Incredible Destinations for Cycling in Japan
Japan is known to be a premier cycling destination as it is home to some of the most incredible cycling spots enveloped in the beauty of nature. From lakeside areas to the foothills of the mountains, there are a variety of cycling routes that you can try.
If you are a cyclist visiting Japan, here are some amazing spots that you should visit:
1. Onuma Quasi-National Park (Hokkaido)
Located on the Oshima Peninsula in southwest Hokkaido, Onuma Quasi-National Park is one of the best spots in Japan to go cycling. Although small, it is recognized as a "quasi-national park" because of its rich and scenic nature.
Some of the majestic sceneries you can see here when you go cycling include Onuma Lake and Konuma Lake. These lakes have more than 100 small islands which are connected by small bridges. You can also find Junsainuma Lake in this park which is popular for its watershield plants.
Apart from the gorgeous lakes, the park is also surrounded by an active volcano and a large forest called Mt. Komagatake. Imagine cycling along lush green trees with a majestic volcano in sight—this is one cycling experience you should not miss out on.
The park offers bicycle rental and you can avail of a 70-minute cycling course around Onuma Lake.
2. Lake Towada Green Road (Aomori)
If you are a pro cyclist, you should not miss Lake Towada Green Road, a famous cycling road in Aomori Prefecture that has a 24-kilometer cycling course. It will allow you to bike through Oirase Gorge, which is a beautiful mountain stream filled with waterfalls and abundant sceneries.
Your cycling adventure will begin from Lake Towada Hot Springs and will end at Towadakohan Yasumiya, right on the edge of Lake Towada. You will go through a tunnel of lush trees and be surrounded by captivating views. You will also encounter stunning waterfalls like the seven-meter-tall Choshi Otaki Waterfall, as well as the most powerful stream in Oirase Gorge called the Ashura Current.
After your adrenaline-pumping journey, you can try local delicacies and enjoy a dip in the hot springs in the area.
3. Tsukuba Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road (Ibaraki)
Only an hour from central Tokyo, in southern Ibaraki Prefecture, you can find another cycling hot spot known as the Tsukuba Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road.
This cycling area offers a 180-kilometer cycling course that connects the former Tsukuba Railway cycling path with Lake Kasumigaura. It is situated within the Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park which is home to various beautiful hills, rivers, and lakes. It is also home to cultural sites like Kashima Shrine.
There are three cycling courses offering different areas to explore. First is the Mount Tsukuba Area course that will allow you to see a jaw-dropping view of one of the most popular mountains in Japan, Mt. Tsukuba. This course will take you through the path of the former Tsukuba Railway line.
The second course is the Lake Kasumigaura Area course wherein you will be following the path of the lakeshore. Across the lake, you will also see a stunning view of Mt. Tsukuba and the Ushiku Daibutsu. Lastly, the third course is the All Over Ring-Ring Road which is the full cycling course that combines the first two ones.
4. Lake Yamanashi (Yamanashi)
Another popular destination for cycling in Japan is the foothills of Yamanashi where you will be able to bike around the Fuji Five Lakes with a view of the towering Mt. Fuji.
This route offers the highest climb in the country for cyclists. You can choose from three courses that will take you to the fifth station of Mt. Fuji, which is the highest point of the route. The first is the Fuji Subaru Line, the second is the Fuji Azami Line, and the third one is the Mt. Fuji Skyline. Both beginners and experienced cyclists can enjoy cycling in this area.
Aside from the lake and the stunning view of Mt. Fuji, the area is also surrounded by rich forests, making it a definite must-try cycling route.
5. Shimanami Kaido (Ehime / Hiroshima)
Shimanami Kaido, a toll road that connects the island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, is a cycling destination that offers a fusion of modern architecture and scenic natural beauty.
The Shimanami Kaido cycling route starts in Onomichi City in Honshu. As you cycle through the toll road, you will pass by six different small islands, namely Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima, and Oshima. You will also get to see an amazing view of the Seto Inland Sea. How cool is that? Your cycling adventure will then conclude in Imabari City in Shikoku.
Cycling on Shimanami Kaido is very convenient as the bicycle route is well maintained. There are different bicycle rental systems in the area. One of which is where you rent the bicycle in Honshu and drop it off in Shikoku. Meanwhile, the other system allows you to stop at any point in your cycling journey and leave your bicycle if you are already exhausted. You can then ride a bus to finish your journey.
The temperature in the area covered by this route is warm throughout the year, so it is ideal to bike around here during cooler seasons like spring and autumn.
6. Tsunoshima Bridge (Yamaguchi)
Another cycling route created out of modern architecture is Tsunoshima Bridge in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The bridge connects Yamaguchi to the breathtaking white sandy beaches of the island of Tsunoshima.
Tsunoshima Bridge is 1.5 kilometers long and is open to everyone—from cyclists to motorists, and even to those who are just out for a leisurely walk. Although there is no bicycle lane, for the most part, the cycling route is a straight path which makes it an easy route.
After successfully making your way through the bridge, your cycling adventure does not stop there as there are also cycling spots along the shorelines of Tsunoshima. You can also climb Tsunoshima Lighthouse which offers a panoramic view of the island.