Cycling in Kyoto by Rental Bike
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It feels great whilst riding a bicycle, and such a convenient way to move around the city freely – a feeling you wouldn’t get by driving a car or taking a taxi. You can certainly do it on your trip to Kyoto and get a really different sensation of the city.
So, let us introduce to you five bike rental shops in Kyoto. It might be a good idea for you to hire a bicycle making it easier to move around a spot-to-spot, especially places that aren’t within walking distance, but close enough for cycle ride, as Kyoto has some sightseeing spots that you can plan to visit in one day.
You can expect there to be a lot of traffic in many areas in Kyoto, so you can expect to get stuck in traffic when travelling by bus or taxi, and so delaying plans, getting behind schedule or rushing to see things in order to achieve your day plan.
So, renting bike in Kyoto makes absolute sense – not wasting time on transport, saving costs and getting active, meaning those people who miss their gym routine can exercise whilst sightseeing.
Therefore, we strongly recommend hiring a bicycle in Kyoto!
- 1 Three reasons why renting a bike in Kyoto is worth it
- 2 Five rental bike shops in Kyoto
- 3 Five great bike tours in Kyoto
Three reasons why renting a bike in Kyoto is worth it
It is eco-friendly and a fun way to get around during your trip, as it can be more convenient than just using public transportation.
Let us explain bike rental some more for you.
1.Saving your time in Kyoto
This is a good a for the tourist with limited time in Kyoto. Saving time by cycling from place-to-place makes a lot of sense, for time and budget.
You’ll get there quicker, you don’t need to spend time waiting your public transportation like bus or train, and you may just find some hidden gems of Kyoto whilst doing so.
You can get really mobile if you rent a bike, especially in Kyoto – one of the busiest cities in the world!
You really don’t waste your time on public transport during your trip in order to see more places.
If you plan to visit Kyoto during its peak season – March to April, September to November, traffic will definitely be heavy, that is why one of most beneficial ways for tourists is to cycle. 55 million foreign tourists visit Kyoto, as it is one of the most desirable destinations, so its roads are always busy, but you can avoid the traffic. You won’t be tired due to waiting for transportation, but instead you’ll feel refreshed and invigorated from cycling.
3.Exploring and Discovering pinch points
Taking the bus, train or taxi are of course convenient in Kyoto, taking you to a variety of different areas.
But if you cycle, it means you can take your time much more, and you can stop wherever you want. You’ll also be able to discover very cute alleys, hidden cafés, and sights of the tourist map that leaflets don’t show. It could be the best way to make a very original holiday!
The guidance for riding bicycle for sightseeing in Kyoto
You’ll need to know how to cycle safely in Kyoto well in advance.
Here’s a very useful website called “Enjoy 自転車 (Jitensha) life in Kyoto” (Jitensha means bike in Japanese).
It explains the rules and manners of cycling; which side of the road you should cycle, how to park and things you must not to do.
Here are five rental bike shops in each area in Kyoto!
Five rental bike shops in Kyoto
Wherever you are in Kyoto, you will have bike shops renting bikes, so let’s take a look at each area’s rental bike shop!
1.KYOTO ECO TRIP – Around Kyoto station
KYOTO ECO TRIP is located very conveniently, just 2 mins walk from Hachijo-exit of Kyoto station. The shop was given its certificate by Kyoto city by passing 13 different assessments.
There are three more shops in Kyoto, offering ten different kinds of bike for both adults and children, and also providing their own original cycling map for free.
Bikes are delivered to your hotel and returned at the hotel or any branches.
Online booking is available two days before you want to hire.
1,000 yen – the most popular bike with 3 gearshifts
1,000 yen – kids bike, a helmet is included
2,000 yen – electric assisted bike with a large battery, good for a long cycling
1,300 yen – bike with child rear seat
2,300 yen – electric assisted bike with child rear seat
Basic time (1 day) – 8:30-18:00
Late return – 18:01-22:00 (additional 400 yen)
Flagship stores near Kyoto station, Kyoto tower, Shijo Karasuma and delivered to hotels
2.Bike rental shop EMUSICA – Gion area
The bike rental shop EMUSICA is located in Miyagawa-cho, Gion. You’re highly likely to already be in Gion and by the Kamo river – therefore EMUSICA is a very convenient place for you to pick-up a bike. Friendly English speaking staff are there to help, and all at a reasonable price.
2,000 yen deposit is required and refunded on return; you’ll also need to show your passport as a ID.
All bikes are with 3 gears.
Online booking is available.
1,000 yen for 1 day until 20:00
500 yen to add for until next morning
4,000 yen for 1 week
If you are interested in Gion area, please check here:
3.KYOTO RENTAL BIKE – Shijo Karasuma area
KYOTO RENTAL BIKE is located just 8 mins walk from Shijo Karasuma station or 7 mins walk from Karasuma Oike station.
It is in the center of Kyoto and there are many sightseeing opportunities around the area, so it is really worth to rent a bike and get active.
3,000 yen deposit is required and refunded on return; you’ll need to show your passport as ID (photocopy OK).
