How’s cycling in Japan like?? Autumn weather in Japan is the best seasons for cycling, and riding a bike in Japan has a lot of attractions such as local narrow paths, old and new cultural city, or many shrines and temples. However, there isn’t much information about cycling in Japan on the Internet. Therefore, in this article, we interviewed Shoto Hachiya, cycling tour guide in Tokyo (Off-Street Cycling Tokyo), about cycling in Japan and its attractions.
Shoto explains about situation of Japanese cities. Each Japanese city is not big, but there are countless shrines and temples, restaurants, souvenir shops and clothing shops in one city. If you take a car, it’s often hard to find a parking spot, and if you take a walk, there are too many places to check on foot. Therefore, the best way to see the city efficiently is with a bicycle. This also applies to sightseeing. Riding a bicycle while feeling the wind and enjoying the features of each regions is one of the greatest appeals of riding a bicycle in a city. Actually, a cycling tour around tourist spots and local spots with English-speaking guide is very popular among tourists visiting from abroad, and now it’s becoming more famous in Japan, too. Therefore, in this article, he introduces five appealing points of Japanese cycling tour.
1. Smooth transactions to sightseeing spot
The first appealing point of the cycling tour is the stress free aspect of traveling. Traveling with cycles are stress free since you don’t have to wait for the train to come, or get stuck in a traffic. For example in order to go to Ryogoku, a place famous for sumo, from Asakusa you have to travel 1.5mile. It seems like a short distance, but by train you have to ride on the Toei Asakusa line first then switch to JR line. However by cycles, you can just go straight the main road and take a turn once to go to Ryogoku. Furthermore, you travel by yourself only with cycles so you can get a grasp of the area as well as getting to know them more, which are just some of the fun aspects of riding cycles.
2. Knowledgeable tour guide
The second appealing point is the existence of tour guides that are able to introduce you to the histories and culture of Japan in English. There are shrines and temples in the cities of Japan. It is hard to distinguish if you aren’t from Japan, but there are different origins and reasons for it to be built, or even methods of how to visit them.For example. A shrine starts from a unique religion of Japan, and you clap your hands when you praise the Gods. However in the temple with Buddhist origin, you just press your hands together and pray. You can involve in Japanese culture more deeply as the guides will introduce you to the culture and history of Japan. They are more than willing to teach you the manners here in Japan.
3. Small group tour
Unlike a bus tour that are held with many people, it is appealing that cycling tours are held with a small group of people. The distance between the tourist and guide is close, so you can relax while you tour. You can easily communicate with the guide, so you can acquire informations that are not even on the guide books and learn more about Japan. It is not rare to become really good friends with other tourists that you will meet for the first time. Talk together with the other tourists as well as questioning the guide. The guide will keep up with your cycling pace, so you can relax.
4. Enjoy the change of the landscape
Japanese cities are small, and food and culture are also different by regions, so the scenery will change just by travelling a little. You can observe small temples, shrines, shops, old-fashioned restaurants to fashionable items while cycling. You can enjoy without feeling tired. For example, if you are in Asakusa, you can go cycling while watching the world’s top radio tower Sky Tree as you pass through Kaminarimon at the entrance to Senso-ji and countless souvenir shops.
5. Ideal for exercise while traveling
While traveling Japan, it is likely that you will eat too much of their delicious food. In order to get some exercise, you can participate in cycling in order to refresh your mind and body. Many travel using trains and also get lazy in their hotel rooms without any exercise. Therefore you can kill two birds with one stone if you can attend a tour while your get some exercise. If you participate in OFF-STREET CYCLING TOKYO’s cycling program, their office is in Asakusabashi station so you can go to Ryogoku or Akihabara, nearby tourist spots in order to get some drink or even go to the public bath houses, and buying souvenirs after some exercise to finish off your day.
As you participate in the cycling tour, you can enjoy sightseeing in Japan stress freely, locally, and with lost of knowledge. In your limited time in Japan, you can refresh yourself by cycling around tourists spots from the morning. It will definitely be an unforgettable experience.
Cooperation： OFF-STREET CYCLING TOKYO
URL : https://www.off-street.com/