A Cycling Holiday in Japan

Exploring Tokyo, Saitama, and Hiroshima by train and bicycle in 2014

How to shove a bike into a bag and a plane and a train

I spent a fair bit of time before leaving making new internet friends to ride with, and also researching the best rides. These ranged from challenging ones to family friendly ones. I thought some might be interested in some rides we did, and other details I know or discovered.

In and around Tokyo

September 13th, 4:22 pm, 2014

First ride out was a simple course to check the bikes mechanically, as well as make sure the various versions of open source maps (OSM/Open Street Maps) I’d downloaded would work.

September 15th, 2:42 pm, 2014

Shiraishi Pass. It was the day after a public holiday (National Be Nice to Your Elders, or something similar, Day). It was a brilliantly bright and warm day. I headed out as early as I could, which ended up being about 6:30am or so. There is no daylight saving in Japan, so the sun is up and blazing in the wee hours, just like where I grew up, in Queensland, Australia. Technically it was Autumn, but Summer seemed determined to hold on as long as possible.

September 16th, 5:43 pm, 2014

The day after the Shiraishi whipping, my son and I went on a recovery ride up the (local) Edogawa river. Very flat, in all respects.

September 16th, 7:45 pm, 2014

Don’t forget to take the house key.

September 18th, 5:03 pm, 2014

September 22nd, 3:29 pm, 2014

I mentioned going to drink craft beer after seeing the sumo. The pub was called Popeye, and somewhat famous in Tokyo for its extraordinary range of Japanese beers. The reason I was there was to meet Sanshiro and Oshida-san. I’d started exchanging emails with Sanshiro before we left Sydney.

Hiroshima and the Shinanami Kaido

Planning for a longer trip aka super-cushy touring

Japanese train food is the best
Bagging all the Strava KOMs thanks to the Shinkasen

September 26th, 11:10 pm, 2014

September 27th, 7:13 pm, 2014

Onomichi is a seaside town, well-known for being the location of the post-war cinema revival in Japan, in fact they made the classic “Tokyo Story” there (not to be mistaken with Toy Story). The local dish is ramen made with a fish stock base, rather than the usual pork. Delicious, without the heart attack fat content.

September 27th, 11:44 pm, 2014

We checked in at about 3pm. I was keen to get some more cycling in, and quickly changed into a racier outfit, and headed out. It would be dark by about 5pm, so I decided a quick loop of the next island. The “Island Explorer” loops weren’t marked on any of the maps we had, so I presume they are a new addition. The one I did on the next (and largest island, Omishima Island), was devoid of traffic. I had good views across to where I came from, followed by a climb up and over the centre of the island. I must profess I got slightly lost when I thought I would deviate from the designated path. I stopped in a valley that was infested with mozzies. They drained enough of my blood to have me retrace my steps and head back to the regular course. Good thing I did, too, because the light was fading, and I didn’t want to have to find my way with a little blinky light in a strange new place.

September 28th, 1:40 am, 2014

September 28th, 5:51 pm, 2014

Back in Tokyo

The ones that got away

This is the plan for next time: Tokyo to Kyoto over the Japanese Alps a few times…

I ride a bike more than I drive. Visual Effects Supervisor by day. Ponderer, dilly-dallier, idea generator. Lived in Germany, Australia, Japan & United States

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