Osaka - Fukuoka

tulient

Warming-Up
Mar 12, 2013
8
0
1
kyoto
#1
Looking to make a bike trip from osaka to fukuoka and was wondering if anyone had suggestions on roads to take. Plan on staying in a tent every day and was hoping to avoid lots of traffic. Would it be better to stay on inland roads or follow the coast? No real time constraints.
 

tulient

Warming-Up
Mar 12, 2013
8
0
1
kyoto
#2
Anyone have opinions of taking coastal roads on honshuu? For some reason the north route, sea of japan coast seems to look more scenic, and less trafficked, at least on google maps. The south coast, whether hoping onto shikoku or not, seems a more straightforward ride but I dont really know.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
648
133
Kanazawa
#3
Not having done any of what you're asking about...

The coastal road on the sea of Japan is generally busy/trafficky, and if I were doing it I'd try to stay inland. How far inland is an open question, but for any driver/trucker, following the coast is going to be the no-brainer decision. Yes, there may be less overall traffic on the sea of japan side, but all that traffic is traveling along one road.

Also, while there are some highlights between maizuru/obama and fukuoka, following the coast all the way may be a little boring.

On the plus side, there will certainly be more food stops, and non-camping places to stay along the coast. (Tho camping will still be okay)
 

tulient

Warming-Up
Mar 12, 2013
8
0
1
kyoto
#4
Thanks for the input jdd.
I am just looking for suggestions for routes to take for a low stress, enjoyable ride. Really the only thing I am able to find is the 'length of japan' course which still has considerable stretches of route 2, a large traffic road.
 
Dec 17, 2011
267
8
38
kanazawa
#7
These kind of long touring rides seem VERY interesting! Can't offer any advice but I'm also interested in hearing tips and actual experiences regarding such long rides.

Watching this thread closely!
 

tulient

Warming-Up
Mar 12, 2013
8
0
1
kyoto
#8
leaving saturday morning so any last minute suggestions would be great. can't seem to find a route online that has a good balance of traffic vs civilization. want to be able to use the sento and have easy access to food and bike shops in case something bad happens. north route along the sea of Japan seems too reliant on route 9 which looks no fun. I will probably end up going to Shikoku and up to omoshima. and westward using the "length of Japan " route. I am just hoping there are plenty of spots to set up camp near the beach or something. I didn't really want to camp in the city which is one of the reasons for looking at a mountain trail. main worries are setting up camp and where to bathe.
 
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Shimokitazawa
#9
I don't have any suggestions for the route, but I wouldn't worry about finding sentos or places to camp. You can pretty much camp wherever you want all over Japan. Even in cities you can pitch just your tent in parks. People only really care if you're planning to stay more than one day. Once you tell them you're leaving in the morning, they'll be more interested in you and your trip than your campsite.

Sentos can be found in most decent sized towns. Each day when you pass through an area that looks likely, ask around for a nearby sento. You might not always get your bath right at the end of the day's cycling, but you should be able to bathe once a day. Touristy areas in the countryside also usually have a bath around somewhere.
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#10
Similar journey...

I did a similar ride in Golden Week, 2006. I rode from Kyoto to Shimonoseki over four days.

I only had a limited time, so I basically stuck to the main roads (ie. Rte.2) for the most part. The only time I wish I hadn't was on Day-2; I ended up getting stuck on an elevated single-lane by-pass for 11km with no way to get down. Other than that wee incident, it was just like any other ride.

Like I said, I was going for the fastest route possible to get there within the short time I had. If you're not so time-constrained, there are usually roads that run approximately parallel to the main road, with the caveat that they will most likely include a lot more climbing, and not be as direct.
I also stayed in Business Hotels near the stations for between 5,500 ~ 8,000 per night, rather than camping.

I haven't yet gotten around to writing a proper blog of the trip yet - I might have to now - But here are the routes I took (*take note of Day2, near the Okayama by-pass) for each day, and a couple of pics for motivation.
Good luck with your trip!

Here are the links to the maps:

Kyoto to Himeji - Day 1
Himeji to Fukuyama - Day 2
Fukuyama to Iwakuni - Day 3
Iwakuni to Shimonoseki - Day 4

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com%2F-MydE7O9O9x0%2FUUXEbazK3NI%2FAAAAAAAAIHg%2FrEMiQiAcZA0%2Fs640%2FVFSH0244.jpg&hash=f34dcd0c58b18e3ee553b0dbc64c2aef


Akashi O-hashi - April 27, 2006.


