Must Watch: Urban Freeride in Southern Japan in 'Ayato's Way'

Feb 29, 2024
by rasoulution  

The city of Okinawa in the eponymous prefecture in the absolute south of Japan is certainly a popular subtropical holiday destination, but has no reputation as a mountain bike Mecca. Until now! Mountain bike freerider Ayato Kimura has recognized the incredible potential of the city for urban freeride of the rougher kind and shows in his new video "Tropical Vibes - Ayato's Way" what he imagines a summer vacation in Okinawa to be like.

Ayato Kimura is known for his unique style, which combines technically demanding trials riding with raw freeride and downhill elements. "Tropical Vibes - Ayato's Way" is clearly more about downhill and freeride and Ayato not only demands a lot from himself, but also from his Specialized Demo. With countless stair sets, massive gaps, wall rides, a front flip into the flat and a suicide no-hander, the 19-year-old from Gunma shows that he easily lives up to his great role models.

 satohi.saijo City is actually Okinawa

bigquotesFilming was actually planned for two weeks but ended up taking a whole month. As a result, however, the video now shows the full range of my skills and I'm very happy about that. I'm most proud of the front flip with the downhill bike. I really wanted to have it in the video, even though I had hardly tried it out before. The fact that we didn't need a ramp to do it, but were able to use 'natural' terrain, makes it even better.Ayato Kimura
 large disk City is actually Okinawa

 satohi.saijo City is actually Okinawa
 satohi.saijo City is actually Okinawa

 satohi.saijo City is actually Okinawa

Overall, the production of “Tropical Vibes - Ayato's Way” had a few hurdles to overcome. For example, Ayato had broken his collarbone in the Whistler skate park just six weeks before filming started. Also, he had no prior experience on a downhill bike. Choosing the Specialized Demo with its aluminum frame proved to be the right choice: the bike survived the countless hard impacts that Ayato's powerful riding demanded without any damage. However, despite several attempts, Ayato will have to tackle the eleven-meter drop (36 feet) again on his next Okinawa vacation.

bigquotesThe biggest challenge and at the same time the most dangerous trick was definitely the eleven-meter drop. After we discovered it by chance towards the end of the shoot, I quickly realized that I really wanted to try it. We had a day to prepare the jump and landing before I gave it a go for the first time. In the air, I felt like I was at the Red Bull Rampage - I'd never had so much airtime before. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough momentum when I jumped off, landed too short and crashed. With minor injuries to my legs and face, I had to abort the action and when we tried again during the second part of the shoot, it unfortunately didn't work out any better. But the drop is definitely still on my bucket list.Ayato Kimura

 large disk City is not Tokyo but Okinawa

Okinawa's impressive cityscape with its many downhill options and picturesque beaches is also one of Ayato's favorite places off the bike. And of course, a tropical vibes video should not miss out on surfing: bike and rider also cut a fine figure on the water.

bigquotesUpon first hearing about Ayato’s film concept, it had a lot of us at the brand excited – and we’re even more pleased with how he’s brought his vision to life. We hope you all enjoy this project as much as we do, and hope it inspires you to ride.Fiona Swartz, Global Sports Marketing Manager – Freeride & Gravel | Specialized Bicycle Components

 satohi.saijo City is actually Okinawa

 large disk City is actually Okinawa
 large disk City is actually Okinawa

Ayato Kimura:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ayato_trials/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ayato_trials
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ayato_trials
RASOULUTION Athlete Page: https://rasoulution.com/athletes/ayato-kimura/

