Japan by Bicycle

Watch the full documentary now completely free!

Brief Summary

1 month after the 2011 Japan earthquake, 3 adventurers cycled the whole country to raise relief aid. Watch the complete Japan by Bicycle film here free.

View the 60sec Trailer

Brief Summary

1 month after the 2011 Japan earthquake, 3 adventurers cycled the whole country to raise relief aid. Watch the complete Japan by Bicycle film here free.

View the 60sec Trailer

Free Japan By Bicycle eBook

  • 300+ Pages
  • 600+ Photos
  • Complete Trip Journal
  • Maps and Videos
  • Bonus sidebar content in every chapter
  • Beautifully designed
Also available for Kindle for $2.99 on Amazon.com

Download all the Japan by Bicycle media

  • Premium Bundle
    Premium Bundle

    Original Soundtrack, detailed route map, How to Get Yourself to Japan eBook, and Japan by Bicycle eBook. $19.50 value for only $11.50

    $11.50
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  • Japan by Bicycle Soundtrack + Bonus Tracks (royalty free)
    Japan by Bicycle Soundtrack + Bonus Tracks (royalty free)

    Use the music of J by B in your own YT videos royalty free. Downlaod all 9 sublime tracks heard in the documentary plus extra 5 bonus tracks. Also, great focus music for work or studying.

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  • Detailed Route Map Pack
    Detailed Route Map Pack

    14 hi-res maps showing every road, junction, and lodging location of Japan by Bicycle. Includes route photos and close-ups of Nagasaki and Hiroshima memorials. Formatted for easy printing.

    $4.50
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  • How to Get Yourself to Japan eBook
    How to Get Yourself to Japan eBook

    Everything you need to know to move to Japan (or even just have an awesome vacation). Topics covered: the opportunities and options, visas, employment, language learning, vacations and more.

    $8.50
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In the Press

Videos

Japanese Interview with Brad from Bradford

Andrew’s Japanese Interview with Brad from Bradford (English subs)

JbyB on Brad from Bradford

Brad from Bradford talks about J by B (Japanese with Eng Subs)

Gimme A Breakman Interview

Gimme A Break Man interviews J by B team

Podcasts

Just Japan Podcast Logo

Just Japan Podcast


News & Other Sites

J by B in The Japan Times (NY Times of Japan)

J by B in The Japan Times (NY Times of Japan)

Japan Times PDF

PDF of print article in The Japan Times

J by B on Japan Today

J by B in Japan Today

J by B in the South Portland Sentry

J by B in the South Portland Sentry

Stars and Stripes Kanto

J by B in Stars and Stripes Kanto

Stars and Stripes Okinawa

J by B in Stars and Stripes Okinawa

Top Documentary Films

Listed on Top Documentary Films

Blogs

J by B on Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi  Blog

J by B on Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi Blog

J by B on Japan Tourist Blog

J by B on Japan Tourist Blog

J by B on the Adventure Cycling Blog

J by B on the Adventure Cycling Blog

Japan by Bicycle on Rocket News 24

J by B on Rocket News 24

J by B listed on Pray for Japan

J by B listed on Pray for Japan

J by B on Panda Cycles Blog

J by B on Panda Cycles Blog (German)

J by B featured on 外国から見た日本

J by B featured on 外国から見た日本 (this blog post got over 35,000 views in Japan)

J by B on Tokyo Tako

J by B on Tokyo Tako

J by B on Japanzine

J by B on Japanzine

J by B onBaik Bike

J by B onBaik Bike

J by B on As We Travel

Pre-trip post on As We Travel

J by B on Pause The Moment

Pre-trip post on PTM

J by B on Kawaii And Co (French)

J by B on Kawaii And Co (French)

Read the original trip journal entries that we published from the road here.

About the Trip

Group Skype

Time zone differences between Japan, Canada, and the USA made for some sleep-deprived Skype chats.

After living in Japan for over two years, I decided to return to America. To end my time in Japan, I cycled the entire country from south to north with my friends Scott and Dylan. At night we camped or stayed with hosts. Our route stretched over 3500 km and took 43 days. One month before the trip began, an earthquake and tsunami devastated the country. To help, we turned the trip into a fund-raiser. Our goal was to raise $10,000 of relief aid. By the time we crossed the finish line, over $13,500 had been given. Completing this trip was one of my major life goals. It taught me the value of big dreams, good friends, and perseverance. This ride will always be one of my best memories.

Why cycle all of Japan?

The short and philosophical answer: Because pursuing big goals is essential to realizing your capabilities and pushing your boundaries further.

