Japan – conditions of participation
BaltiCCycle (BC) is not a commercial tour, all organizers are volunteers, and the collected registration fee goes only for covering organizational expenses. Each route is different; therefore, it is impossible to work out all details in advance. By joining BC you become a part of the team, and we expect from you goodwill and a right understanding of our principles and rules. Your assistance in organizing the daily program and solving all difficulties is highly appreciated.
Notes. The ride will happen on the conditions we offer below if enough participants – at least 15 covering all parts of the route – register for the tour. We must know it in advance (for booking the ferry, hostels, campsites, car hire, etc.); therefore the deadline for registration is fixed at 31 December 2022, six months before the start day. If we do not collect enough participants the current ride conditions can be changed. After registering you will be regularly informed by email about the registration progress.
The Olympic ride in Japan is scheduled for participants having experience in long-distance travel and harsh cycling-camping conditions. To cycle the whole route is a challenge. You should be prepared for adventures, rough weather conditions, and unexpected obstacles on the road. The ride is open to everybody but before signing you should think about your mental and physical capability to complete it not making problems for yourself and the group.
BC participants gather for the ride from different countries. We recommend bringing on your bike a national flag or another symbol so that local people could see us as an international friendly cycling community. Our Olympic rides are organized under the honorary patronage of the Polish Olympic Committee and we will carry its symbols, too.
Organizational rules. We try to keep our organizational principles similar to the previous BC tours.
- Usually the daily cycling distance does not exceed 80-90 km, in exceptional cases, it will overrun 100 km.
- The rest days are planned once a week or more often if there are famous sights on the route to visit.
- We will try to organize sleeping places in official campsites, when possible we will use wild camping or stay at onsens (hot springs). Some sleeping places are not arranged in advance, and starting in the morning you do not always know where you will sleep at night. The driver of our supported car will look for sleeping places and help us to find them by marking signs or sending messages.
- The maps with a marked day’s route will be available for printing in advance. GPS tracks also will be available for download. Every morning during a map meeting the day’s program will be explained.
- From one sleeping to the next sleeping place you can travel individually or in small groups. When according to the program some common event is planned we will cycle in group wearing T-shirts and other BC symbols.
- Though we will have the support car, you should be ready to carry all your necessary stuff on the bike for a few days. It could happen that the car will be in service or we cannot use it because of another reason. The service of luggage transportation is limited to 25 kg.
- In case of a serious emergency, you can call the driver asking him to transport you to the nearest first aid or service centre. In case of injury, sickness, or other reasons when the participant is not able to continue cycling the organizers can offer to transport the bike and the cyclist for 2-3 days.
- When planning the route, we try to avoid roads with high levels of traffic but not everywhere it is possible. You should be very careful cycling on busy roads. The longer part of the route will go on paved roads but sometimes unpaved dirt roads will be available too. Remember that Japan is the country with left-hand traffic on the road.
Arrival/Departure. Costs of the arrival/departure are not included in the participation fee. You can join and finish the ride at any point of the route, and you have to plan yourself how to do it. There are several airlines that operate direct flights from Europe to Tokyo: Japan Airlines, British Airways, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Finnair, and LOT. Wakkanai, where we start our ride on Hokkaido island, can be reached from Tokyo and Sapporo by All Nippon Airways. An attractive option is to come from Tokyo to the Hokkaido island by ferry Oma-Tomakomai, further to the start point to take a bus or train. You can easily move around Hokkaido by plane, train, or bus, more details are here. If you plan to join us in other parts of Honshu read about transportation in Japan here.
We can pick you up for the additional fee within a radius of 50 km (100 km both ways, 5 € per 10 km). You should contact the ride organizers by phone or email at least two days before. Leaving the intermediate points of the route should be not a problem: the public transport connecting villages with big cities is available almost everywhere on the route; many domestic airports have flights to big towns. Though the ride schedule is fixed the real dates can be slightly shifted (plus/minus 2-3 days) because of bad weather conditions or other unexpected obstacles. Have it in your mind when planning your arrival.
Visas. You have to check if you need visas at your country’s consulate. Your passport should be valid at least 1 year ahead from the start of the ride. You can be asked to show your back ticket and financial sources.
Ferries. We will use the ferry to cross the Tsugaru Strait from Hakodate to Oma. The ticket price is not included in the membership fee, and you have to pay for it during the ride. We will book tickets for the group in advance. The approximate fares for this ferry according to 2022 prices are standard ticket: 2970 ¥ (22 €), bicycle 1190 ¥ (9 €).
Catering. It is highly recommended to bring along a gas stove for preparing meals at campsites. There will be parts of the route without restaurants and supermarkets. Entering unpopulated areas, it will be a possibility to carry some reserve of products as well as drinkable water in our van. If no drinkable water at the campsite, the driver is responsible for carrying water.
Vaccination. You must have a covid passport confirming three does or the PCR test, details Information about Border Measure against COVID and Laboratories for PCR test (English translation at the bottom). Bring with you the International Certificate of Vaccination (the yellow booklet) with the necessary confirmations. The vaccination/medicine to be active must be taken a few weeks before your start. No obligatory vaccinations (except covid) to enter Japan, but there are some recommended (consult your local vaccination centre): hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, typhoid Japanese encephalitis, whooping cough, tick-borne encephalitis; and preventive healthcare: rabies.
