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Hi from Melbourne, Australia!


Dec 8, 2010
How do you do everyone...!

I visit Japan every couple of years and last time took the Iida train line from Matsumoto to Toyohashi. The towns and countryside looked amazing but there was no time to get out and properly explore. Luckily we stopped at Iida for a couple of days, but I really wanted to explore the other towns along the Iida line and Tenryu river.

I'm a cyclist and would love to attempt a bike ride with a friend (who's not a cyclist!) next year in April between Okaya and Tenryuko, stopping at hotels along the way and taking perhaps one week to do it, jumping on the train if it became too difficult. :bike2:

It would be my first overseas ride, so it's hard to know where to start and I'd love some advice.

Unlike Australia every town seemed linked by roads and paths. Is this typical? In other words, would it be easy to get from town to town without busy highways, or rough mountain trails?

In April, would thermal clothes be required? It was wet but not very cold in Iida in April when I was there.

Any recommendations for hiring or buying a cheap mountain bike for one week?
The other option is to bring or own, in which case we'd need a week of storage in Tokyo for them.

What is the ride like between Matsumoto and Okaya?

I'd really appreciate any advice on this. Cycling seems like the best way to really see a country. Thanks very much and sorry about the million questions!

1- april's usually not too cold but can have days of rain here and there.
2- your road can be direct/flat or hilly/ beautiful/quiet. Generally you have to pick.
3- personally, road bike is the way to go.
4- I have yet to here of a decent rental but you can store boxed bikes at narita airport

Your ride sounds fun!
Thanks! I really can't wait to travel japan by bike. Hopefully my travel partner will enjoy it too...... I will have to bribe her with mochi.
Thanks! I really can't wait to travel japan by bike. Hopefully my travel partner will enjoy it too...... I will have to bribe her with mochi.

Oh my god... mochi is my favourite! Haha sorry random comment but I haven't had it (or even seen or thought about it) in so many years and just remembered how much I love it! Also - you're upcoming bike trip to Japan sounds amazing. I'd suggest checking out http://www.travelinsurance.org though and looking specifically at biking insurance. Might help. Have a good one mate!
Hi - thats similar timing to what I'm trying to plan with my gf. Probably with similar issues :) Do you think thats a good area for cycling ? I want to see some of rural Japan, and my trips there before have been more about the major centres. We are there Apr 22 - May 9, and if I can work out that it makes sense we will take bikes with us. If you stay 1 night in a reasonable sized hotel, you can normally leave a bagged bike with them while you go off on a trip - thats certainly how I will deal with most of our luggage while we are biking.
Hey Wheelspin,

As you say there are a great deal of wonderful spots to cycle in the countryside here.

Not sure if you are aware, but Japan's "Golden Week" of holidays is approximately between April 29- May 5. Basically everyone in Japan have
holidays at this time, so if you don't have to come during these dates, it's best avoided. You can definitely still do cycling trips at this time (there are many testaments to that in these forums), but it would just be a bit more "complicated" , shall we say.

If your dates are set in stone, well, don't worry too much about it.

And sorry if you are already aware of this fact!

This year's official "golden week" holidays are 4/29, and then 5/3, 5/4, and 5/5. Some people will also have 5/2 and/or 5/6 off. It's a very busy time on public transport, and also extremely hard (and pricey) to get lodging.

On the other hand, it's usually a beautiful time of year for cycling.
Ah..... Thanks for the news on dates. No, I didn't know about Golden Week and I am a little stuck with the dates. Hmmmm. :confused:
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