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10 bike-friendly cities around the globe

By: Josh Lew on March 21, 2013, 2:46 p.m.
bikes parked in Kyoto

Photo: Isado/flickr

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Kyoto, Japan

Urban Japan is certainly not the first place that comes to mind when people think of cycling. There is little room for bikes on Tokyo's or Osaka's crowded streets. Kyoto, one of Japan's most famous historic destinations and a big city in its own right, is another story, however. Tourists can get around quite easily on bicycle here. In fact, many locals choose two-wheelers as a convenient means of transportation that allows them to avoid traffic jams and the sometimes-crowded public transit system.

Central Kyoto, where places like the historic Nanzen-ji Temple are located, is relatively flat, so anyone with a decent map can explore the area by bicycle without worrying about working up a sweat. Sites like the bilingual Cycle Kyoto offer information for tourists who want to sightsee or who simply want to experience the historic ambiance from a bike saddle.