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Best Tour Route?

Discussion in 'Routes' started by Philip, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. Philip

    Philip Speeding Up

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    The reason I first discovered TCC was because I was looking for information on cycling routes around Tokyo. I am not alone. This question is asked frequently on the forums, either because like me people are new to cycling, or they are new to Tokyo.

    That was 5 months ago. Since then I have joined TCC rides, ridden routes posted by others, been introduced to routes by my regular riding partner (sensei :D ) and discovered a few routes of my own. So now seems a good time to answer my own original question; "what is the best cycle route around Tokyo".

    I hope this may help those others who come to this website in search of the answer to the above question. I will state why in my opinion I think my selection is the best route. However, there is no correct answer. Different cyclists have different preferences and capabilities. Therefore I hope others will post their 'best routes' and justify their choices so that others can make reasoned, personal selections.

    Cheers,

    Philip
     
  2. Philip

    Philip Speeding Up

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    Tour de Christoph

    I name the route after my friend and training partner with whom I have discovered the roads described below. It's been great fun! Thank you :D

    At 235km my 'best route' provides a good balance between speed and endurance making it an ideal weekend training ride. 145km are completed on beautiful, hilly country roads mostly free from traffic and traffic lights. Included are three significant climbs to test your skills. And if you enjoy drag racing between traffic lights and long, fast stretches (I do) you have 90km riding on main roads coming out from and back into Tokyo.

    The route is comprised of six sections:

    1) Yabitsu Pass is a steep and challenging 15km climb followed by a fast descent through a series s-bends. The start of the climb is brutal but the scenery is fantastic if you can see through the sweat in your eyes.

    2) Routes 518 & 517 rollacoast there way through small villages and forest roads. Lots of short climbs, fast descents, and tight corners are guaranteed to put a grin on your face.

    3) Route 35 is an old postal road that takes you out of Tokyo into the mountains of Yamanashi. You will be climbing for 20km of its 30km length. The climb is gradual but it wears you down. The secret is getting the pace right.

    4) Route 24 climbs up for 12km to over 1,000 meters. You will feel the air temperature drop on the way up providing a real sense of your elevation whilst the tall forest all around you highlights your isolation. You feel a real sense of achievent when you reach the top and find yourself looking down on everything around you. But it gets better. The roll down the other side through long fast chicanes is breathtaking (and sometimes heart-pounding if you get your line through the bends wrong).

    5) Route 413 is (almost) all downhill for 30km. This is fast riding where you use power to push big gears. If you push a little too hard your legs will turn to jelly. If you get it right you are rewarded with a 50kph+ descent through long predictable curves. A real thrill!

    6) Route 246 needs no explanation. In Tokyo it is a blast between lights. The other side of the Tamagawa you cross rolling hills where the days work begins and ends. On the outskirts of Tokyo R246 becomes a series of time trial sections where you can hold 40kph+ for kilometers at a time. It's a great warm-up for Yabitsu Pass and a fun 'charge-for-home' at the end of the day.

    Heres the route, let me know what you think if you try it!

    http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/japan/tokyo/607447297

    Cheers,

    Philip
     
  3. WhiteGiant

    WhiteGiant Maximum Pace

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    A suggestion...

    Let me say first, that I have never even attempted this ride all in one go, but I have been on all the roads (except one) on various different occasions.

    1. Ride down to Futago-Tamagawa, and follow it NW as usual.
    2. Take the Rte.20 bridge across the river towards Hachioji - a few ups & downs til there - and continue on to Takao.
    3. At Takao, DON'T turn left. turn right onto Rte.46/61, and follow it for 5km. Then turn left onto Rte.521.
    4. After 8km, you will be at the foot of what is known as "Wada-Toge" - Pucci knows it well too - treat it with respect! 3km at about 15%.
    5. After coming down from there, there's a "Y" junction; turn right (it goes up), and follow it along R522. There's another tunnel at the top, and then it comes down to R33.
    6. Turn right (again) on Rte.33, and head up towards "Kobu-Tunnel". After you go through the tunnels & head down, you will be at the start of the "TCC Okutama" rides. Turn left up to Tomin-no-mori, and down to the lake.
    7. At the lake, instead of turning right (to the Ramen shop), turn left and go for another 6km or so to Rte 18. This will take you "Imagawa-Toge" - Pucci knows this one too, and it is NASTY... It's where my friend broke his finger earlier this year.
    8. Once you come down from there, turn right - heading back towards the lake on Rte.411. After coming back down past the lake, you could then even choose to go up & over "Nokogiri-yama", and head back towards Musashi-Itsukaichi station. (Note: Nokogiri-yama is the only road on this course that I've never been on).
    From there...
    ... ... ... I'd be in a casket!
    Will endeavour to post the map soon-ish.

    Travis

    Map done: 100 miles of hills:
    http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/japan/tokyo/608008344
     
  4. Philip

    Philip Speeding Up

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    Thanks for posting Travis . . .

