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Sapporo to Tokyo


Jul 27, 2010

I'm looking for some advice and hopefully members of this forum can help. I'm planning to come to Japan (from the UK) in September for a couple of weeks to do some credit card touring. I'm thinking of flying to Sapporo and then cycling down to Tokyo - taking a scenic (hilly & quiet roads) route. I'll probably be looking to do around 150km a day.

So is this a good idea?
Do you have any suggestions for routes or places to stay?
As I've never been to Japan before, are these good places to visit?

Any ideas welcome,



ps if you are interested in that sort of thing, pictures from my last trip, on the West Coast of the US are here: http://bit.ly/dksZ6I
For routes, in general I would say avoid most coastal roads in Honshu--there are plenty that are fine, of course, but percentage-wise you're more likely to find better roads in the interior.

Coming down from Aomori especially I'd definitely advise passing by Lake Towada and the Hachimantai area, some very nice scenery there.

Accommodation comes up here a fair bit, try searching "touring" or "minshuku" or "youth hostel" etc.

Lots of folk here have more experience touring than I, so better advice will be coming, I'm sure...

I biked from Aomori (Misawa) to Yokohama in 2006 along the coast. How is your Japanese?
I don't speak any Japanese - how much of a problem will that be?

not really too much. Cash beats all, some places are still not quite up to speed on credit cards. Big cities are no problem. looking at your 150kms a day goal you can do an interior route and still be in larger cities for accommodation. English is much more likely to be understood in larger city hotels. Hotel chains like Tokyoko Inn are modern and run about 5,800 yen a night. link here http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/.
Do it.

I just wanted to say thank you for your responses to this post. I'm all set - flying out from the UK tonight, a couple of days in Sapporo and then heading down to Tokyo, using the suggestions above. I'll send a link to my photos when I'm back.



Pictures from my ride are here, if you're interested - http://www.flickr.com/photos/tcrebb/sets/72157624929331945/

It was a fantastic ride and Japan is an amazing country - beautiful scenary, fantastic food and the people I met couldn't have been more helpful. The only thing wrong is that there was nothing wrong. I ended up cheating and taking the train from Sendai to Tokyo - I lost some time after I destroyed a tyre and had to go back north to Sendai to get a replacement.

I just wish I'd had more time - I'll have to come back.

Thanks again for your tips,

Great pictures, Tom, thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed the trip.

Particularly liked this pic and the caption; I know that parking lot well and Hachimantai does have one of the lamest summits in Japan :)
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