Make like the locals do in Kyoto and rent yourself a bike to see the city with. With so many temples, quaint little alleyways, and canal-side pathways to cruise through, Kyoto is best done by cycle. Kyoto Eco Trip offers bike rentals for an affordable price, complete with maps and guides to make the most of your visit.
There are a number of self guided bike tours offered in the city, though many follow a schedule with little room for a spontaneous detour to whatever may catch your eye. Renting with Kyoto Eco Trip also comes with a handy booklet filled with maps and cycle routes. A number of different kinds of bikes are also offered to suit your mode of travel, from electric bikes to standard and family bikes with varying levels of gears. Colour-coated routes include the Classic Route, which will take you to Sanjusangen-do Temple, Kamogawa Promenade, the Silver Pavilion, Nanzenji Temple, Heian Shrine, and Kiyomizu Temple. Other routes include the World Heritage Route, the Photogenic Route, Easy Sightseeing Route, Luck of Love Route, and my personal favourite, the Samurai Route. Each route is also accented with the approximate travel times it will take you to get to each destination, with a total travelling time approximated at the end. Times range from anywhere between 45 minutes to two hours. If you’d like to visit a specific landmark, their staff will outline which path is the most convenient to take.
If you’d like to spend a whole day cycling, Kyoto Eco Trip is flexible in allowing you to return your bikes past closing time (6PM) for an additional cost per hour. The latest you can return your bike by is 10PM. Staff is very friendly and offers service in English. Proper areas to park in are explained, and parking spaces for bikes are even marked on the maps provided. Rules for cycling in Japan are also explained with illustrations on the booklet provided.
Before you leave, they’ll also make sure your bike is properly checked by adjusting your seat height and checking the breaks. Kyoto Eco Trip is conveniently located just outside the southern exit of Kyoto Station.