July 5, 2021
The breeze gently touches your face, you take a minute to breathe and can't help but smile. Tiredness will melt away when you realize you've just completed one of Japan's amazing cycling routes. You managed.
Cycling in Japan is like a dream, the routes are well prepared and you can easily rent a bike or buy something tasty in one of Japan's many grocery stores. There is no better advice than the words of someone who has tried different cycling routes in Japanthe experienced cyclist asked Shin(also known asNinja cyclingand Instagram)for your favorite places from your 19,000km cycling adventure last year and tips for beginners.
read thissecond part of this cycling seriesLearn more about two easily accessible bike trails - the scenic Shimanami Kaido in the Setouchi region and the stunning Biwa-ichi around Japan's largest lake - from traveler Lia and adventurous couple Kyde and Eric.
You drove a lot in the last year. What was your favorite area in Japan or your favorite cycling route?
I've certainly ridden a lot in the last year! A total of approx. 19,000 km!Cycling in Japan is very easy. Low crime, friendly people, convenience stores and vending machines are absolutely everywhere.Tasty and cheap food everywhere! Below I'll name a few places, starting with smaller, lesser-known destinations (places that I've recommended to my family).
The city's recommendations take accessibility into account. Also, everything is within walking distance. I hate walking around most of the time when I visit a city. Don't worry friends, I made this up for you :).
1. Matsushima (Noröste de Sendai)
This smaller place, just northeast of Sendai, has a temple called Zuiganji with theThe most impressive sliding walls I have ever seen! Completely covered with GOLD. Imagine Kinkakuji in Kyoto (do you know the temple covered in gold?), but not only covered in gold. Sliding walls covered in gilded art. Photography is not allowed and they have security guards stationed and cameras set along the hallways. This temple was the main attraction for me but there is also the Kanrantei Tea House nearby with similar gold walls... Again no pictures unless the workers offer to make one for you like I did :). The beautiful Mitsumune Date Mausoleum is also located next to the temple. Did I mention there are bridges that lead to small pieces of land in the water?It's a great place to walk around and enjoy delicious seafood!
2. Osore-zan Bodaiji im Aomori
There are some volcanic places in Japan and I have visited them all. This was by far the best place, even better than Beppu for me.
Let me set the scene for you: a short drive or 20km bike ride up a mountain from the nearest town of Mutsu through the forest. Some 15-20% incline areas on the trail so not an easy bike ride! Your nose will tell you when you're around. You will reach a large volcanic lake from the bottom of which bubbles of sulfur will rise. It looks like a desolate alien planet.The landscape is from another world.with yellow spots on the bottom and little vegetation around the lake. For a small fee you canExplore the large temple on the lake shore and stroll through the gardens. The temple grounds include areas around the lake where you can stroll along the beach and take a short stroll (you could easily walk for hours here). Oh yes, did I mention thatThe entrance fee also includes a bath in the onsen? It's small in a tiny building but the turquoise water comes out of the volcanic lake and it's a great place to relax after your hike. When you're done, enjoy a nice soba meal outside the temple at the small cafe. I have visited almost every volcanic area and almost every famous temple in Japan during my summer bike tour. Trust me this place is great!
3. The last one for now. Otaru. Northwest of Sapporo.
This is a cute little place for sure! So you have tasted or heard about amazing Japanese cakes.Well if you have a sweet tooth then this place is… a must! A well-known brand of cheesecake, as well as a brand of cream puffs, call this town their home. Also, this place is famous for its music box industry (yes, it's a thing and you'll be impressed if you like that sort of thing) and glassware. Just a lovely little town for a day trip! From there, Sapporo is easily accessible.
That was just the first 1/4 of a trip I took. There are definitely more places worth mentioning!
Hokkaido was great for cycling..I had never experienced the vastness of Japan's northernmost prefecture, and what better way to do that than by bike? Hawks often flew curiously over me and watched me for miles. It was not uncommon to see foxes trotting down the road in the morning.The roads are very well maintained and there aren't many cars depending on where you are.The seafood up there is deliciousThe Japanese know Hokkaido as the place for excellent seafood.). It is also known for its curry soup, roast lamb, milk, ramen, seafood and many other foods. Biking through the vast outdoors of Hokkaido while enjoying delicious food is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.
What would you recommend for beginners and which routes are best for intermediates?
For the 12,500km bike ride I did last summer, the Endurance was more about maintaining mental well-being while resisting injury.Of course, my stamina was pretty good and my longest day was around 500km, but it was also important for me to be strong enough to withstand strong winds and inclement weather. The following tips are based on my experiences preparing for this bike trip!
Tipp 1: Crosstraining
For beginners in particular, it is important to increase their general ability to work. It may be an unpopular opinion, howeverI think it's important to do other sports besides cycling.Variety helps maintain mental well-being (keeping life interesting) and increases overall fitness, which can contribute to cycling endurance.
In preparation for my bike adventure, I made it a point to lift weights for up to a month before I left. I think strength training can go a long way towards resisting injury (as long as you do it right). I also play soccer at the weekend. Soccer can help train the stability muscles around your leg joints. Jogging and jogging can contribute to both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
My point is that playing a variety of sports can have unexpected benefits!
