Zwift has announced a new virtual cycling world, the Makuri Islands.
The first map in this new world is Yumezi, a “fantastical countryside destination”. Yumezi can be ridden now, as a guest world, and will be added to Zwift’s regular virtual worlds rotation from 1 June.
Zwift says the map’s landscape and features are inspired by Japanese culture. Indeed, the map’s name apparently means ‘path to dreams’ in Japanese (yu-meh-zi ᐧ 夢路).
The new map contains a variety of roads, from “tight, flat, winding roads ideal for fast races” to gravel trails and cobbled streets.
With the surrounding landscape containing features like lush green fields, ginkgo forests, mythical creatures, cherry blossom trees, waterfalls and ancient temples, Zwift says it’s the ideal place to try out its recently released ‘Hide Display’ feature.
Yumezi routes and features
The Yumezi map features eight new routes, across a total of 53 miles / 85.3km of new roads;
- Sea to Tree (3.3km/108m elevation) – A short route featuring a short but challenging climb.
- Kappa Quest (9.1km/140m elevation) – A scenic route taking in Yumezi’s temples and shrines.
- Chain Chomper (13.6km/184m elevation) – A longer route with two challenging KOMs/QOMs and a sprint.
- Countryside Tour (15.9km/185m elevation) – A looped tour of Yumezi’s countryside, from farmlands to mountains.
- Flatland Loop (13km/99m elevation) – A longer, flat route winding around Yumezi’s countryside.
- Two Village Loop (12.8km/88m elevation) – A challenging circuit where you explore, as the name suggests, two villages.
- Spirit Forest (8.5km/135m elevation) – A tour through Yumezi’s forest. Zwift says to visit at night to “ride with the spirits”.
- Three Village Loop (10.6km/93m elevation) – Similar to the Two Village route, but with an extra village. Includes climbs and sprints.
Excitingly (for those who enjoy indoor cycling, less so if you prefer outdoor cycling), Zwift says that the Makuri Islands world is “primed for future expansion”, signalling that more maps are coming in the near future.
Details are scant at the moment, but with the Tokyo Olympic Games taking place this year, could we see more Japanese-themed maps related to the Games? Perhaps something that replicates parts of the road race course?
Zwift has previously made world’s based around locations used for the UCI Road World Championships, such as Richmond and Yorkshire, but an Olympic-themed map would be a first for the virtual indoor cycling app.
As always, we’ll keep our ears to the ground for any new information.