This is the picture of our first tour in November 2006. I still remember how I was excited when I found a new booking request e-mail arrived into my e-mail account! I had one couple from USA and one Canadian guest on that tour, and three guides (Masa, Carlos and I) wanted join the tour. So three guides for three guests 🙂 We didn’t have any cycling uniforms.
In 2006, we had 50 guests in one year. I had fun time on every tour. I sometime went out for beer together with the guests or even asked the guests to come to my place to have dinner together after the tour. Our guides (all are my friends) were enjoying the tour and enjoying to make friends from all over the world. Our tour operation was maybe still very immature and inexperienced but the guests are very patient and broad-minded.
In 2007, we had 103 guests in one year. Probably our tour operation was improved a little bit, but still we were enjoying the tour very much. At that time, we had only one tour (Route A) on Saturday only.
In 2008, 2009 and 2010, the number of the guests got increased a lot. We were all very surprised but very happy. We were of course enjoying the tour. With requests from the guests, we started different route, Route B on Sunday and finally on weekdays as well. In 2010, we had the 1000th. guest from Australia!
In 2011, until March 11th., everything went very well same as the previous year. But then that disaster occurred. All the reservation we had at that moment were cancelled. In April 2011, in such a circumstances, we still had 19 guests who still came to Japan and took our tour. We were so moved and cried happily. We enjoyed the tour with those amazing guests! We released and started Route C, although nobody had asked us 🙂 Actually we must have had the 2000th. guest in 2011, but did not notice. We were so empty-headed…
In 2012, the number of the visitors to Japan is gradually going back to normal. And…. finally we had the 3000th. guest. Originally we had estimated that the 3000th. guest might come in July or August this year judging from the record of the booking status. But actually “he” joined the tour on June 27th. We are so — excited and filled with deep emotions to think back that we enjoyed the tours with 3000 cyclists!!
I and other guides are enjoying the tour. We are often asked by our guests that aren’t we got bored as the tour routes are all same, but our answer is “NO, not at all” (so far!). We’re waiting you to join our tour, and please be our the 4000th. guest 😉 And of course I’m still very happy to go out for drink with you after the tour!