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July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/10 11:53
I plan to bike across Kyushu this summer taking about 2 months. I'm up there in age, but still "genki". My plan is to mix between local trains and cycling across Kyushu. I have not even started planning yet. I'm looking to buy the bicycle and gear. Have the camping gear already. Need to start at Kammon Tunnel in Kita Kyushu. Plan on taking the east side first, go south, pretty much around the seaside, then go west, back north on the west coast and back to Kammon Tunnel. I don't mind taking the train to get on an off to sight see for a day and camp somewhere. Any web maps, or stuff you think I need, please post here.
My Japanese language is very basic. Do have a smart phone though for translating.
Thanks everyone.
by Camper (guest)  

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/10 15:02
I have done two months of cycling through japan about 1,5 years ago but also used trains etc.
In Kyushu I only spent about a week at end November.
On my blog I have gathered some information about planning and then description of the actual rides. Maybe something useful for you:

http://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/

Not sure if you are aware, but in Japan in order to bring your bicycle on a train it MUST be in a bag! No exceptions (well there is one train in Shimane that rides about 40 km that allows gnudeh bikes). So you need to have a bicycle that can be disassembled a bit in order to fit in a bag. The bag can be quite big thatfs not a problem.

I travelled with a brompton also because I was staying in hotels so didnft need that much luggage.

One word of warning regarding cycling in summer in Japan. It depends where you are from, but Japan gets very hot and (!) humid in summer. I can hardly walk outside for more than 15 min. So cycling for me is out of question until about mid September.

Enjoy your ride through Kyushu!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/10 21:30
Thank you LikeBike
I'm reading your blog. Nice pictures. I'm in Yamaguchi-ken and have biked in a few places over the years but never over night. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. As I mention, not young now. Actually retired from working so when I mentioned 2 months, for me it is possible. I know July and August is really hot and I mean Asian sun hot. I'll be as careful as one can get.
I really need the train routes and road maps and maybe even try to stay a farm house and do some work for room and board.
Maybe more people will come aboard here and chime in.
Also if any one here is interested in this type of ride in July and August going to Kyushu, drop a message here. Sure would like some company.
by Camper (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/12 11:20
Well I was hoping for more answers, but I realize now, many here do not live here in Japan.
by Camper (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/12 13:48
Most likely it's that most people here do not cycle around Japan....
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/12 16:52
I remember one person here about a year or so ago who asked a question about a ferry back from Kyushu. He/she did a long ride through Japan. Not sure if there was a link to a blog.

Maybe there are also other people like me out there that kept a blog about their tour through Japan.

For me it took about 3 months (but I was working as well) to organize my entire trip). So Kyushu alone maybe you can research a lot in about 4 weeks.

If you read some Japanese you could search for https:B]Ԉ
A few things come up but nothing too detailed.

What worked for me was:
- decide on the places I want to go
- check if there are mountains in between (that would be a no go for me)
- check with google maps on alternative transport
- know that a lot of rivers have gcycling lanesh along them
- know that in rice paddies and other agricultural landscapes youfll often find small roads that run parallel to bigger ones
- get a Garmin and plan out the rides each day but choosing manually the smaller roads or the ways with less elevation. This was for sure the most important tool I used.
- have a general plan, but make the detailed plan on the go

Note that I stayed on hotels ( not enjoying camping) and always reserved the day before. Sometimes earlier.

As you said you have never done a ride like that, I personally would start with a few weekends or 1 week, just to get a feeling about the equipment you really need, how far each day you can reasonably ride...

There are also (in Japanese) some cycling books with day tours. I have a few for Kanto area. I found them at yroads.

The webpage of KANcycling has also quite some tips.
http://kancycling.com/KANcycling/Welcome_to_KANcycling%21.html

In the end, itfs about getting to go. Japan isnft like the Netherlands but it is still a cycle friendly country.


by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/12 17:36
Some potentially interesting links:

https://giant-store.jp/fukuoka/bike/27636/

http://0190.hatenablog.com/entry/2018/12/08/173753

https://n-yota.com/kyusyu

https://www.my-bicycling-adventure.com/Kyushu-Bicycle-Ride.html

https://cycloscope.net/what-see-kyushu-japan-itinerary-bicycle-touring Here apparently is a downloadable gpx map (eg for Garmin) of a 1 month ride.

