Every year we gather our fellow bikers to bring a little bit of fun and Christmas cheer to a couple of childrens homes in Kanagawa Prefecture.
On the Day
We’ll meet up at the large Ebina Service Area on the Tomei Expressway West (south) bound at 8am – we gather in the corner near the gas/petrol station and the trucks so as to not inconvenience the normal car traffic.
After a riders meeting to explain the process, at around 9am, we ride in groups to the first home in Oiso, where we usually assemble outside before riding in together, parking up and meeting up with the kids. The format varies, but we usually spend some time playing with the kids, leave our presents, and maybe have some food or drink with them – there may also be some some karaoke carols from the staff too! Sometimes we’ll let the kids sit or ride on the bikes, but we’ll decide on the day – safety is paramount – and we’re always careful to watch the kids around the bikes as the engines/pipes are hot.
When we’re done there, the day continues to our second childrens home in Chigasaki, in a similar format, but we usually have some lunch here with the kids, and spend more time than at the first location, till about 2-3pm. It’s important then not to leave all your gifts at the first home!
Note this is a volunteer/community event, there’s no organisation behind it, so you participate at your own understanding and risk.
Bike & Rider Notes
All bikes must be road worthy and insured. (Shaken for all above 250cc)
Please adhere to all road laws and ride responsibly!
Navi routes will be posted before the event, but please know your route.
As we’ll be riding as a large group, please stagger and form smaller groups as needed to allow traffic to get around. Whilst we will have guides on the route please *know the route* in case you’re separated. Worst case: head straight for the next home!
We will pass through ETC gates. If you have ETC, please wait as a group by the side of the road in the area after the gate so as to not obstruct traffic. If you do NOT have ETC, please try to get a group of riders and pay as a group to speed things along – don’t worry though, we’ll wait!
At the homes it’s completely rider choice to let the kids sit on or start the bikes. Depending on the day, sometimes some riders will let the kids ride on the back in a small course in the grounds. Please be aware the kids *will* try to rev the bikes, and we don’t want to create a noise nuisance for the homes’ neighbours, so please be aware. Again, the kids might not know the bikes get hot, so please take care.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What gifts should I bring?
Gifts should be new, and can be for boys or girls from 0yrs to 18yrs. They don’t have to be toys, they can be clothes, shoes (always needed) and even sports equipment. If any need batteries, try to supply a few. We don’t work with cash as this is strictly volunteer only.
It’s also OK to bring gifts for the day, such as footballs, frisbees to play with the kids, and Santa costumes and hats.
Gifts should NOT be wrapped, and we like to leave an equal number of gifts at each place.
- Can I bring my own children?
Children are welcome, but if you can, explain the situations the kids are in – some are orphans, some are not, and are not with their parents for a number of reasons.
- Can I take photos?
At the meet ups and along the ride, feel free to take photos and link them to the Facebook page. However, no photography inside the children’s homes please, for the security of the kids.
- Can I come by car?
There’s not so much room for cars at the homes, so please ask if you plan to do that on the Facebook page.