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Any recommendations for a 6 day tour in Japan with rentals?

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Any recommendations for a 6 day tour in Japan with rentals?

Old 03-30-19, 03:08 PM
  #1  
hhk25
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Any recommendations for a 6 day tour in Japan with rentals?

I have six days to cycle in Japan in early June. I can't take my bike with me so I need a rental. Where can I pull this off? Doesn't seem practical to rent in Tokyo, then bag rental bikes for a train ride. So I'll have to focus on areas where I can rent a bike at the departure point. I thought about Kanazawa where I could then ride the Noto Peninsula but when I google bike rentals, all I get are the Machi-nori stations.

Can anyone offer some advice on where I could find a 6 day trip with rental bikes? I'm looking for relatively flat, rural areas, preferably seaside where we might find ryokans and onsens to stay and relax in.

We are experienced cyclists. We can manage 140km in a day if we have to but our preferred distance is 60-80km.
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Old 03-30-19, 07:42 PM
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I don't know much but it just so happens that we are flying to Japan next week for a vacation. Our main thing will be a 6 day hiking trek in the Wakayama prefecture but after the hike we plan to bike the route from Honshu/Hiroshima to Shikoku over a series of bridges and islands. The route is called Shimanami kaido

it starts in town of onomichi near Hiroshima at u2 hotel and bike rental. Yoy can rent a bike and return it at several spots along the way. One way 60km. Not too long but a good day trip i think. 👍
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Old 03-31-19, 02:33 AM
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I live in Japan and I think you have no chance of renting a bike; except for the above poster's suggestion. The Shimanami kaido is a very fun ride and it is easy to rent a bike. Not sure what you would do with luggage though. If you check Waddo on Youtube I have two videos that begin with the Shimanami kaido, one in August and one in winter.
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Old 03-31-19, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
I don't know much but it just so happens that we are flying to Japan next week for a vacation. Our main thing will be a 6 day hiking trek in the Wakayama prefecture but after the hike we plan to bike the route from Honshu/Hiroshima to Shikoku over a series of bridges and islands. The route is called Shimanami kaido

it starts in town of onomichi near Hiroshima at u2 hotel and bike rental. Yoy can rent a bike and return it at several spots along the way. One way 60km. Not too long but a good day trip i think. 👍
I'm in Japan for 2 weeks and on the second week, we planned to do a day trip on the Shimanami kaido when a non-cycling friend of ours joins us.

Curious about your hiking trip because our alternative is to hike if we can't find bike rentals. Can you tell me more?
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Old 03-31-19, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
I live in Japan and I think you have no chance of renting a bike; except for the above poster's suggestion. The Shimanami kaido is a very fun ride and it is easy to rent a bike. Not sure what you would do with luggage though. If you check Waddo on Youtube I have two videos that begin with the Shimanami kaido, one in August and one in winter.
Thanks Waddo, I have watched some of your videos. They tend to focus on longer trips, no?

We are definitely doing the Shimanami kaido but we are looking for a longer ride as well.
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Old 03-31-19, 04:28 AM
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The problem will be finding bikes. I have never heard of it or seen it anywhere except the one mentioned. If you go to Fuji 5 lakes, which you should, you can rent a bike at Kawaguchiko, but it is only for the day and the bikes are pretty bad. Mostly with shopping baskets on the front and perhaps a mountain bike though maybe not.
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Old 03-31-19, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
I'm in Japan for 2 weeks and on the second week, we planned to do a day trip on the Shimanami kaido when a non-cycling friend of ours joins us.

