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Wanderlust Japan > Activities > Top 10 Cycling Roads of Japan

Top 10 Cycling Roads of Japan

 

Japan might not be the country with the most bicycles on the street, but it is a place where bike enthusiasts are plentiful, and love to ride.

In cities, you will mainly see “ mama-chari,” bicycles that are ridden by mothers with young children that only have one gear. Mamachari are usually ridden on sidewalks, because they are relatively slow and the preferred choice of transportation for older people and young moms with kids.

I have gone pretty long-distance on a mama-chari on a cycling road before, but it probably much more of a thrill if you are on a bike that can go faster.

 Anyway, here is a list of the 10 most popular cycling roads in Japan! 

 

1. TRANS-SETO INLAND SEA BICYCLING ROAD (瀬戸内海横断自転車道)


From Hiroshima, Onomichi – Ehime, Imabari             80.4 kilometers

Site: http://www.go-shimanami.jp/ (Japanese, Chinese, English, Korean)

This road runs parallel to the Shimanami Kaido, a road that links the main island of Japan, Honshu, with Shikoku. Experienced cyclists and beginners can both enjoy this course.  You get to feel the thrill of island-hopping on a bicycle.

 

WHERE TO RENT

Site listing all the different locations for rentals:

http://www.go-shimanami.jp/global/english/bicycle/index.html

For those who only want to ride GIANT brand name bikes:

http://giant-store.jp/giant-store-rentcycle/

 

THINGS TO SEE

ON ONOMICHI ISLAND

Onomichi Ramen “Shukaen”

http://www.ononavi.jp/eating/chinese-style/detail.html?detail_id=71

Onomichi Museum of Art

http://www7.city.onomichi.hiroshima.jp/

Senko Temple

http://www.senkouji.jp/

 

ON MUKAIJIMA

Takamiyama Park

http://www.ononavi.jp/sightseeing/showplace/detail.html?detail_id=265

Mukaijima Orchid Center

http://www.urban.ne.jp/home/orchids/

 

INNOSHIMA

Soba Shop “Hana”

http://tabelog.com/hiroshima/A3403/A340302/34007734/

 

IKUCHISHIMA

Hirayama Kunio Museum

http://www.hirayama-museum.or.jp/

Kosan Temple and Art Museum

http://www.kousanji.or.jp/

 

OSHIMA

Yoshiumi Rose Hall

http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/rose/

Imabari

Kaiseki restaurant “Iyosuigun”

http://www.iyosuigun.co.jp/

Sashimi bowl restaurant “Tairyo”

http://tabelog.com/ehime/A3802/A380201/38005013/

 

 

2. MAPLE YABA CYCLING ROAD (メイプル耶馬サイクリングロード)

From the Nakatsu city site

 

Runs through Oita, Nakatsu City            36.1 kilometers

Site: http://www.city-nakatsu.jp/kankou/kankouti/2011080800334/  (Japanese, Chinese, English, Korean)

This road utilizes abandoned train tracks to make the bicycling road. You can see sights like the Yabakei Gorge and old ruins from the Edo period. There is a cycling terminal at Yabakei Gorge where you can rent bicycles. There are also showers and places to stay available.

A route map with points of interest written out here (Japanese only)

WHERE TO RENT

There are 3 places you can rent from. You can return the bikes to any of the locations.

1. Domon Cycling Terminal  ( 洞門サイクリングターミナル)

2. Yabakei Cycling Terminal  ( 耶馬溪サイクリングターミナル )

3. Core Yamakuni Cycling Terminal ( コアやまくにサイクリングターミナル )

 

THINGS TO SEE

Actually more like…things to eat. Karaage, Japanese fried chicken, is particularly good in Nakatsu.

