When planning a trip to the Izu peninsula you might want to consider the “how are you going to get around” before the “where are you going to go.”  Unlike most of Japan, there are fewer train options for getting around the peninsula.  There are regular buses but some less popular routes may only have a few arrivals / departures per day. 

If you want to stick to using the train (the easiest option) then you are limited to 1. The north-south train line between Atami and Shimoda and 2. The train between Mishima and Shuzenji.

Adding some bus trips to a train-based itinerary could allow you to travel down the beautiful and more rugged west coast of the peninsula.

FYI Getting a prepaid IC card (such as TOICA) can make travelling easier.    These cards can also be used at some vending machines, convenience stores, taxis, etc.  Be aware that not all cards are accepted everywhere but there have been significant improvements in the number of operators in Japan accepting more forms of payment.

Train

There are limited train options in the Izu peninsula.  There is a train line between Mishima station and Shuzenji through the central part of the peninsula.  The east coast has a train line running from Atami station south to Izukyū-Shimoda station and it is about a 1 ½ to 2 hour trip depending in the train.  The train hugs the coast almost all the way down and there are great views pretty much the whole way.  Make sure you get a seat on the ocean side of the train.

In the central part of the peninsula there is one picturesque train line between Mishima station and Shuzenji station and the trip takes about 35-40 minutes.  Shuzenji is a popular getaway for good reason.

Bus

There are a large number of buses running throughout Izu, even in quite remote areas.  Buses run frequently in the more popular / busy areas but in other places there may only be a few buses per day.  In many areas of Izu they are the only public transportation option. Google Maps (and other similar apps) have made pretty good improvements in providing bus transportation information. Using a prepaid card will make using buses quite a bit easier.

Check the Izu Dream Pass website – you may save save by using it.

Taxis / ride sharing

There are number of taxi companies in the Izu peninsula.  There are a few taxi stands here and there but the easiest way to get a taxi is by phone.

The Japan Taxi App was released a number of years ago and was originally only possible to use it in the larger Japanese cities.  More and more taxi companies are adopting it but it may not be available in some parts of the Izu peninsula.  The apps can be found here  IOS app   Google play app.

Car / motorcycles / rentals

The Izu peninsula is a great place to drive.  There are great views and things to see and do around the whole coastline and the interior of the peninsula has some great places that are much more accessible if you have your own vehicle.  There is a train line down the east coast and another one from Mishima to Shuzenji but the only way other parts of the peninsula is by bus or your own vehicle. 

If you have your own vehicle you will have access to many more places including many that aren’t overrun by visitors during peak holidays.  However, if you are planning to drive around Izu during a busy holiday like Golden Week the traffic on the main roads can get heavy and you should expect some delays.  The vast majority of the roads around Izu have only one lane in either direction.

There are some car rental places in the area although you will have more vehicle options in the larger cities before you get to Izu.  The more popular tourist destinations around the peninsula do have car rental agencies.

As far as motorcycle rentals, there are a number in Shizuoka prefecture.  Maybe the closest one to the Izu peninsula is the Numazu branch of Rental 819 which has an English website.

The same company has a branch in Hakone and west of the Izu peninsula near Shizuoka city

Honda has a motorcycle rental in Numazu but the website is only in Japanese.

I have a motorcycle license but I haven’t personally rented from any of the places listed here yet but when I do I will post an update.

Cycling

FYI bicycle insurance is now mandatory in Shizuoka prefecture.  Many bike rental places now include it in the rental cost.  If you have your own bike you would be advised to check the laws wherever you are in Japan as they are local laws.  The insurance can be bought in a lot of places (including convenience stores) and runs about 5,000 yen per year but it would be difficult for a non-Japanese speaker to get through the purchasing process. The insurance laws are fairly new and with zero tourists entering Japan in the last few years there does not seem to be any English-friendly options yet but that should change. It is also unclear yet whether foreign-issued travel insurance policy with bicycle coverage is accepted. 

