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Thread: Forum expansion with English, interactive, version of Mapple touring guide.

  1. #1
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    Default Forum expansion with English, interactive, version of Mapple touring guide.

    @ Owner and Moderators...

    This Forum is great and members seem to be helpful, eager and crazy. All the right ingredients for motorcycling bliss but insufficient if you have no place to go.

    I have been unable to find here any English hardware (books etc) or software (online, interactive) touring guide/reccommendation along the lines of Motorcycle Vagabonding in Japan (http://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-Vag.../dp/1884313167)

    Why don't we, collectively, create an interactive guide to add to this forum? We can start from these Mapple books (which I can't read) and add our personal experiences and then lay it all out in an online, interactive, format with maps, links, places to stay (according to prices), things to see, restaurants to eat in, ryokans/camping sites, gast stations, helpful hints and, most important, the roads to ride organized per region and/or per interest divided in 1, 2 3 days or week or 10 days long excursion lengths.

    Owner and Senior Members could set up a team of volunteers (I'm one) to collect and order all the info (in English) and someone more IT oriented could put it online with downloadable navigator/Smartphone routes, content, etc.
    Italians do it better...
    Benelli Tornado Tre 900, Piaggio Beverly 200 & Honda CB750 K3

  2. #2

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    That is a lot of work. Most of us just go out and ride and find new routes ( lazy sods, at least i am ).
    Would be best done in the Wiki. Guy is the master organiser, so his input would be a big step forward.
    Apexmoto Inc - Dyno tuning, engine/chassis/suspension upgrades, repairs, shaken, tires & changing with balancing, graphics printing, stickers, media blasting, painting & powder coating.

  3. #3
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    Sounds like a fantastic idea, but I lack the programming skills to set up something like that. With the forum the way it is, I agree with Jav that the best way to do it would be to use the wiki. We could have wiki pages for specific roads, hotels, and campsites, as well as overall routes that we have put together.

    One problem would be that information changes over time. Hotels open and close, roads are built and abandoned, etc. The work involved in building and maintaining a wiki like that might not be worth the benefits of having it. After all, part of the fun of bike touring (at least for me) is getting out there and finding new roads and sights myself, not knowing everything in advance.

    I think the most practical way to get the information you seek would be to join rides being planned on the forum, or else ask people on the forum for good ride suggestions and plan rides yourself. Get a Mapple and use it as much as you can; you don't need to understand Japanese to get a lot of good suggestions from it. By getting out there and seeing stuff for yourself, you'll get the most important opinions of all: your own.
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    Ascanio1, in regards to reading Mapple books, you will probably find it helpful to learn katakana and hiragana. It'll only take a day or two, since there's only 46 of each, and once you learn them you'll find that you feel almost literate. Since a lot of restaurants and tourist spots have at least part of their names in kana, it'll be a lot of help for touring.

    You've mentioned a few times that you don't understand Japanese, but since you live in Japan, I highly recommend that you at least learn some of the basics. Life here gets SO much easier once you do.
    Last edited by Perseus; 04-01-14 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Hah! I got the number wrong.

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    I'm curious... does an online, interactive "Mapple" website exist for some other part of the world?

    If there is, then we could copy the layout and formatt, hire a web developer, and create the content ourselves. A web developer (www.guru.com) for this specific project would cost around 1,000$ or less. A portion of the enrollment fee for the May Ride could be put towards it. The rest we could all chip in.

    If no one in the world has already thought of it (I doubt it), and there isn't such a website, then we could start a local web project (Japan) with the goal of expanding it to the rest of the world. Motorcyclists from all over the world would certainly volunteer to offer their expertise and content just for the pleasure of participating in such a project.

    And since I'm a business developer, I can't but imagine the revenue from advertising that such a project could generate... worth thinking about.

