I have been touring Japan by motorcycle every year and made this map initially just so I knew which roads I had been on already, because it got confusing for awhile.
It was never intended to be a guide for others but after some requests I decided to share it because information about riding in Japan for foreigners is limited and besides now I actually have seen even more than many Japanese people have of this country and the map has become quite informative.
If you open the map on to a new tab/page then you can see the map legend and easy pan and zoom (click the icon on top right corner of map). Clicking on roads will usually give some description. Hotels are not positioned precisely and are just my own records so I can see where did I stay last time.
As you can see there are good roads everywhere and you can’t go too wrong no matter where you choose. I like Nara and Wakayama a lot also all of Shikoku and the islands of the inland sea. The lower half of Kyushu and Shimane in Autumn, but it is all good long as you avoid the areas affected by large cities.
Hokkaido despite the marketing hype is not the best riding Japan – it has it’s own good points and is very different but don’t put riding there above the other regions when planning to ride here.
I have written much more detail about how and when to ride Japan in my previous article that tries to cover everything you need to know to ride here but if you don’t read that then my top 3 tips are plan to visit in right season, May is best weather. Plan routes carefully to avoid urbanised areas which are highly congested and limit per day to 300km except Hokkaido where a bit more per day is possible.