The Traveler's Guide to Bicycling in Tokyo

Looking to cycle across Tokyo? Before you arrive, get to know the most important details about biking through Japan. Book your journey with JAL today.
The Traveler's Guide to Bicycling in Tokyo

Find out where to rent a bicycle, the best bike routes, and the laws you must follow when cycling across Tokyo.

Tokyo, and Japan more broadly, is renowned internationally for its quick and reliable public transport system. While there’s no denying that the vast train network deserves its almost universal praise, exploring the city's streets on two wheels offers a different perspective that helps you understand what makes this sprawling metropolis so special. 

With bicycle culture instilled in the local population over decades, Tokyo continues to implement a myriad of bike-friendly infrastructure updates and policy changes that make navigating the streets safe and convenient. Fast, affordable, and simply fun to use, cycling to the must-see Tokyo destinations is an incredible way to experience the city.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a bicycling fanatic, it won’t take long to realize the benefits of getting around with peddle power. To help you understand the advantages, we’ve highlighted how easy it is to commute using a bicycle during your stay while revealing just some of the best routes to cruise once you arrive.

Where to rent a bicycle in Tokyo

Ready to get on the move? You have numerous possibilities when renting a bicycle in Tokyo. Here, we present a selection of easily accessible options that provide excellent service and reliable gear to enjoy throughout your stay.

Tokyobike (Kiyosumi Shirakawa)

Tokyobike (Kiyosumi Shirakawa)

Tokyobike is a beloved global bicycle manufacturer founded in the peaceful neighborhood of Yanaka in 2002. While the brand now has stores from London to Bangkok, it still hasn't forgotten its roots with the Kiyosumi Shirakawa store offering a high-quality bicycle rental service.

With the brand renowned for its minimalist designs, you’ll look as good as you feel cruising around Tokyo on one of these premium bicycles. Renting a bike will cost ¥1,000 on weekdays or ¥1,500 on weekends, plus you can order a barista-made coffee while you wait.

How to get to Tokyobike (Kiyosumi Shirakawa): Ride the Hanzomon Line or the Oedo Line to Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station. Then walk for seven minutes to arrive at the store.

• Address: 3-7-2 Miyoshi, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0022

• Operation Hours: Thursday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Friday to Monday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Rental usage timeWeekdays 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Weekends and holidays 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM.

• Contact Details: +81-3-6458-8198



CycleTrip is one of the most popular places to rent a bicycle in Tokyo. With the store offering everything from super-convenient electric bikes to finely tuned road bikes, you have plenty of choices when selecting a ride to meander around the cityscape.

Situated in the central ward of Chiyoda City, it’s easy to reach CycleTrip if you’re staying close to the heart of the city. With a knowledgeable team on-hand to answer your questions, you’ll get kitted out with the latest gear to make your journey a breeze.

How to get to CycleTrip: Head to Akihabara Station on the Yamanote Line, Keihin–Tōhoku Line, or Chūō–Sōbu Line, then walk for four minutes to reach the store.

• Address: 1F, 2-9 Kanda Sudacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0041

• Operation Hours: Thursday to Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

• Contact Details: +81-3-6458-8198

Docomo Bike Share

Docomo Bike Share

Renting a bicycle in Tokyo is straightforward via the Docomo Bike Sharing service. With numerous accessible docks placed throughout 10 wards across the city, including Shinjuku and Shibuya, you’ll find electric-assist bicycles that help you quickly zip through Tokyo.

After making an account and registering a credit card on the Docomo website, you can log in using the desktop site or the mobile app to find a dock near you. With a few more presses, you can unlock your chosen bicycle and get on the move with a daily or weekly pass.

Rules of the road: Bicycling legally and safely

When you cycle around Japan, there are specific bike-related laws that dictate how you get around the country on two wheels. If you want to avoid a ticket – and a potential accident – during your visit, ensure you get to know the following rules.