    Anway, the technical HTML5 coding part will not cost a bomb... maybe we could put together a partnership... ok, I'm a bit OT here but... what do you think?
    Italians do it better...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perseus View Post
    You've mentioned a few times that you don't understand Japanese, but since you live in Japan, I highly recommend that you at least learn some of the basics. Life here gets SO much easier once you do.
    I read Kana... and, yes, you are right, life did change after learning it. I guess that I'm a lazy guy because I don't like the idea of Japanese content. I know, I know... Italians...! Sumimasen! Looks like I have little option but to go ahead and buy these damned mapples... does Nap's carry them? I want to look at them before buying them.
    Italians do it better...
    Benelli Tornado Tre 900, Piaggio Beverly 200 & Honda CB750 K3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ascanio1 View Post
    I read Kana... and, yes, you are right, life did change after learning it. I guess that I'm a lazy guy because I don't like the idea of Japanese content. I know, I know... Italians...! Sumimasen! Looks like I have little option but to go ahead and buy these damned mapples... does Nap's carry them? I want to look at them before buying them.
    You can buy them at almost any big book store or motorcycle goods shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by ascanio1 View Post
    If there is, then we could copy the layout and formatt, hire a web developer, and create the content ourselves. A web developer (www.guru.com) for this specific project would cost around 1,000$ or less. A portion of the enrollment fee for the May Ride could be put towards it. The rest we could all chip in.

    If no one in the world has already thought of it (I doubt it), and there isn't such a website, then we could start a local web project (Japan) with the goal of expanding it to the rest of the world. Motorcyclists from all over the world would certainly volunteer to offer their expertise and content just for the pleasure of participating in such a project.

    And since I'm a business developer, I can't but imagine the revenue from advertising that such a project could generate... worth thinking about.
    I think $1000 is quite a bit of dough for a site that will be serving - at most - the (maybe) 1000 foreign-born, English-speaking, motorcycle riders who live in Japan. I'm not sure there'd be much advertising revenue from such a site. Also,anyone who doesn't live in Japan doesn't really have anything to contribute other than technical know-how.

    Finally, Mapple has already done it all for us. Seriously, even as a person who goes on car trips with my family, Mapple is awesome.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    One problem would be that information changes over time. Hotels open and close, roads are built and abandoned, etc. The work involved in building and maintaining a wiki like that might not be worth the benefits of having it.
    I agree. Especially in Japan! But I still think that a wiki might be better than nothing. Every route could have a date and we could include contact numbers to let each one of us check by himself before riding.

    We could create a simple matrix structure with spaces for the forum members to fill in by themselves with the relevant information. This way the wiki would become organized and easy to consult and modify.

    A few from the top of my mind:
    Date
    Starting point
    Waypoints
    Total Km
    Total Time
    Waypoint time
    roads taken
    roads taken worth of note
    roads taken to avoid next time
    place visited worth seeing
    place visited not worth seeing
    restaurants visited worth seeing
    restaurants visited not worth seeing
    ryokan/hotels stayed at worth staying in again
    ryokan/hotels stayed at not worth staying in again
    problems encountered
    positive aspects of the ride
    bike used
    fuel used
    cost of whole ride
    cost of hotel/ryokan
    phone number/web of hotel/ryokan
    cost of restaurant
    phone number/web of restaurant
    cost of attraction
    phone number/web of attraction

    An easy to fill in matrix/grid would take very few minutes to compile and would induce more riders to volunteer a few minutes after each tour to fill it in, rather than writing about it...

    And, if one day we do decide to start an online project, that wiki will be a very useful start.
    Italians do it better...
    Benelli Tornado Tre 900, Piaggio Beverly 200 & Honda CB750 K3

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    Sounds like a fantastic idea, but I lack the programming skills to set up something like that. With the forum the way it is, I agree with Jav that the best way to do it would be to use the wiki. We could have wiki pages for specific roads, hotels, and campsites, as well as overall routes that we have put together.

    One problem would be that information changes over time. Hotels open and close, roads are built and abandoned, etc. The work involved in building and maintaining a wiki like that might not be worth the benefits of having it. After all, part of the fun of bike touring (at least for me) is getting out there and finding new roads and sights myself, not knowing everything in advance.

    I think the most practical way to get the information you seek would be to join rides being planned on the forum, or else ask people on the forum for good ride suggestions and plan rides yourself. Get a Mapple and use it as much as you can; you don't need to understand Japanese to get a lot of good suggestions from it. By getting out there and seeing stuff for yourself, you'll get the most important opinions of all: your own.

    i think Guy summarizes it very well. its just too much work, and the info changes too often. in addition, you can learn to use the mapple with little or no japanese skills. the touring mapple makes a business of providing the information you are seeking. they do a damn good job of it too, IMO.

    some mapple tips for those with poor or no japanese skills:

    if you look at the fine print under the town and city names, you will see romanji for the town. you can then use that to match the kanji for expressway interchanges, train stations, etc, etc.

    the major roads in japan are numbered and have a color scheme for the various types of roads, which is explained/translated in the Mapple Legend thread. different riders prefer different road types. after you have done a bit of touring you will learn which types of roads you prefer. generally it is a good idea to avoid the built up areas and cities unless you need to find a hotel or do some shopping.

    campgrounds: the campgrounds with page number notations should be considered recommended. from my experience this means that they are a good value for the cost and level of facilities. a triangle means that you can park your bike next to your tent.


