About Cycle Japan


Cycle Japan is a part of Journey into Japan and was founded by Australian adventurer John Morrell. John has had a passion for adventure since he was a child and a passion for Japan since 1981, when he first explored Hokkaido. His first trip to Hokkaido was meant to be a side trip while on his way to ski in Canada.

John is first and foremost a skier and cyclist and he finds Japan can truly sate these two passions. The powder in Hokkaido has been said to be the best in the world. The best way to test that is for you to come and try it yourself. The cycling is superb, with hot mix bitumen roads and in most places chosen for our bike tours, very little traffic.

The Journey into Japan philosophy is centrally about discovery. This discovery can be cultural or adventure based. With this in mind, western hotels are mostly avoided (except where essential at airport stopovers and some rural locations), and the tours take you away from the crowds to remote corners of Japan.

Accommodation is in Japanese Inns and Japanese food, at it's finest, is standard fare. Physical participation amongst exotic communities helps to open doors and to reduce barriers to communication. It also makes you feel good! You will be challenged and delighted at how this approach can help you to truly experience the essence of Japan.

John's adventures over the years have taken him to the flanks of Mt. Mckinley, the full Haute Route in Europe, cycle touring in New Zealand and of course many adventures in his home country of Australia. His passion though is for Japan and the myriad elements that combine to make a superb adventure experience.

John now runs Journey into Japan with his Canadian born wife Lucy. Although Lucy provides a strong administrative presence, she prefers to be in Japan helping on the cycling, hiking or skiing tours. John and Lucy and their staff look forward to you joining them for an adventure in exotic Japan.



Rob working on one of our bikes outside our shop, Furano Hokkaido Japan

Rob working on one of our bikes outside our shop, Furano Hokkaido Japan


John Morrell

Unmatched experience guiding & cycling in Japan since 1981. As well as being an experienced cycle tour leader and bicycle mechanic, he has worked as a cycle tour leader trainer. Knows a few good places to head after a day in the saddle! John’s career has combined a unique mix of tertiary education and outdoor guiding and instruction with an in depth knowledge and perspective of Japan’s out of the way places.


Rob Gant Thompson

Rob was lucky enough to grow up amidst the peaks and wild rivers of the NSW snowy mountains in Australia. He has excelled in many outdoor activities but most particularly white water kayaking and road and mountain bike riding. As well as first class ride tour leader, Rob is a top class mechcanic having worked in many bike and ski shops. 


Takashi Kakiuchi

Kakiuchi San looks after our Hokkaido base operations and helps out as guide on both winter and summer tours. He has a passion for wild places and is not fond of mobile phones. He has explored, skied and cycled all over Hokkaido and Japan in general and when not in the office is often away on long road rides or exploring the remote peaks of central Hokkaido



Tim Macartney-Snape

Tim is one of the world's great mountaineers, with two successful climbs of Mt. Everest amongst other achievements. Tim has skied the world and is a Black Diamond representative. He has a passion for the backcountry of Hokkaido. Tim leads our advanced groups. 


Chris Smart

Chris has been an outdoor leader, ski instructor and bicycle tour leader for over thirty years. Chris is a qualified Alpine, Telemark and Nordic instructor  as well as a qualified cycle tour leader. His quiet calm manner is legendary. 


Thor Deisendorf

Thor is an assistant guide who has completed his avalanche training and is an experienced backcountry skier and cyclist. He is highly regarded for his leadership and enthusiasm by everyone who joins him.