A dream turned reality
After 25 years in Japan we finally made our dream a reality and instead of endless talks we established the longtime planned Motorcycle rentals, with the added option of japan wide self-guided tours as well as possibly approved guided tours later in 2017. We, that is Winfried Firneisen, german and in Japan since 1993, riding Honda SS50 during youth at the beginning of the 1970s 70er , then Bultaco, Honda 450, BMW R75/5 until in Japan Honda CBR , Suzuki Bandit, BMW R1100S and currently Ducati ST4S – and it feels good to do finally something like this after 35 years in TV Broadcasting. Finances and bookkeeping are done by Yuko Mihashi, originally attorney at law and still very hesitating when asked to take a seat on the bike…and lastly, our service engineer for the BMWs is Kei Kobayashi, who is very well known in his still main job as high-end restoration and service of exclusive cars , without exaggeration it could happen that a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari Dino – not joking – may have to wait a day longer for service than anticipated because there is a cloudless blue sky and Kei, either on his BMW or Triumph Bonneville , is somewhere on the curvy streets around Mount Fuji… We also appreciate very much the close cooperation with our nearest local BMW and Ducati dealer in Fuchuu, western Tokyo, their support is priceless. Same goes for our 4 local dealers of Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki, all of them within max 1,5 mls from us and all of them eager to help should we need their services. For wear, raingear, helmets, gloves, accessories we rely on NAPS as well as Nirinkan; the latter one especially often with a big smile cause they are the closest and because we always somehow end up buying more than we originally intend to…..
Why this choice of bikes
We have just sold both a BMW F650GS and a R1200GS , replaced this week with a K1200GT and another R or K tourer coming. Why? Most of our clients – many of them own 400c bikes – take a week tour, including navigation system, ETC toll reader, 2 panier cases as well as Top Box and according to them usually as a couple on 1 big bike on tour with their friends also on 1000cc+ SuperBikes. While the 650GS is without doubt a superb bike, our clients with pilion rider simply prefer bigger and sturdier touring bikes. Due to the speed limit of 100/kmh / 60mls in Japan on Highways and even less on national roads most of our clients told and tell us to be equally happy with an elder, perfect maintained and cheaper bike like BMW R1100RS, 1150RT oder K1200GT with full accessories and ABS. And while checking / service needs a bit more time indeed the rental price is far lower than what he have to charge for a new R1200GS or K1300GT of the newest generation. So, we too now have said bye to our high-flying dreams of FJR-1300A, R1200GS and now try our best to find the perfect touring bike compromise between performance, reliability which allows us to offer them out for rent including our comprehensive insurance at a price almost everyone is easily able to pay.
Guided tour in Japan
Guided tours in Japan: Guided Tours as understood here are a kind of total package, the participants do not have to care about return flights, hotels, motorcycles , guides and / or additional services like accompanying trucks/vans, etc.., all included in the package and package price. No wonder these are the most popular packages worldwide – yet, not so fast, this is Japan.
To be able to offer guided tours in Japan , a special Guide License must be obtained and it cannot simply be bought but requires a high degree of studying ending with a written examination ( where the failure rate is above 80% ) to hopefully receive then the approval of JTA ( Japan Tourism Agency) before starting out as an individual license holder…..In addition when offering out flights and hotels within the package deposits have to be handed over to governmental agencies meant as safeguard for the clients in the event of airline and hotel failure, bankruptcies, etc.. Guiding foreign clients without national approved license or non-compliance with these rules is regarded as a criminal act and does indeed lead to repercussions, prosecution and in the worst case revocation of business license. We nevertheless would like to be able to offer guided tours and are in talks with JTA about the possibilities to make it happen together with licensed guides. We ll keep you updated on any progress once we know more.
Adventure of a lifetime
Nobody can stop you from coming to Japan, rent a motorcycle, eqipped with a navigation system where the most interesting routes, hotels, points of interests and most important phone numbers are already pre-loaded and start riding… there is a very convenient phone number search on japanese GPS systems – for example you simply put the hotel’s phone number in, the GPS calculates some seconds and shows you the best route – you just hit the guide:ok button and you are on your way. If we knew in advance where your destination is , what your hotel and interest ideas are – let us know beforehand and you will get the GPS with your individual details loaded. Should there be any language problems anywhere keep in mind we are not too far away; do not hesitate to call us and usually we ll get it done.
Motorcycles / Sports Tours
During April / Mai 2017 a team of friends from Germany are coming over for more than 3 weeks, going on a tour from Tokyo via Izu / Hakone, Matsumoto, Takayama, Nakasendo , Kyoto , Himeji, Shikoku, Hiroshima and back. All of them are longtime bikers and all of them are table tennis players – so we managed to get them three matches vs japanese teams during their tour , two in Tokyo, 1 x in the far west. Avid sportsmen ourselves we are really glad if we can match not only your biker’s ideas but also your sports preferences here in Japan with a competition against local teams and we are sure its real fun also afterwards together with the japanese friends at the Izakaya- pubs…Currently we are offering these japanwide sports services for table tennis groups ( possibly later also for Badminton ) , this service is free of any charge as we hope it may lead to farther reaching friendships and possibly exchanges for both sides. If you like to take advantage of this service let us know sufficiently in advance the league level you and your team plays in – we try to match as close as possible your level from local leagues up to around 4th or 3rd league level so that neither teams feels overwhelmed or not enough challenged. For other kinds of sports: send us an email, we ll check and see if and what we can do.
Come visit Japan
Regardless of how it may sound the chase for profit is not the most important point here. If money were of the essence then – after 35 years in TV broadcasting there is no need to start a new company with this real low pricing ; then better retire, climb on the bike without responsibility for anyone else and and all would be good. What we really would like is to bring people to think about experiencing Japan for themselves , just one time come here to get an authentic idea – not just hearsay. Japan is too far away, the language is unbelievably difficult, customs are different , all too complicated for a vacation!! ?? That’s what we often hear. Granted some of that is true, however if you have at least once experienced how honest, friendly and helpful the vast majority of Japanese citizens are you will know for the first time how laid back, easy going and stress-less a vacation in Japan can be.
I for myself – in 23 years – have not even seen a single pub brawl here, received back untouched both one time my lost wallet as well as my cell phone and its safe to mention that the Tokyo/Kawasaki/Yokohama metropolis with its 36 millions inhabitants is still the safest mega-city on Earth. So what we want to try is to bring more people to Japan for a better understanding and to gain tangible knowledge about this country and its wonderful people ; they really deserve it. I myself came here from Europe originally for 3 years yet now its 23 years and hopefully at least 23 more….there obviously is a reason for that, nobody would choose to voluntarily and happily extend and extend their stay in a foreign country if one didn’t really love to be there and feel like home. So give it a try and come to Japan just once – we are convinced you ll like it like we do and then want to come back again and again….