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STORY Enjoy Japan by Bicycle - Explore Japan’s Three Best Cycling Roads! -

Photo:Ehime Prefecture

Not only is a bicycle fun to ride, it is also a great way to work up a pleasant sweat while exploring different regions and sightseeing spots. As you enjoy the scenery and the streetscapes at your own pace, experiencing Japan's four seasons, you should be able to make your own new discoveries. Take a detour if something sparks your interest, savor the unique cuisine of a region, and encounter its culture. Bicycles are a great way to enjoy traveling around Japan. We introduce the “National Cycle Routes,” Japan's best cycling routes, along with local products, sightseeing spots, and other attractions along those routes.

National Cycle Route Network Map

Tsukuba-Kasumigaura ring-ring road

  • Length: 176km (110 mi)
  • Route: From JR Iwase Station to JR Tsuchiura Station,and Lakeshore Loop of Lake Kasumigaura


  • Length: 193km (121 mi)
  • Route: Lakeshore Loop of Biwa Lake

SHIMANAMI KAIDO cycling road

  • Length: 70km (44 mi)
  • Route: From JR Onomichi Station to Sunrise Itoyama

Tsukuba-Kasumigaura ring-ring road

Lakes, rural sceneries and the magnificent scale of the Kanto Plain

Cycling road with rich natural environment accessible in around 1 hour Tokyo. The Tsukuba-Kasumigaura ring-ring road is a cycling course of about 180 km that combines the discontinued railroad line of the old Tsukuba Railway and the circuit around Lake Kasumigaura. Enjoy the riches of nature and the scenery of the lakeside area around the designated Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park, historical and cultural assets like Kashima Shrine, and the many other attractions of the region.

Lotus Curry Rice — addictive Tsuchiura's local gourmet (R)

Mount Tsukuba — One of the "100 Famous Mountains", long admired for its gorgeous appearance in the saying, "Mount Fuji to the west and Mount Tsukuba to the east" (L)

Lotus Field — The area around Lake Kasumigaura is known for major production of lotus in Japan (R)


Gaze out at the sparkling surface of the lake, trapped between the blue sky and the green land

Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake is easily accessible from the historical and cultural city of Kyoto. Biwaichi is a cycling course of approximately 200 km that runs around the circumference of Lake Biwa in a counterclockwise direction.

The rich and natural landscape from mountains, rivers, and lakes, the historical heritage such as the Omihachiman canal and Hikone Castle, the culture cultivated in a long history, and the diverse food culture of lake and rivers and the Omi beef, you can enjoy all of them!

Wonderful Gourmets — using local specialty such as Oumi Beef (R)

Nagahama — Mt.Shizugatake (L)

Avenue of Metasequoias — Takashima (R)

SHIMANAMI KAIDO cycling road

Enjoy the superb view of the islands and bridges

The Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road, located close to the popular tourist destination of Hiroshima, stretches for 70 km from Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture to Imabari in Ehime Prefecture. It is the first cycling route in Japan to cross the strait.

Feel the pleasant sea breezes as you take in the scenic beauty of the Seto Inland Sea's many islands and the architectural beauty of the bridges that connect them. Discover the history of the “Murakami Kaizoku” who plied these waters in the Sengoku period (period of warring states in Japan, c.1467-c.1615)

Ramen — Onomichi Ramen is famous (R)

Seto Inland Sea — over 700 islands (L)

Murakami Kaizoku Museum — historical museum (R)

What is the National Cycle Route?

The “National Cycle Route” is designated by the government as a route that satisfies a certain level of both tangible and intangible in order to create new tourism value and to promote economic growth in various communities. There are various routes all over Japan, including paved routes with low gradients so that families of all ages can enjoy the safety, security and comfort, and routes with high gradients for advanced riders. The routes are surrounded by natural beauty and have many sightseeing spots nearby. In addition, there are facilities that allow you to enjoy your bicycle trip, such as convenient access and a bicycle rental that can be enjoyed easily.

A cycle station — Cycle Stations provide services such as air filling, tool lending, and bicycle rental. (L)


Hotel — Hotels where guests can bring their bicycles into their rooms. (R)

Repairing service — Private-sector facilities act as bicycle maintenance hubs, offering repair services.

  More National Cycle Routes

Photo : Shiga prefecture

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