Just one hour from Tokyo by bullet train and home to a spectacular natural environment of coastline, lakes and mountains, including the iconic Mount Fuji, it’s no wonder Shizuoka is gaining a growing reputation as an unforgettable cycling destination for riders of all levels. And with an abundance of natural hot springs, traditional Japanese hospitality and a renowned local food scene, there’s plenty to refuel the weary traveller after a long day on the open road.
With a varied landscape ranging from sprawling green tea plantations, rice paddies and rural plains to rugged coastal paths on the Izu Peninsula, steep mountain climbs around Mount Fuji – including the diabolically steep Azami Line which carries a “World Class” difficulty rating – and picturesque routes through traditional towns and urban cities, the prefecture is ideal for beginners, enthusiastic amateurs and cycling professionals alike to explore by bike.
With the eyes of the world on Japan for this summer’s feast of sport, Tourism Shizuoka Japan shares its selection of some of the prefecture’s top cycling experiences for travellers dreaming of a future cycling break to remember…
Discover scenic routes and cultural stops in Gotemba
Nestled within a valley between Mount Fuji and Hakone, Gotemba is one of the most scenic cycling spots in Japan. With a landscape dotted with points of historic and cultural interest, cyclists will enjoy stunning views of the iconic mountain as they ride. Specialist cycling company Ride Japan offers a self-guided three-day tour of the region, inclusive of premium bike rental, cycling-friendly accommodation and a Wahoo GPS unit preloaded with the route. Prices start from £1,052 per person and the tour, which is available year-round, is customisable based on a rider’s needs and abilities – travellers can contact Ride Japan direct to discuss options.
Bike and brew with a green tea cycle experience
As Japan’s highest producer of green tea, Shizuoka’s countryside is home to spectacular swathes of luscious tea plantations which are fantastic to explore on two wheels. Local Travel Partner’s Hybrid Bike Tour to a Green Tea Farm is a great way to combine a love of the famous brew with a leisurely cycle ride and includes bike rental, an English-speaking guide, refreshments and a green tea picking and tasting experience with a local farmer. Prices start from £99 per person with tour group sizes of up to six people.
Ride into a good night’s sleep at Kona Stay
Located on the idyllic Izu Peninsula, Kona Stay is a cycling-friendly hotel within touching distance of some of the prefecture’s best coastal and rural routes to explore by bike. Boasting comfortable rooms and an onsen (hot spring) bath ideal for relaxing muscles after a long ride, the property is also home to Kona Cycle which offers guests a range of cycling tours, expert cycling advice from staff that are former professional riders, a cycling retail space, bike hire and maintenance checks and cleaning for customers’ own frames. Stays start from £25 per night for a dorm room and £29 per night for a private room.
Meet the locals of Hamamatsu by bike
The Satoyama Cycling Tour in Shizuoka’s southern city of Hamamatsu is ideal for those wanting to experience cycling through a tranquil rural landscape while interacting with the region’s residents and culture. Variations of the tour, which include an English-speaking guide, include stops at temples and locally run restaurants, bakeries and stores. Prices start from £238 per group, which includes an interpreter, bike rental, entrance fees where applicable and food samples.