Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 53

Thread: Tokyo - Nagasaki - Tokyo (the long way)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    22

    Default Tokyo - Nagasaki - Tokyo (the long way)

    I am getting ready to start my Japan adventure in May of 2017; attached is a picture showing a map of my routing.

    Any suggestions or recommendations, such as must-see sights along the way, would be very much appreciated.

    Cheers!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails japan-route-map_sm.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    Stay away from the traffic choked east coast of Izu. There's also a ferry between Toba on the Kii and Tahara (west of Hamamatsu) that's way better than going around Ise bay through Nagoya.

    The coastal road between Kochi city and Cape Muroto isn't much fun, but there aren't many options to avoid it. Look closely at the maps to find roads that go up through the mountains instead, as there are a few places where this is possible. Muroto skyline (route 203) is the best way to get to Cape Muroto.

    In Yamaguchi, you're missing some great riding in Japan's largest karst region, Akiyoshidai, but I see you've included Nagato, but don't have your route out to Motonosumi Inari shrine and Senjyoujiki, which has some amazingly beautiful scenery. Hagi might be interesting for you as well, but it's a tourist trap.

    You go all the way out to Tabira in Saga, but fail to make the jump over to Hirado island. Hirado and the attached Ikitsuki island are a must for motorcyclists.

    In favor of the traffic choked Nagasaki, you've skipped the beautiful Ureshino tea fields and one of Japan's most beautiful shrines, Yutoku Inari Jinja. It also looks like you're not spending much time in Shimabara, only going around the coast to the ferry. Instead, go through the center of the peninsula and over Nita pass.

    I'd also strongly recommend spending more time in the area around Aso, Takachiho, Kujyu, and Kokonoe because that's probably some of Japan's best motorcycling territory. If absolutely nothing else, be sure to hit route 7 between Takachiho and Taketa.

    When in May do you think you'll be in Kyushu?

    Also note that it looks like you have a lot of expressway routed on this map. Be aware that expressways are all toll roads and they are very very expensive and troublesome to manage payment on a motorcycle unless you have an ETC.
    Last edited by dmizer; 18-04-17 at 11:30 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    Also, here's an annotated, interactive route map through Kyushu I built for another member. In some parts of your route, it could be useful for you: https://drive.google.com/open?id=111...Lo&usp=sharing

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kiryu, Gunma
    Posts
    2,676

    Default

    I'd rather cut my nuts off with a rusty tin can lid than ride that route you have between Tokyo and Matsumoto, but maybe that's just personal preference. Look at Hwy 254 instead.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Kyoto
    Posts
    2,917

    Default Tokyo - Nagasaki - Tokyo (the long way)

    I'd suggest the ferry from Hamamatsu to Toba.
    Lots of great Shikoku roads your missing out on in that route.
    The Noto peninsula route is a good ride some nice free camping also.
    Getting to the Summit is Optional, Returning home is mandatory
    Life begins at 155mph

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by racer162 View Post
    I'd suggest the ferry from Hamamatsu to Toba.
    Is there a ferry from Hamamatsu to Toba? The only one I know of is from Cape Tahara in Mie, quite a ways west of Hamamatsu. A ferry between Hamamatsu and Toba would be very convenient for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    22

    Default

    This is awesome, dmizer. Thanks for all these suggestions and the map - I have already adjusted my route. The challenge of course is that I can't do it all... So here are my notes based on your recommendations:

    - The reason to go into Nagoya is Nagoya Castle: worth the hassle of Nagoya traffic?
    - Senjojiki: added
    - Muroto Skyline: added
    - Motonosumi Shrine: on route (my crude map didn't show)
    - Hirado + Ikitsuki islands: added [have time?]
    - Yutoku Inari Jinja: TBD [off final route?]
    - Ureshino tea fields : TBD [off final route?]
    - Shimabara: on route (ferry from Uto to Shimabara)
    - Nita Pass or Shimabara? See attached images.
    - route 7 between Takachiho and Taketa: added [have time?]


    Also, I have not booked any hotels (minshukus) yet to retain flexibility. If I see that traffic is really bad then I will adjust on the fly. If the clockwise route is bad due to weather, then I might reverse the whole thing and go counter clockwise.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimabara.JPG   nita-pass.JPG  
    Last edited by drbeamer; 19-04-17 at 12:21 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Thanks Mike! I picked that route as it has both Matsumoto Castle and the Tomioka Silk Mills - worth it?