Author Info:
rasoulution avatar

Member since Oct 25, 2010
484 articles

98 Comments
  • 63 0
 "Transitions are for the weak." – Ayato Kimura
  • 6 1
 @brianpark: Ayato's riding style reminds me of another natural strongman's riding, Brad Sims (sp).
  • 1 0
 Weak transitions are for the strong
  • 6 0
 @RayDolor: I’d love to see a full MTB part from Brad! We are interviewing him in a couple of weeks.
  • 6 0
 We need Ayato X Brage now. Samurai meets viking
  • 51 0
 That man is cracked at yeeting.
  • 43 0
 Holy crap dude - the beatings may not be worth it. But phenominal balls and skill!
  • 2 0
 They’re worth it!
  • 35 0
 I have always had a soft spot for urban freeride and this edit is top notch! Loading dock drops to flat and stair hucks never get old. Reminds me of early 00's urban shredits in all the right ways!
  • 35 0
 Love how its not all perfectly smooth and effortless. They left enough raw edges to make the riding feel like its always one small thing away from disaster.
  • 8 0
 I personally love to see that in videos. It makes it feel more real and some of the moves even feel obtainable when filmed this way.
  • 34 0
 Redbull heals blunt force trauma, fact
  • 20 0
 Less than subtle ask for a helmet.
  • 33 0
 Lightly used Specialized Demo for sale. Just used for some round town riding.
  • 10 0
 Seals are fine. Bump stops are worn out.
  • 1 0
 “I was just riding it around town and I went off a kerb”

