What's new

Cycling Life in Japan?

Elzico2012

Maximum Pace
Jan 29, 2014
195
236
Nearby the Tamagawa river looks good to me to have an easy access to the river cycling path in the early morning, and close enough from Minato-ku

> Looking for somewhere central ish, but also easy to get out for a ride, and easy to get to Minato City for work.
For me, it is asking too much for a city like Tokyo. In a way or another, it is difficult to combine every point and get it perfect. If you are into urban cycling, it is ok.

An option, if possible, is to set up in Minato or somewhere else and then considering moving after exploring the city so that it can meet your needs
 

Nuff

Maximum Pace
Jul 28, 2020
140
135
Minato Ku is pretty big, so it's best to start off with the train station closest to your work and what train lines pass through it. Once you have that, you can check what's with in 20-30min of your work. Personally I think for Minato-ku closer to Arakawa river is better. Personally I've strong distaste for tamagawa since I ride it a lot for my z2 rides. I used to ride Arakawa and it was a lot better, it's a lot wider instead of being a narrow goat track and during the weekdays in the mornings it's fairly empty + all the gates are open. It's perfect for getting in an early morning workout before work.

The advantage of Tamagawa it is better access to bigger hills and getaway to mountains.
 

nateberkopec

Warming-Up
Oct 22, 2022
3
2
I live in Denenchofu, right on the Tamagawa. Train access is good, Shibuya is about 30 minutes door to door. The Tamagawa cycling path is great. Like others said, lots of walkers/runners so hard to really crank hard on it but it's better than stopping every minute for a traffic light.

If you want somewhere cheaper, Tamagawa on the Kanagawa-ken side (so, Kawasaki basically) would be a good compromise if you don't mind being ~45min away from Shibuya/Yamanote line.
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,513
1,748
I do this loop pretty frequently. It combines the Tsurumi river path with the Tamagawa path. The first 4 mins of the video are the Tsurumi and after that is the Tamagawa. So, @djhnz if you want to see what the cycle paths are like in that area, have a look. The video was taken today, a holiday, so it should give you an idea of how crowded it is on weekends.

 

mr tim

Speeding Up
Mar 11, 2022
60
35
I do this loop pretty frequently. It combines the Tsurumi river path with the Tamagawa path. The first 4 mins of the video are the Tsurumi and after that is the Tamagawa. So, @djhnz if you want to see what the cycle paths are like in that area, have a look. The video was taken today, a holiday, so it should give you an idea of how crowded it is on weekends.


Nice! Thank you for the coffee shop suggestion. I'm 25km south of there and that would be somewhere new for me to try.
 

mr tim

Speeding Up
Mar 11, 2022
60
35
Nice! Thank you for the coffee shop suggestion. I'm 25km south of there and that would be somewhere new for me to try.I tried iot last
Ah... I tried it last week, and although a nice day there were just way too many traffic lights. Nearly spun the bike over a couple of times too! wtf with those big expansion slots on the bridges that are large enough for a bike tire. Had it not been for the cyclist in front of me suddenly doing bunny jumps over them I would have tumbled for sure. Still a nice 60km day out.
 

TheAussieinJapan

Maximum Pace
Apr 15, 2014
313
509
Welcome to Japan!

Expat wise way I met pretty much all the expats I know that cycle was by joining the Rapha Cycling Club.

I didn’t renew over last couple of years as covid saw member benefits such as cafe close, and I avoided group rides. Just renewed and seems more rides happening regularly now but not sure how many expats there are.

I ride 4000-6000km per year in Tokyo, lots of commuting in that too. City is good if you know where and when to avoid. If you work regular hours and getting up early is possible then places like imperial palace are popular. Arakawa cycling road I prefer over Tamagawa cycling road as Tama is packed with pedestrians often. Get yourself a bike bag (Fairmean are the best) to take trains out of city to open more rides.

For an idea what it’s like check out aussieinjapan Instagram & YouTube. My cycling friendly café recommendations there too.

 

DLO

Warming-Up
Jun 17, 2022
3
8
Hi There,

Looking for a job relocation to Tokyo for a few years, but looking for some information on what the cycling is like around Tokyo (and Japan in general).

I've spent a lot of time living in UK, Australia and New Zealand. Outside work life, cycling is my main hobby and where I've typically made most of my friends and social circle. In all of these countries, there is a strong cycling culture with many bunch rides, meetups, and racing.

Are there many group rides, races and cycling events around Tokyo? Currently, my typical routine is to go training for a few hours before work. I know Tokyo is a very busy city. Are roads in the suburbs okay for riding before work? or generally too busy? I see a lot of people will take trains to get outside the city, but ideally I would be able to ride from where I'm living, or is this just not really possible in Tokyo?

Are there many expats and English speaking cyclists around?

Thanks in advance!
While I don't have exposure of cycling outside of Tokyo (started about 3 years ago when the pandemic hit) I've found Tokyo pretty easy for cyclist. I live near Shibuya and the roads are empty in the morning for the most part until about 7am.. After 8/9PM the roads are fine as well. Theres paths that stretch pretty far along the banks of the rivers to the south (Tamagawa) and north (Arakawa) Trains provide a lot of option to get out of the city as well. Buy a rinko bag and you're on your way. I belong to the RCC and have met some nice people there.
 

