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Touring Info

In preparation for your trip

Make the most of your motorcycle tour in Fukushima!
We've compiled a list of items to cover to ensure you have an enjoyable motorcycle tour in Fukushima.



Learning about the different seasons in Fukushima, and what they mean for riders.

Japan has four seasons, each with its own characteristic beauty. Making sure you have the right attire and gear for the season is an important part of ensuring you have a pleasant trip and motorcycle tour in Fukushima.

Motorcycle touring can be enjoyed in Fukushima from April to mid-November. Frequent snowfall from late November to March makes motorcycle touring impossible during this period.
Also, rainy season occurs from the beginning of June to mid-July.
During rainy season, rainy conditions sometimes persist all day, so if you are scheduling a tour during rainy season, be sure to have the appropriate riding attire to handle an entire day of rain.
Rain is a rider's biggest concern during other periods as well, and by packing the right raingear you can ensure the rain won't make touring tiresome.
Annual temperatures for Fukushima city, Iwaki city, and Aizu-wakamatsu city are posted here for reference.

  • High Temperature
  • Low Temperature
  • Average Temperature(Tokyo)

A motorcyclist experiences the above-posted temperatures far more acutely than someone traveling by bus or by train. In dealing with summer heat, a rider must also consider engine heat and direct sunlight when choosing appropriate attire and gear.

General attire and gear appropriate to each season

inner suite
inner suite
Rain Suit
Boots cover
Rain Gloves

Spring and fall temperatures are shown above.
It is likely often the case that Taiwanese and Thai riders, being more accustomed to riding in warm temperatures year-round, are more sensitive to cold than Japanese riders.

Riders from countries such as Taiwan and Thailand with year-round temperate riding conditions, tend to be more sensitive to the cold when riding in Japan.
Make sure to bring sufficient layers of warm clothing that can be layered-up when cold and removed when hot.
Fukushima is very warm in summer, but long sleeves and trousers should be prepared in the case of an occasional drop in temperature.
Standard summer touring attire in Fukushima would include items such a mesh jacket with good ventilation.
We recommend bringing a proper tour racing jacket to deal with rain.
Cheap racing jackets can quickly be rendered useless by wind pressure while touring.
Gloves should be rain-proof. It is advisable to make use of waterproofing spray.
Make sure to use a water-repellent spray on helmet shields, to ensure a full field of view.
Sprays such as waterproof sprays and water repellent sprays for shields cannot be brought onto airplanes. Use these sprays before you leave Japan, or purchase the sprays after you arrive in Japan. They can purchased at the motorcycle supplies store introduced on this website, or at car supplies stores and home improvement centers in Japan.


Now that you've chosen a season for touring Fukushima, it's time to prepare for your trip! Apply for your International Driving Permit and study the rules of the road.

1) Get an International Driving Permit (IDP)

International visitors wishing to drive in Japan are required to have an International Driving Permit (IDP).
Japan has many strict regulations, but these regulations ensure that roads are kept beautiful, and that drivers experience excellent customer service.
Traffic laws are especially strict. Driving without an International Driving Permit is not permissible under any circumstance.
IDPs are absolutely necessary for operating and riding motorcycles in Japan.
Renting a motorcycle at a rental shop is impossible without presenting your IDP, as well as your driving license from your own country.
IDPs that permit motorcycling in Japan vary by country, so please look into information applicable to your country.

2) Study the rules of the road

As noted above, Japan's traffic laws are very strict.
Make sure you understand the details of Japan's traffic laws by referencing websites published in your country, as well as by talking with others who have toured Japan by motorcycle, in order to avoid any trouble with the law during your motorcycle touring.
The following is a quick look at some important traffic law-related topics.

Pedestrian right of way

The right of way of pedestrians is a fundamental feature of Japan's traffic laws.
Cars and motorcycles are required to halt their vehicle and allow pedestrians to cross at crossings, even when there is no traffic light.

Driving on the left

In Japan, motorists drive on the left.
Riders from countries where motorists drive on the right may initially need some time to get accustomed to riding on the opposite side of the road.

Hook turns

The routes posted on this website (Diamond Route, All Seasons, Cherry Blossom, and Fall Foliage) are geared towards use by riders of motorcycles larger than 125cc who can drive on expressways in Japan. (124cc motorcycles are not permitted on expressways, and motorcycles in Japan tend to be 250cc and larger.)
For this reason, the route descriptions on this site do not mention the hook turn method required for right turns by 50cc motorcycles in some places.
In Japan, motorcycles larger than 50cc are not required to make hook turns as they are in countries like Taiwan.
Driving a 50cc motorcycle faster than 30 km/h is a violation of Japanese traffic law.