DOWNLOADABLE KARAAGE MAP HERE (map of karaage locations, not made of karaage, sorry)

 

Heyadenroku Japanese Sweets Shop

Address: 大分県中津市耶馬渓町小友田338-1

http://www.heyadenroku.com/

 

Japanese Garden Keisekien

Address:  中津市耶馬溪町大字大島2286-1

http://www.city-nakatsu.jp/kankou/kankouti/2011080800570/

 

 

3. BIWAKO YOSHIBUE ROAD (びわ湖よし笛ロード)

from livedoor.blogimg.jp

 

Runs from Omihachiman to Higashi Omi            26.2 kilometers

Site: http://siga.jp/cycle/root/yoshibue.php (Japanese only)

This road is a good one for even beginners. There are many castle ruins in the area, as well as a huge water wheel. The waterways around here called, “Hachiman bori” were recognized as an important cultural property in 2006.

WHERE TO RENT

You can rent near Omihachiman Station or at Azuchi Station.

One day rental should be about 500 yen.

 

THINGS TO SEE

 

Japanese Confectioner Taneya

Address: 〒523-0894 滋賀県近江八幡市中村町 22-13

http://taneya.jp/shop/shiga_hachiman.html 

 

Cafe Sharu Mizugahama

Address: 〒523-0808 滋賀県近江八幡市長命寺町水ヶ浜184

http://www.geocities.jp/it2703/restran3.htm

 

Chomeiji Temple

Address: 滋賀県近江八幡市長命寺町157

http://en.biwako-visitors.jp/attractions/index.php?act=dtl&id=44

 

Kaiseki Restaurant Omishonintei (pricey)

Address: 滋賀県愛知郡愛荘町中宿51

http://www.ohmishonintei.com/

 

4. ARA RIVER CYCLING ROAD (荒川自転車道)

From blog-imgs-51.fc2.com

 

 

Runs from Saitama City to Namekawacho         45.9 kilometers

This road runs along the Ara River and is extremely flat. It is a good place to get ride when you feel like you could ride forever. The riverside is filled with grasses, etc. and places to rest alongside it.

WHERE TO RENT

You can rent at Red Island in Saitama, but it is 500 yen for 3 hrs. It is probably best if you can drive up with your bike, or if you can bring your bike on the train.

Address:

埼玉県さいたま市桜区下大久保1771

http://www.redsland.jp/rl_cycle.html

 

THINGS TO SEE

 

Udon Kawagishiya

Address: 埼玉県上尾市平方2693-3

http://tabelog.com/saitama/A1104/A110401/11004302/

 

Shaved Ice Yuki Milk

Address: 埼玉県比企郡川島町大字上八ッ林288-2

http://www.smile-sky-avenue.com/yukimilk.html

 

5. TSUKUBA CYCLING ROAD (筑波自転車道)

From michi.cyclists.jp

Runs from Sakuragawa to Tsuchiura            40.1 kilometers

Site: http://www.cyclesports.jp/courseguide/jitenshado/016/index.html (Japanese only)

This road runs on the tracks of a former Tsukuba railway. There are toilets, rest areas, points of interest are along the path, making this cycling road perfect for families.

 

WHERE TO RENT

 

Tsukuba Rent a Cycle

2 locations are available:

Tsukuba Station Rent a Cycle- open year round (except the end of the year) 9:00-16:00

Tsukuba Yamaguchi Rent a Cycle- open April 1st til Nov. 30th 9:00 – 15:00

500 per day. 250 yen for kids. You can use it for even the next day if you pay 1,000 yen.

Address: 茨城県つくば市沼田283

http://www.city.tsukuba.ibaraki.jp/14271/14272/003134.html

 

Tsuchiura Rent a Cycle

9:00-17:30 pm (open everyday except at the end of the year)

500 yen a day or 1,000 yen a day for a motorized one.

Address: 茨城県土浦市中央1-3-16

http://www.tsuchiura-kankou.jp/cycling/

 

THINGS TO SEE

 

Amabiki Kannon (temple for the goddess of mercy)

http://database.ibarakiguide.jp/db_kanko/?type=en&detail&id=0800000000068 (English!)