Ride in the right areas

Ride in the right areas

While it's acceptable to cruise along the sidewalks in some parts of Tokyo, you usually need to ride on the road. You must also pay attention when traveling on pedestrian roads. When the shared road sign is displayed, take extra care because if you're involved in an accident, you'll likely be held responsible.

People drive and ride on the left in Japan. Travel on this side of the road and always flow in the same direction. However, as a small quirk, pedestrians walk on the right, which might cause confusion if you find yourself on the sidewalk. Follow what others are doing to avoid making a mistake.

Avoid taking your bike on trains

Avoid taking your bike on trains

You aren’t allowed to bring your standard bicycle on the train in Tokyo, so you’ll have to find another way to reach your destination. However, one clear exception applies. If you rent a foldable bike with a bicycle bag, you’re allowed to bring it on board, although it’s recommended to only use the first or last carriage to save space.

People who only have access to a standard bicycle can get away with removing the front wheel and storing everything inside a bike bag. For your comfort and others, do your best to avoid commuting with a bicycle during rush hour periods. Similar rules apply if you catch a bullet train out of town.

Don’t drink and ride

Don’t drink and ride

Riding intoxicated is prohibited when biking through Japan, with heavy penalties for those who break the law reaching up to five years in prison, a ¥1,000,000 fine, and possible deportation for foreigners. With bicycles having the same classification as light vehicles, you put yourself and others at risk if you decide to ride after drinking.

Police have taken a much stronger stance against bicycle traffic violations recently, with serious infractions handed out to locals and international visitors quickly on the rise. In 2021, this figure increased almost 10-fold from a decade earlier, with 22,859 fines handed out compared to 2,584 in 2010.

Park mindfully

Park mindfully

Be careful where you park your bicycle in Tokyo, as leaving your ride in the wrong place can mean you get hit with a ticket or even have your bicycle towed away. With local municipalities looking to keep walkways clear, you can’t just lock your bike up anywhere.

You'll find affordable bicycle parking areas next to many popular destinations, such as shopping malls and train stations. Here, you can pay a low fee to park your bike securely, protecting it against theft while ensuring it doesn’t get carried away by city workers.

Use your lights after dark

Use your lights after dark

One of the most strictly enforced cycling laws in Japan is the use of lights after dark. If you’re exploring Tokyo’s streets at night, always use front and rear lights to avoid attracting the attention of the local authorities.

Although it’s not a rule, it’s a good idea for adults to use a helmet when they cycle. Meanwhile, children aged 13 and younger are expected to ride helmets, so keep that in mind if you’re traveling with children.

The best bicycling routes in Tokyo

Now that we’ve considered where to rent a bicycle alongside the local laws and regulations, it’s time to head out for a bike tour of Tokyo, Japan. With these routes presenting outstanding scenery, cultural encounters, and much more, completing a selection of these journeys makes biking through Japan an extraordinary experience.

Yamanote Line Loop - Pedal through the inner-city

Yamanote Line Loop - Pedal through the inner-city

The Yamanote Line Loop is one of the most popular paths for riders wanting to see much of inner-city Tokyo on a single journey. Following the Yamanote train line traversing in a loop around the city, this 36-kilometer ride presents numerous fascinating highlights to admire as you travel from one station to the next.

Although you can leave from any point along the line, Shinjuku is a common starting point. Riding east through Yoyogi and Shibuya, art galleries like the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum flank the route. After turning north from Osaki Station, you’ll soon fly past sprawling parks such as the Hamarikyu Gardens and Kokyo Gaien National Garden.

How to reach the start of the ride: Travel to Shinjuku Station (or another convenient station) on the Yamanote Line to start your journey.

• Address: 1-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023

Kanda River to Inokashira Park - Arrive in serene gardens

Kanda River to Inokashira Park - Arrive in serene gardens

You don’t have to leave Tokyo behind to experience a riverside bicycle path, with the engineered Kanda River’s winding route providing the ideal adventure. Stretching for around 25 kilometers through several famous Tokyo wards, including Taito, Chuo, and Sumida, this journey starts from the Yanagibashi Bridge in Yanagibashi.

Riding through lush suburban backstreets surrounded by leafy trees on this peaceful bike tour of Japan, your path will occasionally deviate from the river as it disappears beneath the ground. However, after pedaling through districts such as Suidobashi, Edogawabashi, and Suginami City, you’ll soon emerge in the stunning surroundings of Inokashira Park – a bustling cherry blossom destination.

How to reach the start of the ride: Ride the JR Sobu Line or Toei Asakusa subway line to Asakusabashi Station, then walk for six minutes to arrive at Yanagibashi Bridge.

• Address: 2-2 Higashinihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0004

Tamako Bike Path - Journey to a pristine lake

Tamako Bike Path - Journey to a pristine lake

The Tamako Bike Path is one of Tokyo's most well-defined cycling routes. Traveling through the city’s western neighborhoods for around 10 kilometers, this relaxed cycle around Japan's streets culminates with your arrival at the spectacular Tama Lake, featuring tranquil waterfront gardens and views of Mt Fuji.

With this smooth, wide path offering sections for pedestrians and cyclists, you should be able to enjoy a laid-back ride through numerous quiet suburbs on your way to the end. With springtime bringing rows of cherry blossoms and fragrant flowers, this is a special place to bike in distinct Japanese surroundings.

How to reach the start of the ride: Ride the Chūō Line to Musashi-Sakai Station. Then, walk for about 20 minutes to reach the start of the Tamako Bike Path.

• Address: 3-4-4 Shinmachi, Nishitokyo City, Tokyo 202-0023

Sumida River to Asakusa – Explore ancient Tokyo

Sumida River to Asakusa - Explore ancient Tokyo

If you’re looking for a hassle-free ride through central Tokyo, the Sumida River to Asakusa might just be the perfect choice. Starting from Ryogoku Station on the eastern side of the river, a seamless path follows along the waterfront into the ancient district of Asakusa. 

While this bike tour to Japan's old-world districts is only about three kilometers, you can take your time as you admire the skyline from this spectacular vantage point. Then, once you arrive at your destination, you can set off to explore world-class landmarks – such as Sensō-ji, the city’s oldest Buddhist temple.

How to reach the start of the ride: Ride the Chuo–Sobu Line or the Ōedo Line to reach Ryogoku Station. Head down to the riverfront to find the bike path.

• Address: 1-3-20 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0015

Toyosu to Odaiba – Discover the high-tech city

Toyosu to Odaiba - Discover the high-tech city

Overlooking Tokyo Bay are several artificial islands that provide a glimpse into Tokyo’s futuristic culture. Departing from Toyosu Station in Koto City, you can ride southwest through these varied landscapes to arrive at Odaiba – the largest island in the area. Connected to the mainland by Rainbow Bridge, this colorful destination looks remarkable after dark.

However, biking through this fascinating part of Japan presents plenty more ultra-modern landmarks nearby. For example, you can catch your breath at Odaiba Beach and admire the quirky Odaiba Statue of Liberty.

How to reach the start of the ride: Catch the Tokyo Metro Yūrakuchō Line or the Yurikamome train to Toyosu Station.

• Address: 2-2 Toyosu, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0061

Book your trip today with JAL Japan Explorer Pass

Don’t let the scale of Tokyo stop you from riding your bicycle through Japan's striking streets. With the city’s bike infrastructure improving by the day, there’s an incredible variety of safe and accessible adventures that ensure your bike tour of Japan goes off without a hitch.

If you’re looking for the best way to reach Tokyo - and 30 more cities across our domestic network - check out the special airfares available via our JAL Japan Explorer Pass today. This stellar deal delivers a world-class in-flight experience while ensuring you travel for less.

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