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Cycling Guide

Cycling through Japan is an exhilarating experience, and there are some important things to keep in mind to have a safe and pleasant ride. 


The rules of the road and cycling manners in Japan may be different from your home country, so we are here to help. Whether cruising down one of the National Cycling Routes or biking off-road, prepare for your trip by planning your route; confirming road conditions, the location of cycle stations, rest stops, convenience stores, and accommodations will help keep your journey stress-free, especially in an emergency.


Cycling Gear & Rules of the Road


Weather conditions in Japan vary by region and season. When planning a cycling trip, wear appropriate shoes and clothing depending on the time of year and location of your route. The weather can sometimes change suddenly, so carrying waterproof and cold weather outerwear is also recommended. 


Traffic and cycling rules may differ from your home country. Japan drives on the left side of the road, and cyclists usually ride with traffic. 
Unless there is a sign that says otherwise, it is usually prohibited to ride a bike on sidewalks. Sometimes road and traffic conditions might require you to cycle on the sidewalk; do so at an appropriate speed and be considerate of pedestrians. 


Although it isn’t a legal requirement for cyclists over the age of 13 to wear a helmet, all cyclists should for their own safety. Please be aware that it is strictly prohibited to cycle under the influence of alcohol.



Convenient Cycling Services


Bicycle rentals are available on major cycling routes, and in urban and local areas throughout Japan. Rental shops usually require a valid form of ID (such as a passport or residence card) in order to rent a bicycle. Many facilities offer hourly, daily, or multi-day rental plans and have flexible pick-up and drop-off locations. Prices vary depending on the rental company, and options include high-end performance road bikes. In addition to hybrid bikes and road bikes, some facilities may offer electric-assist bicycles. Choose the bicycle that best suits your fitness level and the conditions of your route.



Parts of the country have bike-friendly trains and buses to help cyclists reach the starting points of some cycling routes. Some of these services are seasonal, so please check their schedule in advance. You can also make your ride more comfortable by using rest stops, cycling stations, convenience stores, and accommodations along your route.



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