What's new

Tokyo to Kyoto (on a single speed)


May 23, 2011
Hey guys,
I just recently joined tokyocycle and purchased a cheap fixed/single speed bike after months of riding a horrendous mamachari.

Sometime between now and the next month and a half I would like to skip out on a week or so of classes and ride to Kyoto on my own.

I've been scouring the boards reading up about other people routes and what not, but am still not confident about my route.

First of all, i'm not sure how many kilometers I will be putting in each day.

Today i went for a short and really slow and mellow ride along the Arakawa river and rode 70km in 3.5 hours. I definitely felt good and not tired, so i figure i could (hopefully) put in 100-120 km a day.

anyways, i was hoping maybe someone had some itinerary suggestions, as most people seem to do the trip in 4 days and I am not so confident i'll make it there in 4. Also, i know, for example, that some people seem to do the first leg (tokyo-hakone) either via highway 1 or highway 246. which do you recommend?

also, in older posts, some people seem to have taken a ferry at one point in the trip? but i guess that is no longer possible?

SO, if anyone has recently done this trip and would be willing to give me a brief run down, or offer any tips, or link some route maps here that would be WICKED.

thanks so much

(oh, also, good rest stops with cheap hostels, as i am a 22 year old student with LIMITED income)



Speeding Up
May 29, 2008
Ive only ridden from Toyohashi to cape irago and then took the ferry to Mie Ken. It was operating fine over the winter break. There is a really friendly Minshuku on the cape. http://www.minsyuku-maruei.com/

You will generally be able to cover less distance comfortably in consecutive days than you do in a single day. 100km a day is a good goal if you are traveling light

Are you booking ahead?


Apr 19, 2011
Yeah, you're definitely going to find you don't have the same energy day after day, as the fatigue compounds - I usually find I need a half-day on day three to recharge. Try going for long rides on back-to-back days to get used to it.

I rode to Kyoto last summer, but took the longer scenic route - starting from Gotemba, thru Hakone, around Izu Penninsula, ferry from Toi to Shizuoka, down Atusmi Penninsula, ferry from Irago to Toba (Mie Prefecture), day off in Ise, across to Lake Biwa, then Kyoto. Great route, but about 550km. (Both ferry routes show up on Google maps.)

If money is an issue, have you considered camping? More weight, but big savings.



Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
Hi Tamara - I might be able to swing some time to lead you out if you leave around July 1st week or so ... hitting 70km in 3.5 hr is a great SS pace! Make sure you do <some> riding every day - not matter how long or far - just get some saddle time in on a daily basis. And then try to hit a longer ride on the weekends. If you hit 3 or 4 longer rides and get yourself up to about 150km, then the trip will be a breeze. The hills might be challenging, so make sure you have practiced swapping to a 'hill cog' , if you need one, lemme know. Or just chill in the 46/20 or whatever you have around there - it will be fine.


May 23, 2011

hey guys, thanks so much for your input.
i was planning on doing this trip in July but actually just got back from it!
i decided spur of the moment to head off to kyoto on tuesday since the weather looked like it might hold up the whole time
I did it in 4 days cycling 120-150km per day. it was awesome!

here's a run down of my trip:



Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
That is great!

Congrats! :D


May 23, 2011
Tokyo to Kyoto Pictures

YUP, though the only pictures i took were with my iPhone, and they are few and far between as (again) i was concerned about battery life

First day: my bike and the wicked coastal route

some of the roads:

my 'sock line' and dirty, dirty legs after getting caught in a muddy rain storm. (ignore the tattoo)

a spooky bridge outside of the eerie town of inuyama:

kyoto and my bike:


Speeding Up
Jan 30, 2011
Where did you find a road with all that bamboo?! I'm thinking about taking your route to Kyoto if I can ever get the time off from work!


May 23, 2011
sorry for the late reply:
to be honest, i only remember the name of ONE place I stayed, but:
In Fuji I stayed at some business hotel...don't recall the name but it was expensive at 5000 yen/night. it was sort of in the middle of nowhere as well, i think i found it on the じゃらん iPhone app.
2nd night in Hamamatsu I stayed at another business hotel I found on the app.
3rd night in Inuyama I stayed at the "Inuyama international youth hostel", which was...unique...it was away from ANY sort of life, you had to pass a deserted theme park, before making your way up a small mountain, and the hostel was at the top. it felt like i was the only guest, but it was cheap and had an onsen!
in kyoto i stayed in a capsule hotel which actually ended up being the cheapest at 2000 yen a night.

sorry i didn't take down names! nothing was exceptional so I never thought of it.

Eric: the bamboo is up around Arashiyama, which is a perfect place to join the river path which goes to Nara. thats what i did. it was wicked. you should definitely do the trip, good luck finding some time off work!
Top Bottom