Curious about your hiking trip because our alternative is to hike if we can't find bike rentals. Can you tell me more?

google Kumano Kodo, the sister trail to Camino Santiago
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Old 03-31-19, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post



google Kumano Kodo, the sister trail to Camino Santiago
Looks wonderful. It's a possibility if the cycling falls through.
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Old 03-31-19, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
The problem will be finding bikes. I have never heard of it or seen it anywhere except the one mentioned. If you go to Fuji 5 lakes, which you should, you can rent a bike at Kawaguchiko, but it is only for the day and the bikes are pretty bad. Mostly with shopping baskets on the front and perhaps a mountain bike though maybe not.
My other option is to bring folding bikes with us (Bromptons). It might be easier and in the end, cheaper to just bring them as checked luggage.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 03-31-19, 05:59 PM
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You can contact Tim at GS Astuto. He does rentals of good road bikes but it's expensive, I believe. Probably not a cost you'd want to pay for multiple days. Honestly, based on the cost for renting something decent, if you have Bromptons you should probably just bring those.

Edit: I've never heard of these guys before, but here's another option that just popped up in my search: https://globalwheels-japan.com/

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Old 03-31-19, 06:10 PM
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Thanks DanBell. I will contact Tim.

Quick question for those of you who have done the Shimanami Kaido. If I'm in Kyoto the night before, is it possible to get to Onomichi, do the bike route and then be back in Kyoto the same day? Or, do most people overnight it in Onomichi or Imabari?

Once you make it to Imabari, how do you get back to the Onomichi?
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Old 03-31-19, 07:02 PM
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It would be impossible to do it in a day and get back to Tokyo. Also a waste of time unless your only purpose is to pedal. On a folding bike it will take longer and be harder. I think you can take a bus back but you need to look into it. If I were you I would take 2 days to do it and explore the islands on the way. They are much more interesting than Kyoto,
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Old 03-31-19, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
If I'm in Kyoto the night before, is it possible to get to Onomichi, do the bike route and then be back in Kyoto the same day? Or, do most people overnight it in Onomichi or Imabari?
It's possible, sure. There'd be some serious train time. Using Hyperdia, looks like about three hours of train time to get you back to Kyoto from Imabari. So it's an hour and a half-ish on the trains in the morning to get from Kyoto to Onomichi, sort out bikes and everything, 70km ride across the islands (with no side trips or exploring), ride into Imabari, return bikes/pack them up for the train, get to the train station, then three hours back to Kyoto. If you leave Kyoto early in the morning it's doable. There used to be a hostel in Onomichi that I stayed in when I did this trip years ago. It was 2500 a night for a dorm bed IIRC. If you stayed there it would make the whole thing more manageable.
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Old 04-01-19, 03:09 PM
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Bring your Bromptons! My daughter and son-in-law took a year off to bike tour and did it entirely on Bromptons. They traveled through Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Japan, several countries in Eastern Europe plus Glacier Nat'l Park. They swear by them, said they were the easiest bike to fly with because, when folded, they fit easily into the overhead bins.

Enjoy your tour.
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Old 04-02-19, 12:06 AM
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I did the Shikoku Pilgrimage tour with Cycling Japan -best guide service, rental bike, self guided tour- last year with some friends and we had a brilliant time. They have hire bikes that are ok and Ken the owner is really helpful.
We did the Shimanami ride as the first day of our tour. We did the 110km course and had a great time. Fantastic scenery and well worth the effort
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Old 04-02-19, 02:04 PM
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We did 6 day tour in Kyushu over last thanksgiving. Two words of advice - do it! One of the best trips we've done and we travel a lot. I am sure we would be cycling for several days next time we go.