  10. #10
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    Yup, Guy and Eric hit the nail on the head. I also think that exploring and discovering nice roads is a big part of the fun of riding. And as Eric stated Mapples are very useful even for those who don't read Japanese when used in combination with a Zumo or some other GPS.

  11. #11
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    Ok, well, I appreciate all the input... Do you know id Nap'shave these maps? I want to take a look at one, and which one, to buy...
    Italians do it better...
    Benelli Tornado Tre 900, Piaggio Beverly 200 & Honda CB750 K3

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    How many of these books are there?
    Only one?
    Or one per region?
    Or...?
    I found only this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/Touring-Mapple...touring+mapple
    Italians do it better...
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  13. #13
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    yes, start with kanto since you live in kanto. might as well buy from amazon.co.jp as it will be much cheaper and that site can do english as well. as you start touring into more regions, you can buy them as needed. the reason there are so many is that they have so much detail and there are SO MANY ROADS in japan!

    http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%83%84%E3%83%BC%E3%83%AA%E3%83%B3%E3%82%B0%E3%8 3%9E%E3%83%83%E3%83%97%E3%83%AB%E9%96%A2%E6%9D%B1% E7%94%B2%E4%BF%A1%E8%B6%8A-2013-%E6%98%AD%E6%96%87%E7%A4%BE%E5%87%BA%E7%89%88%E7%B 7%A8%E9%9B%86%E9%83%A8/dp/4398656073/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389011186&sr=8-1&keywords=touring+mapple




  14. #14
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    @ haildamage

    Thanks! I have seen on Amazon that people who buy that map also buy this map:
    ツーリングマップル全日本 by 昭文社出版編集部 単行本(ソフトカバー) ¥ 1,680
    ツーリングマップル関東甲信越 2013 by 昭文社出版編集部 単行本(ソフトカバー) ¥ 1,680
    What is this second one that people buy together? Thanks!

    This could be useful for other riders: http://www.japancycling.org/v2/info/map.shtml
    Italians do it better...
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    maybe somebody else can give you a better answer. one of those is the all japan touring mapple. it sucks IMO as it just shows the major roads = BORING!

    not sure about the other one. i like to go into the book store and open the from of them to be sure which region i am buying. it is worth buying the specific region ones. you will probably want the kanto, and maybe the tohoku one to start but you will be fine with just the kanto one first probably.


  16. #16
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    Generally people first buy the Mapple for their home region. And branch out from there. For Kanto riders looking to do long day or overnight rides I'd recommend the Kanto-Koushinetsu, Tohoku and Chubu-Hokuriku Mapples.

  17. #17
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    ascanio1

    As others said, buy the Kanto Koshinetsu book (ツーリングマップル関東甲信越). The all Japan (ツーリングマップル全日本) is not recommended as it's missing all the detail.

    The Kanto Koshinetsu book covers Tokyo, Chiba, Ibaraki, Fukushima, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano, Kanagawa, as well as small parts of Aichi/Gifu/Toyama/Yamagata. As you can see, it will pretty much serve as your main book for 90% of your riding around Tokyo. For those times when you decide to venture out to say Hokkaido or Kyushu etc, you can always get the other regional books.

    There are two versions of the same book. One normal (glue) binding (this one), and one ring binding a.k.a R version (this one). Though more expensive (2,940 Yen), I recommend the ring binding book because A. you can flip the pages all the way 360, B. it is made of water resistant paper, C. letters/text is 120% the size of the normal binding book and D. comes with a ring clear pocket for storing papers (copy of shaken, notes etc).

    FYI - I have all 7 R version regional books from 2012. I never go out touring without the book corresponding to my destination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rider2371 View Post
    ... cut ... this one.
    Though more expensive (2,940 Yen), I recommend... cut
    Thanks! I just bought it!
    Now let's go for a ride!
    Italians do it better...
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascanio1 View Post
    Thanks! I just bought it!
    Now let's go for a ride!
    That's the spirit!
    IBA #42657
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    Quote Originally Posted by rider2371 View Post
    I never go out touring without the book corresponding to my destination.
    I never go out touring without at least 2 books, it's pretty easy to ride off the page!

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