(BIKE) Kanda/Zenpukuji bike loop - 神田川/善福寺川

Travel time: 20 minutes - Stations: Kichijoji,
Trail time: 2.5 h (cycling) - Effort: medium

Cherry blossom/autumn leaf galore, right in the city center

Two pretty river paths worth knowing, and with good sakura/koyo foliage to boot

+ The good

  • Instant access: Kichijoji is one of the best served places in Tokyo, and they have bike rentals too
  • Impeccable maintenance: at any point of the loop you will be either on pretty river banks or lovely parks
  • Zenpukuji park and Otaguro Park are, indeed, pretty lovely
  • Almost no road cycling. Except for a 20 minutes stretch before Kichijoji you will be on pedestrian/cycling road all the way

- The bad

  • As usual, cycling lanes in Tokyo means constantly dodging barriers designed to slow you down. Not a huge issue with a lighter bike, but it could become heavy with a mama-charin

~ The ugly

  • In the last bit from Ogikubo to Zenpukuji park, the river bank becomes really narrow, with just a sliver of pathway between the river and the houses. It's often easy to find a lazy neighborhood road to use instead, but it does break the bucolic feeling of the ride a little bit