In our latest spring issue, we covered all things cycling in Tokyo — from beginners tips to recommended routes and the lesser-known rules of the road. We spoke to Tokyo cycling experts Chad Feyen (deputy head of mission at the cycling embassy of Japan) and Brad Bennett (founder of the Tokyo-based bike touring company Freewheeling) for their favorite cycling routes across Tokyo. Whether you’re a total beginner looking for an ideal leisurely park run or you’re a city-cycling pro searching for a thigh-burning, X-Game-level city slalom, Feyen and Bennett have got you covered.
Follow their first route below, “Yoyo-Go,” either via Google Maps on your phone as you ride or on our site before you head out. If you’re new to cycling in Tokyo, also make sure to read our Beginner’s Guide to Cycling in Tokyo. Haven’t read our spring issue yet? Check it out here.
The “Yoyo-Go” Tokyo Cycling Route
Route length 3.5km
To Yoyogi Park
Beginners and families who just want a pleasant, relaxing Saturday afternoon cycle through the city should check out Feyen’s route, starting from trendy Shimokitazawa and ending at Yoyogi Park. Rent a bike or take your own, stop by at coffee shops, check out some architecture and have a picnic in the park at the end.
1. Daichari Bike Rental
If you don’t have your own bike, you can start your journey at this rental spot and pick up one of the electrically assisted bikes. To use the service:
- Download the HelloCycling App or use the HelloCycling website
- Create an account
- Register a form of payment
- Select from the map where and which bike to reserve
- Complete your reservation by following the on-screen instructions
You can drop your bike off at any Daichari Bike Rental spot across Tokyo. The app will also tell you how much charge each bike has so you can make sure there is one available with charge before you head to the rental spot to pick one up.
2. Bookends Coffee Service
Fuel-up on caffeine at this little Shimokitazawa coffee shop ahead of cycling to Yoyogi Park.
3. Uchimura Egyptian Restaurant
The best Egyptian food in Tokyo! Perfect for lunch or takeout, this inconspicuous little deli-style shop seats up to eight people and has a particularly popular takeout menu. Surprisingly inexpensive, you can enjoy Egyptian dishes such as mutton curry, lamb shawarma and a wonderful, Cairo-style falafel in pita bread.
4. Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center
An amazing Ottoman-Turkish style cultural center. Check it out at night to enjoy the gorgeous stained-glass windows. It was built in the 1930s and offers tours and a museum of Turkish culture. It’s beautiful to see even if you’re just cycling past.
5. NODE UEHARA
Defining itself as a “delicious detour,” this stylish multipurpose space holds community at its heart. Featuring a bar, deli, cafe, events space and a grocery store which sells artisanal produce and gifts, NODE UEHARA aims to create a friendly space where people can connect with good coffee and a wholesome, seasonal menu.
6. Main Mano
Crafted by the first Japanese baker to work at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, the croissants at Main Mano are some of the best in Tokyo.
7. Little Nap Coffee Stand
“One of my favorite places to grab a coffee,” says Feyen. Located right besides Yoyogi Park, this spot is the perfect caffeine-pitstop for a Tokyo cyclist.
8. Yoyogi Park Cycle Center
Explore Yoyogi Park’s cycle trails by renting a bike at the Cycle Center, located on the northern tip of the park. There’s a choice of adult bikes, children’s bikes and tandems ranging from ¥100- ¥210 per hour. The park is a great place for teaching little ones how to ride and is particularly popular during the spring.
More cycling routes in Tokyo:
Packed with shrines, parks and hanami gems, this route traces the Kanda River from Sasazuka all the way to the western suburb of Kichijoji.
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