Cycling Japan: The Numbers

It’s not quite the deep mid-winter but today, with the heating on and me having yet to leave the house, it could easily be so. My mind turns to the heat and humidity (that was the topic of the last Japan-related post) of next summer, Japan and… a few geographical statistics regarding my cycle next July and August from Cape Sลya – the northernmost point of the Japanese mainland – to Cape Sata – the southernmost point. But before I dazzle you with big numbers, here’s the plan told via the medium of Google Earth…

As the only Japan-themed music available for free in Apple’s Final Cut Pro, you may hear that tune once or twice again over the course of the next few months. But to the stats!

Latitude & Longitude

Cape Sลya is at 45.5ยบ north of the equator. Cape Sata is almost exactly 31ยบ north of the equator. So it will be a north to south journey of 14.5ยบ. But it will also involve a considerable amount of cycling from east to west. With Cape Sata finding itself 229ยบ west of Greenwich and Cape Sลya at 218ยบ west of Greenwich, 11ยบ of longitude will also have to be crossed. Not quite exactly north-east to south-west but not far off either.

Worth noting that Tarifa to Nordkapp in 2015 was a journey of 35ยบ south to north. Halifax, where I live in northern England, is 54ยบ north. In this part of the world, 31ยบ north would place you in Morocco. 45.5ยบ north would place you just south of Lyon in France.


A bit trickier to say with any certainly until I’ve actually completed the cycle next year but, point-to-point and as the crow would fly if it had the inclination, Cape Sลya and Cape Sata are 1,890km apart. I’m no crow however and it is here that significant margins of error appear. Google Maps doesn’t give the option of a bicycle route for Japan so I have had to manage with a vehicle route avoiding motorways. This suggests that the route from Cape Sลya to Tokyo and from Tokyo to Cape Sata are almost exactly the same; 1,550km each. I would happily add on an extra 500km for each leg of the cycle so it’s probably not a bad estimation of the distance between the two capes of Japan being around 4,000km. That’s a manageable distance in around 35 days of cycling of approximately 110km per day. That’s a figure that I achieved in both 2010 and 2013 as I cycled from southern England to southern Italy and then southern Greece to southern Portugal along the Mediterranean respectively but more than the 80km average I knocked up in 2015. Perhaps it’s time to practice being a crow…

Categories: Adventure, Cycling, Japan 2020, Travel

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