Cycling in Tokyo and Shitamachi—Tokyo Station to Yanaka

If the weather’s to your liking, why not take a bike out in Tokyo? This guide will take you through a cycling course that makes use of Bike Share, so you can get out into the streets of Tokyo. We’ll begin in Tokyo Station, then head through the best spots in Shitamachi and Yanaka. Even though this is still a Tokyo course, you can expect little traffic on the 13 km route we’ve laid out for you. It’s a nice, relaxing ride that’ll let you get some fresh air and exercise while seeing the sights.

Book here : Japan Travel Ticket Booking Site

  • 01

    Tokyo and Shitamachi Cycling Course

    This is the cycling course.(13km)

    This is the cycling course.(13km)

  • 02

    Start: 9:00 a.m., Tokyo Station

    Tokyo Station is  breakfast lover’s paradise.

    Tokyo Station is breakfast lover’s paradise.

    Tokyo Station has a wealth of shops open early, making it a breakfast lover’s paradise. The cafes and restaurants offer breakfast sets that will give you the energy you need to start your day of cycling off on the right foot.
    We recommend stopping by Kyobashi Sembikiya for one of their Waffle Sets. Sembikiya is a fruit parlor, so fresh produce in colorful arrangements is their strong suit. The Waffle Set (648 yen) offers you a variety of fruit, a waffle, and whipped cream for the vitamins and carbs necessary to pedal through Tokyo. Not to mention it’s delicious.

  • 03

    10:00 a.m. Marunouchi Building Cycle Port

    For the bikes we’ll be using Bike Share. The cycles are electric-assisted, giving you the option to cruise when you want to, and their website has instructions for how to set everything up in English. There are a ton of Cycle Ports across the city, but our course begins at the Marunouchi Building. Hop on and off we go!

    Marunouchi Building

    Marunouchi Building

    Marunouchi Building
    place
    Tokyo Chiyoda-ku Marunouchi 2-4-1
    phone
    0352185100
    opening-hour
    [Shop] 11:00-21:00 (Sunday P…

    ・Riding Time: 20 minutes
    ・Distance: 3 km


    First you’ll ride along the perimeter of the Imperial Palace, the symbol of the Edo period, with the cool morning air whipping around you. The verdant area surrounding the moat is a famous place for cherry blossoms when they bloom in early April. At the beginning of summer the path comes alive with fresh greenery, making for another beautiful scene.
    On the way to our first destination you can see the Nippon Budokan event venue to your left while you pedal along the morning streets. After about 20 minutes, it’s time for our first stop of the day.

    You'll ride along the perimeter of the Imperial Palace.

    You'll ride along the perimeter of the Imperial Palace.

  • 04

    10:30 a.m. Yasukuni Shrine

    Yasukuni Shrine with beautiful cherry blossoms.

    Yasukuni Shrine with beautiful cherry blossoms.

    Yasukuni Shrine is a place dedicated to the Japanese who lost their lives in war. It has enshrined over 2,466,000 people who have fallen during times of war since 1853, from the Boshin War spanning to World War II. These spirits are not separated by any kind of rank, gender, or political standing; all of them are worshipped equally.
    The large torii gate and wide sandō path are heavy with the weight of history, giving you time to reflect and ponder the cost of peace.
    But in the spring, new life is given to the shrine when the cherry blossoms bloom. People come from all around to see their splendor.

    Yasukuni Shrine
    rating

    4.0

    1589 Reviews
    place
    Tokyo Chiyoda-ku Kudankita 3-1-1
    phone
    0332618326
    opening-hour
    [1/2/11/Dec.] 6:00-17:00 [Ma…

    ・Riding Time: 25 minutes
    ・Distance: 4 km


    Ride along the Kanda River, then shoot past Tokyo Dome City. This part of the course does have some hills, but since bikes are electric-assist, you can pedal right on through, no problem. This is the longest stretch of the course, so take your time and enjoy the ride!

  • 05

    11:30 a.m. The University of Tokyo

    The Yasuda Auditorium of the symbol of the university.

    The Yasuda Auditorium of the symbol of the university.

    Widely regarded as the top educational institution in the country, The University of Tokyo is our next stop. The large campus is open to the public, as well as to bicycle traffic, so you can navigate the university with ease.
    There’s plenty to see, as well. From historical buildings like the imposing clocktower of the Yasuda Auditorium—the symbol of the university—to the tranquil flora surrounding Sanshiro Pond, there are all kinds of different views to take in. Internationally renowned architect Kengo Kuma even designed a cafe on campus, Kuriyakashi Kurogi, for an airy, modern place to eat Japanese sweets.
    In the basement of Yasuda Auditorium is the Hongo Central Cafeteria, which has the famous Todai Akamon Ramen. It’s a spicy take on ramen that’s both cheap and tasty. People unassociated with the university even drop by for a bowl, so it makes for a solid lunch if you’re in the ramen mood.

