Japan is in many ways an ideal country to see by motorbike with a bag slung on the back seat: good quality roads, numerous mountain regions, innumerable cheap and clean camping sites, and long open roads outside of the major cities. And despite Japan’s world-class public transport system, it cannot compete with the freedom that a motorcycle brings outside of the major cities.

With the exception of whizzing past a brightly lit Tokyo Tower at night on the Shutoko Expressway or crossing Rainbow Bridge on a warm sunny day, motorcycling—and driving, for that matter—within the capital is not a particularly fun experience. The road signs can be confusing, the traffic heavy, and there are always the occasional sections where motorcycles are not allowed (some underground passes) which are not at all clearly marked enough to be able to judge a safe exit ahead of time. But within about an hour from Tokyo, there are the green expanses of Chiba’s Boso Peninsula or the coastal roads of Miura to entertain you. If you live in a smaller city or the countryside to begin with then the options for a good day ride are multiple.

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