Cycling is a great way to see a new city through local eyes that also allows you to explore at your own pace, whilst enjoying fresh air and getting a good workout!
If you are looking to experience Japan that gives you a far more local perspective, renting a bicycle is a wonderful way to get started. Rather than rushing from one place to another, why not take the time to enjoy the journey, and relish the new discoveries you can experience along the way? Additionally, pausing your ride to talk to locals could result in your most memorable and authentic experience in Japan.
KAMAKURA – Friendly neighborhood experience
Kamakura is one of the best “short-trip” destinations from Tokyo, as it is only an hour away by train. Even for the Japanese it is one of the most loved cities to visit because of its fascinating blend of old and new, and with Kamakura’s location in a picture-perfect setting between the beach and the mountains.
Sophisticated restaurants and stylish cafés can be found all over this ancient capital, which Japanese Buddhists founded over 800 years ago. Looking out from Kamakura’s coastline you can enjoy stunning views of Enoshima Island and, if you’re lucky and the skies are clear, Mt. Fuji.
One of the main drawbacks to Kamakura’s popularity, with both locals and overseas visitors, is that traffic congestion is bad, particularly on weekends, But, if you are willing to try an alternative modes of transportation, then bicycles are a great way to get around and avoid the traffic jams.
KYOTO – A new way to discover Sakura and Koyo
Most visitors to Japan see Kyoto at least once, but quite often its more as this ancient capital, almost a time capsule of sorts, draws people back time after time with its unique culture and atmosphere.
Tourists and locals alike love the way in which Kyoto’s beauty and charm change over the four seasons, especially during the sakura, or cherry blossoms, in spring and the koyo, the colorful autumnal foliage, which can be enjoyed at a number of locations across the city.
Bicycles are a great way to get around the city at your own pace, and allow you to discover new locations along the way. Kyoto is packed full of delightfully quaint cafes and galleries, often located in renovated old traditional houses called Machiya. Do as the locals do and take the time to have a quiet tea break, in one of the many tea houses located along the Kamogawa River – it’s the perfect way to relax and soak up the atmosphere of this amazing city.
HIDA – Ultimate cycling Satoyama experience in Japan
“Satoyama” is the management of forests by local agricultural communities. The concept is about maintaining harmony between society and nature, leading to greater biodiversity and human wellbeing. It is something that has been part of the Japanese DNA for hundreds of years and an eco-management system that is celebrated by conservationists across the globe.
Only 6 hours from Tokyo, the regions of Hida Takayama and Hida Furukawa have managed not only to preserve and maintain this crucial way of life, but have also placed a great deal of support behind educating others about this system. One way they have gone about this is by offering special tours to foreign visitors. Bilingual tour guides take groups around the regions by bicycle, teaching them about Satoyama and allowing them to experience their unique culture.
Go Cycling For A New View Of Japan
NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR