Cycle Kyoto

DISCOVER: Cycle Kyoto

There’s no better way to explore the winding backstreets of Japan’s old capital than on two wheels. Cycling is big business in Kyoto, and with a wealth of cycle hire shops across the city, no visitor should miss their chance to live like a local and take to the streets by bike. Read on for three of Kyoto’s best cycle excursions.


1. Gion district at dawn

Anyone who has visited will know that Gion – Kyoto’s famous geisha district – is a magnet for tourists. A web of winding backstreets lined with traditional wooden houses and the chance to spot a geisha or maiko darting between tea rooms makes Gion one of Kyoto’s most visited hotspots. But rise with the sun and hop on a bike and you’ll have the streets of Gion all to yourself.


2. River-cruising

Shallow and wide, the Kamo river cuts through Kyoto, winding its way south-east from Kamigamo in the north. With paths on both sides, Kyoto’s main waterway is embraced by locals as a place to enjoy picnics, fishing, walking and of course, cycling. With riverside excursions from 5 minutes to 5 hours long, pick a route to suit your stamina and see Kyoto as the locals do, from the banks of the Kamo.


3. City shrine-hopping

One of Kyoto’s major draws is of course its vast number of traditional Japanese shrines. You can barely walk two blocks in the city centre without stumbling across the columned-entrance of a local temple. No one can expect to see them all, but you can certainly increase your chances of exploring more than the average visitor by employing pedal power to hop from shrine to shrine.

We recommend starting at must-see Fushimi Inari in the south and weaving your way north past the clutch of shrines that line the eastern edge of the city. Alternatively, head north-west to Kinkaku-ji ‘golden temple’ and make your way south past Ryoan-ji’s famous rock garden, ending the day in Arashiyama…

For more information, check out cyclekyoto.com

Back to top
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content