I think if you search around youfll be able to find more blogs. Some More useful than others. But still...

On strava you can also search for routes other people have done and download them to Garmin.

Btw, are you totally set for July /August? It seems to me such a heat that I have pity with you. If you can I would move it to mid September to mid November. I know you are already living in Japan and know the heat, but still. Doing it in November also has the benefit that you can go to see Sumo in Fukuoka :-)
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/13 01:49
I used to bicycle tour but it's been a long time. One thing I don't miss is going through the tunnels filled with exhaust. However, I enjoy watching some tours on youtube put together by Keith Waddington. He seems to now all the free places to camp and puts together a decent video. You can pick up a lot of tips from these.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cycling+japan+waddo

Also, I used to live in Kyushu and agree with everyone's opinion on the heat and humidity there during the summer. Last July, while visiting in Kumamoto, I spent most of the time searching for a room/building with AC and changing my shirt 2ce a day. Even the higher elevations in the mountains was hot. The waterfalls and stream at Sendantodoro-no-taki were comparatively warm and didn't provide much cooling. On a bicycle, you'll need lots of water and possibly salt tablets.

by Anaguma (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/13 07:13
Being retired and not working. Surely early autumn or late spring would be a better time to attempt this cycle trip?

September and October in my mind seem much better options. Still hits 30 degrees a few times in September.
by Ryan Tracey (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/13 17:04
Hi everyone
Thanks so much for you experience. Although I really can be on the road in Sept and Oct. I would need a place to stay.
In Japan we call it "gorrilla camping", you just pitch you tent up and sleep for the night.
by Camper (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/13 18:54
Well September and October in Kyushu in general should be fine camping if you have a sleepsack. But your decision. You know best in what temperatures you can still ride.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/14 07:04
Like Bike
Thank you very much for all the valuable tips in information. The reason for July and August is because a lot more people will be cycling , but I could start in September if necessary.
Seems to me you like cycling in this country and I do to, its funny how we age with the spirit of a bicycle in our life.
Again, thank you.
by Camper (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/15 07:40
Question about a fold up bike. I found the larger bike at NAFCO for 22000 yen, but at the bike shops they no longer carry the larger fold up bikes. Should I go for the larger or smaller wheel base one? There's actually a 20000 yen difference in price also. Both are Chinese made, although the bike shops carry the Japanese brand name, still it is made in China and I wouldn't say the quality is higher then the NAFCO bikes.
by Camper (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/15 08:07
I donft know what a NAFCO bicycle is. NAFCO seems to be a kind of supermarket.

I would advise to buy this most important tool of your cycling trip at a specialized bicycle shop (not your typical mamachari shop). I havenft bought a bicycle myself in Japan but know Yroads is a chain with good bicycles.

I would insist that you need to be given the opportunity to test ride the bicycle before purchasing. You need to get a feeling for its geometry and the gears. The weight, the operability of it...

There are webpages out there where different touring and other bicycles are discussed. The final choice will depend on factors such as:
- gears you need
-geometry
- amount of luggage youfll have
- price
- weight !!! ( of the bicycle)
- do you want one with electrical support?
...

While a folding bicycle is convenient if you want to take bus/train a lot, with a touring bicycle thatfs also possible as you can remove the front wheel and put the bicycle in a bag.

You will be sitting on this bicycle and depend on it for your transport for weeks and months, so you will want something of reasonably high quality and something that provides an easy ride. Very roughly I would say you should look at bicycles in the price range of 150,000 yen and up. If you can afford it.

An other factor is spare parts. I road on a brompton which has very small wheels. A size that is not usually found in bicycle shops. So I did bring an extra tube and mantle with me. If you are riding a more standard size you could bygo that. Obviously a tube would be good in any case, as long as you know how to replace it.