    After the Silk Mill I have now adjusted the route to use 254 to the 16 to the 17 back into Tokyo.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Thanks racer162. I originally had the ferry on my route, but then realized I'd be missing Nagoya Castle.... Decisions, decisions...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drbeamer View Post
    Thanks racer162. I originally had the ferry on my route, but then realized I'd be missing Nagoya Castle.... Decisions, decisions...
    Nagoya castle is still being rebuilt. I haven't been there in a while but it was one of (along with Osaka castle) my most disappointing castle visits because it's a concrete replica with an elevator. You look to have Himeji castle on your route. That would be a bit more accessible than fighting through Nagoya traffic, and it's one of 3 castles that survived the Meiji restoration and WWII. If you're into castles, you should stop by Matsuyama castle in Ehime. It's a replica, but it was meticulously rebuilt with original plans, period materials, and period building techniques.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drbeamer View Post
    This is awesome, dmizer. Thanks for all these suggestions and the map - I have already adjusted my route. The challenge of course is that I can't do it all... So here are my notes based on your recommendations:
    - The reason to go into Nagoya is Nagoya Castle: worth the hassle of Nagoya traffic?
    See reply above ... definitely nope.
    - Senjojiki: added
    Awesome
    - Muroto Skyline: added
    You'll love that.
    - Motonosumi Shrine: on route (my crude map didn't show)
    Awesome.
    - Hirado + Ikitsuki islands: added [have time?]
    Is there another reason you're going all the way out to Tabira then? Japan's first china pottery kiln community (near Imari) is near there, but it doesn't look to be on your route. If you're considering skipping Hirado and Ikitsuki due to time constraints, just skip that whole part and head down through Takeo, Ureshino, and Tara instead.
    - Yutoku Inari Jinja: TBD [off final route?]
    See above
    - Ureshino tea fields : TBD [off final route?]
    Same.
    - Shimabara: on route (ferry from Uto to Shimabara)
    In Shimabara, near the castle is a historic samurai village street which retains its original dirt construction and several period residences.
    - Nita Pass or Shimabara? See attached images.
    Nita pass, your second image looks like the route I had in mind.
    - route 7 between Takachiho and Taketa: added [have time?]
    Strongly recommending not to miss this.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    10,165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drbeamer View Post
    Thanks racer162. I originally had the ferry on my route, but then realized I'd be missing Nagoya Castle.... Decisions, decisions...
    I could go through your route road by road with suggestions, but I can sum it all up in one sentence: ALWAYS LOOK FOR TWISTY LOCAL ROADS INSTEAD OF STRAIGHT EXPRESSWAYS. To add some more detail:

    Some coastal roads are awesome, but some of them are straight, boring, traffic slogs. Go inland to the mountains and you will have the road to yourself. The Izu east coast and Shikoku east coast were already mentioned as ones to avoid. Truth. Go inland instead and look for twisty mountain roads.

    Castles are nice and all, but the best sights you will see are hidden statues, beautiful scenery, and quirky oddities that donít show up in any guidebook. And you wonít run into crowds when you get there.

    Do you have a navi? I could email you some Garmin route maps that cover pretty much exactly the area your route does, but are all killer no filler. I canít bear to watch somebody squander riding time in Japan on expressways while missing the good stuff.
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Saitama
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Take Guys offer, you're blasting past some of the most beautiful roads in the world doing one huge loop, whereas you could have more quality V's distance.
    ( stay off the expressways.. they'll suck out your soul ) Then next time you come back, target another area intensly. eg: Nagano / Wakayama / Kyushu

    Richard came over last yr did pretty much what your planning.. with less expressways, highways.. he regretted it. Coming back in June to saturate Nagano, Akita, Mie & some of Hokkaido.. don't be Richard, then be Richard

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kiryu, Gunma
    Posts
    2,676

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drbeamer View Post
    Thanks Mike! I picked that route as it has both Matsumoto Castle and the Tomioka Silk Mills - worth it?

