I want to ride a bike! The best cycling routes in Japan (2023)

A Brief History of Cycling
Top 10 bike trails in Japan
Cycling in Tokyo 2020
Sakai City - The City of Bikes
More tips for bike lovers

I want to ride a bike! The best cycling routes in Japan (1)


"Bike! Bike! I want to ride a bike, I want to ride a bike! I want to ride a bike, I want to ride where I please!"

There's a reason Freddie Mercury and Queen immortalized the bicycle in their classical music: it's just a fantastic invention. Whether you ride a bike for fun, relaxation, excitement, tourism, health and wellness, or athletic competition, bikes are more than just a mode of transportation, they're a way of life. Cycling is very popular in Japan and is a great way to get to know this wonderful country. From sprawling urban areas with streets, alleys and parks to rugged mountains, dense forests and beautiful coastal regions, Japan offers some of the best and most spectacular cycling routes in the world. We'll walk you through our top ten bike routes in Japan and how to reach them with theSurrender JR- a train ticket for Japan's excellent national rail network. Cycling's popularity is set to increase even further this year as road, track and freestyle events feature prominently at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. So there's never been a better time to hop on two wheels and tour Japan.

I want to ride a bike! The best cycling routes in Japan (2)

(Video) Shimanami Kaido Bike Route [Cycling Japan] 4 Hour Indoor Cycling Workout

A Brief History of Cycling

Bicycles are everywhere, and yet we probably don't think much about where they came from or who invented them. Well I'll tell you. The bicycle originated in Germany before it was adopted and popularized around the world as a means of transportation, leisure, and sport. As mentioned above, cycling plays a key role in this year's Tokyo 2020 Olympics and that's because bicycles have been used for racing since their invention. As early as the 1870s, cycling was attracting large crowds to indoor races on wooden tracks. In the 1890s, the races officially became part of the Olympic Games.

Today, Olympic cycling encompasses everything from road, track, and mountain biking toBMXand freestyle. We have much more information on what to expect in Tokyo 2020 in ourTokyo 2020 and the JR PassWebsites and a small guide to this year's Olympic cycling events below. Today, cycling is a very popular activity in Japan and one of the best ways to experience the country. Eco-friendly, great for exercise, fresh air, and cardiovascular health, the bikes allow you to experience Japan's incredible scenery with your own eyes, with no windows, roofs, or doors. Japan is generally a great country for ecotourism. You can find out more about this in ourAll about ecotourism in Japan. Bikes are readily available across Japan, with bike rental shops across the country (often near train stations) and also bike parking and sharing services that you can register with your smartphone or credit card. . Remember, if you depend on your phone, it's worth investing in.Pocket-WLANto ensure you stay connected on the go, with no unexpected charges or no data.

Top 10 bike trails in Japan

I want to ride a bike! The best cycling routes in Japan (3)

Japan has so many brilliant cycling routes that this list could easily be three times as long, but we've done our best to round up the top ten places to see the beautiful and historic country of Japan on two wheels and how to get there. and back with himJapanRailPass.

Shimanami Kaido
Widely recognized as one of the top cycling routes in the world, Shimanami Kaido is a 70km stretch of highway that connects the country's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku. On this impressive route, you'll pass six bridges, cross the Seto Inland Sea and pass six smaller islands. As you travel from Hiroshima Prefecture to Ehime Prefecture, you'll also enjoy views of the Seto Inland Lakes National Park and the Tatara Bridge, one of the longest of its kind in the world. You can also do the journey in reverse, crossing the Hiroshima side of the Shimanami Kaido and exploring Fukuyama and Onomichi. The latter also houses Onomichi U2, a cyclists-only complex with an attached hotel. Shimanami Kaido is truly a spectacularly beautiful route and is often ranked as one of the best cycling tours in the world by dedicated fans of the sport. This spectacular route is also very convenient for cyclists with 14 bike stations to rent or return bikes. It is unique in that there are dedicated sections for bicycles and pedestrians. No wonder Shimanami Kaido is known as "Cyclist's Paradise". To get to Shimanami Kaido from Osaka or Hiroshima, take the Sanyo Shinkansen to Fukuyama Station. From there, change to a JR train bound for Onomichi.

