We spoke to MASON-supported rider Josh Ibbett ahead of his final major event of the season, the mysterious and elusive Japanese Odyssey.

What is the Japanese Odyssey, and why are you interested in participating? What about the event excites you?

The Japanese Odyssey is a non-competitive audax event based in Japan. It involves a series of set checkpoints and parcour sectors, and riders must create their own route to link them all. This year's route starts in Kagoshima in the far south and finishes in Hachinohe, which is approximately 600 km north of Tokyo. All the checkpoints are located in the mountainous northern region, and riders will effectively have to ride almost the entire length of the country. This aspect particularly appealed to me, along with the convenient timing of the event. Route link here

Have you ever been to Japan before?

This will be my first visit to Japan. I don't really know what to expect, as it will be a completely new culture for me. So, I'm very much looking forward to the adventure.

Japan is renowned for its delicious food, epic vending machines, and stunning mountains. What are you most looking forward to on this trip?

Well, I'm a fan of sushi, so I'm certainly looking forward to tasting the real thing! But the route through the remote mountains looks fantastic, so I'm eager for plenty of climbing and hopefully some spectacular views.

Will you be stopping for ramen?

I suspect it will happen at some point, hopefully, more often than not.

What bike will you be using, and could you give us a rundown of your equipment?

I'm fortunate to be riding the latest Mason Definition for the event. I've extensively ridden both the v1 and v2 versions of the bike, and it's one of my favorite bikes to ride. So, it will be nice to ride an even more fine-tuned version. I'll be carrying some casual clothes, a tent, and plenty of layers using a Tailfin frame bag, bar bag, and aeropack.

What's your sleep system like for this adventure?

As the event is non-competitive, I plan to get plenty of sleep. I'll be taking a lightweight one-person tent, a full-length sleeping pad, and a sleeping bag. I'll probably stay in hotels a few times during the ride, but having a tent will give me more flexibility and reduce the need for extensive planning. Hopefully, I can complete the ride in 10 days, which means riding an average of 150 miles a day and still having time for a proper night's sleep each day.

Good luck to all of the riders this year. Here is the event’s map with all checkpoints.