Japan Trip - Keirin & Suggestions?

What’s up FOA crew?

So I’m going on to Yokohama in August for an event with 5 or 6 other people, and I thought I’d turn it into a full fledge holiday. I want to see as much of the country as possible. Planning on staying 2-3 weeks. We’ll be in Yokohama for minimum 4 Days. Possibly booking an AirBnB house for up to 10 days. Is Yokohama a good place to go on day trips? should we ditch the Yokohama accomodation or is it a good city to take day trips from

We’re a very diverse group, I think people will be doing their own thing alot of the time. But sharing accomodation seems to be a sensible thing to do. Everyone is staying a different lenght of time.

There’s only 2 things on my bucket list. Visit a natural spring and check out some Keirin Racing. What is the best city to check out a race? And I remember seeing a thread about people buying used Keiren frames, is this something I should check out while I’m in the country?

You can be via train in Hakone in an hour and a bit. Hakone Open Air Museum is nice. Or go full tourist and do the ropeway over the mountain. I enjoyed it, especially the mid-way stop at Owakudani above the volcanic sulphur vents.

http://keirin.jp/pc/raceschedule
I think you’re in/near South Kanto. Kawasaki and Hiratsuka closest, Odwara a short train hop away.

There are probably 10 onsen within a half hour walk of almost anywhere.

Yokohama is great. Its relatively convenient if you’re mostly going to be going around there and into Tokyo area, or heading a bit more south to go to the beaches. Far as things to see and do in that city, China Town is a big draw, as is the whole downtown area/around the stadium. You can get some awesome BBQ at Midtown BBQ over there. Famous for its A5 Wagyu brisket (practically dont need teeth to eat it, its so tender).
If you want to get an NJS frame, two things, I hope you’re short and not looking for an awesome deal. There are a few shops around that stock them, but as Keirin riders are generally pretty… petite? the frames match. I’d suggest 25LAS out in Nakameguro. Small shop, but Nicholas is a good dude. One of the Blue Lug locations would also be worth a stop.
The best prices on frames would be Yahoo Auction though. I managed to get a 57cm Levant that had some sun damage from sitting in a shop window for years, but otherwise was fine, for 10,000 yen. Smaller frames can sometimes go for less, like I picked up a Samson 52cm without fork for 1200 yen, but had to ride out into the mountains to pick it up.
Components are worth buying in person though. This was up in Hokkaido at Slog Bike Shack, but I got an NJS Sugino 75 crank with BB and 51t Dura Ace ring for 10,000. I’ve also found various pedal sets in good nick. Currently using MKS Custom Nuevo Wides with steel clips (came with alum, but small) and some nice NJS alpha straps that I picked up for 4000 all in.

Far as the keirin goes, Family Guy’s link has you covered, but don’t go there expecting it to be like a normal race day. It’s very much gambling in the same way that horse/dog races are done and draws the same crowds. Also, be careful that you actually go to the velodrome that is holding the race. There are loads around the country, but most just televise the races from the actual track.

Tick…

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I just came back from 3 weeks last last month. If you can be F’d I’d take a bike over. I did and it was the best choice of the trip. Great country to ride in and lets you see so much more of the city.
Yokohama has my fav ramen style - Yokohama Iekei. Thick yellow noodles, riiiiich tonkotsu soup w a bit of soy, spinach, char sui, egg. The greatest.

I went to the last day of a 5 day race festival at Matsudo, on the outer NE of Tokyo. Japanese Championships. Its the second biggest race of the year behind their big NYE all royal grand prix something or other. Pretty packed crowd, very vocal, good vibes, delicious food/bbq stalls behind the stands. They had this weird girl pop group doing a hyper show on a small stage, and ppl were so into it. There were diehard fans (who still looked like gamblor race track dudes) going crazy singing along and doing this full coordinated dance along with the girls (think a dance dance revolution type of energy). Then there was this VR headset thing at a tent. We jumped on some bridgestones on rollers and did a VR race while some dude on a mic commentated and made fun of us for the crowd, which we couldnt understand. Picked colours each race and placed lots of 100Y bets via an atm style machine. Won none. Anyway, it was fucking awesome. Then stumbled across a nationally renowned “best in tokyo right now” tsukemen spot on the way home. What a day.

There might not be a race that big while youre there, but there are plenty pretty regularly. They have some midnight ones which would be cool. We rode to the track in Ueno which was closed, but the nice old man security guard saw us looking and took us in side and gave us a tour with the little english he spoke.

Veyr cool looking shop on the Yoko side of Tokyo called Tempra I didnt get to go to.

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Some great tips so far. The open air museum sounds cool

Nothings been booked so far, My intention is to travel as much of the country as possible, in no particular order. Will try to make sense of the Keirin schedule, but it’s in Japanese?

Frames will be my size, just depends if I feel like spending the money, and the logistics of bringing it back with me.

Have you considered getting the JR Rail Pass? Its quite the deal if you plan on really covering a good portion of the country. Also great for around Tokyo and Osaka (if you aren’t bringing a bike), as they have JR lines all over the city, saving you money on more than just bullet train rides. My city, Nagoya, and Kyoto have much less coverage from JR, so you’d be spending out of pocket to ride the rails/buses around here and there.

Spinlister used to be a thing around here, but sadly they went under last year. Nowadays, in Tokyo/Yokohama area, there are a lot of dockless rental bikes, but you’ll need to download the app and either register a credit card or a chargeable train card (Suica/Pasmo/TOICA/etc.).
If you find yourself passing through Nagoya and want to cruise/get a beer, I got a buddy with a couple smaller frame Bianchi (including a minivelo) that could be made available.

I might take you up on that beer/cruise.
JR Rail pass is probably a good idea. I’m trying to work out how much travelling I can do with my friends, and how much I’ll be solo.

Don’t attempt this. Pick a few locations and explore them in more detail. Otherwise you’ll just have a whistle stop tour.

Do you want mega cities, alpine areas, coastal, rural river valleys, small metro areas… Cooler weather up north, or surf and spam down south. Work out what you want to see/eat/do and go from there

I was hoping to piggy back off other people’s adventures. I have no idea what I want. I guess I’ll have to do some research

If art galleries and architecture is of any interest a trip out to Naoshima for a few days is always an excellent choice.

Otherwise I agree with Blakey, more time the better, especially in the expansive cities such as Tokyo.

If you don’t get your photo in front of the pumpkin on the island can you even say you’ve been to Japan?

We spent a week in Tokyo, 4 days in Kyoto, 6 days cycling on the Noto peninsula, and 4 days in the Alps around Takayama last trip for an idea.

Trip before was a week in Osaka, 2 days in Kobe, a week in Kyoto with some day trips out of both cities from memory ( was several years ago).

As everyone else has mentioned there is so much to see and do in Japan that you don’t need to travel long distance to get a taste of something different.

Also if you’re on a budget internal travel is probably the most expensive thing after flights in experience, you can get totally fine cheap accommodation and good cheap (think $10 Aud) meals but longer distance trains add up.

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2-3 weeks is a broad timetable. Blakey has the trick. Pick a desintation, otherwise you’ll spend all the time travelling and not much seeing/doing. If you end up needing to go to and from other major centres via shinkansen, check the JR pass but do the maths on individual legs. If we’d done one leg less then we would have been better off with just buying tickets instead of the 14 day pass. And be on time for your trains…

Use hyperdia. Put in your travel plans and it compares the price of the individual trips VS getting a JR pass. A 14day pass broke about even for me, but the convenience of being able to just rock up and jump on any train was a plus. It did cost more than my return flights to Japan tho