Tour from Noto (Kanazawa City to Toyama Bay)
This epic bike path takes you along one of Japan's largest peninsulas, Noto Hanto. Recommended for serious and physically fit cyclists, this 249-mile route begins in the city of Kanazawa and ends at Toyama Bay and is epic in every sense of the word, with stunning seascapes and challenging terrain. If you try this route in September, you can join thousands of other cyclists in the annual Tour De Noto festival. It's easy to get to Kanazawa with theJRailPassNumber. Just take the bullet train from Tokyo on the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen line.

(Video) Japan's Most Beautiful Cycling Route | Shimanami Kaido Travel Guide

Parque Yoyogi, Tokyo
You don't always have to travel far to enjoy the best of cycling. Right in the heart of Tfokyo, near Shibuya and Harajuku, is Yoyogi Park, a huge and beautiful tree-lined park comparable to Central Park in New York. It is familiar and perfect for a relaxed bike ride. There are also several family-friendly bike rental options, including adult bikes, kids' bikes, and tandems. Yoyogi Park has food stalls, cafes and other attractions, and various festivals are held throughout the year. If you visit in spring, Yoyogi Park is a great place to see the cherry blossoms, and in autumn you can enjoy beautiful hues of gold, red, yellow and orange. Note that if you are traveling inland from Tokyo, you will: aprepaid travel cardlike oneSAUBER,BANDAÖSwiss maplike yoursBahnpass Japan.

A hidden historical gem near Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture, Sawara is a small old town with a nostalgic Edo vibe, with wooden houses and traditional canals. It is very well preserved and its quiet streets, lanes and lanes are ideal for cycling. You can rent a bike from Sawara Tourist Information Center from 500 yen per day. Sawara is easily accessible from Narita Airport with the JR Pass along the JR Narita Line

Eua para Beppu (Norte de Kyushu)
The route from the United States to Beppu on Kyushu, Japan's southernmost island, is another highly recommended trip for avid cyclists. The United States is home to one of Japan's most important shrines, dedicated to Hachiman, the god of war and archery, while Beppu is a popular hot spring bathing spot. The distance between the two is about 25 kilometers and is very beautiful. And with a destination like Beppu in front of you, you'll pedal even faster for a chance to soak in a beautiful hot spring afterwards. Usa and Beppu are connected by the JR Nippo Line.

Ilha Awaji
Unlike some of the other routes on our list, both beginners and experts can enjoy Awaji Island with a variety of routes and tours. There is even a special map available on site that offers a wide range of ideas, destinations and tips for cyclists exploring the area. One thing that all the different routes and courses have in common is the beautiful coastal scenery surrounding the island. To get to Awaji, take the shinkansen from Osaka, get off at the Shin-Kobe stop and take the bus from there.

Radweg Okawa-Kitakata
Stretching from Aizuwakamatsu to Kitakata along the Okawa River in the Aizu region of Fukushima, this 49 km bike trail features some of the most historical scenery, scenic scenery and well-maintained roads of any bike trail in Japan. Look out for the impressive Mt. Bandai and the beautiful castle town of Aizu, which is known to look particularly beautiful during the cherry blossom season. To reach the start of this route by train, take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Koriyama Station before transferring to the JR Banetsu-sai line. This will take you to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station.

Miyako-jima and Irabu-jima
These islands make dream cycling routes if you love contemplating the crystal clear waters while cycling. With the longest bridge in Japan, the islands of Miyako-jima and Irabu-jima offer not only an extremely pleasant bike ride of more than 3,500 meters, but also beautiful coastal landscapes, cafes and beaches.

