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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kyoto Bike Towing Sign

Bike Towing Warning Kyoto京都市自転車撤去の公示

The dreaded - but helpful! - towing notice.

Attached to the white and green No Parking sign is an A4 notice warning of the arrival of the tow truck.

It has the all important date noted in red.

In this case, along Kiyamachi Dori in downtown Kyoto, the trucks came on July 17th.

When parking, always check for these alerts.

More on bike parking and towing .

© CycleKyoto Home Page 


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Train Station Bike Ramp inuyama Japan

Inuyama Station Bike path犬山駅の自転車ランプ

This might be an Only in Japan moment (or perhaps Holland or Denmark).

The picture at right shows the Inuyama train station, which is about one hour outside of Nagoya.

The picture is blurry, but the ramp clearly visible in the middle of the steps leading up to the station is for bikes.

Cyclists and commuters pushed their bikes up the ramp, through the main hall of the station, and then down the ramp on the other side.


We were on a short trip to the area, and did not have time to investigate. The best guess is that the train tracks block passage to the other side for a long way on both ends of the station. No crossing areas?

As a result, the good people a the train company have created a bike ramp.



CycleKyoto Home Page 


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kyoto University Bell Tower

Kyoto University京都大学

Kyoto is a university town. In a city of 1.4 million, there are said to be more than 100,000 university students.

At the top of the proverbial heap is the former Imperial University, Kyoto University, followed by Doshisha and then Ritsumeikan.

Kyodai, as it is more commonly known, is unlike its slightly more prestigious rival Tokyo University (Todai) in several ways.

Mainly, it is much less conventional than Todai, which is the breeding ground for the ruling class.

Todai is straight-laced and establishment to the bone; Kyodai likes to think of itself as creative and able to think out of the box. There is large dose of truth in that assessment.

The bell tower pictured at right witnessed intense demonstrations in the 1960s. To this day, Kyoto police are not allowed to enter the campus without contacting and getting permission from the university.

Kyodai is located not far from the Kamo River or the museums in Okazaki.


On Marutamachi, ride toward the mountains. The campus is at the Hyakumanben corner about 5 minutes from the Kamo River.


CycleKyoto Home Page 


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kyoto Bike Rental

Rent a Cycle Demachiyanagi京都レンタサイクル

As befitting a city whose economy is based heavily on tourism, Kyoto has a lot of bike rental shops.

This one, in Demachiyanagi, is close to Shimogamo Temple and the Kamo River.

Once we got our bikes, we headed up the river bank to Kamigamo Shrine.

For a full list of rental shops, click here.


CycleKyoto Home Page 


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kyoto Takase River

Takase River Kyoto高瀬川

Along Kiyamachi Dori (street), a former barge canal and now lovely river flows.

It is the Takase River, which has willows and other trees on its banks.

Before trains and automobiles ended the era of barge shipping, the canal was used to move goods from Kyoto all the way down to Osaka.

The canal runs roughly from Nijo Dori, just north of the Okura Hotel, down to a poor neighborhood northeast of Kyoto Station .

Kiyamachi itself is - except for late at night when the party begins - a good place to ride.

It has light traffic and is shaded.

© CycleKyoto Home Page 


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cycle Tokyo!


Unlike the Capital City (a literal translation of Kyoto, the former capital of Japan), the Eastern Capital - aka, Tokyo - is a bit daunting for biking.

The sheer size of Tokyo and its mishmash street pattern can have even the hardest core cyclist give up.

However, Tokyo is actually a great city for cycling. Much of it is smaller villages, now connected neighborhoods, with lots to see and easy pedaling.

And there is no better place to start than Cycle Tokyo!

Run by the venerable Atsushi (Ats) Nakamura, Cycle Tokyo! has route information, events listings, shops, and more.

Highly recommended and a great way to meet people.

© CycleKyoto Home Page 


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ninnaji Temple

Ninnaji Temple仁和寺

Kyoto's Ninnaji Temple is located on the northwestern edge of the city.

It was founded in the early part of the ninth century.

The temple was originally a summer home for one of the early emperors.

In those days, deadly plagues were a common feature of Kyoto's torrid summer.

Ninnaji Temple, in Omuro, is roughly 5-7 kilometers from the Imperial Palace, or Gosho.

Part of the temple is a World Heritage Site.

© CycleKyoto Home Page 


Thursday, July 8, 2010

No Cycling Sign Kodomo Mirai Kan Kyoto

No Cycling!自転車乗り入り禁止!

And yet another No Biking! sign in Kyoto.

At a former elementary school south of the of the Imperial Palace, the school yard is off limits to cyclists (and motorcycles).

The facility is now a center for children known as Kodomo Mirai Kan (Infancy Outlook House).

It is a bustling place with a daycare center, and many events and activities.

Weekends especially are very crowded with parents and their young children.

There is parking underground for cars, and, in front, for bicycles.

 CycleKyoto Home Page


Monday, July 5, 2010

Bicycle Underpass Kyoto Station

Bike Underpass Kyoto Station自転車専用地下道京都駅

Getting around Kyoto Station - the massive main station and gateway to the city - on a bike used to be daunting.

The station is so large that you had to ride around it, finding a street that went under the many train tracks both above and on ground.

Now, it is not nearly as difficult to get from the north to south - or vice versa of the Station thanks to several bike paths.

The one pictured here is due south of Kawaramachi Dori, at the western end of the Station.

It is bikes only, and a quick shot from one end to the other of the station.

There is also a route on the eastern end of the Station, just beyond the main post office.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bike Lane Kujo Dori Kyoto

Bike Lane Kyoto自転車専用レーン九条通り京都

This is the holy grail of bike lanes in Kyoto.

The city has "bike lanes" on Gojo, Nishi Oji, Horikawa, and other large boulevards with wide sidewalks.

However, those lanes are not separate from pedestrian traffic, and often run through bus stops where crowds of people wait.

Near Toji Temple, though, in south Kyoto, there are stretches along Kujo Dori (9th Street) where bikes are separated from pedestrians and both have their respective lanes to ride or walk in.