Tip 2: Don't make it too complicated
This can be applied to many aspects of cycling.
Training: Find some break sessions online and complete 2 sessions a week plus a long weekend with friends. Personally, I've opted for some of the GCN (Global Cycling Network) YouTube video workouts. Training doesn't have to be perfect. Your goal is not to become a professional cyclist, so don't take it too seriously and keep it simple! If you feel too tired on a training day, skip it and try again the next day.Learn to listen to and understand your body instead of following rigid training guidelines.Training guidelines never consider other aspects of life.
Eating on the bike: I don't eat anything on the bike during my long weekends with friends. We stop for a snack about every 50km and that's good for all of us. Unless you're doing an intense 100+km workout, I don't think all you need is more than a sports drink and a few stops for snacks.
Tip 3: Go on fun long weekend trips with friends
Cycling is considered to be one of the few sports where putting in more time yields guaranteed results. A few long weekend rides will build quite a bit of stamina though.Make long journeys fun by riding with friends who don't push the pace too much.Choose a place with a beautiful view or a cafe that you and your friends would like to visit! My friends and I always go into the country from Tokyo on weekends for longer day trips. One of our favorite places is a farm 70 km away that serves delicious ice cream!
Tip 4: Don't follow the advanced advice
Leave the advanced tips to the strongest riders. Understand that many online tips don't take your background as an individual into account, so weigh endurance tips wisely!Make sure the tips apply to your current journey to becoming a healthier cyclist.
For intermediaries, aThe mandatory route is the Shimanami Kaido.. It is a very bike-friendly route that connects Honshu to Shikoku along a few small islands. Along the route there are road markings for cycling!Advanced riders can really ride a bike anywhere in Japan!You don't have to worry about drinks or food. There are convenience stores everywhere, so never forget to fuck. Just use Google Maps like me and follow us!A trick I like to use is to look at the walking option alongside the driving option to make sure cycling is allowed on the recommended roads.
Read about cycling from a different perspective for easily accessible routes for cyclists of all skill levels.Here.
And for more ideas on how to get around sustainably, check out thea bunch of new bullet trainsOpening planned in the next few years.
You can watch videos of Shin's adventures on yourChannel since YoutubeAlso.
What is the preparation of cycling? ›
Water and light snacks. You should always bring a water bottle along with you to avoid dehydration and level up your energy no matter long or short rides. Also, a light snack like energy bar is necessary for boosting your energy during the rides.How many miles should I cycle as a beginner? ›
To give you an idea of distances and speed, the average cycling speed for a beginner is about 12mph. This means that in your first week, you'll be covering distances of up to 2 miles. After eight weeks, the 10-mile ride shouldn't feel daunting at all.What is the bike rule in Japan? ›
Bicycles, as do all other road vehicles, travel on the left-hand side of a carriageway [or road] (Shadou, 車道) in Japan. It is not allowed to ride bicycles on the sidewalk [or footpath] (Hodou, 歩道). But some sidewalks are assigned by the National Police Agency to also allow bicycles.Is Japan good for cycling? ›
As anyone who's done it can tell you, there are few better ways to see the Japanese countryside than by bicycle. With its well-maintained roads and constantly changing scenery, Japan has plenty to offer for cyclists of all levels.What is the 75 rule in cycling? ›
The 75-percent rule states that during a given training week, at least 75 percent of your miles (or time) should be at or below 75 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR).What is the most important rule in cycling? ›
To maximize your safety, always wear a helmet AND follow the rules of the road. Bicycles in many States are considered vehicles, and cyclists have the same rights and the same responsibilities to follow the rules of the road as motorists.Is it better to walk 2 miles or cycle? ›
Cycling can be better for burning more calories, and it helps increase your lower-body strength. On the other hand, walking may help with bone density and tends to cost less than cycling.What is a good distance to cycle daily? ›
Recommended Minimum Daily Allowance - 15 km
At a moderate rate of exertion, 30 minutes of cycling at a rate conducive to maintaining health equates to covering about 15 km at an average speed of about 30 km/h. 15 km per day equates to about 100 km per week or about 5500 km a year.
The general rule of thumb is a 1:3 or 1:2 run to bike ratio in miles. In other words, 1 mile of running at a moderate level is equivalent to biking 2-3 miles at the same effort level. Running is a high impact activity and requires the entire body to be moving.What is the primary thing a biker needs to prepare before cycling? ›
Here are a few things you should do before each ride.
Check your tire pressure with a tire gauge. Keeping your tires at the proper pressure keeps your bike rolling more efficiently. Quickly check your tire bead for debris that may be embedded in the tire. Give your wheels a spin to make sure there's no wobble.
How do cyclists prepare for a race? ›
“Build up your long ride slowly over a couple of months,” says Wadsworth. “You may start with five miles and quickly realize that you can go ten miles, then maybe 20.” Top riders will go out for five or six hours on their weekend long ride. Go fast. Complete your weekly schedule by adding tempo and interval workouts.