Bloody young hoodlums riding are fast scaring old ladies and talking their street-jive.
  • 29 0
 My lord those were some savage hits.
  • 6 0
 You know when your feet are getting blown off the pedals!! Nice sends dude.
  • 25 0
 Total madman,urban freeride is alive and well in Japan. That front flip out of nowhere!
  • 25 0
 Tour of all the flattest landings in Japan ?
  • 17 0
 Dude. He throws that big bike around like it’s nothing. Great edit.
  • 14 0
 Soooo why have we not had any urban DH races in Japan yet??
  • 6 0
 A lot of cityscapes in Japan would be perfect for urban DH. I think it has a lot to do with the cycling culture here though. Maybe one day.
  • 4 0
 Red Bull Cerro Abajo en Japon cuando?
  • 1 0
 @timrippeth: fingers crossed, I'd love to see it.
  • 4 0
 As someone who lived in JP its simply because the mtb sport doesn’t exist there. There is just a few spots you can count on your fingers for entire JP. It’s kinda sad for a country where one of the biggest cycling components maker is.
  • 1 0
 @kusa: but is there a big mtb scene in the South American cities where most urban DH races are held?
  • 14 0
 The perfect mix of fabio wibmer and dylan stark!!!
  • 3 0
 with a little cam zink at the end too
  • 14 0
 Chuck Norris approves
  • 7 0
 Sam Pilgrim verified stair sets of doom
  • 11 0
 Bro hops that demo like it's a bmx. Awesome.
  • 9 0
 Ballsy and creative riding, Ayato and team! Also nice to see the beauty of tropical Japan
  • 8 0
 How many times did he attempt that huge drop to grass? That must have hurt a bit.
  • 8 0
 Ayato is such a nice dude! Amazing to see him killing it so hard. Great work man!
  • 6 0
 At age 23, I loved me some hucks to flat. At age 38, not so much. I was cringing the entire time, but couldn't look away.
  • 5 0
 Faaaaaark, we now know why Japan has so much seismic activity. That was one of the best bike vids I've seen in ages. Ayato is a bad arse.
  • 3 0
 Dang that was sick! been following this guy for a minute but that was a really cool edit! Haven't completely finished an edit in so long, but this kept me all the way. love the trialsy bmx moves on DH, definitely hit me right in the 2000s
  • 7 0
 What the huck
  • 5 0
 What a legend! He must have a hellofa tire sponsor with all those blow outs.
  • 7 0
 That case at 2:15
  • 2 0
 RAW!!! Love it when they include all the attempts that didn't go exactly right. That stair set case had my heart in my throat for a moment! while this was all amazing and everything, I'g going to need Ayoto to include that insane pogo- crank flip he does in every single video he drops lol
  • 4 0
 One of the best videos I have seen in a while. Totally just hit my vibes man, no pun intended. This was Gnarly as fuck! Take care of yourself and keep shredding!
  • 6 0
 A scar well earned.
  • 4 0
 Good god that rules. Between this and the World Cup highlights, good day for videos on PB.
  • 4 0
 WOW!!! That was sooo fun and sketchy!
How many times did you say "Holly Sh*T" ...I lost count personally
  • 3 0
 I feel like Specialized needs to do an updated Big Hit just for this guy. That was bonkers. The post vid slams were rough man.
  • 1 0
 Remy agrees.
  • 5 0
 If you ever wondered what Sean Burns would be like on DH bike..........
  • 4 0
 My ankles hurt from watching, but brilliant stuff
  • 5 0
 This man likes to huck!
  • 3 0
 the audio match between the beats of the song and his tires at 01:12 makes my little editor heart so happy
  • 4 0
 I can HEAR his tire pressure.
  • 3 1
 Dear Ayato, might I suggest, in no particular order, more psi in your tires, an increase in your suspension spring rate, and calm down.
  • 1 0
 Calm down, agreed! But don't stop having fun! Hahaha!
  • 4 0
 Not sure how you knuckle a stair set that hard and ride out. Awesome
  • 2 0
 Like everyone else I respect the send and this guy has some really solid flatland skills, but I can't say this video makes me want to go ride....
  • 1 0
 Sick video! Reminds me of alot of the riding Randy Spangler, Von Vdub, etc etc used to do
Some seriously heavy landings ha
Does anyone remember the 24bikes french guys smashing sets of stairs like those on hardtails?!?!
  • 3 0
 reminds me of the Josh Bender drops.!
  • 3 0
 That was really great. Got to like this kid and what he's doing.
  • 3 0
 That dude LOVES a huck to flat.
  • 3 0
 Wrists of steel! No, titanium!
  • 3 0
 Whole lotta Shitakes in there! Good show!
  • 4 0
 Dude, the front flip
  • 3 0
 That was sick. Japan has been keeping some major talent secret.
  • 3 0
 need to see this guy at rampage at some point!!
  • 3 0
 Might fly to Japan to ride that wallride
  • 1 0
 So many good wallrides / bankrides over there.
  • 3 0
 After those takes he deserves a redbull helmet
  • 3 0
 Damn honestly one of the best videos I’ve seen in a while.
  • 2 0
 Absolutely sick video and so unique. Nice to see a video that isn't just whip after whip over perfectly manicured jumps.
  • 3 0
 Love the 'white mist' sealant explosions, excellent video
  • 3 0
 Chasing a red bull helmet? - I say give him one...
  • 1 0
 Man this was the best freeride edit I've seen in a long time. The riding is raw, gnarly and slightly unpolished - exactly how a freeride edit should be.
  • 1 0
 Wooow dude, I thought urban downhill hack-to-flat is already dead! Those were some brave actions that you did,definitely deserve this can of Redbull after all!
  • 3 1
 Fishing for a RedBull sponsorship much? Big ups to him tho
  • 1 0
 Holy hell yea, sick edit! Reminds me of watching old school skate videos but in a DH bike! Can not wait for Cerro Abajo!
  • 1 0
 One of the hardest hitting videos I have ever seen. Truly inspiring. More, please, Ayato San.
  • 1 0
 Madman. Someone needs to give that suspension a madman tune.
  • 1 0
 Hell yeah... give us more.
  • 1 0
 So many huck to flat! awesome riding, awesome edit. Well rider and team.
  • 1 0
 Bro is going to need a back-e-otomy. Freaking dope riding!
  • 1 0
 That was nuts. Next level commitment..
  • 1 1
 Samurai Widmer sonSmile

Great footage, to be honest I watched the whole vid not jumping forward while getting bored!!
  • 1 0
 Cameraman: "So Ayato, where's the landing?"

Ayato: "Yes"
  • 1 0
 greats skills!! crazy man!
  • 1 0
 was not excreting that! those were some monster hucks
  • 1 0
 Lightly used demo for sale.
  • 1 0
 Meth users can only wish they could be as high as this dude.
  • 1 0
 That was indeed a pleasure to watch.
  • 1 0
 Aiyo Ayato! Intense! Freeride done right!
  • 1 0
 Faved
  • 1 3
 Anyone wanna throw some money at a kickstarter for a pedal-able surf board ebike so you can drop into waves that I'll never finish?
  • 1 0
 Gilaa niih anak
  • 1 0
 That was SICK
  • 1 0
 insane to watch
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