Cycling Japan on a folding bike. Why I keep going back
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I'd had a nagging idea to ride a bicycle in lieu of a Shinkansen high speed train since my first trip to Japan in 2007. So in 2010 I took the plunge and cycled three cities for a week each and two weeks of rural riding on my Bike Friday Pocket Llama folding bike.
In 2012 I spent five weeks riding places like the Shimanami Kaido and coastal regions of the inland sea. Then came 2013 and I rode in winter from Narita city along the coast, taking two ferry trips to Shikoku. Unfortunately, unseasonably heavy snow put a stop to my cycling on Shikoku, but I was more than pleased to have cycled around 4,500 kilometres through Japan during all three trips.
I like cycle touring in Japan because of the scenery, remnants of historical sites and traditional villages, the food, people and just how cheaply I can travel there – I have that down to a budget I can afford.
A word of advice: do not cycle Japan in summer – it is unbearable, like nowhere else I have been. The best times are between October and May; other times are far too hot, humid or just downright wet.
The seed is planted and I am off again for three months in Spring 2014, this time for a few more mountains and another coast line on my new Montague Paratrooper folding mountain bike, which I have modified for touring. To top it off I will celebrate my 63rd birthday while riding somewhere in rural Japan.
Paul Evans lives on the outskirts of Canberra and likes to escape the hot Aussie summers.
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