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  1. #1
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    suggested routes for Japan?

    I am doing a two week tour of japan at the end of June. Anyone have any suggested routes/ places of interest? Any input would be great, thanks.

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    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pasopia
    I am doing a two week tour of japan at the end of June. Anyone have any suggested routes/ places of interest? Any input would be great, thanks.
    Japan is tough for cycling since they have plum rains in late May thru late june; stifling heat thru the later summer, and then another rainy season with their typhoons. I have had the misfortune of having all three in spectacular fashion one summer.

    Where in Japan? The southern island (Kyushu) and the northern Island (Hokkaido) are the least crowded. The 'Japanese alps' north of Tokyo offer the spectacular scenery. But to help you more I must know more.

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

  3. #3
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    I'm pretty flexible, although I will most likely be flying into Tokyo and out of Osaka, so I probably won't be going too far north of tokyo. I plan on riding every day, doing an average of 80 miles a day. Know any good routes from tokyo to osaka? What are the best mountain areas/ volcanoes to check out?

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    http://japancycling.org/ is a good resource for what you are wanting to do. I did about a 2-month tour last summer, it was a blast. I went from south of Fukuoka up over onto honshu -> shikoku (all around shikoku) then -> kyoto/osaka/nara and surrounding. I used japancycling's website as a general template for what I wanted to do then kind of played it by ear, but having lived there for about 4 years it was a lot easier for me because of having friends all over the place, in other words, YMMV.

    how's your japanese? once youre outside of tokyo/osaka its will be a challenge to communicate if you do not have at least some basic command of the language.

    "stealth" camping is easy in JP if youre wanting to go this route. I camped in parks, off the side of the road, just basically anywhere I wanted and was never hassled. this is good because youre gonna spend *at least* $40 / us (4000-5000 yen) per night for a hotel.

    someone in that other thread recommended youth hostels, but outside of osaka/tokyo they are so spread around and making reservations is such a bloddy hassle (seriously) that it's really not practical to do the hostel thing. I recommend business hotels "Bijinesu hoteru" in katakanized japanese. these are in every moderately sized city and you pay up front, never needing reservations. I stayed in one every 2-3 days just to recharge batteries on portables and have a nice shower. hot springs are all over the countryside, that may be another alternative worth checking out. down side of business hotels is that usually they speak zero english.

    in the summer months japan is *really humid* so make sure you have appropriate gear, footwear, etc. this, along with the mountanous terrain, can be very tiring. if there are hills in your area, I suggest practicing on them.

    Big problem:
    end of June is like, the heart of rainy season. it rains all day, almost every day. it's not like a spring shower either, its like, varying degrees of hardcore rain. if youre dead set on doing this at that time then dress appropriately.


    I realize there are a lot of negative comments here, but I'm trying to give you a realistic perspective and your OP isn't greatly detailed as to what youre planning to do. If you update later I can probably give you some better feedback.

    Here are the biggest pluses of touring japan:

    - outside of osaka/tokyo people are really friendly and interested in random white people riding loaded touring bikes. you *will* be invited to stay the night at some familys home, I can say with 90% certainty. japanese people are really warm and friendly once you get outside the city areas.

    - of course the nature and architecture and everything is totally different from what you'd be coming from in any western country, so thats a real trip

    - you'll probably see random things every day that will make you say "WOW THATS COOL"

    Cheers. If you have any additional comments about the goals of your trip and maybe a bit of background I can provide you with a little more feedback. I spent a lot of time in Japan and have a lot of knowledge in this area.

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    Riding from the airport to a ferry port and taking a ferry to Hokkaido is a blast. I think Hokkaido is the best in Japan for nature, roads, camping, mtn. passes, oceans, lack of traffic and unreal food. Hokkaido is slightly lacking as far as architecture and culture goes, but the cycling can't be beat. When I was there last, there were a lot of Japanese bike tourists. The people are really cool too, so long as you're well outside the mega cities.

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