    URL:https://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/index.html

    The famous Todai Akamon Ramen.

    The famous Todai Akamon Ramen.

    The University of Tokyo Akamon
    rating

    4.0

    511 Reviews
    place
    Tokyo Bunkyo-ku Hongo 7-3-1
    phone
    0338122111

    ・Riding Time: 8 minutes
    ・Distance: 1.2 km


    It’s finally time to get a taste of the Shitamachi atmosphere! The old-school stylings of the streets and shops make for a sweet, nostalgic experience, and you owe it to yourself to drop by one of the dango (sweet dumpling) shops run by an elderly lady.

  • 06

    2:00 p.m. Ueno Sakuragi Atari

    Ueno Sakuragi Atari

    Ueno Sakuragi Atari

    Ueno Sakuragi Atari is a collection of 3 Japanese houses built around 1939 that have now been remodeled into a beer hall, a cafe/bakery, and an olive oil shop/bar. The contemporary take on Japanese homes is a popular tourist spot for international visitors, and you can take a seat among the greenery in the breezy garden of Yanaka Beer Hall for a rest. Of course, the drinks will have to be had next time, since you’ll be getting back on your bike.

    URL:https://uenosakuragiatari.jp/

    Delicious bread from the bakery “VANER”.

    Delicious bread from the bakery “VANER”.

    While you’re in the area, definitely stop by Yanaka Cemetery for a serene walk and SCAI The Bathhouse for a modern art gallery in a converted sentō.

    “SCAI THE BATHHOUSE”

    “SCAI THE BATHHOUSE”

    Ueno-Sakuragi Atari
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenosakuragi 2-15-6
    opening-hour
    8:00-20:00

    ・Riding Time: 8 minutes
    ・Distance: 1.2 km

  • 07

    4:00 p.m. Nedu Shrine

    The red torii gates in Nedu Shrine.

    The red torii gates in Nedu Shrine.

    Nedu Shrine may be small, but it has a great atmosphere. Rows of red torii gates line stone walkways and make for a memorable visit, plus excellent pictures. On the shrine grounds you’ll find plenty of trees and plant life, and, if you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of a raccoon dog or two.
    In the spring, you can wander through the shrine gardens filled with around 3,000 azaleas of 100 different varieties! The bright pink, purple, and white flowers paint a gorgeous scene, perfect for an afternoon stroll with a friend and a camera.

    Azalea blooming in spring.

    Azalea blooming in spring.

    Nezu Jinja Shrine
    rating

    4.0

    634 Reviews
    place
    Tokyo Bunkyou-ku Nedu 1-28-9
    phone
    0338220753
    opening-hour
    Karamon Gates shut Hours [Ma…

    ・Riding Time: 7 minutes
    ・Distance: 1 km

  • 08

    5:00 p.m. Yanaka Ginza Shotengai

    “Dagashiya Kimuraya”

    “Dagashiya Kimuraya”

    Yanaka Ginza Shotengai is a compact shopping street with a retro vibe, retaining its Edo-era atmosphere. The street is lined with local shops whose owners will be happy to share a word with you when you stop for one of their treats, like a potato croquette or seafood skewer. Be on the lookout for one of the sociable stray cats wandering through the streets while you enjoy a snack and a stroll; most won’t mind a pet or two.
    Dagashiya Kimuraya is a traditional Japanese sweets shop, an increasingly rare category, but this vintage storefront has stood the test of time. Children love the treats on offer, and the elderly lady running the shop is a pleasure to meet.
    After 6 p.m. head over to Yūyake Dandan. The name means “Sunset Steps,” and it’s a popular spot to watch the sun sink into the golden city horizon—an excellent end to your adventure.

    Yūyake Dandan is the name means “Sunset Steps” .

    Yūyake Dandan is the name means “Sunset Steps” .

    Yanaka Ginza Shopping street
    place
    Tokyo Taito-ku Yanaka 3-chome
  • 09

    Finish: 7:00 p.m. Nippori Station

    When you’ve had your fill of shopping and sunsets, it’s time to call it a day. You can return your bike at the Cycle Station near Nippori Station, then hop on a train back home. After a full day of riding, you deserve a long, warm bath before diving into bed.

    Book here : Japan Travel Ticket Booking Site

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