 

Makabe Street in Sakuragawa (old style architecture along this street)

http://www.city.sakuragawa.lg.jp/page/page000455.html

MAP OF DIFFERENT SWEETS IN THE MAKABE AREA (Japanese only)

 

Suiton (flour dumplings) are famous here

http://www.ibarakiguide.jp/seasons/gourmet2012/act4.html (site profiling suiton shops, Japanese only )

 

Tsukubasan Shrine

http://www.tsukubasanjinja.jp/

 

Tsukuba Space Center

http://www.jaxa.jp/about/centers/tksc/index_j.html

 

Machikado Kura (old-fashioned storehouses in Tsuchiura)

http://www.tsuchiura-kankou.jp/machikado_kura/

 

6. SHIKOTSUKO PARK CYCLING ROAD (支笏湖公園自転車道)

From home.hokkaidotour.net

Runs from Sakuragawa to Tsuchiura           26.5 kilometers

Site: http://www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/kn/ddr/cycling/sikotuko-cycling.htm (Japanese only)

This road runs through the city of Chitose, in Hokkaido. It runs through a forest and near the Chitose river. Salmon are said to be plentiful here, but unfortunately salmon attracts bears. Be alert and make sure you don’t run into any. You can also enjoy views of Lake Shikotsuko.

 

WHERE TO RENT

 

Shikotsuko Visitor Center

http://www15.ocn.ne.jp/~sikotuvc/

1 day bike rental: 300 yen/day (deposit 2,000 yen)

1 day electric bike rental: 600 yen/day (deposit 3,000 yen)

*the deposit money comes back to you when you return the bicycle

Shikotsuko Youth Hostel

http://web.mytrip.net/portal/my/info_page_e.Eng?f_no=76349

400 yen/day for a bike rental

 

THINGS TO SEE

 

Shikotsuko Ryokan Association (has links to hot springs to bath in, lunch menus at hotels nearby and various other info)

http://www.shikotsuko.com/english/index.html (English!)

Meisui Fureai Park (a park along the Naibetsu River)

http://www.welcome-to-chitose.jp/category/detail.php?item=11

Chitose Salmon Aquarium

http://www.city.chitose.hokkaido.jp/tourist/salmon/e-html/e_index.html (English!)

 

7. YAWATA KIZU CYCLING ROAD (一般府道京都八幡木津自転車道線)

from cyclekyoto.com

Runs from Arashiyama to Nara           45 kilometers

Site: http://www.cyclekyoto.com/kyoto-to-nara (English!)

This road starts at the famous scenic Togetsukyo bridge in Arashiyama and goes all the way down to Kizu. From here you can continue on down to Nara and maybe make friends with some deer.

 

WHERE TO RENT

 

Arashiyama Shinpachi Chaya

http://www.sinpachi.com/site/contents/cycle.htm

Prices start at 350 yen/hr and are 900 yen/day.

Hours: 9:00-16:00

Fushimi Rent a Cycle

http://www.kctp.net/en/

The above link is in English! There are 5 terminals where you can rent from

THINGS TO SEE

Arashiyama Monkey Park

http://www.kmpi.co.jp/english/index.html

Matsuno Taisha

http://www.kyoto.travel/2009/11/matsuo-taisha-shrine.html

Togetsukyo Bridge

http://www.pref.kyoto.jp/visitkyoto/en/theme/activities/activity/natural/togetsukyo/

Cafe de Salan (cute cafe near the Togetsukyo Bridge)

http://www.cafe-de-salan.com/

Kozuyabashi Nagarebashi (biggest wooden pedestrian bridge in Japan. It floats above water)

http://www.okeihan.net/navi/spot/detail.php?spotno=407

Ikkyuji Temple

http://www.pref.kyoto.jp/visitkyoto/en/theme/sites/shrines/temples/ikkyuji/

 

8. KUSHIRO AKAN CYCLING ROAD (釧路阿寒自転車道)

From cybercyclist.jp

Runs through Kushiro city, Hokkaido           25.4 kilometers

Site: http://www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/kn/ddr/cycling/kusiro-cycling.htm (Japanese only)

This road starts in Karatsu Park and goes through the Kushiro plains, which are known for being a place where the endangered Japanese crane flies. This road is great for people that like riding through marsh-like scenery.