(Video) Cycling Japan’s Most Scenic Bike Route | Shimanami Kaido 🚲 Japan Travel Must-See!

from them(Tochigi Prefecture)
For cyclists with a lot of energy and leg strength, the Tochigi mountain region is recommended. Nasu is easily accessible from Tokyo and has a wide range of cycling routes and courses. Experts and hardcore mountain bikers can really challenge themselves when tackling the mighty mountain. Nasutake. Take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Nasushiobara Station to reach this beautiful area.

koto (not lago)
East of Lake Biwa, near Moriyama, Omihachiman, and Hikone lies an area known as Koto. There is a 200km circular route around the lake, perfect for cyclists of all ages and levels. Crystal clear water, beautiful landscapes and well-maintained trails make “Koto” an extremely pleasant place for cycling. To get to 'Koto' use yourJRailPassNumberto take a JR Tokaido Line train from Kyoto Station to Otsu Station or go to Hikone Station on the east side of the lake.

As well as these spectacular routes, Japan is also famous for more than 30 beautiful national parks, many of which offer visitors the chance to hop on two wheels and explore the area. For more information, see our guide toVisit the national parks of Japan. This stunning, rugged and varied environment is perfect for cycling and a variety of other outdoor activities, from hiking and mountaineering to rafting and canoeing, skiing and snowboarding. So be sure to check out our guide and learn how to get to each one. with the JR Pass.

Cycling at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

This year, cycling is one of the sporting activities at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Olympic cycling is scheduled to take place at various locations in Japan (see below), including Lake Yamanaka, the largest of Japan's five lakes. Fuji, which is part of the official 2020 Olympic Games cycling course ending at Fuji International Speedway in Oyama. You can reach Oyama using your Japan Rail Pass and the Tohoku Shinkansen. As explained at the beginning, you will find much more information about this year's games in Japan on our special pages, including all important dates, venues and important travel information.Tokyo 2020 and the JR Pass. However, for all the bike lovers out there, here's a quick rundown of what to expect from this year's Olympic cycling events in Japan.

⦁30.07.2020 10:00-12:00
Tag 9 -BMXRace (Quarterfinal Men, Quarterfinal Women)

⦁31.07.2020 10:00-12:20
Ride 10 –BMXRaces (semifinals and finals men's races, semifinals and finals women's race, award ceremony)

(Video) Best Cycling Path in Japan // 🚲 BIKES ONLY 🚲

⦁08.01.2020 10:10-12:20
Tag 11 -BMXFreestyle (Männer Freestyle Park Seed, Frauen Freestyle Park Seed)

02.08.2020 10:10-12:45
Tag 12 –BMXFreestyle (Freestyle Park Men's Final, Freestyle Park Women's Final, Freestyle Park Men's award ceremony, Freestyle Park Women's award ceremony)

Venues are Ariake Urban Sports Park, Izu Velodrome, IzuBTTCourse
Musashinomori Park and Fuji International Speedway. You can learn more about each location and view a detailed map on our dedicated website.Tokyo 2020Web pages.

I want to ride a bike! The best cycling routes in Japan (4)

Sakai City - The City of Bikes

Located south of downtown Osaka, Sakai offers a great cycling experience in a beautiful and historic part of Japan. Mozu City and surrounding areas are listed asUNESCOWorld Heritage sites for the 16th-century keyhole-shaped tomb of Japanese Emperor Nintoku. On the edge of Daisen Park you will also find Japan's only bicycle-themed museum. The Bicycle Museum Cycle Center is the place to understand and appreciate the history and heritage of the bicycle in Japan, particularly the connection between the region's iron workers and bicycle production. This is just one of the reasons why Sakai is known as the "City of Bikes". It's a great place to get around on two wheels, and you can rent a bike from 300 yen per day at the pier near Mozu Station. Osaka is known as the cuisine of Japan for the high quality of its restaurants and street food. Find out more about Osaka's specialties and restaurant recommendations in our travel guideJapanese food and regional dishes. Thanks to the country's rail network and the Japan Rail Pass, Osaka is easily accessible from many other destinations in Japan. For example, you can use your JR Pass to boardHikarimiKodamaTrains on the Tokaido Shinkansen lines to travel from Tokyo to Osaka in a few hours.

