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Touring in Japan

Old 05-10-24, 10:45 AM
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Touring in Japan

Iím planning a 7-10 day tour in Japan this fall. I have been there many times and done some shorter tours but I am interested in tips or suggestions for where to go, see, do etc.

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Old 05-12-24, 05:30 PM
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My wife and I rode from Kyoto and across to Shikoku, then across the island. Shikoku is very mountainous, fabulous riding, amazing food. I can post a map of the ride if you like. All up 10 days. We have also cycled the north east of Hokkaido, fabulous as well 😊.
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Old 05-12-24, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by HappyAussies
My wife and I rode from Kyoto and across to Shikoku, then across the island. Shikoku is very mountainous, fabulous riding, amazing food. I can post a map of the ride if you like. All up 10 days. We have also cycled the north east of Hokkaido, fabulous as well 😊.
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Iíve ridden the Shiminami kaido and a bit of southern Shikoku but I would be very interested in a map of your 10 day tour. Shikoku is one of the likely spots for this trip.
I donít think weíll be going back to Hokkaido this trip but weíve ridden in a couple of areas there including Cape Soya and Rishiri (where the bridge picture was taken). I will probably go back to ski there in March.
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Old 05-12-24, 09:49 PM
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Hey Mitch

Here are the daily maps and one overall. We rode Kyoto to Nara, but a typhoon a few days earlier while we were in Tokyo (that was an experience to say the least), took out the cycle route from Nara to the coast at Wakayama, so we took the train for that section.

First day on Shikoku was a big climb, 73km all in for the day. We were going to follow the mountain ridge but the typhoon had blocked the road, so we had to descend .............

Next day had to ascend all over again, for a day of 94km.

A "lumpy" day of 75km, with a fast descent to the coast.


Had a "rest" day, took a nice 60km return trip up the coast, flat and relaxing.

Next day saw a flat and fast 55km along the coast.

Next 83km around the coast to Matsuyama, and another day of walking sightseeing. The onsen on Matsuyama is FABULOUS!

Backtracked 50km to Imabari, last stop on Shikoku.

And finally, rode the amazing Shimanami Kaido, a series of 10 bridges connecting Shikoku to the mainland at Onomichi. This is a MUST DO ride, really increadible stuff. 83km of wonderful riding.

Shikoku really is a fabulous destination, but be warned, it's just a little hilly :-). It's also nice and quiet, we only met two other westerners the whole time, a couple from the US riding their way around the world.



Last Oct we rode a 1,567km circuit around South Korea, which is an amazing destination if you haven't already been. We are planning a ride from Amsterdam to Budapest either this Oct/Nov or next year in May/June, just debating the best time of year. Let me know if you need any other info.

Cheers
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Old 05-12-24, 09:56 PM
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PS Just noticed you have alreay ridden the Shimanami Kaido, sorry :-).
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Old 05-13-24, 08:27 AM
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Thanks for the helpful information and the maps. Those were some big climbing days in northern Shikoku! I agree with you about the Shiminami Kaido and about the Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama. After this Japan tour my next touring destination will be Taiwan but Korea sound interesting.

We are well accustomed to mountainous riding since we live in SE BC - which most would call the Rocky Mountains but is more correctly the Selkirk Range.
A typical view in the Selkirks:
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Old 05-13-24, 07:32 PM
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Canada, and especially BC, is on our list. We spent a bit of time on Vancouver Island a few years back, loved the hiking. Taiwan for cycling is great. A few years back (2018) we rode from the top of the Taroko Gorge down the east coast to the very southern tip, then finished at Kenting. Very humid, not so good in the rash deprtment, but wonderful scenery and beautiful food.
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Old 05-14-24, 02:11 AM
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The Nakasendo trail, from Tokyo to Kyoto, or vice versa, might work for you. Cycling the trail usually takes about a week. I live in Tokyo, and am planning a ride from here to Kyoto in the summer.
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Old 05-24-24, 07:23 AM
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As someone who lives and tours in Japan, my favourite places are Northern Tohoku and Kyushu. I would suggest, which ever area you choose, do your own research with google earth, google maps, and internet search. Find areas, places, sites you want to visit and then connect them with roads numbered 5xx to 8xx. These are the empty mountainous roads. If you type waddo in YouTube you can skim through some of my videos if you want. I will name three places that are out of this world for riding, sightseeing and wild camping: Tazawako, Tawadako and Aso Caldera.
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Old 05-30-24, 02:39 AM
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How hard is it to book a hotel in japan the day before? Or did you pre book all your hotels before your plane landed in Japan?
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Old 05-30-24, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy
How hard is it to book a hotel in japan the day before? Or did you pre book all your hotels before your plane landed in Japan?
I used to book my rooms in Japan through Agoda.com. Posh places in Tokyo, ryokans deep in the north, capsule hotels in Hokkaido, cheap hostels, it booked them all there.
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Old 05-30-24, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by waddo
As someone who lives and tours in Japan, my favourite places are Northern Tohoku and Kyushu.
I feel emotional pain from longing every time I remember my many years touring Tohoku. Obanazawa, Yamadera, Sendai, Towada lake, Shimokita peninsula, I wish I could have it all again.

OP, I would also recommend the north. don't forget that on a tourist visa you have access to cheap bullet train passes; you could start in one end of the country and jump to the other to tour a different part.
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Old 05-31-24, 06:46 AM
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I just did the IZU peninsula (just south of Fuji) and am aching to go back and do more. The cars seem very tolerant of us cyclists and I had no trouble at all. The many onsens helped too.
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Old 06-01-24, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
The cars seem very tolerant of us cyclists and I had no trouble at all. The many onsens helped too.
I am beginning to plan a trip to Japan next summer, probably mostly in the north.

The nature, careful cars, camping and wild camping, onsens, and not least, respect for the elderly that I have read about make it sound simply fantastic. I stay away from cities.

One thing that I have garnered somewhat contradictory information about is how available vegan food is in Japan. I am not interested in restaurants, but rather convenience stores, markets etc. I have been a strict vegan for forty years, and do not compromise. However, I can, and do, get by on simple food: tofu, rice, vegetables, and fruit for example. I donít speak japanese but will study greetings, common phrases etc.

Any advice would be greatfully read
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Old 06-01-24, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by imi
I am beginning to plan a trip to Japan next summer, probably mostly in the north.

The nature, careful cars, camping and wild camping, onsens, and not least, respect for the elderly that I have read about make it sound simply fantastic. I stay away from cities.

One thing that I have garnered somewhat contradictory information about is how available vegan food is in Japan. I am not interested in restaurants, but rather convenience stores, markets etc. I have been a strict vegan for forty years, and do not compromise. However, I can, and do, get by on simple food: tofu, rice, vegetables, and fruit for example. I donít speak japanese but will study greetings, common phrases etc.

Any advice would be greatfully read
Wife and I are vegetarians. You will not understand the list of ingredients in Japanese so just buy something that's vegetarian and hope for the best. There are certain things that you will want to buy often for convenience and price. Rice balls for example. There is probably only one kind with seaweed that is vegan, so look at the photo on the packaging and stick with that. One very unfortunate reality you must face is that bento boxes always include fish or sea food. They are cheap and delicious and we often buy them for lunch so we do not have to cook. It will be tough to stay vegan, so if you make a mistake and buy something with fish, just throw the fish for the birds Not sure how good google translate is with camera a labels but it may help.
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