It is always a good idea to learn simple local language wherever you travel. The Japanese language (or “Nihongo”日本語 in Japanese) may sound and look difficult, but it is actually fairly simple to learn basic conversational Japanese, as opposed to master reading and writing.
The Nishiseto 西瀬戸 Expressway, commonly known as the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido 瀬戸内しまなみ海道 Expressway, links Onomichi 尾道, Hiroshima Prefecture 広島県, with Imabari 今治, Ehime Prefecture 愛媛県. It is a 60 kilometer-long highway that links the islands of the Seto Inland Sea with nine individual bridges. There are two other land connections between Shikoku and Honshu, but the Shimanami Kaido is the only one accessible by bicycle and on foot.
In Japan there are several ‘Cycle Trains’ which allow bikes to be transported as they are without dismantling. Some of these operate all the time while others run during limited periods only such as weekends or when special events are planned. Many are offered by smaller private rail companies in non-urban areas but some major private and JR lines also operate such trains. Some charge extra for bikes and others allow bikes to be transported free of charge. You may have to book in advance to use these trains.
Japan is covered by an extensive and reliable network of railways. 70% of this is owned and operated by the Japan Railway Group, more commonly known as JR Group (JRグループ). This consists of six passenger railway companies of JR Hokkaido, JR East, JR Central, JR West, JR Shikoku, and JR Kyushu, and one nationwide freight railway company. Together they operate a nationwide network of regional and local train lines including Shinkansen (新幹線).
The remaining 30% belongs to other private railway companies mainly in urban and suburban routes such as Tokyo and Osaka areas. Note that you cannot use JR Pass on these lines.
Here you can find information on all 6 JR groups. read more
There are numerous cycling roads in Japan. Whether you are a casual cyclist or a serious racer, there is always a perfect route for you. But you do not know where to start? Here is top 10 cycling roads in Japan voted by Japanese cycling enthusiasts and professionals.