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Looking Forward to Biking in Tokyo Area


Oct 5, 2008
Hi everyone,

I recently moved to Tokyo from Hong Kong and I am really excited about going biking. I am fit, but I am a novice at group rides (in the past, I've ridden alone or with a friend). I enjoy both road biking and mountain biking. I've done some mountain bike racing in Hong Kong, but my skill level is novice/low-intermediate. I'd also be interested in joining triathalons in the area.

Since my Japanese is only survival level at this point, I would be grateful if anyone could point me in the direction of English-language cycling route materials for the Greater Tokyo area. Also, does the club have regular weekend or weekday morning rides in Tokyo that I could join? When and where do you meet up? Right now I live in the Akasaka/Minato-ku area of the city.

Thanks a lot,

Hi Dusty

I live right near you and am pretty much in the same position as you. I just moved here last month and am not experienced at all in group rides. I tend not to travel other than by bike, so I probably wouldn't do any rides venturing too far from here, but if you want to do something nearby, with a group or not, let me know.
www.bikely.com seems good

Thanks for your replies. I just heard about half-fast.com from someone else, too, though I'm not yet sure about how comfortable I am with drinking beer and riding in Tokyo traffic.

However, through the half-fast website, I found www.bikely.com, which lists close to 200 bike routes that riders have sketched in the Tokyo area (in English), and tens of thousands of others around the world!

Chriskan, I'd be up for doing a ride together, though it's likely we'll get somewhat lost since neither of us know the city well. I am going to try to ride to Haneda airport on Monday AM just to try to find my way around.


Yeah, I find it especially easy to get lost here in Tokyo. I've definitely done a complete circle without meaning to. I don't mind though; that's one of the best ways for me to get to know an area. I usually plan a route, do something different (accidentally), and then try to figure out what I actually did when I get home. If I'm still up in the morning, I'll go with you if you want some company; just send me a message.
So far, I've gone down to Haneda airport and northeast to Odaiba. Both are nice cruises, but it's hard to get going because there are traffic lights every few hundred meters. I'd like to find a route for next weekend about 50-70 km that doesn't have many traffic lights. But I may have to get on a train first?
Edogawakikkoman --thanks for your suggestions. And also Chriskhan, I appreciate the link with the loop you posted. I copied it into my city atlas.

Last weekend, I went to the Tokyo Port, where lots of bikers do a 10 km loop on Sunday mornings, when there's no traffic. It was a good training ride, but ugly. Check it out if you want to try to ride FAST, and have a chance to stop whenever you feel like tired

On Saturday morning I will try to go to Aragawa.

I saw the ride that TCC members are organizing for tomorrow, and I would love to join, but 100 km with 3 mean hills is probably more than I am ready for now. I need to build up so I can keep up.

Have a great weekend,
Another good route I take to the river is the 4. That one is becoming a favorite. I just did that yesterday.

I'll have to try the Tokyo Port loop next weekend.
Arakawa is great! Definitely the best I've seen in Tokyo so far. The road from Otemachi Station heading east there can get pretty crowded, but once you're on the river path it's very pleasant. Thanks a lot for the suggestion.

Chriskhan, what do you like about Route 4?


Yeah, I went about 50km up the river, and it just keeps going. It seems like you can go forever, and on nice, clear paths. The paths only seem to get better the farther out you go.

The 4 feels a little less dangerous than the 14. If you're going early in the morning, there can be some very large, fast-moving trucks flying by you on the 14. It also doesn't feel like there are too many lights on the 4, but that may depend on how seriously you treat red lights. I've only done them a handful of times at various times of the day, so a lot of this is just in my head. The best thing about the 4 is that it puts you on the river further inland. If you're going when there are a lot of people out, it can help you bypass a lot of the clutter. I still like to take the 10 home. That road never seems too crowded, but there are a lot of lights. I use it as my calm cool-down after a long ride. Again, a lot of it is probably mental. I haven't counted the number of lights or anything.
Ideas on Mountain Biking within 1 hour drive from Tokyo?

I'm not sure if TCC is the right place to ask about mountain biking. However, I love getting away from all the cars and seeing nature from a bike as I zoom along wooded trails. Alas, I've found downtown Tokyo has nothing to offer a mountain biker.

Anyone out there have ideas on good trails or parks to hit? Are there trail maps? Does Japan require any permit for mountain biking? I have a car and am willing to drive up to 1.5 hours (preferably 1 hour) from downtown Tokyo to find some decent riding.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Dusty,

I'm in the progress of mapping some MTB and road routes around Ome. I expect to have the mtb ones finished by end of next week.
see http://www2.gol.com/users/oconnell/travel/routes/ for the latest info with 7 mtb routes currently mapped - most are a mixture of road and mtb.

From this info, I would suggest either doing route 3 from Ome, or from Sawarabinoyuu as below until more info is uploaded.
Unfortunately it's a little far from central Tokyo to Sawarabinoyuu - about an extra 30 mins from Ome, but maybe worth it for the onsen, and parking is free too.
Drive to Sawarabinoyuu onsen (follow sign to left @ 16.2km point) and do number 3 MTB route from 16.2km to 39km (+ from 14.7km to 16.2km to complete the loop).
Alternatively, from the same start point, follow the paved road up from Arima fishing reception (20.1km) instead and start the dirt trail from the 41.18 mark of MTB route 4. This way you do most of the climb on paved road so it's not so tough.
You can relax after the ride in Sawarabinoyuu onsen for JPY 700.

I'll post to a new thread once the routes are all ready.

You don't need a permit for mountain biking in Japan.

Hi Denis,

That is great! Thanks for sharing your mapping efforts. This is what I was looking for, and Ome is not too far from Tokyo.

Is route 3 ok for weekend riding (not crowded)?

If the weather is good, I'll try to get out there this weekend. Last time I was mountain biking was in March in Hong Kong (which is technical, but a beautiful way to see the territory).

Route 3 is dirt road, not hike trail so is grand and wide - not so technical but a tough climb.
There's very little traffic on any of these roads after you pass Arima dam - usually just a few bikers on the paved and upper dirt road. Walkers stick to the hike trails so are nowhere to be seen except for the odd time the trail passes over the road. Most of Arima rindo (20km-25km mark) is closed to traffic so is deserted!
So, you don't need to worry about any crowds.
BTW I finished mapping route 8 now.

Do you happen to know anyone, that has has experience of planning and building a downhill course? Legal and financial issues to consider, want to see how it's done over here.

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