    After the Silk Mill I have now adjusted the route to use 254 to the 16 to the 17 back into Tokyo.
    From Tomioka to Tokyo, you may as well use the expressway. The bit from Matsumoto over to Tomioka is where I would suggest R254. There is a "back route" near Matsumoto up through some nice mountain roads on which you would see very few other bikes (or cars either, for that matter). Very pleasant country which it would be a shame to miss by riding the expressway.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dmizer View Post
    - The reason to go into Nagoya is Nagoya Castle: worth the hassle of Nagoya traffic?
    See reply above ... definitely nope.
    - Senjojiki: added
    Awesome
    - Muroto Skyline: added
    You'll love that.
    - Motonosumi Shrine: on route (my crude map didn't show)
    Awesome.
    - Hirado + Ikitsuki islands: added [have time?]
    Is there another reason you're going all the way out to Tabira then? Japan's first china pottery kiln community (near Imari) is near there, but it doesn't look to be on your route. If you're considering skipping Hirado and Ikitsuki due to time constraints, just skip that whole part and head down through Takeo, Ureshino, and Tara instead.
    - Yutoku Inari Jinja: TBD [off final route?]
    See above
    - Ureshino tea fields : TBD [off final route?]
    Same.
    - Shimabara: on route (ferry from Uto to Shimabara)
    In Shimabara, near the castle is a historic samurai village street which retains its original dirt construction and several period residences.
    - Nita Pass or Shimabara? See attached images.
    Nita pass, your second image looks like the route I had in mind.
    - route 7 between Takachiho and Taketa: added [have time?]
    Strongly recommending not to miss this.


    - Hirado + Ikitsuki islands: added [have time?]
    Is there another reason you're going all the way out to Tabira then? Japan's first china pottery kiln community (near Imari) is near there, but it doesn't look to be on your route. If you're considering skipping Hirado and Ikitsuki due to time constraints, just skip that whole part and head down through Takeo, Ureshino, and Tara instead.
    - I am expecting some nice, rugged coastal riding with views and hopefully not too much traffic. When planning these routes I checked Google streetview/satellite which gives you a rough idea of population density, but the reality might be different... If all goes well and I see that I can make good time on a daily basis, then adding Takeo, Ureshino and Tara should be easy.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    I could go through your route road by road with suggestions, but I can sum it all up in one sentence: ALWAYS LOOK FOR TWISTY LOCAL ROADS INSTEAD OF STRAIGHT EXPRESSWAYS. To add some more detail:

    Some coastal roads are awesome, but some of them are straight, boring, traffic slogs. Go inland to the mountains and you will have the road to yourself. The Izu east coast and Shikoku east coast were already mentioned as ones to avoid. Truth. Go inland instead and look for twisty mountain roads.

    Castles are nice and all, but the best sights you will see are hidden statues, beautiful scenery, and quirky oddities that don’t show up in any guidebook. And you won’t run into crowds when you get there.

    Do you have a navi? I could email you some Garmin route maps that cover pretty much exactly the area your route does, but are all killer no filler. I can’t bear to watch somebody squander riding time in Japan on expressways while missing the good stuff.
    Thanks for the suggestions, Guy. I def would like to avoid the Expressways and I hate crowds. In general, I prefer views to twisty roads which I have here in LA every weekend: The Snake, Angeles Crest Hwy, Malibu Canyons. Also, I will be on a dual sport, not a street bike, so while carving is fun, doing switchbacks all day long would probably be too exhausting (for me anyway).

    I have a Garmin 2589 with Japan maps, so if you have some maps for me to look at that would be great.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash View Post
    From Tomioka to Tokyo, you may as well use the expressway. The bit from Matsumoto over to Tomioka is where I would suggest R254. There is a "back route" near Matsumoto up through some nice mountain roads on which you would see very few other bikes (or cars either, for that matter). Very pleasant country which it would be a shame to miss by riding the expressway.
    Great - thanks!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wrk2ride_ride2wrk View Post
    Take Guys offer, you're blasting past some of the most beautiful roads in the world doing one huge loop, whereas you could have more quality V's distance.
    ( stay off the expressways.. they'll suck out your soul ) Then next time you come back, target another area intensly. eg: Nagano / Wakayama / Kyushu

    Richard came over last yr did pretty much what your planning.. with less expressways, highways.. he regretted it. Coming back in June to saturate Nagano, Akita, Mie & some of Hokkaido.. don't be Richard, then be Richard
    The more I research this, the more I think multiple trips to Japan are in order.... ;)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    Will you be using OSM? If so, where did you source your maps?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    10,165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drbeamer View Post
    I have a Garmin 2589 with Japan maps, so if you have some maps for me to look at that would be great.
    PM sent.
    IBA #42657
    96 Honda XR250 Baja
    09 BMW R1200GS Adventure ・ 09 KTM 990 SMT (sold) ・ 97 Honda X4 ・ 95 Kawasaki ZZR400 (sold)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •