By Peter Sidell
Even in the depths of winter, Japan has some of the most spectacular places to explore on a bike. Many of which are surprisingly easily accessible as well. While Tokyo has an exorbitant amount of things to see and do, many local residents take refuge in a nearby beach town to fish and enjoy its sandy beaches. Oiso, pronounced Oh-ee-so, is well known for that escape. At around an hour's train ride from Tokyo via the JR Tokaido line toward Odawara, convenience for both veteran and first time Japan visitors goes a long way.
For the most optimum bike ride experience, I would suggest getting off at the Chigasaki station (two stops before Oiso) and scouting out a few bike rental locations. Day rentals can be as cheap as 300-500 yen for the day and at about an hour to hour and half each way without stopping, the price is well worth it. From Chigasaki, I would suggest heading towards the Oiso Prince Hotel and then doubling back for a decent distance. For those who are more adventurous, the trail extends farther down the coast but that is beyond this article and my knowledge.
The path is well marked and labeled with both English and Japanese signage. When you start the trail, you’ll notice it is also paved and lined with guard rails for most of the way. There are parts of the trail that oversee the main coastal highway, but the bike trail is high enough up above for your view to be unimpeded by the highway. It’s hard to get lost and you can easily turn around and head back to a train station if needed. Along the way, there are many paths that veer off and connect with the main street. When I take this trail in the mornings, sometimes I take a new one to explore the routes in between the trail and the main street. The main street in Oiso is lined with 7-11 type convenience stores, mom and pop shops, and restaurants if you didn’t bring any other food or drink.
All in all, it’s a straightforward, paved trail that's accessible to anyone, and it makes for a relaxing bike ride. This gorgeous view from the quiet town of Oiso is a must see.
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