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Himeji Castle - April 27, 2006.


proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2F-rNJdPh1wBbM%2FUUXE-pVZKcI%2FAAAAAAAAIH0%2FbCzFwtvWKUQ%2Fs653%2FVFSH0259.jpg&hash=0f4323b6fb214f447365f0859cf7e4e4


Hiroshima (Genbaku-Dome) - April 29, 2006.


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Shimonoseki Strait - April 30, 2006.
 

tulient

Warming-Up
Mar 12, 2013
8
0
1
kyoto
#11
buay on road doing.the aformentiomed trip. one thing i have to say is...do not do climbs on a mama chari with.a tent sleeping bag and clothes. i cant even climb a simple bridge anymore. i have to walk, but at least my butt gets a rest.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,442
907
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#12
Why would anyone want to do a ride of this length on a mamachari? :eek:

Mamachari are fine for shopping and other short rides. I have even done a few 50 km rides on them before I bought my current bike. They are no good for long rides, for climbing or for going fast. On most of them you can't raise the seat high enough to get an efficient pedal stroke (leg should be almost fully extended when the pedal is at the bottom), plus they are heavy and have limited gearing.

Having said that, a couple of months ago I met an old man who made a long summer trip around the whole of Japan in his 60s. He left Saitama and cycled up to Hokkaido, then down the Japan sea coast. Only when he reached Niigata did he replace his mamachari with something more suitable for the rest of the tour, he told me.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
76
68
Kochi
#14
Why would anyone want to do a ride of this length on a mamachari? :eek:
`cause it`s fun! Same reason why some ride kid`s bikes ;)
Actually, I love my mama-chari, did two training rides on it this week, with climbs going up to 100-130m. `Heavy (over 20 kg) and limited gearing` makes them perfect for high pedal force/low cadence work. They don`t have to be slow!
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,442
907
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#15
`Heavy (over 20 kg) and limited gearing` makes them perfect for high pedal force/low cadence work. They don`t have to be slow!
Maybe you enjoy grinding, but my knees are too old for this.

I heard that some people do the Fuji Hill Climb fun ride on mamachari. There are few rides you couldn't do on them. I've done a couple of 40-50 km rides on my wife's and daughter's mamachari. With six speed cassettes they're not the most basic ones. Still, the high weight in combination with the low seat position were hard on my knees, which started hurting. Since I would still like to be able to cycle and walk when I'll be in my seventies I'll listen to my knees now :)
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,519
648
133
Kanazawa
#16
I thought mamacharis were geared pretty low to begin with...? That's a guess, but maybe I'll take our one remaining mama out tomorrow to see what it's like.

And tho there's the chance that you'd need a longer post, just raise the seat to where it should be, instead of leaving it low and mamachari-like.

~~~

I think there's a lot to be said for crossing the country (or parts of the country) on locally available bikes, with an eye to leaving one behind, or replacing it if needed. It's just triage. Ride a little somewhere that's nice, and leave the bike behind. Pick up a new one (or used) where you next want to ride. There might be a good book, and a certain kind of freedom in that. (You're free, and not glued to, or invested in, your bike.)

Some parts of Japan can be a little boring, esp. if you're not a dedicated I'm-gonna-do-it-all cyclist. So skip that, and splurge in a unique way to buy a little touring freedom?
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
76
68
Kochi
#17
Maybe you enjoy grinding, but my knees are too old for this.
I`m naturally on the low cadence/high gear side of the equation, so for me, it isn`t much of a problem, and also, the higher your W/kg ratio, the higher you can maintain the cadence...but saying that, I did overdo it one time doing 3 hill repeats on a 130-135m hill with a very short hairpin around 10%+. Put it this way, I haven`t attempted that again!

Simple thing, is to stand when climbing (if it gets steep), and that (for me) takes the pressure off the knees. Also resolves seat height problems. The Fuji Hill Climb fun ride on a mamachari sounds fun. They have a mamachari 4-hour race in Okayama that I would like to do, but just a bit far. But yes, mine isn`t a basic model either - cost 3 times the wife`s mama-chari (she bought it before I got here) - wouldn`t feel safe riding that, especially descents, which would be hold your breath :eek:
 

tulient

Warming-Up
Mar 12, 2013
8
0
1
kyoto
#18
If anyone is interested, I did complete the trip from kyoto to fukuoka via shikoku and the return trip via japan sea


Combined, over 1000 miles