Additional tips for bike lovers visiting Japan

  • They say that the best season for horseback riding in Japan is spring or autumn, although it's generally considered good year-round. If you're not sure what time of year to visit Japan, check out our guideClimate and Seasons in Japan: Decide what time of year you want to travel.
  • Traffic laws for cyclists in Japan are more or less the same as in other parts of the world, but here are the main things to keep in mind: Ride on the left-hand side of the road; Use a light after dark; Don't travel with two people (unless you're a two-seater); no headphones; Don't ride a bike with an umbrella.
  • You need to sign up for the Bike Fit, so make sure you have a credit card or smartphone and PocketWifi. read oursComplete Guide to PocketWifi for Travel to Japan for more information.
  • Of course, after all that cycling, you want to rest your weary bones. What better way to do that than at a traditional Japanese onsen? To get you started, here is our guide to theThe best places to eat onsen in Tokyo.
  • Finally, another great way to experience Japan is by train. with hisSurrender JR, you can cross the country and come back. Learn more about Japan's world-class national rail network and some of the most scenic train journeys you can experience on ourGuide to Trainspotting in Japan.

If you like cycling, how about trying other outdoor activities in Japan? From climbing and climbing Mount Fuji, to skiing and snowboarding in Hokkaido or the Japanese Alps, to scuba diving and water sports in the lush coastal regions, Japan has something for everyone. come and see usblog sitesfor much more

(Video) Beautiful Cycling Path in Japan 🚲 Kiso River Bike Ride to Inuyama Castle


Which road bike route is best in Japan? ›

There's a reason why the Shimanami Kaido is Japan's best-known cycling route: it's an absolute stunner. The 70-kilometer course follows a system of bridges and toll roads that link six islands in the Seto Inland Sea, connecting Onomichi in Hiroshima with Imabari in Ehime.

What is the longest bike path in Japan? ›

The Shimanami Kaido is famous among biking enthusiasts around the world. Experienced cyclists can complete the 70-kilometer journey along it in about four hours. A leisurely cycle while taking in the scenery and stopping at local tourist spots along the way will take about 10 hours.

What time of year is best to cycle in Japan? ›

The best time for cycle touring in Japan is generally around April-May and September-November. If you're determined to travel in July, then Hokkaido is your best choice, you'll find Honshu hot, humid and wet.

Which country has the best cycle routes? ›

Top 8 Paved Bike Trails
  • The Shimanami Kaido, Japan. ...
  • The North Sea Cycle Route. ...
  • The Great Ocean Road, Australia. ...
  • The Pamir Highway, Tajikistan. ...
  • Friendship Highway, China and Nepal. ...
  • La Route Verte, Canada. ...
  • Carretera Austral, Chile. ...
  • National Highway 1, Vietnam.

What is the golden route in Japan? ›

Tokyo and Kyoto are two of Japan's most popular tourist destinations and are commonly traveled between via the Tokaido Shinkansen along what has become known as Japan's "Golden Route", stretching along the densely urbanized Pacific Coast.

Can I park my bike anywhere in Japan? ›

In Japan, you can't just park your bike anywhere. As convenient as bikes can be, you may be surprised that you can't just park them anywhere in Japan. Despite the number of cyclists in the city, parking can be hard to come by. Don't run the risk of having your bike confiscated.

What is the best month to go to Japan? ›

The best time to visit Japan is during spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). This is when Japan is at its most vibrant, with delicate cherry blossom or bright red leaves adding contrast to the scenery.

Is Japan safe for cycling? ›

Japan is a great country for bicycle touring, with an increasing number of bike paths, or 'cycling roads' as they are known locally. Popular bike touring areas include Kyushu, Shikoku, the Noto Peninsula, Hokkaido and – if you like steep hills – the Japanese Alps.

