This is a pleasant, relatively easy 80km ride along the river Saba and around the Chou peninsula, including crossing the rather spectacular Suo O-Hashi bridge. Passing through several quiet Japanese villages this ride can easily be completed in 4 and half hours allowing for a break en-route.
A ride north from Hofu to Lake’s Miyano, Sasanami, Abu and Kinkei. This is a six to seven hour, 110km cycle through some of the most beautiful and remoter parts of Yamaguchi. It involves over 2000m of climbing, some of which are quite long with some challenging technical descents.
Shunan is an industrial city located in the southwest region of Yamaguchi prefecture. It is probably most synonymous with the petrochemical and steel industries with Idemitsu, Tosoch and Tokuyama and Nisshin Steel all having major plant located on the coast around the city of Tokuyama. Whilst this might sound somewhat off putting, we invite you to reconsider and allow us to take you on a cycling journey through the mountains and lakes of Shunan that are a distinctive, and much neglected, beauty of this city. During this challenging, 4-5 hour, 100km ride takes in three lakes, 1 beach and over 1500 metres of climbing.
This is a two and a half hour in Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, relatively gentle 40km ride. It involves a 450m climb over a ridge of Ohira mountain, a ride along the river Saba Gawa cycle way, cycling through the city of Hofu and a brief encounter with the coastline of Yamaguchi. We cycled this in late December, the weather was gloriously sunny however the air temperature was cold especially when descending off the Ohira Mountain ridge.
We cycled to Akiyoshidai 秋吉台 in Yamaguchi 山口 Prefecture. Starting in Ogori 小郡, we cycle north west on the 28 from the Fushimi river 伏見川. After a kilometre, on the right hand side of the road, there is a useful 7/11 convenience store where it is possible to stock up on provisions for what will be quite a tiring day in the saddle.
From Shunan 周南 a most rewarding cycle ride is north along the 315 to Ato 阿東 district returning via Lake Ohara 大原湖 on the 439. Cycling through remote parts of Yamaguchi 山口 you will encounter mountains, lakes, orchards with endless breathtaking views. However, with almost 2,000 metres of climbing and 140 km of cycling, this ride isn’t a ride for the faint hearted.
Japanese drivers are relatively well mannered and are normally aware of cyclists, but there is still the chance that you may be involved in a traffic accident. In this article I reflect upon my experience of being involved in an accident whilst cycling in Japan and try to advise on how to deal with the situation.
Cycling related accidents
While bicycles play an important role in Japan as a convenient transportation method, there has been an increase of bicycle accidents relative to the total number of traffic accidents.
Japan has one of the world’s most sophisticated food cultures. It is possible to spend a large sum of money in top class restaurants in Japan, but it is also easy to find delicious food at very reasonable prices.
It is no more than 2km from 和倉温泉Wakura Onsen train station to the bridge that crosses the bay to 能登島 Notojima island. We crossed fairly early in the morning and there was little traffic on the bridge making it relatively easy to appreciate the breath-taking vies of the blue waters beneath of 七尾湾 Nanao Bay.