Circle of Cycling Friends Ring-Tomo!
#03 Shinji Iwanami

Connecting people who enjoy rides.”Ring-Tomo” from the first Japanese Tour de France participant, Daisuke Imanaka, is here with Shinji Iwanami. He’s a professional cycling guide at “HOSHINOYA Fuji.” What kind of rides has he been doing recently?

Table of Contents

 1. What’s your beloved bicycle?
 2. What’s your favorite cycling route?
 3. The most recent ride event you participated in and your thoughts about it?
 4. The ride event you’d like to participate in next and why?
 5. The most memorable moment in your cycling life?
 6. Your favorite cycling gear and why
 7. What does cycling mean to you?
 Introduction of the next guest.


Name Shinji Iwanami
Job HOSHINOYA Fuji Cycling guide / Masseur
Hobbies Cycling , Sauna
Cycling Experience 40 years
SNS Instagram @shinji_iwanami

1. What’s your beloved bicycle?

Cannondale’s Synapse.
Last season, I rode in the Niseko Classic, the Gran Fondo World Championships, and the All Japan Cyclocross Masters all on this bike.

2. What’s your favorite cycling route?

It’s the forest road around Mt. Fuji. Especially the Takizawa Forest Road, with very little traffic, allows me to ride without stress and clear my mind, so I ride here every day in the summer.
Another one is the Tsubaki Line from Hakone to Yugawara. It’s a luxurious line with a 360-degree panoramic view of Mt. Fuji, Suruga Bay, and Sagami Bay. I go for a ride here every week when it snows.

3. The most recent ride event you participated in and your thoughts about it?

All Japan Championship Masters.
There were about 80 entries in the 50-year-old class. Those of us born during the second baby boom were all riding bikes! Whether going to a friend’s house, playing youth baseball, or going fishing. The intense 30-minute battle among these old men is entertaining to watch. I started cyclocross* after turning 40, and the recommended point is that it doesn’t get as fast as road racing, and even if you fall, you won’t suffer serious injuries.

*Cyclocross – Off-road cycling competition that started as part of road racers’ off-season training in autumn and winter.

4. The ride event you’d like to participate in next and why?

Niseko Classic.
I participate every year, but summer in Hokkaido is special. The photo is from a famous photo spot near Sapporo, haha.

5. The most memorable moment in your cycling life?

Last year’s UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
The passionate riding of masters from around the world still gives me goosebumps when I think about it. And I’ll never forget riding behind Colonel = Alexandre Vinokourov*.

And actually, before the event, there were a lot of things happening. Three of us, who met for the first time through Rapha’s Racing Club, participated together. We got separated during transit, couldn’t secure a rental car reservation on-site, and even got a parking ticket because our ticket wasn’t clearly visible… (a series of mishaps). Furthermore, one member fell ill before the race, casting doubt on their participation. However, a rider friend from Hong Kong, whom we reunited with on-site, shared medicine, allowing them to participate safely. It was a rollercoaster of events. Nevertheless, the bond formed among the members who aimed for this race together was profound, and it was a journey filled with heartfelt emotions, making us look forward to doing it together again next year.

Cycling is great because just riding together once makes you friends.

*Alexandre Vinokourov – Professional road racing cyclist from Kazakhstan. He is also known as “The Colonel” due to his rank as a Colonel in the Kazakhstani Republican Guard. He won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

6. Your favorite cycling gear and why

Burley bicycle trailer.
It’s not often seen in Japan, so wherever I go, people come up and talk to me about it. I wonder if the dog riding in it is having fun? haha.

7. What does cycling mean to you?

It’s all about travel and encounters, isn’t it? Encounters with unknown places and people.
The next person I’d like to introduce is Ken from CYCLING JAPAN, who taught me the joy of traveling by bicycle.

🚴‍♂️Introduction of the next guest.

Mr. Iwanami traveled all over the country and participated in global cycling events last year.
The “Ring-tomo” introduced by him is…

Kenichi Kawamura / Certified Cycling Guide Master by JCGA

Introduction by Shiji Iwanami:↓
The opportunity to start guiding cycling tours came from participating in CYCLING JAPAN. With Ken and everyone else leading the way, riding the roads they’ve paved guarantees a special ride where you’ll discover the charms of Japan for sure.

Please look forward to the next time as well!

🚴‍♂️Here are all the Ring-Tomo members🚴‍♂️

Introduction of HOW TO videos on Japanese bicycle traffic rules.

Introducing a How-To Video on Traffic Rules for foreign cyclists who are interested in cycling in Japan. In Ehime Prefecture, which hosts the largest cycling event in Japan called “Cycling Shimanami,” they promote bicycle tourism and provide an introduction to basic rules of cycling such as traffic regulations and riding on the left side of the road in English. They also explain exceptions where cycling on sidewalks is allowed and provide important points to note in such cases. Additionally, they provide clear explanations of prohibited behaviors. Please take a look at the video for more information. *Note: While basic bicycle traffic rules are generally the same nationwide, some municipalities may have their own unique rules.

#Rule ##Ehime