Left-turning vehicles have right of way over oncoming traffic turning right

Motorists planning to turn right must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic turning left.
Turn right only after the oncoming left-turning vehicles have proceeded.
There are intersections where a right-turn arrow signal is present.

Stop signs

Be sure to stop at all stop signs, such as at railroad crossings and pedestrian crossings.
"Stop" (止まれ) is written in Japanese on stop signs. You are encouraged to visit the URL at the bottom of this page for the JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) website on Japanese road signs and information about driving in Japan.

Being sure to keep to your lane/passing

Also, while it is possible to change lanes separated by a dotted line, when the line is unbroken changing lanes is not allowed.
There are many places where passing is forbidden, such as where "No Passing" signs are in place, around curves, at intersections or pedestrian crossings.

Riding double

Riding double on a motorcycle while touring Japan can be a great experience.
The various touring routes on this website (Diamond Route, All Seasons, Cherry Blossom, and Fall Foliage Routes) were created for motorcycles with 250cc or greater displacement that can handle expressways with ease.
Please note the following conditions placed on riding double on motorcycles in Japan.

  • ● Ordinary Roads: Riding double is allowed for motorcycles greater than 50cc (i.e. you cannot ride double on 50cc bikes)
    Riders must have had a driver's license for one year or more.
  • ● Expressways: Riding double is allowed for motorcycles with displacement greater than 125cc. 124cc bikes are common in Japan, so please be aware that riding double on 124cc bikes on expressways is forbidden.
    Riders must have had a driver's license for three years or more.
    Rider must be 20 years-old or older.
  • ● Metropolitan expressways: Even when the above conditions have been met for riding double on expressways, riding double on some stretches of metropolitan expressways is forbidden.
    None of the routes posted on this website include travel on metropolitan expressways.
JNTO website with information on driving in Japan

We have listed above some of the most important things for motorcyclists to be aware of when touring Japan.
Please also have a look at the items for attention when driving in Japan that are listed on the JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) website.
While that website is geared toward automobile drivers, the guide to road signs in Japan is relevant for riders too.


Right, time to select a rental bike and get going!

What sort of bike should you rent?
The routes posted on this website for enjoying the motorcycling paradise that is Fukushima use Rental819 Narita Airport Branch (listed on Google Maps) as their starting point.
When considering other motorcycle rental shops, make sure to check the rental terms, available motorcycles, and availability of necessary equipment.
Make sure you understand the rental procedure, and make your selection.
Make sure to confirm the terms of the insurance agreement when you apply to rent a motorcycle.

Renting a motorcycle near Narita Airport means you can start your tour as soon as you arrive!

● Rental819 Narita International Airport Branch

Reservation Website (English):

  • Please check the reservation website for information regarding insurance.
  • ETC card rental is available (additional rental fee of 300 yen)
  • Smartphone holder rental is available (additional rental fee of 500 yen)
● Rental819 Sendai Izumi Branch

Website for reservation (English) :

  • Please check the reservation website for information regarding insurance.
  • ETC card and smartphone holder rental is not available.

If you can speak Japanese, you can also rent a bike in Fukushima Prefecture.

● Moto-auc Rental Fukushima Iwata store*

*Customer support is only available in Japanese.

  • For online reservations, please submit your online application in Japanese on the day of rental.
  • Please confirm details with the store by E-mail (in Japanese) before rental.
  • On the day of rental, all explanations such as insurance and rental conditions will be conducted in Japanese.


Get 120% satisfaction from your motorcycle tour

1) Gasoline

red:regular / yellow:high-octane

If you are renting a type of motorcycle that you are not used to, calculate in advance how far the rental bike will go on a full tank of gas.
Gas stations become quite sparse in mountainous areas of Fukushima Prefecture, so keep a close eye on fuel levels to ensure you have fuel to spare.
There are both self-service and full-service gas stations in Japan.
Both regular and high-octane gasoline are available at Japanese gas stations, so check with rental shop about which is better for the motorcycle you are renting.