DLO

Warming-Up
Jun 17, 2022
3
8
I recently cycled from Gotemba to Osaka and just wanted to share a links for the videos I cut. (pretty new to the idea of taking video and editing) But wanted to try capturing my journey. Take a look if you have time. If anyone is planning a similar trip, lmk. Happy to share my routes and experience.





 

TheAussieinJapan

Maximum Pace
Apr 15, 2014
313
509
Thanks for all the replies, my main question was probably how easy it would be to find other expats and english speakers to ride with, who are probably at a pretty high level of fitness.

I have never been to Japan, and would be working around Minato City.
Minato definitely has a large expat population, I’m not sure how others meet expats as I rarely see others out when I do my rides.

As posted below joining Rapha, joining the Wednesday night ride and signing up for rides on app helped. Let me know when you are coming could do a tour de Tokyo with you. I’m prepping for holiday to Aus so days off but busy, have promised wife I’ll spend with her, so mid December onwards I’ll post rides in RCC app.
 

TheAussieinJapan

Maximum Pace
Apr 15, 2014
313
509
I recently cycled from Gotemba to Osaka and just wanted to share a links for the videos I cut. (pretty new to the idea of taking video and editing) But wanted to try capturing my journey. Take a look if you have time. If anyone is planning a similar trip, lmk. Happy to share my routes and experience.






Wow 3 days to Osaka, nice effort. I like that you’ve mostly taken smaller back roads.

I’d love to look at the route and how you made it, want to try this next year.
 

DLO

Warming-Up
Jun 17, 2022
3
8
Wow 3 days to Osaka, nice effort. I like that you’ve mostly taken smaller back roads.

I’d love to look at the route and how you made it, want to try this next year.
Thanks man, it took me 4 days. *Though easily could have finished on day 3.. I just wanted to drink some beer and hangout in Kyoto on day 3. lol

I used Komoot to plan the route. First doing a point A (Gotemba) to point B (Osaka) to get an idea of what the route would look like. Then figuring I wanted to do about 125-150km a day, I figured out an idea of where to stay and then re-planned A -> B -> C..

Day 1: https://www.komoot.com/tour/9614176...sZuSsXWBixAiWn1ScQ8UoLPJBmB3qaM5EirSm&ref=wtd
Day 2: https://www.komoot.com/tour/9614195...R4WjVpJeSPxmadeiNAUNJ2q40cs6wzRifn5TD&ref=wtd
Day 3: https://www.komoot.com/tour/961423342?share_token=a1dLBAIX6mRsu2a0D3SzE15SYEDwSxfmzu35H7QswnmpieLHLq&ref=wtd
Day 4: https://www.komoot.com/tour/9614271...rpdptsH3LqTBOxzjzt0y63vKQGwVj3WDBydjN&ref=wtd

I was a bit concerned about hotels along the way, not wanting to rinko my bike every night. But found most the hotel staff super nice after telling them I was cycling from Tokyo and headed down to Osaka. I stayed at a pretty nice hotel in Kyoto and the man stopped me at first and was like no way.. After I explained to him, even they let me bring the bike up as-is. The guy thought it was super cool and brought me up to my room holding the elevator doors and suite door while going up to my room.
 

TheAussieinJapan

Maximum Pace
Apr 15, 2014
313
509
Thanks man, it took me 4 days. *Though easily could have finished on day 3.. I just wanted to drink some beer and hangout in Kyoto on day 3. lol

I used Komoot to plan the route. First doing a point A (Gotemba) to point B (Osaka) to get an idea of what the route would look like. Then figuring I wanted to do about 125-150km a day, I figured out an idea of where to stay and then re-planned A -> B -> C..

Day 1: https://www.komoot.com/tour/9614176...sZuSsXWBixAiWn1ScQ8UoLPJBmB3qaM5EirSm&ref=wtd
Day 2: https://www.komoot.com/tour/9614195...R4WjVpJeSPxmadeiNAUNJ2q40cs6wzRifn5TD&ref=wtd
Day 3: https://www.komoot.com/tour/961423342?share_token=a1dLBAIX6mRsu2a0D3SzE15SYEDwSxfmzu35H7QswnmpieLHLq&ref=wtd
Day 4: https://www.komoot.com/tour/9614271...rpdptsH3LqTBOxzjzt0y63vKQGwVj3WDBydjN&ref=wtd

I was a bit concerned about hotels along the way, not wanting to rinko my bike every night. But found most the hotel staff super nice after telling them I was cycling from Tokyo and headed down to Osaka. I stayed at a pretty nice hotel in Kyoto and the man stopped me at first and was like no way.. After I explained to him, even they let me bring the bike up as-is. The guy thought it was super cool and brought me up to my room holding the elevator doors and suite door while going up to my room.
Thanks for sharing. This is awesome.
live not used aka lot a lot as I struggled a bit with interface and adjusting routes, but will have another go at it. About 85-113km to Gotemba from me depending on route, or head to Lake Yamanaka on the way.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom