With Autumn finally here after a long hot and humid Summer it’s time to get on your bike again and work up a sweat without being completely drenched in it as happens in the overly hot and humid Summer months in Tokyo.
These ten rides are not just simply routes (though they could be of course!) but themed ones which can be adjusted however you see fit. The distances and times given are approximate (especially numbers 1-5 which were completed in a non-smart phone era) and include the travel to and from the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre so they are just a guide to give you an idea.
Here then, in no particular order, are the Tokyo Fox top 10 Tokyo themed cycling rides…
1. Yamanote Line Loop: Distance: 35 km; Time: 8 hrs – A classic ride circling the green coloured line (map-wise!) either clockwise or anti-clockwise and taking in the core of Tokyo’s major stations and urban centres.
2. A-Z of stations: Distance: ?? km; Time: 9 hrs – A simple concept. Cycle around Tokyo stopping for a photo at a station for each letter of the alphabet. There aren’t too many B’s or C’s and there are no stations beginning with the letters L, P, Q, V or X so that’s five less stops to do!
3. On the trail of John Rain: Distance: ?? km; Time: 8 hrs – The fictional work of author Barry Eisler has a long association with Tokyo. Many other novels have been set here but the links here are from the earlier works and the original bicycle tour of the many bars, restaurants, cafe’s and hotels which feature throughout the books.
4. Tokyo’s Top 25 Sights: Distance: 130 km; Time: 12:20 hrs – The most epic of tours due mainly to the inclusion of Odaiba and Tokyo Disneyland (over in Chiba) in ‘Fodor’s Tokyo Top 25′ guidebook.
5. Along the Kanda River: Distance: 25 km; Time: 5:30 hrs – Starting at the Sumida-gawa River and finishing at the lake in Kichijoji’s Inokashira Park. Be aware that this river cuts through the heart of Tokyo and so many, many gates are encountered and you can’t ride for too long before you have to slow down and go through a gate to cross a road.
6. Ten Shrines of Tokyo: Distance: 76.31km; Time: 7.25 hrs – Emperor Meiji selected these as the most important shrines in 1868 after he had moved to Edo and renamed it Tokyo.
7. Tokyo’s Most Haunted Sights: Distance: 85.5 km Time: 9.51 hrs – Japan is maybe not as safe as the locals suggest due to earthquakes, typhoons and other natural phenomena. On top of this there are also many stories, rumours and myths about Tokyo being inhabited by folklore creatures, ghosts, gods and other such evil spirits. This ride incorporates them into one perfectly spooky Halloween ride which I re-wrote for an article in Metropolis magazine last October.
8. Gourmet Snack Track Trail: Distance: 53.26 km; Time: 8.29 hrs – Japan is famed for its great food and this journey took in a handful of its most traditional gourmet food shops including soba, monja-yaki and taiyaki.
9. The Wolverine Tokyo Trail: Distance: 53.59km; Time: 3.38 hrs – Take the very same route that the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) takes in the 2013 film where the idea of geography is completely abandoned in favour of the hero just zig-zagging across the city.
10. The Godzilla Tokyo Tour: Distance: 82.8 km; Time: 6.43 hrs – A mix of statues, filming locations, shops and so on relating to the giant radioactive lizard.
Now stop reading and get on your bike! Happy cycling!