Exploring Shizuoka by Bike

Most of you who follow our blog have probably figured out by now that we love cycling off the beaten track in Japan! As it’s often hard finding information online about good bike routes in Japan, we decided to film our bike rides and write these blog articles to provide other cycling enthusiasts with valuable information. In October last year, we embarked on a week-long bikepacking trip starting at Shizuoka Station and ending in Ise City, Mie Prefecture! Just as on previous bikepacking tours in Japan, we took our bikes on the shinkansen bullet train to get to our starting point and to get back to Yokohama. Hope you enjoy our video and tips below!

Our autumn bikepacking trip: Starting in Shizuoka City, ending in Ise City, Mie Prefecture

Best Bike Route in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka City doesn’t have an official cycling path, so we recommend choosing the sights you are interested in visiting and a destination for the day. This has been our route:

  • Starting point: Shizuoka Station (arrival by bullet train)
  • Short cycle on backstreets to Toro Park
  • Cycling along Suruga Bay (very scenic but unfortunately right next to a highway)
  • Short cycle to Former Mackenzie Residence
  • Cycling along Suruga Bay
  • Short Cycle to West Coast Brewing (possible rest stop for food, drinks and onsen)
  • Cycling along the Marikogawa River – highly recommended!
  • Cycling through Japanese tea towns to Horai Bridge
  • Longer Cycling through scenic tea fields to Kikugawa (our destination)

Check out our video below to see highlights of the route –

Things to See in Shizuoka City

For our cycling trip, we only had one day to spend in Shizuoka City and had to limit sightseeing to what we are most interested in and what was on the route. We cycled 62 km that day to Kikugawa, a small city in Shizuoka Prefecture famous for its green tea plantations.

Our Top 4 (Free) Sights in Shizuoka City:

  1. Former Mackenzie Residence: Tangible history in this 1940s villa where a successful merchant family resided.
  2. Horai Bridge: The longest wooden walking bridge in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records in 1997. Technically it is located in Shimada City, which is just a stone’s throw away from Shizuoka City.
  3. West Coast Brewing: Calling all Japanese craft beer fans! This is a solid brewing company with high quality beer (and we know what we’re talking about). They’re especially well-known for their excellent IPAs. Located by a serene harbor and right next to an onsen, it makes for a perfect day out!
  4. Toro Park: Vast public park near Shizuoka Station with thatched roof houses and frequent cultural festivals going on. Seems to be a park popular for families.
West Coast Brewing in Shizuoka


Can I take my bike on the train in Japan?

In order to take your bicycle on the train in Japan, you have to take the front wheel off, attach it to the side of your bike and place it into a special bike bag that you can purchase in stores such as Y’s Road or Montbell that specialise in cycling gear. Depending on the bike bag, you may also have to take your pedals and seat off.

When using local trains with bikes, you need to use the front or rear car where you will have space to attach your bike bag to a handlebar and take a seat (providing the space isn’t used by someone with a stroller or in a wheelchair).

When using the bullet trains with bikes, you will need to tell the staff at the ticket counter that you will need extra space behind your reserved seats. Usually, this is the first row in each car. Despite your reservation, however, be prepared that other people on the train might already use this area for their suitcases, strollers etc. and you may have to ask them to cooperate and place their luggage elsewhere. In our experience, about 70% of the time this works out well. Be prepared to stand up the bike bag vertically.

What are the best destinations for cycling and bike tours in Japan?

There are designated cycling roads, for example, the Shimanami Kaido or the Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road, that offer exclusive cycling lanes, bicycle rental and amenities for cyclists along the road. However, almost anywhere you go, you will have a great time exploring Japan off-the-beaten-track! Once you have done a few bike rides, you will know what kind of terrain and landscapes you like riding most (e.g. cycling along the sea or mountain terrain). Our biggest advice is to always choose backroads if possible and plan a route that is shorter than what you think is your limit, as the km cycled often end up being much more than promised by GoogleMaps when planning a bike trip.

Hope you’ll have an epic trip! Leave us your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

Interested in cycling in Japan? Check out these articles!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s