japan day ten: getting our exercise on

We generally don’t do the tour thing when on holidays, preferring to make our own way about on foot and discover things on our own.

When I read about the lovely James’ bike tour in Tokyo I registered interest, as in “that’s a pretty cool thing to do”, but thought nothing else of it.

Now that we’re all into cycling and were headed for Japan, I thought it might be worthwhile to give the cycling tour a crack. We chose Route E Toyko Hills and back streets (which comes with a warning that you must be experienced in cycling and/or physically fit) and today was the day!

There were five of us on the tour, all Australian. Don and I (of course), and hard-core adventure types. A couple (from Melbourne) who were about to embark on a two day hike in the mountains and a dude (Brisbane surgeon bunking off from a conference) who’d recently been on a 14 day bike tour in the Swiss Alps – all uphill. Yipes! No pressure.

I was delighted to be assigned a pink bike.

princess bikely

All up we rode about 36km and saw a bunch of Interesting Things. We rode on winding back streets, “normal” streets and very busy 6 lane main roads! Our tour guide Yuki was utterly brilliant, and our companions good value. 

Cycling in Japan is such a joy – everyone rides (seriously there are bikes everywhere) and the motorists actually share the road, which is a completely novel concept.

I was definitely the worst rider of the bunch, but was well pleased to discover that I could easily stay the distance, did not disgrace myself and only had to hop off and run-push (for about 5m) twice at the top of rather steep hills. I really do need to master those uphill gear changes!

Such a fun time – one of the highlights of our trip!

And it does make me think that maybe we can possibly manage a multi-day New Zealand cycling tour for our significant birthdays in a couple of years (if we get that stamina happening). 

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