Second leg, flying domestic in Japan with a bike

After a day off to sleep in, eat some konbini snacks and have a bowl of ramen, I woke up early to set off for my flight to Kagoshima. Unwrapping my bike (which had been kindly kept in the hotel lobby), I then pushed it a couple miles to the domestic terminal. Slightly less bike-friendly than from the international end, I found myself walking through a couple of long tunnels along access paths and crossing very busy highways. But, eventually with some kind directions, I found my way to check-in. A much smoother experience this time, quick and friendly.

After surviving two plane trips and being rewrapped twice

Flying into Kagoshima, Kyushu

Onboard the plane, a tourist tells me he’s off to Yakushima to see Jomonsugi, a several-thousand year old tree, and I wish him luck. The flight itself was very turbulent, but over within an hour and a half. Landing at Kagoshima Airport, the weather is overcast but warm with a strong wind. The forecast had been for a severe storm with heavy rain, so I won’t be complaining. There’s a bicycle setup area outside arrivals at the airport, and I spend the next hour and a half unwrapping and putting together my bike, while eating a bento box. It survived its travels pretty well. A few scuffs but otherwise intact. From the experience I’ve had, I’d recommend CTC bags for flying.

As I work, one Japanese tourist waiting for a bus strikes up a conversation and recommends some local sights and dishes. He’s kind enough to give me a good luck charm, and another person buys me some snacks as a nice gesture (maybe I looked a bit pitiable, jetlagged, hands covered in chain oil).

Some kind gestures

Cycling for the first time in Japan

After some tweaking, I throw away all the padding and bubble wrap and set off for my AirBNB. The roads are already lovely to cycle on. A lot of fields and hills. In the distance you can see Sakurajima, an active volcano, its peak lost in the clouds. The bike rides well, though the shifting needs some more work, and the whole thing needs a bit of a clean. I decide I need to lose some more weight out of the panniers as well, after encountering my first hills here. Despite some trepidation about the ride, I make it into Kirishima in record time and check in to the guesthouse.

Sakurajima in the distance
Finally on the bike after all that travelling

Ahead of starting out for Cape Sata, I’m going to be relaxing and taking a break here, enjoying the local hot springs. Then the adventure begins properly…


A Japan-enthusiast from the UK, with a particular interest in history and the language, as well as cycling, writing and rock climbing.

1 thought on “Second leg, flying domestic in Japan with a bike

  1. Great to read your blog – we want to cycle in Japan someday. So good to see your experiences. We cycling in Portugal right now!

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