    That looks extremely challenging. I have got to give that a try! Where do you get measured for the casket? :p

    Cheers,

    Philip
     
  5. AlanW

    AlanW Maximum Pace

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    Speedy Skyline Scoot

    Here's one of my favourite rides:

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Boso-Skyline-Loop

    This is only 72km so not in the same league as Philip's or Travis's epics but it makes a great quick morning or afternoon ride.
    Plus points:
    :) Away from traffic and traffic lights
    :) Rolling hills almost the whole way - go as fast as you like or cruise if you want
    :) Quite a variety of road types - hilly, coastal, wide (but reasonably quiet) main roads and narrow mounain roads
    :) Only an hour's drive from central Tokyo
    :) Boso Hanto gets nicer weather than the mountains west of Tokyo
    :) Great views

    Minus points:
    :( A pain to get to if you don't have a car
    :( You have to pay the toll to get to the parking on Boso Skyline road, and the bike toll when you pass back through the gate

    I really enjoy this loop and have been round 5 or 6 times.

    AW.
     
  6. chazzer

    chazzer Speeding Up

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    Nice route

    Alan,

    That looks perfect for me right now. Where do you park up ?

    Charles
     
  7. AlanW

    AlanW Maximum Pace

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    Parking

    Charles,
    There is a car park about 3km from the North end of the Boso Skyline toll road. I park there and do the ride in an anti-clockwise direction.

    Enjoy :D

    AW.
     
  8. Rob_USA

    Rob_USA Warming-Up

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    road ride

    Hello Phillip

    Will be in Tokyo next week on business and would love to get a road ride in. Do you know of a group I could ride with and a location to rent a road bike?:

    Rob
     
  9. Philip

    Philip Speeding Up

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    Hi Rob . . .

    I ride on the weekend and you are welcome to join :)

    Hiring a bike will be more challenging - I know one shop that hires bikes. I just checked what they have available. Unfortunately, they only have mountain bikes or shoppers :(

    Cheers,

    Philip

     
  10. Tadashi

    Tadashi Warming-Up

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    Anything else like Arakawa? It's flooded after the typhoon. I hope it dries up soon.

    I live at Nogata (Nakano-ku). I'm track cycling (sprints and all), so I need a flat road with good asphalt and no cars. Is there anything of the kind not too far (less than 20km) from me?
     
  11. chazzer

    chazzer Speeding Up

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    Edogawa ?

    Perhaps Edogawakikkoman can advise but if you can make it to Arakawa then you should be OK for Edogawa too. Can`t imagine its flooded. I usually join it around Misato and it is pretty empty going north

    Charles
     
  12. Edogawakikkoman

    Edogawakikkoman Maximum Pace

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    I just did a 40km ride along the Edo to see the flooding.
    From Noda to Sekiyado on the Chiba side was all ok.
    The Saitama side has a lot of under the bridge paths that are in the flood zone.
    Should be ok by tomorrow. I live about 200m from the river so always fun when the water is rising....
    The wind was a bigger problem coming home and the insects....

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Tadashi

    Tadashi Warming-Up

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    So, do you think, is it worth it to check Arakawa tomorrow?
     
  14. Edogawakikkoman

    Edogawakikkoman Maximum Pace

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    Just got a pic from a freind who was at the Misato Bridge (edogawa)

    Looks girigir rideable.... Arakawa? I wouldn't know about there but Edogawa is not far from Arakawa so if Arkawa is no good try Edogawa...

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Tadashi

    Tadashi Warming-Up

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    Arakawa was the same today. A big mess. Lots of dirt. Unrideable. Actually there WERE some roadies, but they were all covered in dirt. Completely. I refuse to ride in such conditions though.

    According to your experience, how long does it take for there rivers to dry up?
     
  16. Rob_USA

    Rob_USA Warming-Up

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    Well made it to the Imperial hotel, very nice! I have free time Sunday until 3plan to get a walk in. After a little research it does look to be a challange for a road bike.


    Will be looking for options tomorrow, have a bit of time on Tuesday, and Thursday as well

    thanks
     
  17. Rob_USA

    Rob_USA Warming-Up

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    Walked the grounds of the Imperial Palace today, a lot of road riders out for the day. Many nice bikes. Had my ride inside on spin bike:( Did any of you get out for a ride?
     
  18. Wolfman

    Wolfman Speeding Up

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    Thanks very much for these routes but I have one question:

    Is there a nice way to get out of the city?

    I live near Shinjuku so have been just heading out on Omekaido (route 4 and 5) up to Okutama or Ome. To be honest the first 60kms are pretty miserable and I seem to be getting jammed in traffic lights every two minutes.

    Okutama is nice, but I'm starting to think about just sticking my bike in a bag up to Ome and then taking it from there.

    Do most of you cycle out of Tokyo or is best to use the train route to enjoy nice cycling?
     
  19. Philip

    Philip Speeding Up

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    Hi Richy152 . . .

    The only cycling option apart from the main road is the river - for example, Tamagawa will take you most of the way into Ome. The river has its own pro's and con's.

    Having a riding partner makes the escape from Tokyo significantly more bearable.

    We always ride out from Tokyo. It takes less than a few hours. We leave early so traffic is not too bad and some mornings you are lucky with the traffic lights and some mornings you are not. We usually have 60km behind us before 8:30am and can enjoy breakfast in the country side and morning sunshine (or rain :D).

    I actually enjoy the ride back in. It's a blast! :eek:

    Cheers,

    Philip
     
  20. Philip

    Philip Speeding Up

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    Hi Rob . . .

    Three of us covered 230km in the mountains west of Tokyo. Weather was great! Some of the roads were washed out due to the typhoon that passed through Friday. Great ride!

    [​IMG]

    Probably not what you want to hear ;)

    Cheers,

    Philip
     

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