Shimonoseki to Osaka Cycle-Touring

murr1234

Warming-Up
Apr 2, 2012
4
0
0
Daegu
#1
Hi there, fellow cycling enthusiasts!

I plan to come across from S Korea (where I am living) to Japan for a month with my bike in July/August this year, and do a cycle trip from Shimonoseki to Osaka. My plan is to follow the “Length of Japan” Route (http://www.japancycling.org/v2/cguide/part1/) .

I have a few questions, if you don’t mind…

When would be the best month to do it? I can come for a month anytime between July 1st and Aug 31st. I am thinking of the rain and the heat, as obstacles – but I think the rain is the bigger obstacle, so the less I can get of that, the better.

Which direction would be better: from Osaka to Shimonoseki, or the other way around? i.e. taking into account any prevailing winds etc.

What do you think of the "Length of Japan" route? As I have a full month, I can make some diversions too, as Osaka to Shimonoseki is only about 1000km’s, I think. Any recommendations?

Thanks so much… any advice will be greatly appreciated!
Murray
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,512
639
133
Kanazawa
#2
Are you credit-card touring, or camping?

I haven't done either of the things that I'm going to suggest, but here goes...

First, considering the JCN route, I'd try to spend a lot more time on Shikoku than that route offers. You might want to start by crossing back to Kyushu, and heading down to Beppu/Oita, where there are ferries over to Shikoku. Once there, you might google for the pilgrimage to the 88 temples and try to follow some of that.

Second, toss the JCN route altogether and follow the Sea of Japan (Dong-Hae!) coast up to Obama or Maizuru, turn right, and approach Osaka from the north. Depending on your gearing, your load, and your fitness, you could also stay inland from the coast--more mtns, but quiet and nice.

John D.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#3
When would be the best month to do it? I can come for a month anytime between July 1st and Aug 31st. I am thinking of the rain and the heat, as obstacles – but I think the rain is the bigger obstacle, so the less I can get of that, the better.
The best month in my opinion would be October/November or April/May ;)

July and August are almost equally hot and humid, with August having a slight edge. Most of west Japan seems to have more rainfall on average in July than in August, e.g. Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Osaka, but only the winter is really a dry season.

August is busier with tourists because the school holidays typically run from the last week of July to the end of August and the o-bon holidays when many companies close altogether are usually around the second week of August.
 

murr1234

Warming-Up
Apr 2, 2012
4
0
0
Daegu
#4
Thanks for the advice. I will be camping most of the way, so the quiet roads would no doubt be the better option. I guess the coastal roads are really busy? Having a stretch of sea to swim in and cool off in would be lovely!
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,512
639
133
Kanazawa
#5
I guess if you're in Taegu, following the JCN course would be a little like going from where you are, over to Taejon, then maybe following the coast north to Inchon and Seoul.

Following the Sea of Japan coast (tho much longer/quieter) might be similar to starting in Pohang and going north to YangYang or Sokcho. There aren't as many people, but those that are there will probably follow the main coastal route(s), which = traffic/truck traffic. Out of Shimonoseki, that would be routes 191, and then 9, and so on.

How about hooking up with this route along the middle?
https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=2694&highlight=spine
 

murr1234

Warming-Up
Apr 2, 2012
4
0
0
Daegu
#6
Thanks so much for the advice, everyone... I really appreciate it. Too many options!!!

So if one follows a Sea of Japan route (or East Sea route, as we would refer to it here in Korea!), is there a fairly quiet road that follows the coast? Or are the only options those busy 191 and 9 routes? I intend staying off the big busy roads at all costs, if possible.

Also, any preferences for starting in Osaka, and heading downwards, as opposed to starting out in Shimonoseki?

Thanks again!
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,144
45
68
Kochi
#7
The best month in my opinion would be October/November or April/May ;)

July and August are almost equally hot and humid, with August having a slight edge. Most of west Japan seems to have more rainfall on average in July than in August, e.g. Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Osaka, but only the winter is really a dry season.

August is busier with tourists because the school holidays typically run from the last week of July to the end of August and the o-bon holidays when many companies close altogether are usually around the second week of August.
I second this. Out of the two choices, I would go for July. You could possibly catch the tailend of the rainy season, but I think you should be safe by then, and heat will be fractionally less. However, once the rainy season finishes, temperatures sky-rocket and don`t start heading towards tolerable levels `til mid/late September, so if you have the option, I would defer the date. Prevailing winds are west to east. Also, I would take note of hostel/hotel options on your route, as if it does rain, it rains, and you might as well just pitch your tent in a swimming pool.
 

murr1234

Warming-Up
Apr 2, 2012
4
0
0
Daegu
#8
Thanks everyone... Looks like I will start out in Shimonoseki, and head NE from there, probably starting mid-July and hoping to miss the worst of the rain and the worst of the heat!

I'll be sure to post something once my trip is done.

Happy cycling to you all!
Murray