Ride a bike on a railway track!

This post is the third in a series of places you can get to using the JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area). As of August 2022, it's still available for foreign residents to use. Second post here.

If you’re ever out in the countryside in northern Japan looking for something outdoorsy to do that isn’t hiking, consider railway cycling! Located in Akita, the Odate-Kosaka route is a 30-40 minute cycling experience that caters to people of all ages. I mean, the company managing these bikes have thought of the many different combinations of people that would want to ride on this track.

Is your child too young to cycle? They can stay in the middle fully protected on both sides.
When your child is old enough to ride along.
Even better, you can let your children feel like they’re doing most of the work.
No partner to ride with and your child can’t cycle? No problem.
But what if nobody can cycle and you have dogs? You can still go sightseeing on the tracks!
It makes for a wholesome activity with grandparents.
Last but not least, the most common railbike model for all teens and adults. It may be basic-looking but you can look pretty cool in the instant that you lift both hands off the handle bars.

So how did these train tracks end up as bike tracks? Since 1908, the 22km Kosaka Railroad was used to transport copper ore. It even transported passengers for a while until 2009 when it was discontinued. Instead of leaving the tracks to rot, the town of Kosaka and Odate banded together to come up with the idea of using special bicycles on the track. This led to the creation of an unusual sightseeing activity. Which would be the bike of your choice?


To get there:
? Take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Akita Station.
? Take the Ou Line Limited Express train from Akita Station to Odate Station.
? Take a bus from JR Odate Station bound for Kosaka Bus Park. Get off at Seifuso Onsen and walk 2 mins to hop on your bike!


Images: Railbike.jp
Header Image: Stay Akita