2) Expressways/ETC system

We recommend expressways for riders traveling by motorcycles which are 250cc or above.
In Japan, you can drive a motorcycle with a displacement of more than 125cc on expressways.
However, in Japan, many motorcycles advertised as "125cc" are strictly speaking only 124cc bikes (which cannot be driven on expressways). Please check about this when renting a motorcycle.
Driving a 150cc motorcycle on an expressway can be a tiring experience. This is because they lack power, and their light weight makes them difficult to handle in the wind when traveling at high speeds.
For these reasons, we recommend renting a motorcycle with a displacement of 250cc or greater if you intend to use expressways.
Speed limits vary depending on the expressway
The speed limit on Japanese expressways is 100km/h unless there are signposts indicating otherwise.
If you see speed limit signs saying "80", "60", or similar, then exceeding that speed limit is a violation.

Expressways in Japan are toll roads.
The expressway from Narita Airport to Fukushima (Part of the Diamond Route shared on this website) uses a pay-later system.
This means you receive a ticket at a gate upon entering the expressway, and pay the toll amount when you exit. You must submit the ticket upon exiting the expressway in order for the toll amount to be calculated.
Make sure not to lose the ticket your receive when entering the expressway.
While it is possible to pay expressway tolls using a credit card, credit cards cannot be used on some other toll roads.
Credit cards are not accepted as a payment method on the Nikko-Utsunomiya Road (between Utsunomiya and Kiyotaki) which features on the Diamond Route posted on this website.
Payment can made either in cash or by using the ETC system.

About the ETC system
The pay-later system (receiving a ticket when you enters the expressway gate, and paying for the toll upon exiting the expressway) can be inconvenient.
The ETC system makes paying for expressway tolls more convenient.
This system involves having a device attached to the motorcycle into which you insert an ETC card that you can rent at the motorcycle rental shop.
When you have an ETC card inserted into the device, you are able to enter and exit expressways via ETC-designated gates, which open automatically upon your approach.
You must approach these ETC gates at 20 km/h or slower. There is no need for cash payment when you exit.
The toll amount will be settled at the rental shop when you return the motorcycle.
All vehicles, including motorcycles, must maintain a speed of 20 km/h or less, with sufficient space between themselves and the vehicle in front of them, when entering the ETC gate lane.
Anyone possessing an ETC card can use it to pay expressway tolls, so make sure to keep it safe.

Dedicated ETC Gate Lane - Vehicles with an ETC device in which the ETC card is inserted may use this lane.

ETC / All Traffic Gate Lane - All vehicles may use this lane.
ETC-equipped vehicles may use this lane without stopping, but drivers paying cash must stop to take a ticket or pay the toll.

All Traffic Gate Lane - Only cash is accepted. All vehicles must stop and pay upon exiting the toll road.

ETC lane

Undergoing inspection - ETC Gate Lanes are inspected several times a year to ensure trouble-free service.
Please use a different lane.

Closed - This signal is used in cases in when the gate cannot be used for a lengthy period, such as when a non-ETC-equipped vehicle has mistakenly entered an ETC Gate Lane or when there is a problem with gate equipment.
You must use a different lane.

3) Smartphone holders- a useful piece of equipment for motorcycle touring

When touring an area for the first time, the navigational function afforded by smartphones is very useful, and having a smartphone holder for your motorcycle is convenient.
Some motorcycle rental shops will lend you a smartphone holder that suits the motorcycle you are renting for an additional fee. Make sure to check about smartphone holders when you apply for the rental before arriving in Japan.
Some rental agencies will let you use your own smartphone holder. Many shops do not allow this, as holders that needs to be attached using tools could cause damage to the motorcycle.
Also, depending on the motorbike you rent, the type of smartphone holder it's possible to use can change.
Make sure to check in advance about whether you can use your own smartphone holder.
Also, be sure to have a SIM card and battery charger that can be used in Japan.

4) Luggage

Touring with heavy bags can be very tiring. Also, touring in the rain can leave you with bags that are soaking wet. We recommend you as travel as light as possible in order to enjoy your trip to the fullest.
When travelling in Japan, you can have your luggage shipped from the airport to the hotel where you will be staying (to arrive on the following night). Then on the second day, you can have your bags sent to your hotel for the fourth day.
This way can travel with two days' worth of luggage, and put the rest in a suitcase which can be continually transported as appropriate.
Before shipping your bag from the airport or hotel, make sure to confirm that it will make it there on the designated day of arrival. Also, make sure to contact the hotel where you will stay regarding the delivery of your bags.

5) Recommendations for motorcycle gear shopping

Japanese motorcycle gear shops offer a great variety of high-quality products. We have listed a number of shops found along the routes we introduce on this webpage. Why not taking the opportunity to go a little off-course to do some shopping during your tour?