Tired of always heading to the south, and wanting to make some progress to the north, I, along with my oldest son, recently did a good ride from Akihabara, in the center of Tokyo, to Chiba. Along the way, we crossed bridges and rivers, enjoyed views of The Magical Kingdom (where we received a not so magical welcome), Tokyo Bay, and the industrial wasteland that exists between Tokyo proper and Chiba.
To kick things off, we took our folding bikes by train to Akihabara. We couldn’t resist a quick ride through the small crowded streets filled with electronic shops, maid cafes, and manga stores. An interesting combination to say the least, but made even more so by the abundance of signs and sounds catering to Korean, Chinese, and other overseas visitors.
Once we had broken free from buzz of Akihabara we simply set out on a somewhat northerly course that would hopefully going to intersect with Tokyo Bay at some point.
Along the way, we saw quite a few interesting sites including views of the Tokyo Sky Tree, a Glass Blowing Factory, and some historical looking bridges.
The ride got really pleasant as we crossed the Edo River where there is a bike path along the northern bank leading, in one direction, to Tokyo Bay and a rather large and nice park. Biking through this green and spacious play area we were able to catch glimpses of Tokyo Disneyland across a small stretch of water.
Having never been to TDL, we decided that we should bike on over and get a picture in front of Mickey’s front door. Even though we picked a relatively un-crowded gate as our back drop, we were instantly set upon by Mickey’s minions and escorted ever so politely and ever so seriously all the way back to the main road. Oh well, that’s the way Mickey rolls I guess.
On the road again, we instantly found that the Magic Kingdom is bordered to the north by a massive industrial wasteland. The bad news is that it stinks, it’s ugly, and it’s, as I said, massive! The good news is that there is a bike path or sidewalk that can be biked on most of time.
In fact, once you get to the horse race track and Ikea at Funabashi the bike path gets even better and is mostly in parks.
Even as you enter Chiba proper there is a nice, well-maintained path that cyclists can use.
Having left the wasteland and horse track behind, we enjoyed the ride into Chiba. We ended up at Minami Chiba Station, folded our bikes and took the train back home.
If you’d like to see a different side of Tokyo, say the under-under-belly, while mostly biking on decent bike paths with little traffic, this might be a good ride to try.
Approx. Distance: 45KM