Did I hear right - a coastal bikepath that starts virtually at the base of Mount Fuji and doesn't stop until you're in Wakayama... practically all the way to Osaka?! Well, no - not exactly. What I've just described is the ultimate goal of the "Pacific Coast Bicycle Route" (Taiheiyogan Jitenshado) project, but that ideal is still quite far from becoming a reality; so far, most of the work has been done in the area between Shizuoka and Irago (on the tip of the Atsumi Peninsula west of Hamamatsu). Ten years ago I came here to check it out, and discovered that only one section west of Shizuoka and a half-circle around the lake (Hamana-ko) near Hamamatsu were in place. When I came back early in 2004, I found quite a bit more had been completed - enough to give it a recommendation, but with major caveats. On the plus side, the scenery can be spectacular: views of Fuji like the one above, craggy coastline alternating with wonderful swimming and surfing beaches, and the aforementioned large Lake Hamana-ko to circumnavigate. Now for the down sides: the route currently exists only in sections. Worse yet, the links to those sections are nonexistent: each bikepath basically ends and dumps you off with no idea of where to go from that point, and without even telling you that other sections of the route exist. It's possible to make your way from section to section, but this is quite complicated and undoubtedly changes month by month; a full explanation will have to wait until the published KANcycling guidebook comes out (or until the Shizuoka cycle-tourism people get their act together!). So if you decide to do this route, come with the idea of doing only limited sections, or allow plenty of time for confusion and pathfinding. It will still be worth it.
Story & PhotosShizuoka_Story_%26_Photos_1.htmlShizuoka_Story_%26_Photos_1.htmlshapeimage_14_link_0
Nuts & BoltsShizuoka_Nuts_%26_Bolts.htmlShizuoka_Nuts_%26_Bolts.htmlshapeimage_15_link_0