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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cycling Maizuru to Kobe Japan


It is still in the planning stages, but a Sea-to-Sea ride is going to take place this summer.

Weather- and health-permitting, we ride.

The concept is simple: we will cycle from the Sea of Japan (Yellow Sea for our Korean friends) to the Pacific Ocean.

The closest and shortest route from Kyoto is to take the express train out to the port city of Maizuru and alight and ride from Higashi Maizuru Station, which is a stone's throw from the Sea of Japan. From Kyoto Station, express trains take 95 minutes. If you bag your bike, JR (Japan Railways) allows you to bring it along at no cost.

From Maizuru, we will dip a big toe in the Sea of Japan (perhaps not, the port area is pretty built up), check out the Red Brick Museum, and then set out for Kobe.

The route follows the Yura River and Fukuchiyama train line for much of the ride.

Using MapMyRide, we fiddled with many possible routes, and the one below appears to be the flattest. At 149 km (92 miles) it is a bit longer, but the climbs are more manageable than a more direct route.

The last stretch is down the picturesque Mt. Futatabi Driveway and into Sannomiya, the heart of Kobe. We will press on a just a bit farther from there, and wiggle our sore toes in the direction of the bay below, which is part of the Pacific.

After spending a night in Kobe, we will - again, weather- and energy-permitting - cycle back to Kyoto. After some industry on the way to Osaka, the last and longest leg with be car-free all the way from Umeda to Kyoto.

Maizuru to Kobe Cycling Route

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