The long and quasi-logical answer: The idea of propelling myself the length of Japan started in college (that’s “university” for the non-US crowd) when watching the documentary “Kintaro Walks Japan” (available on YouTube here) in which Tyler MacNiven stepped his way from Cape Sata, the southernmost point of the Japan, to Cape Soya, the northernmost point. At that time I was mostly focused on my goal of moving to Japan to live and work, but the idea of traversing the whole country was still simmering in the back of my mind. Then in 2008 I found out that another hiker, Craig Stanton, had walked a similar South to North route, blogging the whole way on his site One Man Walking. Entranced, I read every entry on the site and even contacted Craig asking for more info. He was very helpful, encouraging me that I could do the same thing if I put my mind to it.

Five days after graduation in 2009, I went to Tokyo with zero Japanese ability, a backpack, and a deep love of ramen noodles. In three weeks I received four job offers, moved to Fukuoka Prefecture and “made it” in Japan. For two years I taught English, traveled all over the country, and learned to read and write (in Japanese). I’ve gone into much deeper detail about the nuts and bolts of moving to Japan in the book “How to Get Yourself to Japan” which you can download above (be sure to use the discount code “Ramen9000”). I realized that without consciously making it a goal, I had started assuming that  someday I wanted to undertake a similar journey as Tyler and Craig. From then on I put it on my list of life-goals and looked for an opportunity. Such a chance came up when my fiancée, another second year English teacher in Fukuoka, and I decided not to renew our contracts for a third year teaching. Both our visas expired in August, but my contract ran out in March. Suddenly, all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place. The trips Craig and Tyler took definitely impacted my life. They seem like two fairly easy-going, self-motivated guys who decided they could do something awesome. If they could do it, why not me? Setting big goals is scary stuff. “What if it doesn’t happen? What if I try and fail?“ Thoughts like these can play on the mind. It was important to me to show myself what I was capable of accomplishing, where my limits were, and areas I could improve.

The decision to travel by bicycle was because I’m too impatient to walk, and backpacks are uncomfortable. ^_^

Meet the Team

Although we will ride together, we have each prepared for the ride in unique ways. To fund and make time for the trip Dylan did drug testing, Scott took a leave from his career, and I am just trying to capitalize on a gap between country residencies and occupations. Here is more from each of us:

Andrew at the Floating Torii Andrew Palm Jump in Indonesia Andrew at the Portland Headlight Andrew Impresses Kids in Korea Andrew non-verbally confirms he is a Gundam Wing nerd.

Andrew

One day, little scrawny seventh grade Andy said to himself while watching his favorite television show, “Man, Dragonball Z is the bomb! I want to learn more about the culture from which it came! I wonder if mushroom hair cuts are still cool because I have one!” Now, after living in Japan for the past two years as an English teacher, I have gotten my fill of this unique culture and intend to end my time here with style. I am especially eager to cycle through the areas North of Tokyo since it’s less tourist-influenced and more rural. My greatest fear regarding the trip is that the three of us will overuse some dumb catchphrase and forever after draw a mental connection between “I’m down with that” to eating cheap noodles.

Name: Andrew Delbert Marston
Riding Name: Crash
Country Trained In: Japan
Favorite Color: Green (used to be Blue)
University Degree: Photography and Graphic Design at Taylor University
Occupation: Photographer and Designer
3 Words to Describe You: Creative – Friendly – Focused
Foods You Don’t Like: Boiled chicken feet
Pet Peeve: Dirty dishes and/or Slow Internet
Favorite Book: All Creatures Great and Small by James Harriet
Favorite Movie: Kung Fu Panda
Favorite Music: Audio-books appeal to my obsessions with time-management. Also, ambient and electronic music such as The Album LeafEluvium, and MutemathAnd my singer-songwriter father, Frank Marston.
Hobbies/Interests: Photography, the outdoors, technology, culture, time management, ultimate frisbee, studying Japanese
Embarrassing Moment: In third grade, while casually crawling over to play Legos in the popular kids corner during story time, I inadvertently farted so vehemently that the teacher stopped reading to ask if I was alright.
Secret Passion: UFO Catcher (Japanese Crane game)
Marital Status: Engaged
Irrational Fears: Leeches freak me out
Secret Abilities: Accordion, juggling, sleeping with eyes open
Japanese Language Proficiency: Intermediate listening and reading, Advanced beginner speaking and writing
Greatest Athletic Achievement Before Biking Japan: 4x400m and 4x800m relay at NAIA track nationals in college