 

WHERE TO RENT

 

Watto Rental

http://www.946wat.jp/watService_rentaCycle.php

Prices start at 200 yen/3 hrs and 100 yen for each additional hour

Hours: 10:00-19:00

THINGS TO SEE

Kushiro Wetlands National Park

http://www.wbsj.org/en/tsurui/wetland.html (English!)

Maruhira Ramen (very popular ramen shop in the area)

http://tabelog.com/hokkaido/A0112/A011201/1004357/

Japanese Crane Reserve (link is to a site with multi-language pamphlets)

 http://kushiro-tancho.jp/index.php?id=18

 Kushiro Zoo

http://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/travelPlanner/details.php?code=6203008000007

 

9. HIRUZEN KOGEN CYCLING ROAD (蒜山高原自転車道)

From city.maniwa.lg.jp

Runs through Maniwa City, Okayama         28.9 kilometers

Site: http://cms.top-page.jp/p/maniwa/3/1/106/ (Japanese only)

This road goes in a circle around the plains of the northern part of Okayama. You can ride while enjoying a view of the Hiruzen mountains. You don’t really need a mountain bike for this trail, but they are available for rent.

 

WHERE TO RENT

 

Michi no Eki

http://cms.top-page.jp/p/maniwa/3/1/47/

Address: 岡山県真庭市蒜山富山根694-129

Prices start at 200 yen/1 hr

Hours: 10:00-17:00

Wood Pao

http://ww81.tiki.ne.jp/~hiruzen/pao-home.html

Address: 真庭市蒜山上福田1201-7

Prices start at 210 yen/1 hr

Hours: 9:30-16:00

THINGS TO SEE

Shiogama Reisen (a cold spring that has clear, drinkable mountain water)

http://www.salvo-ryobi.co.jp/shiogama/07reisen.html (only in Japanese)

Hiruzen Jerseyland

A Jersey cow farm that in located at the foot of the Hiruzen mountains.

http://jerseyland.hiruraku.com/ (only in Japanese)

Gobara Shikki No Kan (lacquerworks house)

http://www.goubara.jp/yakata.html (only in Japanese)

 

10. OKHOTSK CYCLING ROAD (オホーツク自転車道)

From hokkaido-np.co.jp

Runs through Maniwa City, Okayama         28.9 kilometers

Site: http://www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/kn/ddr/cycling/abasiri-cycling.htm (Japanese only) 

Here are some Hokkaido cycling roads mapped out in English and there is a portion that goes close to the sea in the last one 

This road goes from Abashiri Park to Lake Notoro and the shoreline of Okhotsk. 70% of this path is by water. In Abashiri you can rent cycles to do this course.

 

WHERE TO RENT

 

Michi no Eki (Ryuhyo Kaido Abashiri)

http://www.abakanko.jp/event/cycle_rental/

Address: 〒093-0003 Hokkaido Prefecture, Abashiri, 南3条東4

Prices start at 500 yen/3 hrs and 1,000 yen/day

electric bikes are 1,000 yen/ 3 hrs and 2,000 yen/day

You need an ID to rent a bicycle. You also need to leave 1,000 yen behind as a deposit.

Hours: 9:00~17:00

THINGS TO SEE

Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum (Museum dedicated to ice floes)

http://www.ryuhyokan.com/

Address: 〒093-0044 北海道網走市天都山245番地1

Prices start at 210 yen/1 hr

Hours: 8:00~18:00(Summer opening from April to October)
9:00~16:30(Winter opening from November to March )

Abashiri Zangi-don (list of restaurants that serve the fried local salmon dish over rice)

http://www.abakanko.jp/food/ (only in Japanese)

Coral grass at Lake Notoro

 http://abashiri.jp/tabinavi/en/tourist/spot.html (English!)

 

 

 

 

June 05  Category:Activities Tag:,

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