It is possible travel by train and bring your own bike to the Izu peninsula if you are prepared.  You need to store it in a special bag called a rinko bag'(輪行バッグ).  For regular bicycles (ie. non-folding bikes) you will need to take off the front wheel to fit in in the bag.  The max size for the bike bag is 250cm for the total length+width+height and a max length of 200 cm.  This website has a write up on using a rinko bag.

Road cycling and mountain biking have both become more popular in the last while and there are a lot more people on two wheels pedaling around different parts of the area.  Explore Shizuoka has some solid info on the topic with some route options listed here.

See the bicycle page for more information.

Bicycle routes

There are lots of options for road cycling all over the peninsula and there are some mountain bike options as well.

Shizuoka guide has good suggestions for Izu and the Fuji area here

The Yamabushi Trail tour offers mountain bike trips on some ancient trails around the peninsula.  The website is in Japanese but there is a “translate” button. Outdoor Japan has a write up about the Yamabushi Trail Tour here. Focus Bike has another article here.

Great nature tours offers a number of options including bike tours and bike rentals.  It is located on the east of the peninsula (Google Map link).

The Cycle Sport Center (Google Map link) is the local of the velodrome used for the Tokyo Olympics and a mountain biking trail was also used there.  There are family-friendly options here but unfortunately the website is only in Japanese. 

Merida X base (Google Map link) has large number of bikes for rent but unfortunately the website is only in Japanese. The bike rental page is here.   They give three suggested route options on the website (click on the green, blue, and red banners here for a basic map and a QR code.  Definitely give the place a check if you are considering renting a bike for Izu.  There is a write-up about a tour starting there on the Japan travel website.

Kona stay / Kona cycle is a combination hotel, café, and bike rental / tour outfit.  The websites for Kona stay and Kona cycle are both in Japanese

Cycling Japan has Fuji / Izu trips here and here.

Samurai Sports is gearing up for the post-COVID era and is starting up in the fall of 2022.

There are some more ideas here at the Cyclist Welcome website.

Bikemap has some user-posted trips.

Another PDF link here with a long trip suggestion that includes route that travels around the Izu peninsula.

The visit Numazu website has a PDF with suggestion on bike trips in the east Shizuoka region including the Izu peninsula.

Rentals

A list of places that offer bicycle rental of some form or another:

Repairs

There are a some of bicycle repair shops but mostly deal with commuter bikes / regular consumer bikes.  There are a lot of “hole-in-the-wall” type of places that cater to locals.   If I was planning a multi-day road cycling trip I would bring a basic repair kit and expect that if something broke there is a good chance I would need to fix it myself in the short term.

I have used “Bicycle Shop Gennoji” (Google Map Link) which specializes in mountain bikes and also the Numazu branch of Cycle Spot (Google map link) which is more of a generalist bike sales / service place. I have had great results with both although for something specific like suspension I would go to Bicycle Shop Gennoji.

There are some other places here and there on the peninsula like Nagisa cycle  (Google Map link) but you should definitely check your route out beforehand. 

Purchasing bicycles

As far as buying a bike in Japan it is certainly possible buy there are a few qualifications.  First of all, prices can be a bit higher than elsewhere and the range of bikes available may not suit your needs.  Large frame bikes are very, very difficult to find.  Finally, bikes are legally required to be registered.  The process for residents of Japan is fairly easy but it may be a bit difficult for someone on a tourist visa.  There are of course many serious cyclists who bring their own bikes to Japan for a cycling holiday without any incident. 

Road bicycles are more popular than hardtail or full-suspension mountain bikes and the selection reflects that.  There are some routes around Izu that are a good match for hardtail or full-suspension bikes but the vast majority of cyclists in Japan stick to the road.

Finding a large-frame bike to buy in Japan can be quite difficult and in my case there were no large frames in stock anywhere I looked.  I bought mine online from the EU and even with shipping and customs duties it was considerably cheaper than a local purchase.