This is Edmond from Hokkaido Government Representative Office.
Hokkaido Government Representative Office, collaborated with Singapore Cycling Tours (SCT) and Follow Me Japan (FMJ) to organise a Cycle Tourism Seminar on 14 Dec 2019 at Concorde Hotel Singapore, with the objective of promoting cycling tourism in Hokkaido.
Cycle Tourism Seminar – Ride in Hokkaido @ Concorde Hotel Singapore
Singapore Cycling Tours is a group that is based in Singapore, which organises cycling tours to various different countries around the world and one of the places that they specalise in, is Hokkaido. Their representative, Mr. Alivn Low was invited to give an introduction to Cycling in Hokkaido.
Follow Me Japan, is a travel agency that specialises in organising tour groups to Japan and for this seminar, Manager, Mr. Kazu Matsumura gave a presentation regarding cycling and driving in Hokkaido.
Although it was raining during the morning in Singapore, there were about 40 pax in attendance. The seminar was also broadcasted LIVE on Hokkaido Government Representative Office’s Facebook page. It made me really happy to know that despite the event being held on a rainy Saturday morning, many people were still interested in finding out more about cycling in Hokkaido. After the LIVE broadcast, the video was left on our Facebook page and currently has over 1,100 views.
LIVE broadcast of the seminar on Hokkaido Government Rep Office Facebook page
LIVE broadcast underway during SCT’s presentation
The event started off with an opening speech by the Managing Director of Hokkaido Government Representative Office. We then invited SCT to the stage for them to promote cycling in Hokkaido.
In his presentation, with the use of many pictures and videos which he has taken, he showcased the beauty of Hokkaido to the audiences. Some examples of the areas, which he focused on were Mt. Yotei at Niseko, Bihoro pass beside Lake Kussharo, Asahidake at Daisetsuzan National Park, etc. Aside from just cycling, he also mentioned about the delicious food that one is able to try in Hokkaido, such as sushi, seafood rice bowl and soft cream.
Presentation on “Bihoro pass”
Slide, showcasing cycling in Hokkaido
Slide, showcasing seafood in Hokkaido
SCT presenting on Hokkaido
SCT then proceeded on to introduce the various cycling courses which they organised annually, to Hokkaido.
Starting with, “The Great Nature Ride” course.
Date: 04 – 10 Jul 2020 and 25 Sep – 01 Oct 2020.
“The Great Nature Ride” covers cycling routes from Tomamu, Furano and Biei. Many people showed interest in it, as it is moderately challenging in terms of distance/terrain (eg. 60-75km/day with manageable slopes) with a good mix of scenery and located conveniently in central Hokkaido.
“The Great Nature Ride” course presentation
For Northern Hokkaido, SCT’s “Northernmost Point of Japan” course covers the cycling route around Nakagawa, Wakkanai and Rishiri Island.
Date: 17 – 23 Sep 2020
“Northernmost Point of Japan” course presentation
And for Southern Hokkaido, SCT introduced their “best of southern gems” course that covers the cycling route Lake Toya, Niseko and Hakodate.
Date: 16 – 22 Jun 2020 and 10 – 16 Oct 2020
“Best of Southern Gems” course presentation
SCT presenting on Southern Hokkaido
Finally for Eastern Hokkaido, SCT introduced “The Lakes & Ocean Loop” course that covers Cape Notoro (能取岬), Abashiri and Shiretoko.
“The Lakes & Ocean Loop” course presentation
The next part of the presentation was about 2 cycling events in Hokkaido, first the “Biei Century Ride”, which SCT explained is the one for the more casual cyclist, where throughout the course there are pit stops that serve coffee, juice and tea. There is even a celebration dinner for all the cyclists at the end of the race. With the usage of videos, he showcased the actual scene at the event to the audience.
SCT’s presentation slides on “Biei Century Ride”
Usage of video to show the actual scene at “Biei Century Ride”
SCT’s presenting on “Biei Century Ride”
The next cycling event which SCT presented on was the “Niseko Classic”. This event was more for the hardcore cyclists who are looking for a challenge, as it is a Cycliste Internationale (UCI) race event, which makes this a very competitive race. The SCT representative also mentioned that he only managed to complete the shorter race (70km) as the 140km race was too difficult for him.
Official “Niseko Classic” poster
SCT’s presentation on “Niseko Classic”
If you are interested in signing up for one of the above courses mentioned, do check SCT’s Facebook page and contact them directly.
SCT Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SingaporeCyclingTours/
After SCT’s presentation, we invited FMJ to present about driving in Hokkaido, as most of the routes that were mentioned for cycling during SCT’s presentation, are on the roads for cars and many people also have interest in driving their own vehicle in Hokkaido. I felt that it was a good added bonus to the seminar.
FMJ, explained the various driving tours which they organise to Hokkaido with the usage of a video.
FMJ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PrimeFMJ/
FMJ presentation on driving in Hokkaido
After both presentations have concluded, we invited both SCT and FMJ to do a Q&A session with all the audiences.
Various questions posed by the audiences includes, “Is it difficult to cycle in Hokkaido?”, “Can you rent bicycles in Hokkaido?”, “What happens if it rains?” etc.
To answer these questions, SCT mentioned that they have courses catered to each individual’s proficiency in cycling. Previously, SCT had a customer, who is a 10 year old boy who managed to complete the course and is planning to return to Hokkaido to cycle again. Therefore, there is no need to be a professional cyclist in order to participate.
He also stated that around half of the people who joins SCT’s courses bring their own bike, which the other half relied on renting from SCT. He also reassured the audience that they will continue to cycle even if it rains!
After the end of the Q&A session, we conducted a lucky draw and gave out Hokkaido and cycling tourism goodies to all the attendees of the event.
Prize presentation during lucky draw
After the seminar, many of the attendees stayed around to ask further questions and interacted with both the representatives of SCT and FMJ.
To end off the event, our office took a commemorative picture with the representatives from SCT and FMJ for a job well done!
Commemorative picture with SCT and FMJ
Do follow our Facebook page, to get more information on Hokkaido food and tourism, as well as to be informed on future events that we organise.
Hokkaido Government Representative Office Facebook:
As the weather in Hokkaido is much more cooling compared to Singapore, it is a perfect place for outdoor sports during the summer. Do you know that the Tokyo Olympics marathon and race-walk event has also been moved to Hokkaido due to its cool weather?
We look forward to see you all cycling in Hokkaido soon!