Project Bikepacking Japan 2016

I have been planning this trip for nearly a year now, and two weeks ago, I took one more step towards it:

The project

To spend 7 weeks cycling Japan’s countryside, from South to North, during Hanami
 I’ll share this adventure with my friend and former colleague G, who’s an experienced traveler.

What it means

  • I had to free up some time at work in the form of a leave of absence. One of the perks of working with great people is that they will bend over backwards to make your dream come true, and it’s definitively not part of their job description.
  • I’m learning Japanese. It’s not gonna be much, but one of my regret during previous trips was to not be able to communicate more with peoples we would meet. I’ll try to fix that. So I’m doing 2 hours immersion class per week for 8 weeks and might take some one to one class before the trip to work the specifics.
  • A 7 weeks unsupported bike trip is something that requires some preparation. I’ll use my trusted Orange Mécanique and reuse a lot of equipment I’ve been testing this year. From the sleeping bag I used during my hike in NY to clothes I wore during my long randonneuring excursions.
  • And most of all, I’ll leave C behind, alone, for an extended period of time. She might be very understanding, this is still a hard thing to do, for both of us. We used to be separated for long periods of time. But since we moved to Canada, we hardly stay away from each other for more than one night. She’s the rock, the safe place I could rely on during the hard time of our integration in a foreign culture and leaving her alone now will always feel like I’m ripping something apart.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Originally published at on November 14, 2015.