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Cycling Terminals in Japan

With its fine and cool days, autumn is a great season for cycling. I enjoy riding around Tokyo on the weekends. Sometimes I leave Tokyo and visit areas outside the city. In the fall, many people visit Kyoto and Hakone to enjoy the changing colors of the maple leaves and other trees.

I am planning to visit Shimane prefecture with my friends from 11/20 (Friday) to 11/23 (Monday) this year. I had to book a hotel in Matsue-city, which is the capital city and a convenient place to go to the sightseeing spots of Shimane. I thought I could find a room at a reasonable price easily. There are two major search engines for booking accommodations at hotels in Japan. One is"Jaran-net"(*1) and the other is IKYU.COM_(*2). (IKYU.COM is an English site.) I always use these sites to book a room without any problems. However, this time was different. There were some available rooms on 11/20 and 22, but I never found a room for 11/21. I called more than ten hotels directly and tried to book a room. But as soon as I gave them my preferred date, "I am sorry but we don't have any rooms available at all on 11/21," they answered. I wonder if a big conference will be held in Matsue ?

Anyway, I gave up Matsue city and changed the location. Finally I found an available inn in Izumo-city. The name of the inn is "Izumo-city Cycling Terminal Ginrin-so." (They don't have a website.) The word 'Ginrin' indicates a bicycle. Jaran-net and IKYU.COM do not have any information on Ginrin-so. Just from the name, it looks like Ginrin-so is cyclist-friendly. They have a bicycle parking area and we can park our bikes at no charge. Also, they have rental bikes and tourists can rent them. I was happy to find a suitable inn for a cyclist like myself.

The term "Cycling Terminal" reminded me of something. I thought I heard that word before. I checked with the record of my travels and found that I had stayed at "Imabari-city Cycling Terminal Sunrise Itoyama" in 2006. (*3) Sunrise Itoyama was a great inn for cyclists. The Shimanami Sea route (Shimanami Kaido)is the route between Onomichi-city of Honshu, the main island of Japan, to Imabari-city of Shikoku. Sunrise Itoyama is located near the entrance of the Shimanami Sea route on the Imabari side. The route spans the Seto Inland Sea with 10 bridges stepping over 6 islands. All bridges have side walks for cyclists and pedestrians, so we can travel between the mainland and Shikoku by bike! The view from the bridge was very beautiful and I was excited about riding over the sea! After traveling, I stayed at Sunrise Itoyama. I was surprised that we were allowed to carry our bikes into the room! Tourists can rent a bike there. Sunrise Itoyama has a variety of different bikes. If you have an opportunity to visit Imabari by your bike, I recommend that you stay at Sunrise Itoyama.

It seems that there are more than 30 inns in Japan which are called "Cycling terminal." I looked into them on the internet. Most of them are public inns. That's why the room rate is reasonable.

Ginrin-so is the second Cycling Terminal inn I will stay at with my bike. I am looking forward to visiting them and would like to try the rest of the cycling terminals as well.

*1 Jaran-net

*3 Sunrise Itoyama

- Cycling terminals / ourdoor Japan : http://outdoorj.japan-adventures.com/activities/cycling/activities-cycling-terminals.html
- Cycling terminals/Japan Cycling Association : http://www.j-cycling.org/ct/

- Cycle @nak - 2006-11 Shimanami Cycling : http://cycle.atnak.com/cycletour/061122shimanami/index.html


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