What kind of bicycle have you been riding so far? You said you havenft had any experience riding overnight but you have made some yours. So could you try that bicycle? Maybe this weekend you should just make a short overnight trip close to where you are living to test out some things.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/15 08:57
To Like Bike
Thanks for your reply.
My budget tops at 45000 yen. I know from a professional point of view, its a joke, but that is what I have to spend. It does seem like I may end of spending 60000 yen and it probably won't be the fold up type.
I just recently found out they (some of the bikes) have the easy release for the tires and the rear carrier which makes it a lot easier to dismantle.
Seems like 12 to 16 gears are standard. I do have a question, although if I think about it, I probably have my own answer, but what type of bike emergency tools should I better have. I do have portable pump already. We have the Daiso stores here and the bike equipment is under 2 bucks. Bike stores at least 10x the price.
My experience on bikes have only been a long one day ride, about 85 kilometers on an ATM bike. Been riding for a bit more then 20 years. But I 'm not 40 years old no more. LOL I'm sure I slowed down a bit, one reason I'm at the train, bike and possible ferry.
I really do appreciate your time that you have been answering my threads.
Do you know an active bike forum for gaijins in Japan? My Japanese is basic, but I'll use a translator when necessary.
Thank you very much.
by Camper (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/15 10:52
With this budget I would try looking at used bicycles. Maybe you can find a good one at about 50% of its original price.

Regarding bike repair, I have no idea about how to repair a bicycle, so I travelled without any repair kit. I know any cyclist would think I am stupid, but then what would I even do with a bicycle repair kit, if I donft know how to use it. I was lucky and didnft have any mechanical problems. And once I had one (GW this year) I was close enough to a brompton shop to get it fixed. The more normal your bike is the more easily you will find bicycle repair shops to help you. But obviously thatfs going to be more expensive than buying spares at Daiso.

So if you know how to repair you should know what you need and if the tools, material from daiso can work for you.

Regarding bicycle clubs in Japan, I am not a FB user and havenft looked for it. I have some Japanese cycling friends in Tokyo and the rest I did alone. The kind of general advise you are after you could get from a non Japanese bicycle forum as well. And they would be much more expert at this than me. However I would guess that people adhering to such a forum have deep interest into cycling and also relatively deep pockets. So youfd need to make your budget restrictions clear to get advise that is useful for you.

Regarding bicycles I would probably look into a used touring bicycle non foldable. Folding will add to the price tag, so a non foldable of comparable quality should be cheaper.

Enjoy planning your trip!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/15 11:02
Justo something that comes up with Ãc[O hi[ ]
used touring bicycle


http://www.cycly.co.jp/Shop/Browse?CatID=001001005

I am not vetting for them or anything, but you are in Japan so youfll need to search in Japanese. Any Japanese around you that could help?
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/20 06:44
a reply to this: Like Bike
Justo something that comes up with Ãc[O hi[ ]
used touring bicycle


http://www.cycly.co.jp/Shop/Browse?CatID=001001005

I am not vetting for them or anything, but you are in Japan so youfll need to search in Japanese. Any Japanese around you that could help?

Thanks for the link.
I also joined this forum: https://tokyocycle.com/
Very helpful people on it. I'm still shopping for the bike. Most people say I should not buy the folding type bike, so I'm going to now start looking at what else is available for bagging on a train.
Looks like 50000 yen won't buy much though.
Again, thank you for all the information.
by Camper (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/20 07:09
A normal sized bike would be fine to use in a bag.

All you need to do it take the pedals off, and the front wheel off. And turn the handlebars 90 degrees and put it all in the bag.

If the front wheel has quick release axle clamps, then all you need is a spanner for the pedals.

Add that spanner to your repair kit. A quick google search or visit to a bike shop will net you the info you need for a repair kit contents.

Although for the little budget you have. I am doubtful you'd get the quick release axles.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: July Aug cycling Kyushu guidence on roads 2019/5/20 07:50
Thanks. By spanner, you mean a wrench?
by Camper (guest) rate this post as useful

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