Things to Do in Okayama Prefecture

Kibi Plain Bicycle Route, Okayama Prefecture: Tickets, Tours, Address, Phone Number, Kibi Plain Bicycle Route Reviews: 4.5/5

Kibi Plain Bicycle Route
This 15-km long route runs past ancient burial grounds and temples.
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Tours and Tickets

43 reviews
Very good

Delray Beach, FL41 contributions
Excellent way to spend a few hours
Oct 2019
We loved this trip. Very easy to pick up the bike. We're both tall so got relatively new bikes with 3 speed gears. Contrary to other reviews they provided us with acceptable helmets at no additional charge. The route is well marked and mostly flat. The wind was out of the north-east the morning we rode so we picked the direction we rode based on having a tailwind. Stopped at most of the shrines and temples to relax and enjoy the views. Grabbed a coffee drink from a vending machine for a pick me up. There is at least one convenience store along the route so it's easy to grab a snack as well. We were there at rice harvest time so it was interesting to watch that process. The egrets and herons were standing at the edges of the harvested fields waiting for their lunch to scurry out of hiding.
Written October 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New Zealand57 contributions
An Adventure
Jun 2019 • Couples
Our guide book said you could do it in 2 hours if you wanted, or 3-4 hours taking it slow. We stopped at the temples, had ice creams and took photos and the latter estimation is more accurate. It’s not to be rushed and could take a day easily. The best part is seeing the rural areas with their rice fields, local houses and interaction with those who live and work along the way. Very different experience to other more touristy castles and temples, so worth a day if you have the time. Bikes can be hired for 1,000 yen at either end and left at the station. The Sojo lady was lovely and the office is located right next to the station. Bikes were typical of what you see everywhere and worked well. Make sure the tyres are pumped up well or it will be hard work.
Written June 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore2 contributions
Scenic half day exploration on a bicycle!
Dec 2018 • Solo
Headed to the Kibi Plans cycling route by cycling from Okayama on my brompton. You could take the train to either start from bizen-ichinomiya or from soja. Personally, I started from bizen-ichinomiya first, but wandered off the cycling path quite a few times, as turns at certain junctions / forks have no signage. However, the signages generally improve in frequency as you get closer to soja. Although the route is about 15 - 20km, it will take about 4 - 6 hours if you take your time to explore and see each of the attractions along the way, which I highly recommend.

If I were to do it again, I might start first from Soja (navigate your way from the train station to the sports arena, where there is a cycling path). Starting from the cycling path besides the sports area in soja will give you a more structured riding experience in the beginning, as the signs are aplenty along the way.

Either way, the scenery along the way is picturesque, and was one of the best days of my three weeks in japan. You have shrine, temples, burial mounds etc to visit. Seeing people jogging along the paths with the rice fields and mountains around them leads you envy the peaceful and slow-paced nature of life for the people in that area. But do bring along snacks and water, as there are no convenience stores along the cycling path.

A cycling route that's worth doing again!
Written January 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chris J
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK4 contributions
Kibi plain cycling in autumn
Oct 2018 • Couples
We loved our day cycling the Kibi Plain. It’s much easier to start at Bizen-Ichinomiya Station as the route starts very close to it whereas there is a bit more urban cycling at the Soja end but it’s easy to ask locals to direct you to the station for the finish.

The route itself is well marked by posts and on the one road. At the one or two places where we weren’t quite sure, we had the map as back up so no problems really.

The cycling is mostly very flat with a few slight undulations. The longer you allow for the ride, the better as there are lots of things to see on route: temples, burial mounds, a large sundial as well as the wildlife and rural activity. It was rice harvesting and persimmon season when we were there.

The only thing I would suggest is to take some food and drink. There’s a large convenience store (Lawson’s) but it’s towards the end of the route.

This was one of my favourite days in a holiday full of great days.
Written December 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Erlangen, Germany13 contributions
Nice bicycle hiking trail
Apr 2018 • Couples
Nice bicycle hiking trail offside the big cities give a chance to see the nature of Japan. Nice temples and shrines are on the way.
Written April 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Herent, Belgium446 contributions
Great half day out of the cities
Apr 2018 • Family
Just spent half a day cycling the Kibi Plains route as a chance to see a slightly less urban side of Japan in between Kyoto and Nara. This was a small detour, but well worth while for a gentle but enjoyable two to three hour ride (with stops).

A few pointers for those thinking about doing this side trip:
- About 70 minutes Kyoto to Okayama (Shinkansen) and about the same back, but then an addition 50 minutes on a local train from Kyoto to Nara.
- No problem to store luggage at Okayama station with either a left luggage office or lockers. Took about 10 minutes to sort that - left luggage was just beside the Shinkansen exit.
- 10 minutes local train to Bilzen. Bike pick up beside the station - no real English, but enough to get the bikes and the map. Bikes are fine for the trip, but bit low for tall people.
- Following the map was no real problem and the signs were better than I had expected
- Made three main stops on the route at different shrines / temples
- Great bird life en route - even saw brief flash of a kingfisher at one point (first time I've seen one outside Africa)
- Beautiful Pagoda at last stop.
- Straight forward bike return at end station.

