required when the ferry is cancelled due to weather conditions. You still need to go through Passage Check (Control 19) even in this case.
Resting places (lodging)
- There will be no official lodging provided. You are responsible to plan accordingly.
BAJ route goes through many cities purposely so that you can book your lodging based on your schedule and needs.
- There will be no drop bag service.
- Courier services in Japan are reliable. Most parcels arrive next day or the day after throughout the nation. You can choose delivery time, and even pick-up your parcel at designated delivery office (some are open 24 hours).