Exploring a country on a bicycle is a good way to discover many secrets that are not usually seen on common guided tours. Riding up and down bike routes around Japan has been a means to see the other side of the country on a more personal way. Many tourists who decide to go on a bike tour of Japan are amazed at how much they have seen, learned and experienced in a short amount of time.
Planning a bike tour would mean considering some basics first. The first thing you must decide on is how much time do you have for this exciting activity? Some people opt to just ride around the city on bike, instead of taking the usual group tour on bus. Some have a few days to spare and decide to explore the countryside on bike. However long you intend to spend on a bicycle, there are many bike tours offered in Japan that would definitely suit your timetable. The next thing you have to consider is where to get your most important equipment: your bike. Bicycle rentals are available in many tourist destinations. The rates are usually ¥100-300 per hour, ¥400-800 for half a day, and ¥1000-1200 for an entire day. The most common rental bike is the mamachari or “mom’s bicycle”. This is a simple bike, usually with a basket and/or a child’s seat.
After getting your bike and deciding how long you will be gone, the next thing to do is to plan your route. Typically, biking in the cities is more stressful because of the traffic and amount of people around. Outside of the cities, the population is sparse, the view more serene and picturesque but biking infrastructure is still very good. Cycling around is also a great way to meet locals and explore their way of life. You should not be worried about backing out once you started biking. If you become saddle-sore, you can hop on a bus or a train (with your bike in tow) and get on your way faster.
For the more serious cyclists, organized bike tours are available. One of the most popular tours is the Mt. Fuji and Five Lakes tour which lasts for 2 days. Day 1 will mean cycling for 70 kilometers and Day 2 another 62 kilometers. This is all with Mt. Fuji, Japan’s most revered mountain in view.
Images by Japan Guide and My Tokyo Guide