Cycling Road Trip in Japan from 16May-23May (tentative)

whoiscyrus

Warming-Up
May 1, 2015
2
0
1
36
Hong Kong
#1
G'day Everyone,

Cyrus here from Hong Kong, i m planning a cycling road trip in mid May to Japan. I' ve never been to japan, looking for both advise on routes, tips and riding buddies if any one interested to go explore together. Otherwise it will be a solo trip.

I'll bring along my roadbike and if i m not doing a return routes then i ll need to throw away my bike paper box and get another one before i fly back.

Any good scenic routes with awesome food, onsen on the way would be fantastic also, won't be booking any place to stay in advance due to the fact that i don't have a clue where i 'll be and how long i'll ride each day. Reckless ideas maybe but total in adventurist mode for sure.

Pending date: Between 16-28 May 2015
Duration: Between 5-14 days
Gears: Bike, Myself and a backpack.

Thanks all in advance. :)
Cyrus
 

Velojim

Cruising
Nov 16, 2009
35
3
18
Vancouver, Canada
#5
Cyrus: I would suggest starting from Tokyo and riding along the Arakawa river cycle path out to Takasaki. I did that on my last tour of Japan in 2013. You can take the Keisei Skyliner from Narita direct to Ueno station and use that as your starting point to get to the Arakawa river. I stayed at the Touganeya hotel which is cycling friendly and left my bike box there to use for my return to Vancouver. From Takasaki, you can ride up to Kusatsuonsen and then up to Mt. Shirane which is one of Japan's great cycling climbs. I wrote a blog of my 2013 tour with lots of photos and ridewithgps routes that can give you some ideas: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/velojim-japan/1/tpod.html
Feel free to PM me if you have some specific questions.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#7
Cyrus: I would suggest starting from Tokyo and riding along the Arakawa river cycle path out to Takasaki. I did that on my last tour of Japan in 2013. You can take the Keisei Skyliner from Narita direct to Ueno station and use that as your starting point to get to the Arakawa river.
Narita isn't far from the Tone. I suppose one could ride from the airport to the Tone. And then you'd simply go upstream to Takasaki or wherever.

Your map shows that you went quite some way along or near the left bank of the Tone. I'm not knocking that -- I haven't tried it; it could be interesting for all I know -- but there seem to be quite a lot of zigzags. There's a path all along the right bank, aside from one short section along the left bank (in order to get around the tributary Karasugawa) from Bandō-hashi (坂東大橋, which carries national route 462) to Goryō-hashi (五料橋, which carries prefectural route 142). (Anyone who doesn't have a GPS but can make out the characters 坂東大橋 and 五料橋 can't make a mistake, because in this stretch of the Tone cycle path the bridges are signposted repeatedly.)
 

hat and beard

Maximum Pace
Apr 3, 2012
338
276
93
Boso
#8
Narita isn't far from the Tone. I suppose one could ride from the airport to the Tone. And then you'd simply go upstream to Takasaki or wherever.
Yes. It's a quick and easy ride from the airport right onto the Tone cycling road. It you go that way you can get at it right off the plane without bothering with trains at all.
 

dastott

Speeding Up
May 10, 2012
66
12
28
Fukuoka
#9
Probably better off with an open jaw ticket. Fly into Tokyo or Osaka. Then head south to Kyushu and fly out of Fukuoka would be a good option. Aso in Kyushu offers fantastic cycling. If you like climbing, Shikoku might be good too.
 

George5

Maximum Pace
Oct 16, 2014
385
141
73
46
#11
I can't understand why anybody would fly all the way to Japan just to ride up the Tone river. It's one of the most boring river rides I know of.
What is the purpose of this trip???
Totally agree, head south from Tokyo do the Izu Peninsular. You'll get views, Onsens and great seafood. Head for Kyoto after that for some culture. If time allows try a loop of Shikoku then fly out of Osaka or something. Whats your bike and backpack set up?
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#12
I can't understand why anybody would fly all the way to Japan just to ride up the Tone river. It's one of the most boring river rides I know of.
I thought @Velojim was suggesting rides up from Takasaki. There are various possibilities, among them the Minakami area and a stay at one of TCC's few corporate sponsors (highly praised in every message about it that I remember reading). If you wanted to go to Takasaki, then you could take a train from Narita to Tokyo and then another from Tokyo to Takasaki. Or you could ride upriver. It's not a thrilling bike ride, but then it's also not a thrilling couple of train rides.
 

Velojim

Cruising
Nov 16, 2009
35
3
18
Vancouver, Canada
#13
My original suggestion to start from Tokyo was premised on the fact that Cyrus has never been to Japan before. Plus, the fact that you can virtually ride from central Tokyo - one of the world's biggest urban areas - along a dedicated cycle path on the Arakawa river that leads you out to Kumagaya/Takasaki and then beyond is awesome. Coming from Hong Kong, this should be a dream come true! For TCC members who ride this route all the time, I'm sure it gets boring but, for first time visitors, it's a remarkable feature that makes Japan so cycling friendly. This route is also taken from "Cycling Japan by Takashi Niwa: 10 of the Best Rides."

The Izu Hanto is also a great suggestion but I think you have to ride through Tokyo suburbia and traffic unless someone knows a quick and easy route to get there.