Biking from Ueno to Odaiba and back

Sunday last week I got back to Denmark, but as I fell behind with my writing there are still things missing from my 6 weeks stay in Japan. This time will be about a day spent renting bikes and riding around 20 kilometers around in Tokyo.

As we decided to rent bikes a bit on a whim, we had to find a place where it was possible without prior notice and without a high cost – and also with the possibility of renting the bike until the evening. We found a place in Ueno where it was possible to rent bikes until 8PM for only 300 yen (around 15dkk).  When arriving at the bike rental place however, I found out that tourists should always carry their passport when sightseeing. Remember this!! If I was not able to speak Japanese, I would not have been allowed to rent the bike since I didn’t bring my passport. Luckily for me, after some discussion the guy there wrote in my driver’s licence number instead of passport number and allowed me to rent the bike.

At such a low price we didn’t expect the bikes to be very nice, but they were actually surprisingly OK. There were no gears, but they were in good condition. However, as always with “grandma bikes” in Japan, the maximum seat height is really low. Even though I put it into the max setting I still wanted to put it higher (I could easily have both feet on the ground while sitting on the bike).

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Without really considering how far it actually was, we decided to bike to Odaiba and briefly stop at the Tsukiji market on the way there. As it was already afternoon at this time, it was just a short stop looking at some of the fish they sell and sushi restaurants.

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After stopping at the Tsukiji market, we headed for Odaiba. Had it been in Denmark, 10km would not feel so far. However, in Japan you bike on the pedestrian paths and when there are many people, you have to stop completely and follow the pace of people walking. Therefore, it takes quite some time to drive such distance, but when you get used to it, it feels really good to go around by bike in Tokyo anyway. However, as it was really hot that day and because of the low pace it took some time to go there, so we were quite exhausted when arriving in Odaiba.

Odaiba is a place near the sea with view over Tokyo Bay housing several shopping malls among other things such as the Fuji TV building…

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…where you can enter the observation deck and view Tokyo Bay.

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There is also a miniature statue of liberty…

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…and an (artificial) sand beach.

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A bit after we took off from Odaiba, the sun set while we were still near the ocean.

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On the way back to Ueno to turn back the bikes we went through Ginza where we drove on the road due to the many people….

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… and Tokyo station, which I had only seen from the inside. It is made from bricks, which is not very typical Japanese but quite beautiful, particularly when it’s lit up in the evening.

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We arrived at the bike rental place around 20 minutes before the deadline (8PM), and having biked a lot more than we initially intended we were quite exhausted and ended up going to an Izakaya for some food and beer in reward of the effort! ^^

That concludes the tale of the bike trip in Tokyo! Next up will be a trip to the Tochigi prefecture and Nikko.


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