during summer, it’s easy to hire bikes in kyoto, some places stay open until 8 for you to grab wheels. locals move around the most in august because of holidays and people are coming home.
note, there are little rivalries between bike shop owners.
kyoto is mainly flat until you visits the temples and shrines in the east. also caution on bike parking stops, you’re not allowed to park anyway in the city center (though people do anyway). bikes are scattered across kyoto like pebbles. people are lax about bike security.
we borrowed a couple of cruisers for 24 hours, cheap as chips at 700 yen. we set out early to get to inari, it’s only a 20 minute cycle from kyoto station. you can go at night because inari shrine doesn’t close, however, locals advise against it as it’s apparently very haunted.
it’s hard to get lost in kyoto, let the river be your compass. inari is south of the river, the imperial palace/city center/golden pavilion is north. also, excellent cycleway by the foreshore.
inari pilgrimage is a hard hike but gives you the highest peak in kyoto looking over the city. if going right to the top, water and neck towels are a must.
i would recommend cycling in the north, south and west. the east is very hilly. though locals do it all the time. i saw spry 75+ year old ladies and gents peddling away 45 degree angles.
kyoto side trip: nara is very bike friendly too and the enormous park is a joy to ride through. oh deer, feed them. largest wooden structure in the world still standing after being burnt 100 times.
x red bike