Saturday was warm and sunny, so we started the day with lunch by the river and then rented some bicycles for further explorations. Kyoto is an amazing city for bicycling:
- There are several dedicated bicycle and pedestrian lanes, including the long, gorgeous ones that run by the river.
- Elsewhere, it’s easy to navigate the city on the many small lanes with little vehicle traffic. These lanes tend to be a visually fascinating mix of residences, small shops, and restaurants, so it’s where I’d want to be riding even if I weren’t avoiding cars.
- When the two options above fail: on larger streets without bicycle lanes, it’s generally acceptable to ride on the sidewalk. (This is nice as a bicyclist, but sometimes harrowing as a pedestrian attempting to herd a bouncy four-year-old. No crashes yet!)
- There are tons of other bicyclists in the city, and car drivers seem practiced at looking for bicycles.
We rented bikes from this shop and were very happy: two reasonable bicycles and a child seat for less than 13 USD for a day.