Exploring Tokyo on a Bicycle

Many people prefer to use bicycles to get around in Japan. The country’s transportation system can get quite busy at times and it can be stressful to join the throng of people especially during rush hours. Using a bicycle is a great way to get to school, to work, and for recreation and exercise, the best part is you help in reduce global warming. It is a convenient and inexpensive means to get around in one of the most costly and populated cities in the world, Tokyo.

The introduction of bicycles to Japan

The bicycle was invented around the latter part of the 18th century as a plaything that moved forward as you used you kicked the ground using your feet. By 1813, the bicycle was enhanced with a steering with steering to change the direction of the front wheel. By the mid-century, a simple drive system was established. The end of the 19th century almost had the same form of bicycles as we see today. In Japan, bicycles began to be imported to the country during the Meiji era soon followed by domestic production. The Miyata Industry Co., Ltd., a gun blacksmith company began the production of bicycles in Japan.

Penny-farthing at Edo-Tokyo Museum. | KCP Flickr

Exploring Tokyo by bike

Tokyo has so many places to discover aside from the most visited tourist attractions. Some of the best places to explore are the quaint local neighborhoods in the hidden back streets of the bustling metropolis. Many other unnoticed places that only the locals know of such as restaurants, temples and parks are all waiting to be discovered. The best way to discover these places is by using a bicycle.

Check out some of the places to see around Tokyo by bike:

Yamanote Line Loop

Biking in front of Otsuka Station on the Yamanote Line. | tim t.

The Yamanote Line is a 35-kilometer route that goes around central Tokyo and is full of interesting sightseeing spots. The circular route is traversed by millions of passengers every day! The Yamanote Line stops at 29 stations and links together many diverse neighborhoods of Tokyo. You can begin exploring with your bicycle from any stop and use the loop as your guide to discover everyday life in Japan’s capital city.

Kanda River

Bicycles at Inokashira Park. | tetsuo shimizu

The Kanda River cycling route is an 18-kilometer stretch of scenic river views with the preferred route running the opposite direction of the flow of the water. It is advisable to begin in Takadanobaba and is a leisurely ride all the way to Inokashira Park as some sections of the river intersect with other rivers and disappear underground. There are several paths alongside of the river you can choose from with numerous small bridges that make it easy to explore on your own.

When exploring Tokyo by bike, always remember to be aware of the cycling laws of Japan.