(BIKE) Tama lake cycling road - 多摩湖自転車道

Travel time: 25 minutes - Stations: Musashi-Sakai,
Trail time: 5 hours (cycling) - Effort: high

Most of Tokyo's drinking water comes from Lake Tama. In more recent times, the large pipes of the aqueduct have been buried, leading to a 22km straight cycling road taking you from the Kichijoji area up to the lake and then around it

+ The good

  • No preparation needed. If you are in west Tokyo, chances are that you can simply hop on your bike and start the adventure
  • 100% cycling lane: you will never find yourself fending traffic
  • Nice views around the lake
  • A nice panoramic tower near the end
  • Some fun bits through the woods

~ The bad

  • The path makes a diversion to reach Makkuro-kurosuke house, a traditional farmhouse maintained by the Totoro fund: good cause, nice vibes (everyone's a volunteer) but it still feels like a tourist trap

~ The ugly

  • You will really need a crossbike for this, light like a streetbike for the long straight bit, but tough like a mountainbike to handle the offroad section making ~50% of the lake loop
  • For the same reason, ensure that your tires are in top condition, to avoid punctures
  • Don't assume you will be able to speed through the long straight cycling road. Not only it is gated by anti-traffic every ~300 meters, but you will constantly slalom around kids, pedestrians, dogs and more. Far from relaxing
  • You will be able to see the lake, but at no point you will be allowed to reach it. In fact, expect to have its fence to sit on your side whenever you are not on the dam