Necessary equipment and documents:
- bicycle prepared for long travel (carriers with panniers or saddlebags, safe brakes, reflectors, and light); click here for the recommendations on how to prepare the bike;
- good bike wear for different weather conditions and sun protection creams;
- cyclist first-aid kit (some tools will be available in the support car);
- first-aid kit (more medicines in the support car);
- mosquito net and insect repellents;
- valid passport (at least 1 year ahead) with visa if necessary;
- INDIVIDUAL MEDICAL and TRAVEL INSURANCE is obligatory, no group insurance is provided;
- camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, mat, gas stove, light, etc.);
- money for personal expenses i.e. bicycle repair, food, museums, onsens, ferry and others);
- mobile phone;
- GPS navigation device.
Children until 18. Children can take part in the ride only together with parents (one or both) or another adult who is authorized by the notary to take care and is fully responsible for the juvenile.
Luggage transport. We strongly recommend carrying all necessary personal stuff in the panniers on your bike. The service of luggage transportation by the support car is limited to 25 kg; it is included in the registration fee. You should be ready to carry all your stuff for a few days on the bike in case of problems with our support car or some other unexpected circumstances. If you plan to transport luggage over 25 kg (altogether not more than 40 kg) in the support car you have to indicate when registering and pay in advance (2 € per diem). Neither organizers nor drivers are responsible for the safety of your luggage. You should insure your luggage personally.
Membership fee. We fixed a variable membership fee, from 30 € to 27 € per diem, depending on the number of your participation days. In this way, we support those who are going longer distances. The participation fee for the first 30 days of travel is fixed at 30 € per diem, after that 27 € per diem.
You have to indicate the number of days you plan to travel in the table of the Registration Form, and your membership fee will be counted automatically. To organize the whole event with less trouble we ask everybody who has the intention to take part in the expedition to fill out the registration form as soon as possible.If the registration and the half of membership fee are not received until December 31, 2022, the whole fee increases by 10% automatically as well as all discounts are canceled. The second half of the participation fee must be paid before June 1, 2023; otherwise, it increases by 10% as well.
The membership fee will not be required from those local cyclists who help in organizing the ride. They have to cover only the sleeping costs. The organizers will appreciate it if local participants will purchase a package with ride symbols (T-shirts, flag and sticker).
The membership fee includes:
- sleeping places for tent under simple conditions (drinking water, waste baskets) in wild campsites or in private land as well as in fully equipped official campsites or hostels when outdoor camping is not available;
- car following the group with a first-aid kit and basic bicycle repair instruments and tools; possibility to call the car in case of emergency;
- transportation of 25 kg luggage;
- GPS tracks for downloading, copies of maps with the marked route for printing; a list of recommended sights as well as a short description, daily consultation regarding the route and cultural program;;
- T-shirts (for more than 20-days participation), flag, and sticker with BC2023 ride symbols;
- cosy surprises prepared by organizers or local authorities.
Discounts. The discounts are applicable only if the Registration Form and at least the half of membership fee is received no later than December 31, 2022. Discounts don’t accumulate.
- 10% – for students (until 26 years old), families (3 and more persons), and BC veterans who cycled more than 100 days in the previous BC tours. If a cyclist reaches 100 BC days during the ride, the discount is counted for the remaining days.
- Participants who obtain potential sponsors or support organizers before or during the expedition in another way (preparing descriptions, finding sleeping places, medical care, bike service, etc.) will receive a privilege discount negotiated personally.
Additional paid service (optional):
booked by registration;
- transportation of additional personal luggage (not exceeding 15 kg – 2 € per diem);
- T-shirt with the logo of the ride – additional or for participants cycling 20 or fewer days – 20 €;
booked during the ride:
- possibility to use transport of organizers for arrival/departure to/from the ride in the radius of 50 km (5 € per 10 km).
Resignation rules. The date of resignation is fixed up when the resignation letter is received by organizers: before the ride by email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, during the ride, it should be delivered to the leaders of the expedition and confirmed by them. The date is important because it determines the amount of refund. The membership fee for the travel days exceeding 30 days after the resignation date is fully returned, and for the first 30 days are returned in the following manner:
- up to 60 days before the start – 100%;
- 10-60 days before the start – 70%;
- less than 10 days before the start – no money repaid, however, 70% are deposited in the participant’s account for the next year’s BC tour;
- after 20 and more days of cycling – 80% of unused money (for the first 20 days no refund);
- money is paid back under mentioned above circumstances within 30 days after the end of the expedition;
- money is not paid back for the excluded from the tour participants;
- if you decide to change the sleeping place provided by the organizers to another, you will yourself cover the cost for it, the organizers don’t give money back if you don’t sleep with a group;
- if due to some reasons the participant separates from the group for one or more days (nights) no refund for this lost time is applicable.
- GMPR Lithuanian Fund: +37068659375, firstname.lastname@example.org, Sigitas Kučas;
- CROTOS – The Travellers’ Association: +48 604 255 722, email@example.com, Maryla Zielińska.