Is Japan bike friendly? ›

Japan is very bike-friendly and aside from the larger cities and the main arterials between cities, surprisingly traffic-free. Travelling in rural Japan can be quite frustrating if you speak no Japanese at all. Very few people speak any English, and most signs, train and bus schedules are printed only in Japanese.

Do you need a license to ride a bicycle in Japan? ›

Neither your regular Japanese license nor your foreign motorcycle license will allow you to ride a bike in Japan. You will need to get certified.

Is it easy to cycle in Japan? ›

Japan is also a very cycle-friendly destination, ideal for bicycle touring beginners but also very enjoyable by expert cycle tourers. Cycling in Japan is super-safe, wild camping is incredibly easy, the road network is vast and well maintained.

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.

Is Tokyo cycle friendly? ›

Although cycling in Tokyo is far more safe than in most major cities, there are still a few things to keep in mind before heading out: Don't be afraid to ride on the sidewalk. Unlike in most places, cycling on the sidewalk in Tokyo is totally fine. In fact, it's where most cyclists tend to ride.

What is the most bike-friendly city in the world? ›

The Dutch city of Utrecht has been named as the world's most bicycle friendly city by the Global Bicycle Cities Index 2022.

Which city is the cycling capital of the world? ›

Amsterdam: cycling capital of the world.

Which is better Kumano Kodo or Nakasendo? ›

The Nakasendo Way is (for most people) an easier hike than the more rugged Kumano Kodo. This ancient highway was established over 400 years ago to connect the two major cities of the time – Kyoto and Tokyo. This route is considered more of a cultural walk through old Japan than a strenuous hike.

Is road cycling popular in Japan? ›

Next to Amsterdam and Denmark, Japan has been recognized as a biking nation. Japan is referred to as a nation of over 100 million cyclists, and its capital city, Tokyo is the most bicycle dense mega-city in the entire world.

Do people bike the road to Hana? ›

The best way to experience the Road to Hana is by bike.

Cycling the Road to Hana - one of the most beautiful, scenic, and epic bike riding adventures on Maui, the Hawaiian Islands, and the U.S. Our route is the out-and-back beginning at the 0 mile marker for the Road to Hana, to Hana and back.

Which is the fast lane in Japan? ›

Lane Differences in Japan

If there are several lanes, as in two-lane or three-lane highways, you are expected to drive on the left and pass on the right: the rightmost lane is the passing lane.

How hard is the Kumano Kodo trail? ›

Difficulty level: Difficult. This route is not recommended for novice hikers as parts of the trail run along high mountain ridges with rough and uneven paths underfoot. As you walk the trail, visit the three sacred shrines in Wakayama including the Okunoin Temple, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and the Kongobuji Temple!

How long does it take to do the Nakasendo trail? ›

The circular walk is 7km / 4.3 miles with 632m / 2,075 feet of ascent, 637m / 2,090 feet of descent and takes 2-3 hours. You can take this walk in the morning, before heading onwards to Yabuhara. After breakfast, walk the short distance to the small town of Kiso-Hirasawa, famous for its lacquerware.


1. Perfect Day For a Bike Ride in Japan! Cycling Path Berry Picking! 🍓
(Two Wheel Cruise)
2. Five Cycling Routes in Toyama Prefecture | japan-guide.com
3. 6 Of The Most Crazy Bike Paths In The World | The Best Cycle Routes You Should Ride
(Global Cycling Network)
4. The Forgotten Golden Era of Motorcycles: The Story of The Japanese Motorcycle Horsepower Wars
5. Bicycle Touring in Japan - The Good & Bad | Cycling the World 51
(Wheels to Wander)
6. Video09 Riding a bicycle: Rules of the road in Japan
(在住外国人のためのくらし情報サイト Life in Tokyo)
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