Zwift’s new world, Makuri Islands, is ‘inspired by Japanese culture’

by Ronan Mc Laughlin

photography by Zwift


Unfortunately, international travel remains limited, but Zwift has come to the rescue creating a brand new virtual travel destination. Zwift’s new Makuri Islands world offers a change of scenery right from the comfort/discomfort (delete as applicable) of your indoor trainer. 

“Inspired by Japanese culture”, Yumezi is the first map on the Makuri Islands world and is open now. Expect more maps to follow – Zwift says the Makuri Islands world is “primed for future expansion”.

The Yumezi map is the Islands’ countryside destination and features various roads, “from tight, flat, winding roads ideal for fast races, to dirt roads and cobbled market streets.” It comes just in time to offer some extra motivation if you listened to the recent Nerd Alert podcast on the benefits of maintaining some amount of indoor training even with improving weather in the northern hemisphere.

As Zwift explains: “Yumezi (yu-meh-zi ᐧ夢路) means ‘path to dreams.’ Yumezi is a Japanese haiku-inspired name, with its two characters (夢路) taken from a poem by renowned Meiji-era poet, Shiki Masaoka.”

Yumezi is bursting with lush green fields, ginkgo forests, cherry blossom trees, waterfalls, temples, and all sorts of wildlife.  

Zwift has packed eight new routes into 53 miles (85 km) of Yumezi roads, offering plenty more badges and achievements to track. As described by Zwift, the eight routes are:

  • Sea to Tree (3.3 km/108 m elevation) – A short, challenging climb from the peaceful Fishing Village.
  • Kappa Quest (9.1 km/140 m elevation) – This scenic loop is filled with temples and shrines.
  • Chain Chomper (13.6 km/184 m elevation) – Two challenging KOMs and a sprint. Test your endurance around the countryside.
  • Countryside Tour (15.9 km/185 m elevation) – From farmlands to mystical mountains, this looped route is the perfect way to visit the countryside! 
  • Flatland Loop (13 km/99 m elevation) – A gentle and flat route winding around the countryside.
  • Two Village Loop (12.8 km/88 m elevation) – Explore two villages as you pedal through this challenging circuit. 
  • Spirit Forest (8.5 km/135 m elevation) – Grind your way through this mystical figure-8. Visit at night and ride with the spirits!
  • Three Village Loop (10.6 km/92.6 m elevation) – Climb, sprint and explore three unique villages in one go.

Yumezi’s roads are available to explore as a special guest world every day from May 20-30. As of June 1, the new world will form part of the regular world rotation. 

For more information on the new world, visit Zwift.com

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