Howdy from Washington, DC

DC-Guy

Cruising
Jun 18, 2012
1
0
11
Washington, DC
#1
Thanks for letting me be a part of Tokyo Cycling Club!

I'm 47 and at the beginning stages of planning my adventure for my 50th birthday. My plan is to cycle from Tokyo to Kyoto (or Kyoto to Tokyo) in May. While I have never been to Japan, I did study Japanese politics during the 1980s and am an obsessive viewer of NHK World.

Initial research has identified a couple of routes but there's much research to be done. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, the road bike that I usually ride is a Scott CR1 Team. It's an entry level carbon frame with low-mid range components. The hybrid that I ride is an ancient Bridgestone MB-6. And my single-speed is a converted 1980s Peugeot.

Also, I speak no Japanese and am vegetarian ... so advice there would be appreciated, too.

Let me know if you're in DC. We have great bike trails and bike lanes. Would be happy to show you around.

--Patrick
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#2
Welcome to TCC!

Most people who cycle Tokyo-Kyoto or Kyoto-Tokyo follow the coast line because it avoids a lot of mountains. The coastal area is densely populated, so you'll always be near convenience stores, hotels and with a choice of roads. I would try and stay away from the biggest roads to avoid heavy truck traffic. If you want opinions on your route plans, map them on RideWithGPS or MapMyRide and share the URL here.

My son was planning to do Tokyo-Kyoto with three of his friends in the spring break. Most of them had done little riding before. They still got as far as Nagoya in rainy weather and then caught a train for the remainder and generally had a good time. They mostly used my son's iPhone for navigation.

May is one of the best months this ride: It's warm enough in the spring, but still before the rainy season of June and the humid summer heat of July/August.

Where to stay really depends on each person's budget. Options range all the way from camping or sleeping in net cafes (some have cubicles with reclining chairs) to minshuku (family pensions) and business hotels to ryokan.

How far you want to go per day depends on what you're used to and much gear you'll carry. If you're staying in hotels and eat in restaurants and convenience stores you can travel pretty light ("credit card touring").