With limited traffic, scenic landscapes and narrow alleyways it is no wonder that exploring the Asuka district on two wheels is the favored way to get around town. Take a leisurely ride along the designated cycling paths and take advantage of the free bicycle parking available near all main attractions.
There is an abundance of rental outlets to choose from charging between ¥900- ¥1000 per day. Asuka Rent A Cycle has four branches in the area offering one way rentals for an additional ¥200. This allows cyclists to take in the sights at their own pace and have the freedom to pop on and off a bicycle route. Another reason why we like Asuka Rent A Cycle is they stock a range of bicycle sizes (including electric-assisted bikes for traversing the hilly landscape), inclusive bicycle insurance, and child-seats are free of charge.
Asuka Rent A Cycle
Start your day in Asuka right after stepping off the train at Asuka station, with most rental shops (including Asuka Rent A Cycle) in the immediate vicinity. The Takamatsuzaka Mural Museum is just a 5 minute cycle from the station through the southwest area of the beautiful Asuka Historical National Park. The museum houses reconstructions of the frescos that were discovered in the Takamatsuka Tumulus. After viewing the tumulus, head slightly uphill for about 10 minutes along the R 209 to reach the iconic Kame-ishi stone.
Asuka Rent A Cycle
From here, cycle east in the direction of the Iwaido area taking pit stops at the temples and ancient ruins of Kawaharadera and Tachibana-dera-temple. Just over the Asuka river is the famous Ishibutai Tumulus, a perfect place to stop for lunch with food shops and resting stops in close proximity to this must-see attraction. In spring, the cherry blossoms around Ishibutai Tumulus attract locals and tourists for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) amongst this important cultural landscape.
Sakafuneishi, one of the most mysterious stone structures in Asuka, is a 10 minute cycle from the Ishibutai Tumulus. After inspecting the mysterious etchings on this large stone, head to the Man'yo Culture Center which has impressive exhibitions dedicated to the Man'yo culture. With the Asuka-dera Temple just around the corner, this would be the next must-see spot on your cycling itinerary enjoying the backdrop of the quaint rice fields of the Japanese countryside. Before heading back towards Asuka station, (the bike needs to be returned by 5pm) make sure to cycle through the northern parts of the Asuka Historical National Park taking advantage of the multiple rest spots and viewpoints. The Amakashi-no-Oka observatory, in the northeastern corner of the park, is the perfect way to take a breather and enjoy the scenic beauty of Asuka. From here, Asuka station is just a 15 minute cycle away for those who are wishing to get on the train to their next location.