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Thread: Hi from the Netherlands!

  1. #1

    Default Hi from the Netherlands!

    Dear members,

    Hello from the Netherlands and nice to meet you!

    I'm Jochem and going to go to Japan for the first time at the 15th of May, starting in Tokyo. From there I'm planning to do a motorcycle trip through Japan and would like to buy a motorcycle in Japan to do this. I have an open-end ticket to Tokyo, and can stay in Japan for a maximum of three months due to a tourist visa. A little bit scared, but I'm really excited about this idea :)

    A few questions:
    • Do you guys have any advice for me for where to buy a second hand/cheaper motorcycle? Goobike maybe, or using this forum?
    • I've read about the user shaken. So in this case would it be best to buy a motorcycle <=250cc?
    • Is an international driver's license sufficient enough?
    • Any other things I need to arrange in advance I didn't think of?


    Hopefully you guys can give me some advice. Ow, and please tell me if this is not the right place to ask these kind of questions. I'm new to gaijinriders and this forum, and I really don't want to be rude.

    Cheers!
    Jochem

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    478

    Default

    I can whole heartedly say check in with John at Apex to get your bike. Even if you find one on Goo that you want, try to get it through John. He will be able to help you take care of the paperwork, get you the proper insurance, all that jazz. This is the process I am following.

    In the past I have done the 90 day life in Japan. You do settle in, and become comfortable after awhile. These days though it will be easier because the phones, and computers are so much better. I did find myself seeking out English speakers, and I even found a used English book store that was a total haven for me as I really started to miss being able to read.

    If you don't intend to be traveling around a lot then get a room at a gaijin house. I've found this to be the most affordable way to go.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,126

    Default

    Since both Japan and the Netherlands are parties to the Geneva Convention in 1949, an IDP is sufficient. Just be sure to have your IDP along with your Dutch license, and your passport while you are riding.

    If you're only here for 3 months, don't worry about shaken. Shaken goes with the bike, so as long as there it has more than 3 months left, you'll be fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Kumamoto
    Posts
    9

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    Hey fellow Dutchman, welcome to the forum.

    @other members
    Correct me if I am wrong, but to be able to purchase a bike, don't you need to be registered as a resident in Japan?
    I know I couldn't sign over the paperwork on my bike until I provided my dealer with a copy of my Juuminhyo.
    If that is incorrect than please disregard ;)

    For getting your bike I agree with Tora, Apex is highly recommended by pretty much everyone here who has dealt with them.
    Besides it will save you quite a bit of trouble if you don't know the language, and since you are starting in Tokyo it is close enough.

    In any case good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,126

    Default

    ToraTora is not a resident of Japan, but purchased and had a bike registered through Apexmoto. It can be done. I'm not sure how Apexmoto does it though.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you so much for all the advice so far! And "Ook hallo en dankjewel Tomas!"

    Ok, I shall contact John from Apexmoto then :-)

    Just a few other things that just came to mind (please let me know if this is not the right place to ask these questions though):
    * Starting from the 15th of May, it isn't probably the best period to visit japan weather-wise is it? What are your experiences? Probably head north or is there still some time to go south first? Read some 'horror' stories about the summer, but it differs.
    * What about reselling the bike when I'll leave Japan. Any tips?
    * Gajin house sounds good. And what about riding with a tent and do some camping?

    Again, thanks for the help so far.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Kyoto
    Posts
    2,926

    Default Hi from the Netherlands!

    As to camping many of us Cary our tents and go camping often. I'm my opinion one of the best ways to see Japan. I'm probably not alone there but I don't want to speak for others.
    Summer in Japan can be hot upwards of 40 but again depends where you'll be.
    In the kansai region the rainy season is generally mid June to mid July.
    But still overall while hot still great riding and camping fun.
    Reselling a your bike, well if your buying it with jons help at Apex talk to him about re-sale I've heard he's helped others with that in the past. Or advertise it rivet here on GR or on Craigslist. But as long as it's in decent shape no matter which resale route you go, you shouldn't have too much trouble. Unless it's dead of winter of course😎.
    Getting to the Summit is Optional, Returning home is mandatory
    Life begins at 155mph

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    478

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    This will be my seventh trip to Japan. Most of the time I've stayed at Gaijin Houses. This time however because I will be traveling pretty much constantly once I get the bike set up I actually plan on camping nearly exclusively. Folks like Racer and Mike have been helping me with finding campsites. As has the anime Yuru Camp. I've found that Japanese animes are full of useful knowledge.

  9. #9

    Default

    Alrighty, again, thank you guys so much for all this info so far!

    I've contacted John a while ago an thinking of buying a Yamaha XJR400 from Apex. John mentioned though, that there's a 40% change that they will buy it back when I'll leave Japan. If not, I'll use the other routes like Racer said: Graigslist, or this forum. If somebody has more ideas on this one, please let me know.

    And another practical question came to mind: The rain season will start in June and I'll start riding for two months or so starting at the 24th of May. So I thought of going towards Kyoto first (starting the end of May) and from there heading to the northern part of Japan and end in Hokkaido in mid-July and then head back (because it will get crowded up there during that time, am I right?). Do you guys have any advice or other suggestions? Ps. Wise to create a separate thread on this question?

    Also, I just bought a lightweight tent. The idea of camping in Japan suits me just fine! I thought of buying the rest of camping gear (tarp, cooking gear etc.) in Tokyo. Any recommendations where to buy? Next to a tent, I'll take a sleeping bag and mattress with me.

    Damn, really excited to start this trip! :-D

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Kyoto
    Posts
    2,926

    Default Hi from the Netherlands!

    As to where to buy things like tarps, cooking gear ect. And home center you can get those things pretty cheap.
    Think about buying a jet boil camping stove at home and bringing it they are great small and fuel is readily avaliable anywhere cheap, but that particular stove is expensive here. I mention that one as it's great in all weather conditions and safe to use inside your tent if need be.
    On the camping itself there are so do many free camping places. Of course 1st come basis but I've never encountered an issue not during even during Golden Week or Obon. Now if you find or go to paid camping those are really nice usually but often crowded but you should still be fine. That being said you will have a great time!!!
    Last edited by racer162; 25-04-18 at 09:00 AM.
    Getting to the Summit is Optional, Returning home is mandatory
    Life begins at 155mph

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kiryu, Gunma
    Posts
    2,676

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    Daytime high temperatures in Tokyo for each month since 1875

    http://www.data.jma.go.jp/obd/stats/...=&day=&view=a2


    Overnight low temperatures in Tokyo each month since 1875

    http://www.data.jma.go.jp/obd/stats/...=&day=&view=a3

    Weather/Climate data for all areas of Japan can be found online in English.

  12. #12

    Default Hi from the Netherlands!

    Camping tip:
    To find Campsites, Copy this (キャンプ場 or “campu-joe”).
    Go to Google Maps and find your target area. Paste the above.
    Only check ones with pictures and reviews. Let google translate for rough ideas. Also check their website, if any.
    Then just use the pictures and street view to review, save preferred sites near your route. Then you can choose when you are near.
    Warning: during very peak times (Golden Week and Obon) you will need reservation. Some allow email reservations. Otherwise I’ve found no problems. Far from Tokyo, many small towns seem to offer free municipal campsites.
    Campsites offer clean drinking water, food prep area, sometimes sell food and rent gear. Konbini (any convenience store) offer many single Traveller size food and toiletries.
    And Japanese campers are friendly and helpful.

  13. #13

    Default

    Alrighty. All set! Got my basic camping gear including a Jetboil and bought the Yamaha XJR from Apex. I'll stay for approx a week in Tokyo starting from this Wednesday the 16th and will get my bike at Thursday the 24th. Then I'll start riding from there! So excited! Thinking of camping at the Koan camping ground for the first night(s) and then see from there where to go :-)

    Just want to thank you all for all the valuable info! And please let me know if one of you guys want to meet somewhere during my ride, would be great!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Kyoto
    Posts
    2,926

    Default Hi from the Netherlands!

    Good luck sounds like your all geared up👍 which XJR did you get?
    Have fun!!
    Getting to the Summit is Optional, Returning home is mandatory
    Life begins at 155mph

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by racer162 View Post
    Good luck sounds like your all geared up👍 which XJR did you get?
    Have fun!!
    It's an XJR400. Tried to upload an image, but that doesn't seem to work.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Kyoto
    Posts
    2,926

    Default Hi from the Netherlands!

    Great bike you will have a great time with that one!
    How long are you hear again?
    Getting to the Summit is Optional, Returning home is mandatory
    Life begins at 155mph

  17. #17

    Default Hi from the Netherlands!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jochem View Post
    Alrighty. All set! Got my basic camping gear including a Jetboil and bought the Yamaha XJR from Apex. I'll stay for approx a week in Tokyo starting from this Wednesday the 16th and will get my bike at Thursday the 24th. Then I'll start riding from there! So excited! Thinking of camping at the Koan camping ground for the first night(s) and then see from there where to go :-)

    Just want to thank you all for all the valuable info! And please let me know if one of you guys want to meet somewhere during my ride, would be great!
    Near that campsite are caves (wind cave, bat cave, ice cave, etc.), not free. Just west of there are some nice rides south past curtain waterfalls. And west is great!
    Best shots of FUJI are in the morning before it can cloud over.

    Warning! Many remote gas stations close early. Don’t leave it too late.

  18. #18

    Default

    @racer162: Thanks! Will be here 2-2,5 months. Ps. Just posted a message with a photo of my bike in the Facebook group :-)
    @BansheeBiker: Thanks for your advice, I'll follow up on that!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Saitama
    Posts
    263

    Default

    Windy.com & Myradar apps, will help you out with bad weather if you need to avoid it or hide out

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kiryu, Gunma
    Posts
    2,676

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wrk2ride_ride2wrk View Post
    Windy.com & Myradar apps, will help you out with bad weather if you need to avoid it or hide out
    Amemil is another nice one. 2D or 3D modes, depending on screen orientation.

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