1) We chose Kyushu because it was November and it's the best weather there that time of year and we wanted to visit a few onsens and Kyushu is the best place. For june, it is perhaps not the best choice. But if interested, can share our itinerary.
2) Bikes: local rental is hard. I've emailed perhaps a dozen companies locally and only found one that was willing to rent what they call 'sports" bikes, mountain bikes with disk brakes. No racks no option to change pedals etc. From this perspective https://globalwheels-japan.com was a better choice. they provide all the accessories, can provide rinko bikes for trains, racks panniers if you want etc. It was about 2x in price (including shipping charges) vs the local place but I think it was worth it. However, [we most often ride tandem at home which are impossible to rent] and we ended up purchasing a used Bike Friday tandem and rode it. It almost paid for itself in this one trip as compared to the rent cost.
That being said, there are multiple bike rental place around Shimanami Kaido. I would suggest doing it in 2 days with loops around each islands - there are plenty to see. This was our original plan but we thought it could be too cold and windy in November. You can then continue along Shikoku cost and then figure out a ferry/train return option to give the bikes back. I think Hokkaido also has some bike rental options but could be a bit cold in June.
3) Bikes on the train: it's a hassle but if you get a gist of it it is not that much of a hassle. I think getting a motorcycle cover and duct tape from 100Y store will get you better packing then a standard rink bag. So don't be afraid of open jar itinerary or making some transfers on the train.
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Old 04-03-19, 11:24 AM
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Thanks for all the great advice. Kyushu is too far south for us. We're landing in Osaka then we have to end up in Tokyo to visit friends so we want to stay in central Japan.

It's looking more and more like we're bringing our Bromptons. I am meeting my daughter in Osaka so I have to bring two Bromptons with me. I'm not much looking forward to that.

Still have not decided if I want to do the Noto peninsula or another area. Since we're riding Bromptons, I don't want to do a ton of hill climbing.

Shimanami Kaido, which we will do later in the trip with my wife, will be done over two days. Thinking about overnighting it in Iguchijima. While we're on the subject of Japan, has anyone cycled on Naoshima Island? Recommended?
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Old 04-03-19, 07:01 PM
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If you want a lovely and easy ride with folding bikes I would suggest Biwako. There are some great sightseeing places there and the ride up to the sea of Japan is quite short. I have some Biwako videos on Youtube but we have yet to explore the lake fully. Particularly the south west coast has interesting places to visit though we have no had chance yet.
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Old 04-03-19, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
It's looking more and more like we're bringing our Bromptons.
I think this is the best option. Lugging the extra one through the airports will be no fun, but I still think bringing your own bikes makes the most sense.

Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
Still have not decided if I want to do the Noto peninsula or another area.
I did Noto years ago and it was beautiful.

Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
While we're on the subject of Japan, has anyone cycled on Naoshima Island?
Never done it but it's on my list of places to go. It looks very cool with all the museums and art work.
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Old 04-05-19, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
If you want a lovely and easy ride with folding bikes I would suggest Biwako. There are some great sightseeing places there and the ride up to the sea of Japan is quite short. I have some Biwako videos on Youtube but we have yet to explore the lake fully. Particularly the south west coast has interesting places to visit though we have no had chance yet.
Is it possible to do Biwako or Noto without reservations for overnight accommodation? This would be early June.
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Old 04-05-19, 04:39 PM
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The Kyoto area is a mad house these days. However, if you check airbnb on the south east side you can probably find a place. We had a guest staying with us and we helped him find a place there. They are small villages so no visited much. Noto I have no idea.
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Old 04-11-19, 08:36 PM
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I participated with my local bicycle club in the Shimanami Kaido event back in 2016, which was their "small" event (approx. 3000 participants), while 2018 was their "large" event (8000 participants). Spectacular to say the least! It is a definite bicycle tour bucket list. It's Japan's premier bicycle route, so you won't be disappointed. The main difference between the event and doing on your own, is that during the event, they close off the bridges from motor vehicles (both directions), so it was very peaceful biking with thousands of other cyclists during the event on the bridges over the ocean. They even had locals come out to cheer for you along the roadside. Unforgettable!

Since you'll be doing this at your own pace, just enjoy the scenery and small quaint towns along the way, but most definitely at the end of the day from your rides, make sure you soak in an onsen (natural, hot spring). You'll be rejuvenated for the next day's ride for sure!

Also, in 2018 I participated in an Eroica event in the hills of Agatsuma/Gunma, at a famous onsen resort. Too spoiled...

(Sigh!...) I love Japan & can't wait until my next bicycle adventure there.

Enjoy your Japan bicycle tour! ALOHA!!!
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