Welcome to the Home Page of the inaugural GlobeRiders Japan Hanami Tour 2008 Live!Journal. Like all of our Live!Journals, this is a compilation of stories and photos for the participants on this tour (riders, passengers, and guides) that is published via our email newsletters and the web while a tour in actually underway.
To get you acquainted with our route, we have an interactive map (courtesy of Google Maps) at the top of this page which shows our itinerary, "waypoint-by-waypoint". By clicking on the pan and zoom controls in the upper left hand of the map, you can see where we'll be riding. If you click and hold in the map, you can drag the map around. To reset the map, refresh your browser.
At least once a week (sometimes, bi-weekly if time and internet connections permit), we send an email newsletter to all subscribers in our database. This newsletter contains one or more clickable links to new Weekly Chapters (which you can also access directly via the Navigation Menu above). If a Weekly Chapter has been published, it will colored yellow (or blue if you have already viewed it) in the Navigation Menu. If it has yet to be published, it will be colored white.
In addition, there are two special "Weekly" Chapters. The Bikes and Bios Chapter allows you to get "up close and personal" with our participants. It has a short biography and a couple of favorite photos from each of our tour members. There is also a Satellite Tracking Chapter. The motorcycle of GlobeRiders Partner and Guide Dan Townsley is equipped with a satellite GPS transponder provided to us courtesy of Touratech. Every 60 minutes while the group is actually in motion, the transponder uploads Dan's current position via satellite, and this updates a tracking frame which you can see on that page, showing our current position and also our track to date.
On our first tour in these Islands of the Rising Sun, we have a mix of both new riders, and a gratifying number of riders and passengers who have already taken one or more tours with us. Its a great group!
Each rider's motorcycle was shipped from our staging "warehouse", South Sound BMW in Fife, Washington, USA, on 20 March 2008, loaded and secured in two containers, which sailed from the Port of Seattle, Washington, USA, bound for Tokyo, Japan.
Our group will first meet in an airport hotel near Narita International Airport, Japan, on 21 April. On the following day, we will reclaim our motorbikes from Japanese Customs, and set out for our 17-day, 4,000 kilometer adventure. During our travels, we'll first make our way up through the main island of Honshu. At its northernmost port, we'll board a high-speed ferry, and make landfall on the northern island of Hokkaido. After a circumnavigation of Hokkaido, we'll board an overnight ferry back to Honshu, and from there, make our way back to Tokyo for our Farewell Dinner.
We're in Japan during Hanami Season, when the cherry blossoms burst forth in a rolling wave from south to north, and the entire nation turns out for festivities under and amidst these sacred blossoms. We'll visit sites both old and new, and enjoy Japan, from the fast-paced life of those living in Tokyo, to the serene and calming hot springs resorts of the north. We'll ride on the toll ways, the by-ways, on secondary roads, and go off-pavement on dirt and gravel if the snows have receded enough for us to do so.
For more information about Japan, please click here.
We hope you enjoy your virtual tour with us. Should you have any questions or wish to drop a line to any of our participants, all you need to do is click here, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come Ride with Us!
Mike M. Paull - Guide
Dan Townsley - Guide