We are very sorry not to have been in Tokyo during the last Tour the France as we would have loved to visit the Rapha Cycle Club Tokyo which was located in the Calm & Punk Gallery for the whole period of the race. For Le Centième Rapha erupted an impressive store, (coffee-)bar and meeting place for lovers of the Tour and cycling in general from Tokyo and beyond.
The interior of the Cycle Club among other objects consisted of a Condor and a Team Sky replica bike, two signature special edition Rapha Giotto Rocket espresso machines and a complete exhibition of the recent La Centième prints by artists like Geoff McFetridge, Max Erdenberger, Jack Saunders and Yuji Yamada. The print catalogue, presented in a tricolour set, was produced by Generation Press in East Sussex, the traditional printers responsible for the the more elaborate paper materials by Rapha. On top of that, all the significant cycling reading; the weekly Doppio, in Japanese and English, back issues of Rouleur and Le Tour would be present for reading, while the previous days stage would be playing in the background.
Rapha, like us, have always appreciated quality coffee, and the coffee for the Tokyo store came from MiCT, a family business in Toyama prefecture run by coffee roaster Mr. Tomikawa. Beside coffee, various pastries were offered daily from a local bakery, along with beer and Rapha labelled Haramo Wine from Katsunuma in Yamanashi.
A great initiative, hopefully to return in future years!