Flying with and Shipping Your Bike To and Around Japan

Flying with and Shipping Your Bike To and Around Japan

Table Of Contents

TLDR: Flying with your bike is almost always easiest and cheapest. Shipping it to Japan gets costly quick and takes often weeks.

Wondering how to ship or travel with your bike once in Japan? Check out our article here on Traveling & Shipping Your Bike in and Around Japan!

Intro

How do you get your road bike to Japan for your next cycling adventure? And what about shipping your bike box from the Airport to your hotel? While the below bike transit options are specifically for getting your machine to Japan, most of the tips are applicable for any trip abroad with your bicycle.

What more, Japan has some of the most convenient shipping systems in the world, but with one big catch for those traveling with bicycles. This article will focus on the options for getting your bike to Japan.

If you are looking to understand how to travel with your bike once within Japan please see this article.

Looking for packing tips? Then, check out this page for our cycling tour pack list.

Let’s get into it!

Getting Your Bicycle to Japan – Shipping, Flying, and More

Fly With Your Bike to Japan

This is our first recommendation as it is usually the easiest and cheapest option.

Bike Transit Tips

  • First, clean your bike and especially your drive train before you begin packing to minimize the chances of a greasy mess.
  • Remember to unscrew your derailleur so that it does not get bent during transit!
  • Then, check with your airline on their rates for checking in sporting equipment. The rate typically depends on the dimensions and weight of your bike case or box.
  • When you check in your bike case or box, request “fragile” stickers from your airline attendant so that it’s handled with care!
  • If you are traveling with a high-value bike, we recommend purchasing insurance that covers any damages.

PROS

CONS

Shipping Your Bike to Japan

This is another option, we find this works best for those who don’t need access to their bike immediately before and after the trip.

Bike Transit Tips

  • First, clean your bike and especially your drive train before you begin packing to minimize the chances of a greasy mess.
  • Remember to unscrew your derailleur so that it does not get bent during transit!
  • Before you ship your bike, confirm the address. Further, make sure the business or individual you ship it to knows which date(s) to expect your delivery.
  • The cost to ship your bike can be between $200-700 USD (one way) depending on where you are shipping it from. Check Bike Flights for price quotes.

PROS

  • No need to lug a big bag/box to and from the airport.
  • Travel light on trains without having to deal with a big bag/box

CONS

  • You won’t be able to ride the bike right before your trip and immediately when you get home. Depending on where you are from, shipping a bicycle could take up to a week to be delivered.

Using a Bike Case / Bike Box vs Cardboard Box

For some, a simple cardboard box proves great. Especially those who are well versed in how to pack and assemble their own bike. If not, this is likely a bad option for you.

PROS

  • This is the cheapest option and usually you can get a free bike box from your local bike shop.
  • You can recycle your box when you arrive and get a new bike box before you depart, so no need to find storage space for your box.

CONS

  • Cardboard is not the sturdiest material, so it can be damaged in transit.
  • Probably the hardest to move around without a cart or wheels of some sort.
  • If you toss it on arrival, you will need to source another on the way home.

Recommended Bike Cases

Below are just a few cases we can recommend. There are lots of great options and how you pack it matters much more than how “tough” the case is. Many soft cases are great, and many hard cases if improperly packed can be just as unprotective.

  • Thule RoundTrip Transition
  • Evoc Road Bike Pro
  • Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0
  • Ritchey BreakAway Travel Bag (with Ritchey BreakAway bike)

Alternatives to Bringing Your Own Bike

Rent A Bike – Bike Rental in Japan

If you are coming on one of our trip, be sure to take a look at our bike options here and see if you would just prefer to rent one of our bikes for your trip. This will certainly be the easiest logistically. Bring your own pedals, shoes, helmet, and saddle and we can get the bike feeing very similar to your bike at home!

PROS

  • You won’t need to deal with the logistics of bike transport.
  • It’s a chance to ride a bike that you might not typically ride at home.

CONS

  • An unfamiliar bike might not be 100% the same fit as your bike at home.
  • Our bikes are very nice, but they are not 6.5kg nice. If you have a top tier bike I understand wanting to bring it!

If you are coming on one of our trips bike rental is included (e-bike extra fee).

We do not rent bikes outside of our trips, so for those looking to just rent a bike, check out the link below.

Check out our Blog for bike rentals around Japan in cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Onomichi, etc!

Traveling With Your Bike in Japan – Trains, Busses, and More!

Ok, you’ve sorted getting your bike to Japan, now how do you navigate within Japan with a burly bike box and luggage?

Check out this article below to find out!

https://biketourjapan.com/traveling-with-bicycles-in-japan/

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