There are five reasons that make Japan the paradise for cyclists.
First of all is because of the safety. In Japan, some areas are officially designated as the cycling routes, like in Shimanamikaido. In that kind of route, the bicycle lane is indicated with the blue-colored line, painted next to the usual white-coloured road marks. However, of course, not all the roads in Japan are designated as the cycling routes. In that case, the cyclist can still use the road side together with cars or motorbikes. The good thing is, the car drivers and motorbike riders are generous enough to wait patiently for the chance to overtake the cyclist. Even during the overtaking, they make sure to spare plenty of space between their vehicle and the cyclist.
The second reason is due to the widely available vending machines and convenience stores. This makes the cyclist can do a long-distance trip by carrying less stuff or with a light-weight luggage. No need to worry about drinking water shortage, food, or supplements because the convenience stores provide them all. The vending machines are also available even in the very countryside areas.
Third, the fairly good road conditions. Most of the road are paved with asphalt. It is quite rare to see bad road condition in Japan. This may be the reason why the road bike model with slim tires (23-25 mm) is more popular than the mountain bike model.
The fourth reason is because there are many cycling routes that have been mapped. Thanks to the huge cycling community in Japan. I am not sure whether this issue is a good or bad. But for me, this is a good thing because the route has been guaranteed to be accessible or at least someone can share the tips and trick for some particular routes. Some cycling maps also include the recommended sightseeing spots, cafes, or restaurants. This can make our cycling trip more fun and enjoyable. I don’t really like to go ‘blind’ on a trip. However, I also know that to discover a new route is one of the joys of cycling/traveling, right?
Finally, the last reason why I think Japan is the paradise for cyclists is because of its natural environment. I think Japan was created when God was smiling. Everything in Japan is just simply beautiful. The seasonal variations can make the same route has a different atmosphere, depending on which season you pass through it.
Five reasons mentioned above are based on my personal opinions. If you have different opinions, please write on the comment box below.
Cheers, and keep the wheels spin.