Cycling to Haneda Airport with a Thunderstorm

September 8, 2008 · Print This Article


  • Distance: 34.38 miles
  • Time in motion: 2 hours 57 minutes 08 seconds
  • Average speed: 11.6 mph
  • Max speed: 28.5 mph

I had wanted to cycle out to Haneda Airport for quite some time.  This Sunday I finally attempted it.  I was joined by UK Mike and The Can, who also ride Trek 7.3 FXs.  I wrote down some rough directions based on a route planned by Tokyo Half-Fast Cycling.  However, it was a bit more complicated than that, and after much asking and street sign map reading, we were able to get to a point close enough to see JAL’s planes come in really close for landings.

Our flight observation point was up on a bridge with metal railings.  It was the highest point around.  Below us was a small inter-coastal waterway flanked on each side by a kind of bird sanctuary and Tokyo Bay.  I mentioned “metal” and “highest” because to the north we could see a huge thunderstorm just throwing down lightning like crazy.  Being dudes of course, we did not make haste for the nearest protected area.  Indeed, I continued to snap photos with my Nikon D80 and the Mikes passed the time boasting about how they would eat lightning, etc.

We were also surprised by how closely the jet planes zoomed over the neighboring buildings (see photos below).  If one didn’t know an airport was nearby, one might thing a plane was about to crash right into the city!  We did not reach the true endpoint of this route, which promises even better views of the planes.  We’ll make a second attempt soon.

Oh, and we rode home the entire time in a light to moderate rain and/or thunderstorm.


Incoming plane to Haneda Airport 02 Incoming plane to Haneda Airport 02 Incoming plane to Haneda Airport 01
The Mikes watch in disbelief a low-flying plane The Can points for pleasure. UK Mike, Canadian Mike, and Jason cycling near Haneda Airport
Why is UK Mike smiling like this? Jason worries while the Can handles his D80  


4 Responses to “Cycling to Haneda Airport with a Thunderstorm”

  1. on September 9th, 2008 12:06 AM

    Riding in a thunderstorm, I haven’t done that before. Maybe I should try it.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    There is probably a reason why you haven’t tried it before Tornadoes! It’s not really as cool as it may sound. Riding in the rain never seems that bad at first, but the point always comes when one thinks, “wow, this really sucks.”


  2. Doug
    on September 10th, 2008 11:07 AM

    If you got stuck in the same thunderstorm that blew through Futako-Tamagawa on Sunday, that was one impressive storm. The rain was just coming down in sheets outside the Starbucks at F-T, and the Denentoshi and Oimachi both stopped running. Had to bus back to Shibuya — took 85 minutes!


    Jason Collin Reply:

    That sucks about getting stranded at Futako. For some of the ride home we had semi-protection as we rode down a very long stretch that had tall tree cover to one side.

    Funny you should post now, I had a dream last night about taking an economics class, and the dude sitting next to me worked at Amazon. I asked him if he knew “Doug” and he said yes.


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