's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

I’m going to Japan!(7 posts)

I’m going to Japan!Fattrax
Apr 2, 2003 8:40 AM
I just received notice that my fiancé and I have been accepted in a program to teach English in Japan for a year+. I'm definitely planning to take along my bike. Anyone have experience riding in Japan and can recommend some places to ride?
S.A.R.S. nmafrican
Apr 2, 2003 8:43 AM
Apr 2, 2003 9:09 AM
depending on where you're going, you may ONLY be riding.

A friend of mine lives in Tokyo; no room for a car so she bicycles everywhere....with 3 kids on board (one in baby-seat, one on toptube, one in basket on the front. when in rome...

btw - another friend of mine taught English in japan for her first 3 years out of college (dont remember the town); absolutely loved the experience. enjoy.
re: I’m going to Japan!briko51
Apr 2, 2003 2:22 PM
Have fun dude...

My gf is from Japan and I went there to visit two years ago...amazing country...I might end up there in a few years...

If you're riding during the summer...stock up on the water!...the summer that I was there the temperature was SOOOO HUMID!
You'll have a blast! Just don't eat too much sushi like I did.Ken of Fresno
Apr 2, 2003 3:57 PM
I lived in Hitachi city (about 2 hrs north of Tokyo) for just over 3 years. I took my mountainbike with me, but didn't ride as much as I had hoped to. Sure, there's the daily comuting to and from the office and train station and for errands and stuff, but the roads where I was were pretty narrow and the traffic was pretty crazy. I probably didn't do more than a few hundred miles a month. Hopefully, you'll do better.

As far as bike shops go, OD Box Sports in Tokyo was one of the best that I found. It's one stop south of Ueno on the Yamanote line. There are mom an pop type shops all over that country though. Let us know about the trip!

Thanks for the tipFattrax
Apr 3, 2003 7:40 AM
We don't know where we will be placed until May. We're hoping for Nara or perhaps Yokohama. I wouldn't mind Hokkaido-home of the snow monkeys-but the fiance does not care to much for cold weather.
re: I’m going to Japan!geckotb
Apr 3, 2003 9:05 AM
I was in japan a few months ago and, in anticipation of moving there, tried to find information on where i could "really" ride my road bike (mostly triathlon training). i found some info on bike-touring on the web but it was frustrating trying to find useful info on road biking. i think i (and most of us in north america) are spoiled by the roads and wide shoulders we have to ride on here. i live in calgary and am used to being able to go out my front door and be on the highway and lots of other nice rural roads within 5 minutes, and being able to go as far as my legs will let me.

it's a very different story in japan. bikes are everywhere, but cycling is seen by most people there as transportation instead of sport for sport's sake. i went to the "bicycle culture information center" in tokyo hoping for useful info, but that was mostly a keirin betting office. when i asked about road cycling, i was directed to one room where there were 3 old, fat guys in their 60's sitting, smoking at their desks. they told me i could try the bike paths by the rivers, but that there was not enough room to ride a "race bike" safely. i found a few bike shops but got the same story there. i've read in a japanese magazine that most japanese triathletes train indoors almost exclusively.

finally, i found one awesome shop called "OD BOX" (also mentioned in an above post) that had a cool guy who told me about a few clubs that meet in the mornings in warehouse districts and go for crit-style training rides before all the industrial traffic gets going. depending on where you live, it might be a bit of a haul, but at least it's something. unless you're planning to buy a car while you're there, you'll need to bring a bike bag to carry your bike on the subway to get to the riding areas.

in rural areas, you can find lots of roads, but you have to be very careful because they don't have shoulders on the roads. during my travels, i saw one japanese rider on a nice road bike working it on a country road. the cars were passing him very close and very fast. i was scared he was going to get clipped, but maybe he was just used to it; i guess if you want to ride bad enough...

after teaching english in asia for a couple of years, my advice would be to work cycling into a lesson plan, find out which of your students rides, not just commutes, (or knows someone who does), and become friends with them.

if you want directions or a map to odbox tokyo, email me. if anyone else has better info than me, i would be very interested in learning it, since i'm still planning on moving there in the next while.