We just returned form a 10-day tour of Japan. By we I mean “Wrong Lever” Trevor, Gary Dave-san and Me. Those 10 days went by in a blink, and it was not until I started looking through my photos that it dawned on me how many places we visited, how many great people we met, and how much beer and other delicious Japanese liquors we drank.
There is much that could be written about this trip, but unfortunately there is not enough time to do so properly, and besides you don’t want to read a bunch of boring prose anyway, do you? Let me spare you the trouble by offering up some pretty pictures instead.
When we arrived in Nagoya we had some time to check out Motocross International's new HQ, and then we were taken to dinner at everyone's favorite Chinese restaurant, called Misen.
First, let me introduce you to The Instigator. The Instigator wants you to eat, and he wants you to DRINK. You will do what The Instigator says and you will like it.
The Instigator introduced us to his favorite weapon of choice, affectionately coined "Blue Death" by Trevor. This liquor is neither pure nor blue, but it certainly does accomplish The Instigator's goal of getting everyone smayshed.
The Instigator says "Thank You."
Things started to get a bit fuzzy at this point.
The next day the three of us gave a presentation to about 50 dealers. We talked about what it means to represent Surly in our own words. Mostly we talked about drinking.
And on the next day we took a ride with Circles Bike Shop. This shop is in Nagoya and is one of the best bikes shops in Japan. We rode along the coast until we came to a ferry port. We loaded our bikes on the ferry and headed to a small island to the south of Nagoya.
We ate lunch at a Japanese inn, where we also stayed the night. This inn served some amazing sashimi, octopus and other dishes. Really amazing food. We are so spoiled.
This is Eri and Shinya. Shinya is the owner of Circles Bike Shop. Both Eri and Shinya are amongst my best friends on this planet.
This lovely lady made us cookies. Very nice indeed.
The next morning we woke up really early and got back on the ferry. After the ferry we rode in a van to visit a really amazing bike shop near Nagoya. The name of the shop is Wakka, and is the first pure Surly concept store I have ever heard of.
As you can see they stock a wide variety of our bikes, including lots of our fat bikes.
That Moonlander on the wall features a custom clear over raw paint job that really has to be seen in person to fully appreciate. It also has a number of custom parts on it, like a polished version of our O.D. Crank bash guard.
Wakka only opened about six months ago. I really hope they do well with this.
Next we visited Osaka, and I am sorry to say that I did not take photos, so sorry about that.
After Osaka we went to Kurashiki. FARM Bike Shop is our dealer there, and they were celebrating their 25th year in business.
We took a ride around Kurashiki.
This ride involved a ferry ride across a river.
The next day we embarked on one of the coolest bike rides we have ever done in Japan. We rode the bridge route that goes between Honshu island and Shikoku island. This route is about 80k in distance and requires that you cross five long multi-use bridges.
Here is the first one.
Here is another one from up top.
Here is Trevor signing an autograph. Yes, we did a lot of that on this tour.
Here is the final bridge, as seen just as the sun was setting. What an awesome day on the bike.
And check out this rolling cafe someone made from our Ted Trailer.
Next we headed for Hiroshima. We visited Grumpy's Bike Shop and took a ride from there out to Miyajima.
Getting to Miyajima required another short ride on a ferry.
There is a sacred shrine on Miyajima that features a torii gate in the sea. You can walk out to this gate at low tide.
For our final day we went to Kyoto to visit old friends and ride together. Kyoto is where the whole Surly thing in Japan began, so it's always nice to go back there.
We began the day with a ride to the northern part of Kyoto.
After visiting some sake breweries we visited some temples. This one features more than 10,000 red torii gates that cover a number of paths to the top of a mountain.
Choose your path.
Finally we visited the famous Kiyomizudera temple around sunset.
After that we rode to Muga's bike shop and hung out while getting ready to take the train back to Nagoya.
Thanks to all of the great people who came out to ride, drink and hang out with us on this tour. We could never do this without you!