Of all the cycling I’ve done in Fukuoka I think this ride is my favourite. From looking at the map, I thought I would be riding on major roads the whole way, but the entire length of Route 136 (see the route here) I was on a road that could barely fit one tiny car along it. And I barely saw any traffic at all. The only part of the ride where I felt like I was on a big road was from km 33 to 35 where new roads were being built and the ride takes you on an overpass.
The first half of this ride is tough, as you’re heading up hill from sea level to a peak elevation of 686m. The scenery is beautiful as you ride past traditional houses, and the road is shaded by overhanging trees.
The second half of the ride is almost completely downhill, as you ride past 2 reservoirs and along a river back towards Fukuoka city. I would highly recommend stopping at Nakanoshima Park around km 42. On your left along the river, you’ll see a parking area, restrooms, and a small Michi-no-Eki selling fresh fruits and vegetables, drinks, and delicious homemade fruit popsicles for 200 yen.
If you need a bit of a pick-me-up at the end of the ride, stop off at Seiryu Onsen for a meal or a soak. It's not a cheap onsen (weekday prices from 1,200yen), but they have seriously beautiful indoor and outdoor baths (like wandering about naked in a jungle), sauna, salt sauna, and a steam room. And hey, the transport there was free so you saved money, right?
All in all, a great weekend ride with plenty of things to stop off and do on the way.
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