Pink kawazu cherry blossoms on branches extending from the right border across the width of the photo. The background is blue sky and an out-of-focus dark grey building.

Kyuedo > Edogawa

I spent some time this week plotting out a couple of routes along the Edogawa into Chiba. I was able to find routes which avoided most of the exurb rubbish we encountered passing through Chiba en route to Shirako Onsen, with the added benefit that they’re basically flat.

The forecast this morning was for clear and cold weather, so I resolved to head towards Teganuma — not to reach it today but to scout out the routes I’d plotted so I’d have a better idea what’s in store when it comes time to do them in earnest.

At 6 a.m., Tokyo was encased in fog. The view from the Workshop in the Sky was all white cotton. By 7 it was clearing off, and I could see the streets were dry despite last night’s rain. I took my time getting ready and set off after 9 a.m.


As soon as I emerged from the bike elevator, I was smacked by the wind. It nearly blew Kuroko over as I completed suiting up. I paused a moment and took stock — should I give it up as a bad idea? After a moment I decided to give it a go.

Bicycle leaning against a railing in front of a palace moat. On the far side of the moat, atop a stone wall, is a white Japanese palace turret. Trees line both sides of the moat.
Sakurada Tatsumi Yagura

I made a beeline for the Imperial Palace. Traffic was heavy and the police were out in force, pulling drivers over for minor infractions. Unfortunately they were stopping cars in the left lane of a very busy road, forcing me out into the fast-moving traffic in the middle lane. But I arrived at the palace without incident. From there I headed due east on Eitai Dori for Arakawa and the Kasai Rinkai Park.

Magic Kingdom

After I crossed over the Arakawa and Nakagawa rivers, the wind sped my course down to Tokyo Bay. After passing through Kasai Rinkai, I had to rely on the navigation to find the new route. I soon emerged atop the levee of Kyuedogawa, only to see the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, Cinderella Castle and Big Thunder Mountain.

The Kyuedogawa course isn’t terribly scenic for a large part of its length — it runs between a busy road and a sea wall, blocking the view of the river. There’s a large construction project blocking it for half a kilometer or so as well. But it’s usable and it’s better than riding in traffic.

I was just reaching the confluence with Edogawa and thinking I might go another 10 to 20 kilometers before turning around when I found myself pedaling straight into a wall of wind. My speed fell to a walking pace. I soldiered on in this fashion for nearly a kilometer, but when I reached the switchback at Shinozaki Pony Land, I decided I’d had enough. My next waypoint was still 10km ahead, and at this pace it would take me an hour to reach it. Instead I turned around and found a place to enjoy some of Nana’s world-famous onigiri.

It was just noon when I finished the onigiri. I had less than 35km to go on the return, and I knew the wind would be with me back to Disneyland. I decided to take it easy and stop for a number of pictures along the way.

From Kasai Rinkai Park, I had to battle against the wind for a couple of kilometers up the Arakawa. I took another break at a small park to finish the onigiri before crossing the Arakawa and rejoining Eitai Dori towards home. I had to take care at times as the wind would come blowing out of side streets, threatening to toss me into traffic. I skipped my usual stop at Nihonbashi and continued on to Budokan and Chidorigafuchi.

I left Chidorigafuchi shortly after 2 p.m., after messaging Nana that I should be home about 3:15-3:30. I was giving myself plenty of allowance after having fought the wind all day. But I made very good time as I blasted homewards through Yotsuya, not stopping to gawk at the huge array of firetrucks outside a building at Yotsuya 4-chome. I made the lights at Shinjuku 4-chome and Nishishinjuku 1-chome, and stopped the clock at 2:37 — just 29 minutes after leaving Chidorigafuchi.

GPS record of cycle ride
Kyuedo > Edogawa

The ride was an exploration of a new route, and I wouldn’t have been racing the clock even if it hadn’t been such a windy day. As it stands, I averaged 17.8km/h on a moving time of 3:55:41.

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2 responses to “Kyuedo > Edogawa”

  1. […] to be training for a marathon. Given beautiful weather with scant wind, I decided to reprise the exploration of Edogawa that was cut short by a fierce headwind on the initial […]

  2. […] recently chanced upon the Edogawa cycling course and a (mostly) traffic-free route to reach it. My first time on the route was a lesson in current construction projects and was met at the end with an extraordinarily stiff […]

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