Tour of Japan

The Tour of Japan is the annual cycling event that has been held in Japan since 1996.  The 2017 Tour of Japan was held between 21 and 28 May, and it traversed through eight major locales on the island, beginning in Sakai, before moving inland through Kyoto, Inabe, Mino, Minami Shinshu, Fujisan, Izu, and finally arriving in Tokyo.  The race winds through and around some of the most beautiful and magnificent scenery in the world.  

Throughout the race, participants and fans alike will enjoy the wonders and delights that Japan has to offer.  After departing from the seaport city of Sakai, the city of Kyoto, steeped in Japanese culture and tradition, awaits cyclists at the second stage of the race, while the rural town of Inabe can be found at Stage 3.   Mino, known as a production center for traditional Japanese paper, is the focus of Stage 4, and the wooded and mountainous Minami Shinshu can be found at Stage 5.  The majestic volcano, Mt. Fuji, will greet cyclists and fans during the sixth stage of the race, and Stage 7 brings cyclists through the more modern Izu peninsula.  The race concludes in Tokyo, the bustling capital city of Japan.    

The Tour of Japan is the only major cycling event held across the country, but it is widely attended throughout the race.  It is considered one of the nation’s biggest sporting events.  Cycling as a sport has become quite important to Japan and its people.  Most importantly, cycling is regarded as a way to unify its communities, both urban and rural, while economically benefiting the nation and its localities through tourism.  Two of the more important goals of the Tour of Japan are to contribute to local communities and encourage hosting of regular cycling events throughout communities in Japan.  Contributions to local communities include economic revitalization, repopulation of local areas that are experiencing declines as inhabitants move away, and community education about cycling and road safety.       

Cycling tours have become increasingly popular within Japan, beckoning tourists from around the world to come and enjoy the traditional and spiritual wonders of the small island nation, as well as its modern attractions.  The compact nature of the island and its varying geography provide great interest to cycling tourists.  An increasing number of cycling routes provide access to remarkable views and serene areas that are more removed from traffic and people.  

And, cycling events like the Tour of Japan have become increasingly popular on a global scale, drawing participants and fans to these events from all over the world.  Cycling has become a universal way to unite people and bring contrasting cultures together.  And the Tour of Japan is no different.  Cyclists from around the world attend the event, and past winners include cyclists from Australia, Colombia, France, Iran, Italy, Japan, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the Ukraine, and the United States.   The 2017 Tour of Japan looks to provide another opportunity for the world to experience the wonders and culture of Japan.