Are you staying in Tokyo for a holiday or live in the Tokyo/Yokohama area and just want to get out for an authentic experience in the Japanese countryside with Mount Fuji views? Look no further and book your bicycle tour in Odawara!
I found this bicycle tour on Air Bnb whilst looking for a place to stay in the spa town Hakone and booked it as a birthday present for him. When we’ve been on holidays in Asia, one of the things we always enjoyed the most, was a bicycle tour! The most crazy one was definitely through rural villages in Myanmar, the most beautiful one along Erhai Lake in Dali and the one where we met the most interesting people was cycling through Hoi’An’s countryside. Luckily and coincidentally, I booked our bicycle tour through Japan’s countryside on a beautiful day with clear blue skies and perfect views onto Mount Fuji.
Odawara is only a bit over an hour away on the train from Yokohama and there is even a Shinkansen (fast) train from Shinagawa, Tokyo, which takes you there in a few minutes. We always stick to local trains, though, as they are usually less than a third the price of the shinkansen. When we arrived at the meeting point, just a few minutes away from Odawara train station, we met the other two people who have booked the cycling tour and the tour guide who all seemed very nice! When we’re meeting people while travelling I love hearing their stories. The bikes the guide provided were comfortable, lightweight road bikes and it was fun and easy cycling on them. We made a few stops on little paths in the countryside to gaze at Mount Fuji and skydivers, plenty in numbers that day.
After two hours or so, our halfway point was a traditional Japanese house (similar to what we’ve seen in the Japanese Alps in Takayama and Shirakawa-Go) and walked through the house while we were told the rooms’ functionalities and the neighbouring warehouse’s history.
After a matcha latte in the modern, cosy coffee shop by the traditional house, we cycled back the same way we came. Overall, the pace of the cycling tour was easy going. The guide recommended a seafood restaurant to us and together with one of the guys’ on our cycling tour, we had a fresh seafood bowl for lunch and then headed to Odawara Castle together. In the past, visiting Matsumoto Castle and Kanazawa Castle, we loved seeing the castles from the outside but were disappointed with the inside. But this time, we thought that the inside of Odawara Castle was incredible as it was turned into a beautiful museum of the castle’s history with a great viewpoint from the top.
After visiting the castle, we discovered that there’s also a decent beach in Odawara and then, to end the day in the best possible way, we had a relaxing time at the Manyo Club onsen near the train station. What a successful day in the Japanese countryside!
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