Kunisaki Peninsula - a cycling haven

Oita Kunisaki cycling1

In years past, it was common to see the professional Keirin athletes from the velodrome in Beppu training in pelotons on the roads of Kunisaki until fixed-wheeled bikes, which they use in their sport, where made illegal on the public road in Japan. Undoubtedly, these professional sportsmen and women must now be disappointed as the Kunisaki Peninsula is a cycling paradise; a bucolic countryside dotted with many sights of interest and criss-crossed by a myriad of country lanes.

Kunisaki offers many routes over varied terrains, which include narrow valleys that gently incline away from the coast, and winding roads that turn into steep hill climbs up and over passes nearer the peninsula’s mountainous centre. An almost entirely flat dedicated cycle path, which is devoid of motorised vehicles, parallels much of the peninsula’s coast and is suitable for beginners and the youngest cyclists. Most of Kunisaki’s roads, especially in the peninsula’s interior, are quiet backroads with little traffic that pass aside paddy fields, lead through hamlets and verdant forests to remote temples and shrines.

Recently, nine routes, three for beginners and six for more accomplished cyclists to enjoy, have been formalised under the banner of the Nio Yudo Kunisaki Peninsula Cycle Routes.

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