Japan by Bicycle

If you planning to spend your holidays in Japan, why not opt for a less trodden tourist road - hop on your bike and experience a magnificent cross-country trip!

When it comes to the attractiveness of a tourist destination, one of the most unique and fun countries to visit would definitely be Japan.

If you've already made a decision to do so and are currently weighing out what would be the best possible means of transportation for having safe travels in Japanese urban cities and scenic countryside, we warmly recommend you consider getting yourself a good bike.

Via www.japan-guide.com/

First off, to acquaint yourself with the basics of the Japanese bike law

Before you set off on your adventurous cross-country cycling trip, however, it is very important to inform yourself about the bike-related laws out there, as you definitely don't want to be caught red-handed in a foreign country and forfeit all of the great benefits of cycling.

Even though the Japanese adhering to their traffic rules can be a tad confusing when it comes to cycling, here is a couple of regulations it would be important to know nevertheless:

  • Bicycle riders travel on the road's left side.
  • Drunken cycling can get you five years in prison or a ¥ 1,000,000 fine.
  • Not stopping at a stop sign, or riding dangerously can get you a ¥ 500,000 fine or up to 3 months in jail. • Riding with non-functioning brakes can elicit a ¥ 500,000 fine or three months in prison.
  • Riding a bike on a sidewalk is not allowed, except in specifically designated areas.
  • Riding while on a phone or carrying an umbrella can get you a ¥ 500,000 fine.
  • While riding at night, you are obligated to have a headlight as well as a bell.
  • You are prohibited from riding a tandem bike (except in the Nagano area).
  • All children under 13 must wear helmets.

The scene in the streets: Modified Rules

Via www.tokyobybike.com

It may strike you as unbelievable, considering the orderly nature of Japanese institutions, but the rules of cycling described above are not necessarily adhered to and are subject to various on-spot modifications.

For example, it is only rarely you'll see someone actually riding their bike on the road because the car traffic is so overwhelmingly crowded that it can be dangerous to try being in the same lane as the motor vehicles.

In fact, it is not unusual to see a policeman directing the cyclists to go over to the sidewalk, in order to lighten some tight traffic jam.

When it comes to accidents, you'll pretty much never be accused of dangerous riding unless you have a serious collision with a pedestrian resulting in some sort of injury. In that case, you're probably in for a world of trouble, as you can get a particularly high fine for your reckless behavior.

Also, if you get caught riding while drunk, you'll probably just be told off by some senior policeman in the nearby station, instead of actually getting prosecuted for your misbehavior.

Plan Your Route Ahead

One of the most important aspects of having fun and safe travels in Japanese cities is to have a plan and arrive at your starting destination well-prepared. With Japan as the route destination, there are certain things you should be wary of before commencing your epic journey.

First of all, the traffic at bigger cities can be brutal, meaning that it can slow you down, frustrate you, or even prove dangerous in some parts of a city. Among others, these issues of heavy traffic are the reason many people choose to ride on sidewalks rather than on the roads in big cities)

That's why you might want to avoid big cities and plan your route around some smaller towns throughout your trip. This can really turn out brilliant for you, as the Japanese infrastructure is highly developed and a joy to use in every part of the country. If you decide to organize such a route, you may bypass the city sections by simply hopping on one of their ultra-fast trains.

Also, pay attention to the Japanese local geography which is over 70 % mountainous, and pick a route which balances the flatlands and hilly sections as evenly as possible, to avoid getting exhausted by the trip sooner than you would want.

Mind the Seasons and Weather

Via learnjapan.info

Cherry blossoms, fast metros, friendly people and working atmosphere are some of the biggest reasons why you might consider to have a vacation in this beautiful country. To ensure you have yourself safe travels in Japanese style, you should also pay close attention to the timing of your bike trip.

The best time to start would be during the fall or spring as the weather conditions tend to be the mildest and most agreeable that time of the year. You should generally avoid Summer and Winter excursions as they can be too hot or too cold, respectively. Also, the Summer season usually starts with a lengthy bout of rain, presenting a hateful obstacle for cyclists.

During the Winter, many parts of Japan, especially the northern mountainous regions, are typically covered in snow, and the temperatures can be freezing cold. Also, August and September are considered the typhoon months in Japan, so that period of the year is best avoided.

If you insist on visiting Japan on a bike during these months, then you may consider organizing your trip along the Pacific coast, where the climate is relatively mild even during the cold months, to ensure you'll experience safe travels in Japanese curious weather domains.

Create a Compact yet Well-stacked Packing List

The Basic Cycling Kit

Via en.japantravel.com

  • A Pump
  • A Spare Tube
  • A Helmet
  • A Multitool
  • A Special Bike Bag (You can get those in a nearby Japanese bike shop)
  • Maps
  • A water bottle

Additional Clothing for Overnight Trips

Via www.desertcart.ae

  • A Shirt (always have a spare one in case the one you're wearing gets too sweaty; the climate in Japan can be rather humid)
  • A Spare pair of Pants (make sure they are waterproof, especially if you're going during a rain season)
  • Gloves
  • A Bandana (or a tenugui, if you're getting into the Japanese culture vibe)


if you've decided yourself to go on a cross-country cycling trip through Japan, just make sure you follow all the regulations and respect the law and order. Also, make sure you have new, high-quality cycling equipment so that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and have safe travels in Japanese style throughout your stay in this magnificent country.

About the Author Leroy Simmons

My name is Leroy L.Simmons. I create this blog as the way to find out my excitement and also a way to remember my father. I always love writing, I embarked on this adventure of the blog, to tell you all that I want to share about my hobby, my dream of auto, truck and journey. At MRVEHICLE.NET, I hope to tell you great stories and especially to answer some questions you might ask. And there are also many interesting and up-to-date stories of drivers on their journey everywhere in the world.

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