Camping has long been the preferred choice of accommodation for bicycle tourists world wide. But there are times when you could really do with some more comforts such as a warm shower, a working washing machine, and the opportunity to compare notes with a local, like minded individual. Till now you'd probably head for a hostel, but there is another option.
The website WarmShowers.org gives you the opportunity to network with people who are willing to offer their hospitality to bicycle tourists who are passing through. They may be able to offer a bed, a couch, a place on the floor for a sleeping bag, or space in their garden to pitch a tent. A warm shower, and use of a washing machine is also a welcome treat after weeks on the road.
Most members of the WarmShowers site are bicycle tourists themselves and are sympathetic to the needs of fellow bicycle travelers, others are just generous souls who enjoy the cultural exchange that comes with hosting a guest from overseas.
If you're planning a bicycle trip in Japan or elsewhere then WarmShowers.org is well worth a look, as is the ever popular CouchSurfing.org.