Even in big cities such as Tokyo and Kyoto, bicycles are a great and cheap way to get around. Japan is full of interesting little streets and lanes to explore on bike, so its a great way to get off the beaten track. Prices are around 1000 yen a day and can be rented in most tourist areas.
Budget travel tips
- Japanese people often park their bikes in clearly signed prohibited areas, for example outside shops or stations. Parking is usually available outside train stations or tourist destinations for 100 yen or so. But if you want to park for free, it’s at your own risk! Bicycles are very occasionally taken by authorities.
- Ask your hostel or hotel if they have bicycles. They may have cheap or free bikes for you to use.
- Helmets for adults are usually not available, so bring one if you are worried about safety.
- You cannot bring normal bicycles on trains, so bring a foldable bicycle if you want to do both.
Recommended Cycle Route Websites
Cycle Kyoto – The best selection of routes in Kyoto.
Tokyo By Bike – Lots of useful information.