Scott on Katahdin Scott in Korea Scott Hiking in Rockies DJ Scott takes over Korea Scott being a DJ at a rave

Scott

My reasons for joining Andrew and Dylan on this trip are threefold: 1. I love sushi and sake, 2. I need an adventure, and 3. I haven’t seriously worked out since college and need to get in shape! There’s so much about this trip to look forward to. I can’t wait to see all the mountains, cool cities, delicious food, beautiful coastline, and rural villages. I’m also looking forward to the quality dude time, which of course leads me to my biggest fear about the trip – the stank. This whole camping 6 days a week and occasional showering while biking 75 miles a day thing has me worried! Bike breakdowns can be fixed, but body odor has to be tolerated.

Name: Scott Russell Keenan
Riding Name: Calves
Country Trained In: U.S.A.
Favorite Color: Green (never was Blue)
University Degree: Chemistry with Economics minor at Hillsdale College
Occupation: Environmental Consultant
3 Words to Describe You: Obsessive – Scatterbrained – Hungry
Foods You Don’t Like: Bell peppers
Pet Peeve: Other people chewing
Favorite Book: Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
Favorite Movie: The Lives of Others
Favorite Music: Radiohead, UK Garage, and New Minimal House Hobbies/Interests: Music, music, music, music (i.e., listening, sharing, making, and going to shows)
Embarrassing Moment: While performing a solo that was way too high for me in a high school Gilbert & Sullivan play, I had the most horrific voice crack you’ve ever heard: “deeds OF derring-do” (on the word “of” my voice jumped about 2.3791 octaves and 8 decibels. Be glad you weren’t there.)
Secret Passion: Alison Krauss (I know she’s way too old, but that voice!!)
Marital Status: Single Irrational Fears: Going deaf
Secret Abilities: Improving other people’s music taste, clapping with one hand, sleeping with eyes open
Japanese Language Proficiency: Negative
Greatest Athletic Achievement Before Biking Japan: winning the Shep Olympics and not getting cut from a NCAA DII track team

Dylan Fixing Something Dylan and Andrew Skype Chatting Dylan at a Running Event Dylan in Antlers Dylan is from Canada

Dylan

Japan and I have had a relationship of extremes. Pretty much from the first I heard of it, I have been fascinated by the country, and over the years, I have fostered an increasing desire to go and spend some time there. Unfortunately, this has been coupled with a series of roadblocks and setbacks – everything from exchanges being canceled, to getting painfully close to scoring a government job placement, to nearly going broke in Japan trying to find a job. All this culminated in a horrible fiery work visa debacle that almost got me deported. After that, me and Japan decided it would be best if we spent some time apart, saw other people, and work through our issues. Two years later, this trip marks the beginning of our reconciliation. I have high hopes that this trip will be some kind of defining moment in my life or something, but even if it isn’t, it’ll definitely be an exhilarating, sweaty, amazing way to experience Japan.

Name: Dylan Charles Wilson Gunning (yeah, it’s a mouthful)
Riding Name: Spock
Country Trained In: Canada
Favorite Color: Teal (best of both worlds)
University Degree: Applied Linguistics at University of Victoria Occupation: English Teacher
3 Words to Describe You: Inquisitive – Passionate – Unfocused
Foods You Don’t Like: Coffee
Pet Peeve: People wasting food.
Favorite Book: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Favorite Movie: The Man Who Wasn’t There
Favorite Music: The Magnetic Fields, The Weakerthans, Shoegaze, Nosie / Post-rock
Hobbies/Interests: Cooking from scratch, watching anime, taking things apart and then putting them back together, learning new things
Embarrassing Moment: When I was about eight, I sleepwalked up to the front door, glanced at my parents in the living room, and bolted outside. Apparently I desperately needed to catch the schoolbus, and it didn’t matter to me that it was the middle of the night, or that I was completely naked. My Dad caught up with me a couple houses down the street and dragged me back home.
Secret Passion: Reading Wikipedia (honestly, hours at a time)
Marital Status: Married
Irrational Fears: Mold
Secret Ability: Rock climbing, parallel parking, sleeping (with eyes closed) anywhere, any time.
Japanese Language Proficiency: Never good enough. Intermediate pronunciation with beginner content.
Greatest Athletic Achievement Before Biking Japan: Biking around 1000km solo from Victoria, BC to George, WA and back, passing up and over the Cascade Mountains on the way.

© 2013 Andrew Marston. Site designed by Andrew Marston, developed by Sagar Seth