Online booking is available.
1,000 yen for 1 day
1,300 yen for 1 day (with gear)
1,000 yen for kids, 1 day
-Opening time: 9:00-19:00
-Area: Shijo Karasuma area
If you are interested in Kyoto as the downtown, please check here:
4.Kyoto Bicycle Rental KYO no RAKU-CHARI – north of Higashiyama area
KYO no RAKU-CHARI has been running for the last 10 years and provides electric assisted bikes for tourists. They offer both electric assisted bikes and standard bikes.
There are two plans for renting a bike at KYO no RAKU-CHARI:
A 1 day plan and a 3 hours plan.
Also, a 1 night 2 days plan is available.
Online booking is available.
1 day plan up to 9 hours for an electric assisted bike
2,000 yen – general
1,500 yen – student
1 day plan up to 9 hours for a standard bike
1,000 yen (3 speed)
1,200 yen (5 speed)
1,000 yen for child
3 hours plan for an electric assisted bike
1,000 yen – general
1,200 yen – with child seat
3 hours plan for a standard bike
1,000 yen (3 speed, 26 inches)
1,100 yen (3 speed, 27 inches)
1,000 yen for child
-Opening time: 9:00-18:00
-Area: north of Higashiyama area
5.Hankyu Rent-a-cycle ARASHIYAMA -Arashiyama area
Hankyu Rent-a-cycle ARASHIYAMA is just in front of Arashiyama station on the Hankyu line – actually only 40 seconds away – so you can hire the bike very conveniently, and feel free to cycle around Arashiyama where there are lots to see, from historical spots to the bamboo forest!
You need to show your passport as an ID to hire a bike and return it within the specified time.
900 yen for 1 day – Saturday, Sunday, National holidays and November
500 yen for 2 hours – weekdays (except November)
700 yen for 4 hours – weekdays (except November)
900 yen more than 4 hours – weekdays (except November)
9:00-17:00 (last hiring 16:30) – November to April
9:00-18:00 (last hiring 17:30) – May to November
Now we are introducing five recommended bike tours in Kyoto!
If you are interested in Arashiyama, please check here:
Five great bike tours in Kyoto
It would be great to meet up with other people as a group, and cycle together in Kyoto. So, we’ve recommended five bike tours.
1.Kyoto on bikes
Kyoto on bikes offers a bike tour to cycle and have fun in Kyoto. You can get tips and local knowledge by taking part in this tour with a friendly guide, discovering a little of Kyoto and having some quality time.
Small group maximum 8 people – about 12,000 yen
Private tour minimum 2 people – about 15,000 yen
Small group tour – 5.5 hours
Private tour – 5.5 hours
Approx. 18 km distance
Open: Depends on the tour, please take a look their website.
– Bike rental is included
– Transport fees in the case of heavy rain
2.North Kyoto Bike Adventure
North Kyoto Bike Adventure starts near Kyoto station, Nishi Honganji temple, Kitano Tenmangu shrine, Golden Pavilion, Imperial Palace and to Gion.
Price: 10,000 yen (bike, helmet, lunch, water is included)
Duration: 5 hours, Approx. 22 km distance
Starting time: start at 10:00am
Notes: Enter some spots like Nishi Honganji temple and Kitano Tenmangu shrine, and spend about 20 mins at the Golden Pavilion.
3.Kyoto Urban Adventures – Small group bike tour
Kyoto Urban Adventures run small group bike tours in Kyoto. 9 people is the maximum, so plenty time to ask any questions you may have.
The tour starts at Kyoto tourist bus station, and you’ll explore the former imperial city including back alleys and hidden paths.
Price: from about 7, 800 yen (bike, helmet are included)
Duration: 3 hours, Approx. 15 km distance
Starting time: start at 8:45am
Notes: Minimum age is 12 years old, Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
4.Arashiyama Bike Tour Early Bird
Arashiyama Bike Tours are for the early birds in order to avoid crowds, taking you to temples and the bamboo forest, but not only popular spots but also some of the hidden gems that Kyoto has to offer. You will enjoy a quiet and relaxing time, but a fun time seeing all that Arashiyama has to offer.
Price: 9,500 yen (bike, helmet, bottle water is included)
Duration: 3 hours
Starting time: start at 8:00am
Notes: Maximum is 7 people
5.Kyoto Epic Bike Tour
Kyoto Epic Bike Tour will take you to Fushimi-inari shrine and the Tofukuji temple. You can experience the culture and the Japanese gardens of these very popular tourist spots.
Price: 12,000 yen (Fushimiinari shrine and Tofukuji temple admission fees are included)
Duration: 45 mins
Starting time: start at 10:00am from Kon’s cycle
Notes: Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
So, what do you think about cycling in Kyoto?
There are many different opportunities and tours, so hope you find the best way to enjoy cycling in Kyoto!
- I am Nagai Yuichi ,CEO of S-fleage a company in Kyoto. We are spreading the charms of Kyoto to the world. I hope this article is helpful for your experience in Kyoto!