Cycling in Japan

Cycling in Japan? Why not? Incredible culture, breathtaking landscapes, freshly-prepared food, natural hot springs, high-quality bikes, and the best cycling roads in the world. We invite you to explore the best places to go for cycling experiences.

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About Cycling in Japan

Many hotels, as well as private shops, offer rental bicycle services. Often located near train stations, bicycle rental is generally cheap and easy to register for. You may need your passport when signing up. Most shops will have maps and other useful guides that you can make use of. More modern stores may give you the option of an electrically-assisted bicycle, ideal for hilly terrain.

In the major cities of Tokyo , Yokohama and Osaka , bicycle sharing systems are gathering momentum. While relatively easy to use, some prior research is recommended to make sure you fully understand what is required.

If you decide to get out and about on a bicycle, familiarize yourself with the rules of the road. Read through the Japan Traffic Safety Association traffic safety guidelines before jumping on the saddle. Bicycle accidents are common in Japan’s major cities, so ride safely and sensibly. Designated bicycle paths are rare, but efforts are being made to mark out bicycle zones on the side of main roads. While still on the actual road, the area is generally respected by motorists.

Parking for bicycles is generally in designated areas, often in front of stations. Parking your bicycle outside of these zones leaves it susceptible to being confiscated, where you will have to pay a fine for its return. In major cities, bicycle parks are often available, but some may be for registered bicycles only—cyclists who pay a monthly parking fee. Confirm with the hotel or wherever you are renting your bicycle from about where to park.

Japan is consistently inventing ways to encourage travel by bicycle, so keep an eye out for some special train services that offer room for you and your bike. They tend to be seasonal and local, but do some research to see if you are able to take advantage of this opportunity. Cycling makes Japan’s mountainous terrain much more easy to manage.

More detailed information, please visit JNTO official website.

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Recommended Areas

The 70-kilometer long Setouchi Shimanami Kaido includes Japan’s first strait-traversing cycling road, well known as a “cyclist’s paradise.” The Imabari portion of Shimanami Kaido comes in at number one, serving as a base for the cyclists attempting the cycling road from the island of Shikoku. With 14 rent-cycle terminals, at which cyclists can freely rent or drop off bikes, along the route from Hiroshima and Onomichi to Imabari, it is the ideal course for a cycling trip.

Imabari and the Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road

In 3rd place is the area around Nasu in mountainous Tochigi prefecture, which is known for having some of Japan’s leading highland resorts and hot springs, located along the base of the majestic Nasu mountain range. The area is growing in popularity as it offers convenient access from Tokyo and possesses a wide variety of courses, ranging from short-distance courses for beginners to full-blown hill-climbing routes for challengers willing to take on majestic heights of Mt. Nasutake. Another one of the area’s draws is the numerous facilities for cyclists known as “cycle pits.”

Nasu, Itamuro, and Kuroiso

Coming in 5th place is a region known by locals as “Koto,” meaning “East of the Lake”–that lake being beautiful Lake Biwa. Popular for cycling with its refreshing lakeside breezes, many cyclists use the area as a starting point for cycling tours around the lake. Koto makes up a roughly 200 km circuit around Lake Biwa with well-maintained roads along the shore, making the route easy and enjoyable to ride.

Coming in 5th place is a region known by locals as “Koto,” meaning “East of the Lake”–that lake being beautiful Lake Biwa. Popular for cycling with its refreshing lakeside breezes, many cyclists use the area as a starting point for cycling tours around the lake. Koto makes up a roughly 200 km circuit around Lake Biwa with well-maintained roads along the shore, making the route easy and enjoyable to ride.

Moriyama, Omihachiman, and Hikone

In 2nd place is Awaji Island, where cyclists can enjoy beautiful scenery from the island’s coast-hugging roads. The locally-available Awaji Island Cycling Map introduces courses that will satisfy everyone from beginners to top riders with a variety several circuit courses that are designed to suit a variety of levels and objectives. Why not challenge yourself with these popular cycling courses, where your choices include cycling the roughly 150 km circuit in one day, or taking your time by staying the night and cycling for two days?

Awaji Island

The Fukuyama/Onomichi area on the Hiroshima side of the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido ranks in 4th place. It’s quite popular with travelers interested in sightseeing, as cyclists can blithely cycle the Shimanami Kaido with rented bicycles while simultaneously enjoying the tourist attractions of Onomichi. The area is also home to “ONOMICHI U2,” a chic and stylish complex geared toward cyclists where they can stay in the connected hotel with their bicycles, making it the perfect base for a bike trip.

Fukuyama, Onomichi, and the Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road

In 6th place is an area known at the home of the Okawa-Kitakata Cycling Road, a roughly 49 km-long bike path that runs from Aizuwakamatsu to Kitakata along the northward-flowing Okawa river in the Aizu region of Fukushima Prefecture. As the area and its surroundings are a national tourist destination with numerous attractions and historic sites, cyclists can make good progress on well-maintained roads while enjoying the scenery, which includes Aizu’s castle town and the beautiful Mt. Bandai.

Aizuwakamatsu and Kitakata

©travel.rakuten.com

Learn more things you can find in the above prefectures

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