Cycling Along Honshu

Nov 26, 2012
3
0
0
Australia
#1

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#2
Dealing with your last question first: Even in January, typical temperatures in Tokyo will be 3-12 C. So you can still cycle, provided you dress for the temperatures. It may be cold, but it's also the driest season (no rain, great views).

You can basically cycle all year round in the Kanto area around Tokyo and along the Pacific coast from Tokyo all the way to Kyushu. On the other hand, the Japan sea side, the Northeast, the higher elevation and inland areas and of course Hokkaido will be covered in snow in winter.
 
Nov 26, 2012
3
0
0
Australia
#3
Ah, that's good to hear. How are the roads over there? Is there much of a shoulder? Here in Australia I know alot of our highways have either wide shoulders at occasionally marked on-road bike lanes. Is it similar over there?
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#4
Ah, that's good to hear. How are the roads over there?
Narrow. Even where they are wide, they tend to be crowded.

80% of Japan is mountains and 80% of the population lives in the other 20% (mostly along the coast). That and the total population of about 127 million explains why it's so crowded.

You should plan your route carefully to avoid roads with lots of traffic, especially trucks, which can be very intimidating because wide vehicles don't leave much margin on narrow roads. Avoid the major roads and pick smaller roads that have less traffic. You'll see more interesting places too.

Is there much of a shoulder? Here in Australia I know alot of our highways have either wide shoulders at occasionally marked on-road bike lanes. Is it similar over there?
There are few bike lanes in Japan and even where they exist, it's not unusual to find cars parked there. Expect to travel with motorcycles and cars.
 
Nov 26, 2012
3
0
0
Australia
#5
Thank you for all the information. I've had my fair share of narrow roads and big trucks, so they don't deter me (too much). One final naive question: Is it possible to climb mt. fuji at this time of year or do the roads close? I've read it's not a bad cycle up.
 
Dec 11, 2012
2
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0
Melbourne
#6
Cycling Mt Fuji

Mt Fuji is closed this time of year.Due to ship loads of snow
In the summer months when open there is an access road
other side of Fuji where the hiking access way to the
top is.At and near the top there is a lack of oxygen
due to the altitude,so best walked rather than exert
oneself.View at the top as the sun pops up is
very spiritual.
 
Nov 9, 2006
303
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36
Yokohama
#7
Honshu

I`ve ridden from Wakayama to Yokohama along the PacCoast. You`re welcome to check out my Gallery on this site.

Mie and Wakayama-ken are awesome. The Pacific coast is generally warmer than inland (because of Kuroshio). You`ll pass through Ise if you take this route as well.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#8
Is it possible to climb mt. fuji at this time of year or do the roads close? I've read it's not a bad cycle up.
I once drove up Fuji Subaru line by car in May and found the road closed due to snow somewhere before the 5th stage (the end of the toll road, beyond which there is only a hiking path).

I also cycled up in late October 2011. The descent from the 5th stage was the coldest I ever felt on a bicycle.

The official hiking season doesn't start until July 1 and ends on August 31. Most cabins on the hiking trails close soon after the official season. Trying to hike to the top of Mt Fuji in mid-winter is not recommended unless you have arctic climbing experience (e.g. McKinley) or a death wish.