Cycle touring in Japan: the essentials

10 Aug 2018 in On The Move

Suggested routes, tips and advice. Find out how to tour Japan by bike!

bike-japan
There are many reasons to tour Japan by bike. It’s a great way to see the country, and, outside the cities, there are plenty of quiet roads. Japanese motorists are generally very respectful of cyclists.

hipster-bike

And as a bonus, you’ll get to soak your hard-worked muscles in a hot spring bath every night!

When to go?

It depends where you’re cycling. Hokkaido and the north are no-go areas in winter, but the Hokkaido summer is perfect bike weather: warm but with little rain.

hokkaido-roads

In the south, spring and autumn are the prime seasons.

Where to go?

If climbing is your thing, head to Nagano Prefecture.

mountain-road

Looking for a cultural route? Cycle between Nara and Kyoto, home to HOSHINOYA Kyoto.

hoshinoya-kyoto

Northern Honshu offers a varied landscape of orchards, rivers and rice fields.

And thanks to cycle paths such as the 30-mile Okawa-Kitakata Cycling Road, the terrain is often less challenging.

How about a long-distance ride from Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko to Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru in the north?

Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko

kai-nikko

Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru

kai-tsugaru

South-west of Tokyo, the Hakone region is cycling-friendly, famed for its hot springs and views of Mt. Fuji.

fuji-bike

Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone makes a great base for your cycling trips.

Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone

kai-hakone

Practical tips

Japan is a mountainous country, so make sure you come with low gearing! It’s also advisable to equip your bike with lights, as tunnels are a regular feature.

electric-bike

Finally, note that trains will accept bikes if the frame and wheels are separated and packed in a rinko bike bag, available at most bike shops in Japan.

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