Moving to Fukushima.

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
423
79
48
Fukushima
#1
Hi. I'm moving to Fukushima in two months. I started riding road bikes a few months ago, and I plan on taking my shoes, pedals, saddle, shorts, gloves, etc, and buying a newer, nicer road bike when I get to Japan. Anything I should know when doing so? I know that the MSRP of a Trek 2.1 is about $600 more in Japan than in the US, so I wonder if I should order it from the states and ship it (shipping couldn't be more than $300, could it?), or get it fitted while I'm in Japan (won't have the money until I'm in Japan!), and just pay the extra 60,000 yen.

What sort of climbing should I expect on a daily basis, if I ride my bike to work? I'll be in the Aizu region. Apparently I'm going to need to get some winter riding gear, too...
 

Velo-X

Warming-Up
Sep 23, 2009
22
0
0
Tokyo - Mitaka
#2
I moved to Japan last Fall and found it difficult to find a bike in my size. I'm 5'11" and ride a 56 cm frame. I also found the prices in the US to be a lot cheaper. I ended up buying a bike in the US and bringing it along on the plane as checked baggage. The bike shop where I bought it boxed it up nicely for me and United Airlines only charged me a special fee of $50.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#4
Had my Pinarello custom order here to Japan through a bike store, I was lucky that it only took two weeks but I've been quoted up to 5 months on some frames.

Buy in the US and bring to Japan, cheaper, easier and you'll understand what they are talking about!
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,582
1,271
133
Niigata
#5
Fukushima has some of the best cycling you'll find in Japan. Some fantastic mountain passes and beautiful roads around lakes. Quite a few hidden roads too. In the winter skiing takes over. If you want to continue cycling, you'll be on the trainer or taking the train to the east coast.

There are a few events. Aizu hill climb was last weekend. There is also the Ura Bandai hill climb which is a nice one.

http://www.kitashiobara.com/shokokai/hillclimb/

All in all, a great place for cycling!

Andy
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,582
1,271
133
Niigata
#6
PS - I'd recommend buying your frame and forks in the US and carrying them with you. Box up the bike well and you can put it in with your suitcases as "sports equipement". Parts you can do when you get the bike built up in Japan.

Andy
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#7
Andy, you seem to know about every race in japan. Do you know of any more hill climbs this year? I'm in the Utsukushi ga hara and the one you posted above looks very interesting.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,582
1,271
133
Niigata
#8
Mike,

There are so many hill climb races in Japan. Unfortunately the village series run by Kodoma san aren’t running this year, but there are still lots to choose from.

The place to look is Sports Entry.

http://www.sportsentry.ne.jp/search.php?ct=c

However, some of the more local races still organize applications by themselves.

Next month I’ll do 2 hill climbs:

Tsugaike (effectively the Japanese hill climb championships with a mass start race and then a TT for the top 100 in the race)

http://www.tsugaike.gr.jp/cycle/

And Norikura skyline.

http://www.gifu-np.co.jp/hillclimb/

A good warm up to the other big Norikura race in August is Yunotani

http://www.niigata-kankou.or.jp/uonuma/kyoukai/event/3289.html

Unfortunately it clashes with Chokai san this year. Chokai is great because of the Saturday TT before Sunday’s HC and the atmosphere - everyone camps on the “village green” where they have entertainment and an onsen is nearby)

http://www.city.yurihonjo.akita.jp/yashima/roadrace/cycle hp/top/roadrace.index.htm

In September I’ll do 2 more:

Yahiko (2009 details):

http://www.e-yahiko.com/2009hillclimb.htm

Yahiko is a great place to visit (I got married there!) with fantastic views. I was up there just yesterday:

www.jyonnobitime.com/time

And Sado:

http://www.e-sadonet.tv/~hill-climb/

Which I would definitely combine with a loop of the island.

Anyway, just a few ideas. It would be nice to have a place on this site to upload race details for a comprehensive race directory! Worth thinking about!

Andy
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
423
79
48
Fukushima
#9
Buy in the US and bring to Japan, cheaper, easier and you'll understand what they are talking about!
I speak Japanese.

Five months for them to get a frame to you? That's...excessive.

I would be buying it in the US but my current job is minimum wage, and I have to save $2000 to take with me to cover my first month... I have $1300 so far, and two months left to go.
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
423
79
48
Fukushima
#10
Fukushima has some of the best cycling you'll find in Japan. Some fantastic mountain passes and beautiful roads around lakes. Quite a few hidden roads too. In the winter skiing takes over. If you want to continue cycling, you'll be on the trainer or taking the train to the east coast.

There are a few events. Aizu hill climb was last weekend. There is also the Ura Bandai hill climb which is a nice one.

http://www.kitashiobara.com/shokokai/hillclimb/

All in all, a great place for cycling!

Andy

16 km... and 580 meters of climbing. Sounds...fun.

I've only been riding for road bikes for a few months and I'm 85 KG (with about 8 KG of that being excess baggage), so I don't think I'll be doing any hill climbs for a while...hehe

My idea of a hard climb is 580 meters long, and 16 meters tall :D
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#11
I've only been riding for road bikes for a few months and I'm 85 KG (with about 8 KG of that being excess baggage), so I don't think I'll be doing any hill climbs for a while...hehe
I wasn't far off that myself 4 months ago! 89kg in Jan. Hill climbs will eat the pounds very quickly! I hate hill climbs but slowly learning to enjoy them.... for me I've found the longer the better but I force myself to do repeats on a 1.2km climb with an average of 13% gradient.

Stick in there mate!
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
423
79
48
Fukushima
#12
I actually enjoy climbing, in small amounts... I used to dread it since I could only stand for a few seconds before my legs start to give out, now I can go for a few...minutes. But my flat ground speed after the climb suffers the longer I stand... hehe
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
423
79
48
Fukushima
#13
Just found out that the Trek helmet I want costs 100% more in Japan than it does in the US... guess that's the last big thing I'll be spending money on before I leave. I can kind of justify the expenditure already since my $25 Walmart helmets' airflow is so bad that it leaves me literally dripping in sweat after 20 minutes of riding...