Tokyo Cycling Route: “Riverside Ride”

Tokyo Cycling Route: “Riverside Ride”

Traces the Kanda River from Sasazuka to Kichijoji

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April, 2015 photography

We asked Tokyo cycling experts Chad Feyen and Brad Bennett for their favorite cycling routes across Tokyo, from leisurely park runs for easygoing newbies to thigh-burning, X-Game-level slaloms for adrenaline junkies.

Follow Bennett’s “Riverside Ride” route below, either via Google Maps on your phone as you ride or on our site before you head out. Packed with shrines, parks and hanami (cherry blossom viewing) gems, this route traces the Kanda River from Sasazuka all the way to the western suburb of Kichijoji.

Route length 12.5km
From Sasazuka
To Kichijoji

1. Freewheeling Japan

Start off your journey at Freewheeling. This grassroots business owned by Brad Bennett offers private bike tours through neighborhoods in Tokyo. Cyclists get to experience the quiet backstreets, beautiful parks and unique culture of Tokyo not found on tourist maps and Bennett is the most incredible, friendly guide. Anyone new to Tokyo or new to cycling should pop by for a chat and advice.

2. Izumi-Kumano-jinja Shrine

Next up is Izumi-Kumano-jinja Shrine. Founded in 1267, this Shinto shrine was rebuilt in 1863 and restored in 1871. On the grounds is a sacred kuromatsu (black pine) tree, said to have been planted by the Tokugawa dynasty’s third military leader, Iemitsu Tokugawa.

3. Ryukoji Temple

In the spring, cherry blossoms loom over the entrance of Ryukoji, a Buddhist shrine located a short distance from Eifukucho Station. Ryukoji’s main hall was built in 1965 and is dedicated to the Yakushi Nyorai (Medicine Buddha), a healing deity.

4. Shimotakaido Oozora Park

Continuing past Meiji University, you will find Oozora Park on your left side. This is a large and relaxing family park with some food and drink services. Perfect for a quick break or stretch in the sunlight.

5. Takaido Station

The Kanda promenade near Takaido Station in Suginami-ku is a local favorite for a quieter, less touristy hanami experience.

6. Inokashira Park

Embedded in the Musashino suburbs, this 100-acre park is home to a lake and 500 sakura trees, making it one of the most popular hanami destinations in Tokyo.

7. Kichijōji Station

Cycling here can be busy so Bennett usually parks the bikes and continues into the shopping areas of Kichijoji on foot with his cycling tour attendees. There are many good restaurants, cafes and fun shops in the area and Bennett says the biggest problem here when doing tours is getting his riders back on the bikes!


The end of this route is at the Sidewalk Stand Coffee and Bakery. Grab a coffee and buy some pastries to take home.

More bike ride routes in Tokyo

  • “Yoyo-Go”

    Beginners and families who just want a pleasant, relaxing Saturday afternoon cycle through the city should check out this route, starting from trendy Shimokitazawa and ending at Yoyogi Park. 

  • “Shinjuku Sprint”

    This route is not fun, but you will get to Shinjuku quick. A helmet will make you feel somewhat safer on this one – adrenaline junkies will love it.

  • “Tokyo Tower Tour”

    Start from Harajuku and cruise all the way to Tokyo Tower, catching some beautiful views of cherry blossoms along the way and soaking up some culture, history and sightseeing. This route really has everything.

  • The Way To The Bay”

    Need some open skies in your life? Then this is the route for you, taking you all the way to Tokyo Bay.

Illustration work by @aprileit