See the Real Japan—by Bicycle

My name is Miho Yeap and I'm a UK-educated Malaysian living in Meguro, Tokyo. I've worked for two years as the video producer at bilingual media agency. Although Covid-19 has affected my day-to-day life, cycling has been a wonderful way for me to stay active and serves as a great way to get around.

Luckily, Tokyo is a fantastic place to begin your cycling journey. Many city streets are wide and well maintained, with cycle paths clearly marked. Ubiquitous convenience stores ensure you'll have plenty of chances to stock up on water and energy snacks—crucial on a long-distance ride.

Although city riding is a great way to see urban sights, the real wonder comes when you get off the beaten track. Destinations such as Okutama and Kamakura provide ample opportunities to comfortably and happily ride alongside nature.

Of those, Okutama in particular is rich in nature, and has been designated as part of Japan’s national parks. There, you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, enjoy the fresh air, and relish in relaxing wonders such as crystal clear rivers, waterfalls and dense forests.

While it’s definitely perfect for cycling, you can also enjoy a variety of activities such as trekking, canoeing, and “forest bathing.”

Recently, due to the coronavirus, Okutama has become a popular destination for those who want to spend their holidays surrounded by nature instead of people.

Riding is a great experience that makes me feel truly connected to Japan. Being on a bike makes you take in your surroundings in a way that simply cannot be done by train or car. It forces you to stop in places you’ve never heard of, eat local delicacies, and speak to curious bystanders. Long-distance biking has certainly given me a greater appreciation for much of what Japan has to offer. If you’re considering a fun new hobby that’ll keep you active, healthy, happy and take you all over the nation, consider cycling!