Nice to get the exercise and a change of pace from the hectic cities of Kyoto and Tokyo. Well worth doing either on the way to Horoshima or as a simple side trip from Kyoto or elsewhere.
Written April 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gary H
15 contributions
Gentle ride with some great sights
Dec 2017 • Solo
Kibi cycling notes
The Kibi cycling route is a very easy and pleasant ride through farming areas and scattered hamlets, with quite a lot of sights to see. As most people seem to start from Bizen Ichinomiya station I did the same. The rental shop is an unglamorous offshot building on the left of the station entrance. The ¥1000 bikes are also not glamorous, quite heavy and without gears, but if you've done any cycling recently you'll find them perfectly adequate. If you struggle on the very few short inclines that there are it is easy to get off and push.
There's lots of signage on the route but as there are also lots of similar paths forking off it is possible to go wrong. The map given by the bike shop is in Japanese and not much use for navigating. An easy rule to follow is that if you haven't seen one of the blue and white Kibiji route signs for about 500m you have probably gone wrong so turn around and/or ask somebody the way back to the path.
Most of the signage is clear but after I had visited the Tsukuriyama burial mound and headed on to Soja some of the signs said it was straight ahead, in the direction of Soja. Maybe there is an alternative way to it (which seems unlikely as the route goes fairly directly westwards), or those signs are just wrong. For me Tsukuriyama was the highlight of the trip, and not to be missed - it's massive, and an attractive spot for a picnic amongst the trees and looking over the plain. It is slightly off the cycling route (about 300m to its parking area); it is sign posted but quite easy to miss - it is the long, low, partly tree-covered hill to your right of you're off the trail, or to your left if you've missed the turning!

There's also a sign en route with a fork to left and right both marked, saying Bit-chutakamatsu station 1km to right (in English) (I had to hyphenate the name as Trip Advisor's software said it's a profanity!); if you want to go to Soja take the left fork here.
The bike rental place at Soja station is at the bicycle parking building, at the left/bottom side of the station car circulation area (as you face the station). The whole time took me less than 4 hours, with long sightseeing and picnic stops included.
Some of the distances and directions in my (old) copy of the Rough Guide were wrong - mixing up east and west, saying 300m when it's about 1.5km - not to be relied on.
If you have access to Open Cycle Maps and a GPS the Kibi cycling route is marked on the map, so you can't go wrong.
Written December 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore526 contributions
Lovely way to see rural Japan ...
Dec 2017 • Solo
I went from Okayama Station to Bizen-Ichinomiya Station, where there is a bicycle rental place right at the station. The bike is functional, costing JPY1000 for a full-day rental. Bike rental people barely spoke any English, but the process is quite simple and you will be given an English map.

It is probably due to my efficient map-reading skills, but I got lost very soon after I started out. The signages (very few at the start), the map provided, and Google Maps finally got me back on track. And I managed to get to Kibitsuhiko Shrine.

Then I went on my merry way, and got lost again, due to a combination of my poor directional instincts and the lack of signposts. After a while, I again managed to get back on track and got to Kibitsu Shrine.

Going off on the rest on the route, and true-to-form, I got lost again. Not just a bit lost like before; I got royally lost and went totally way off. Along the way, I fell off the bike and ended with minor scrapes (and a close shave with taking a wintry dip in an irrigation ditch), which might have thrown me off (pun intended) my orientation along the route. Anyhow, I got so far off that for a while, I was along a highway, rather than the pretty rural track I was expecting.

Once again, after a long while, I somehow managed to get back on the cycling track. And somehow, suddenly and miraculously, there were markings on the road and signposts, indicating that I am now cycling along the route. But I was still about two-thirds the way from the end. Following the now-well-indicated path, I managed to get to Soja Station. Eventually. And the bike can be returned at Soja Station.

I read it can be done for a lot less, but given my moronic sense of direction, the whole route took me 4 hours. I probably missed half the sites I wanted to see along the way. I had a minor fall from a bike. I was exhausted and butt-hurt (from the bike).

And it was absolutely worth it! I was there in late autumn, and the whole area was just beautiful and peaceful, letting me see a rural side of Japan that is so different from where I have been in Japan so far.
Written December 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Melbourne, Australia87 contributions
Wonderful day
Nov 2017 • Couples
I wasn't sure how I'd go with this as it is ages since I have been on a bike but the ride is flat, well paved and easy. We rode from one end to the other - station to station - and a little more as we got lost right at the end, and this was fine. About 17km end to end without diversions - you could ride a lot more if you diverted to various shrines and temples off the main track.
The ride is incredibly scenic. We wanted to see some of rural Japan and this ride was perfect for that. We are gardeners and it was fascinating to see all of the rice fields and vegie plots along the canals.
The signage is not always easy so keep your eye on the signs as you go. Take food and picnic along the way there are a few cute parks with seats and tables one also had toilets, we also stopped at the beautiful pagoda for a cup of tea.
The bike hire is 1000 yen from one end to the other. They give you a map and set you on your way. Very friendly but little english - follow the signs. When we set off there were others also setting out so we followed along at the start but then everyone did their own thing. Everyone along the way was very friendly and helpful. When we got lost (went to wrong station ) a number of helpful people set us on the right direction and it was not a big problem.
A great day- invigorating and different.
Written November 24, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vancouver, Canada1,013 contributions
Scenic, easy to follow, flat
May 2017 • Couples
Kibi Plain Bicylce Route is a nice diversion from sedentary sightseeing. The route is flat and well marked. You get to see a bot of the countryside without too much physical exertion.

The Okoyama tourist Office has maps and can give you directions for trains. Take the train from Okoyama to Bizen-Ichinomya station. Outside the station is a small bike rental shop. 1,000 yen for the day to drop off at Soja. KEEP the receipt. You need it at the other end.

The shopkeeper will give you directions (with hand signals, no English) to get you started. Once on the route the markings are pretty fool-proof.

The route is 17 km on mostly quiet, paved bicycle paths. The route is mostly flat.

The last couple of km through Soja is along city streets and not so well marked. We missed the left-hand turn to the station and cycled about 2 km extra.
Written August 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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