6 SUPERB CYCLING AREAS IN SHIZUOKA
Shizuoka offers an amazing range of experiences for all cycling levels throughout the Prefecture – here are 6 to check out.
Cycling in Shizuoka
Cycling through rice paddies, green tea fields or along the coast are great options for cycling in Japan – quite often with Mt Fuji as your backdrop making for outstanding cycling experiences.
The Kakegawa & Kikugawa areas are perhaps best know for the production of some of the best green tea in the World.
As one of the 6 stations on the JR Tokaido Bullet train line in Shizuoka this quaint castle town is a very convenient starting point for any cycling adventure in the Prefecture.
After starting your day sampling some of the local green tea and visiting Kakegawa Castle & some of the other attractions there are a number of different routes available for all levels of cyclists.
Head up into the green tea fields in the mountains, cruise down to Omaezaki and ride along the coast or follow the Old Tokaido Highway to Fukuroi and visit some of the shrines in the area.
Take the local JR Tokaido Line from Kakegawa Station 3 stops to Shimada Station to take a journey following the Oigawa (Oi River) up into the foothills of Japan’s Southern Alps.
Ride from Shimada Station over the Horai Bridge to Shin Kanaya Station cross back over the river and follow it up stream into the mountains to Senzu Station in Kawane Honcho.
This is a popular cycling route especially in Late March / Early April when the cherry blossoms are in bloom or mid-Autumn when the Fall leaves are changing color.
All along the way there are restaurants, cafes and hot springs so that you can take your time and enjoy the journey.
Stay with one of the locals and enjoy a farm to table experience and stay a couple of days to explore Sumatakyo Onsen and Ikawa Lake Area – for serious cyclists there are some challenging rides once you get up into the mountains.
3. IZU PENINSULA
The Izu Peninsula is arguably Shizuoka’s most popular cycling destination.
You can cruise along the coast and enjoy stunning views of the rugged coastline, enjoy amazing sunsets and catch amazing views of Mt Fuji across Suruga Bay.
Or you can head inland and challenge some of the mountains and hills that rise from sea level up to 1,400 meters.
The Makinohara Plains produce 40% of all Shizuoka’s green tea stretching from Shimada Station down to the ocean covering more than 12,000 acres (5,000 hectares).
By their very definition the Makinohara Plains are fairly level so even for beginners the cycling does not present too many challenges.
Cycling through the endless green tea fields all the way down to Sagara Sun Beach on the coastline is a great Shizuoka experience.
Spend a couple of days at the beach and then cycle down the coast to your next destination.
5. LAKE HAMANA
Take the local JR Tokaido line from Hamamatsu Station to Maisaka or Araimachi Stations or jump on a free Kanzanji hotel shuttle with your bike to get to the Brackish Lake Hamana.
If you want a cycling course with Mt Fuji as your constant companion the pack up your bike and jump on the Yakisoba Express bus from Tokyo Station to Fujinomiya (96 mins) – the closest city to Mt Fuji.
Once you are in Fujinomiya you are spoiled for choice as a cyclist.
For those that are up for the challenge, and enjoy the pain, jump in the saddle and head straight to the Fujinomiya 5th Station via the Fujisan Skyline Road – a grueling 5 hour ride to an elevation of 2,375m.