On this trip you will experience the World Heritage Shirakawa go of traditional thatched roofed houses, the Edo period town of Takayama. You will soak in mountain hot springs and stay at a traditional Japanese ryokan accommodation. You will cycle over the highest road point in Japan over 2,700 meters and then climb Japan's iconic Mt Fuji.
Each day you will ride big climbing days on secluded mountain roads in this traditional and historical part of Japan. The rewards are aplenty.
- Experience the world heritage town of Shirakawa-Go
- Stay in a traditional hot spring ryokan
- Ride to a 1,200 year old temple
- See an Edo period township
- Participate in the Mt Fuji Hill Climb
Riding days of between 50-100 km daily in rolling and or mountainous terrain. Elevation gains of approximately 1,000-3,500 meters daily. Shorter riding days available if booking for a private trip.
Biggest Climbing Day
Day 3/ 3,620 m
Day 3/ 104 km
Day 1 Kanazawa Arrival
Arrive in to Kanazawa on the Sea of Japan coast. At one stage this was one of Japan's wealthiest domains, sometimes known as 'Little Kyoto.' It is one of Japan's best preserved Edo cities. The hotel is a short distance from Kenrokuen which is one of Japan's top gardens and also Kanazawa Castle which conjures images of the city's opulent past.
Day 2 The Mountain Village (92 km/ 2,658 m)
Cycle out of Kanazawa on back roads in to the mountains where there are sweeping views of the Sea of Japan coastline. There will be two mountain passes and in between a tranquil valley where you will see farmers tending to their rice fields. We will be making our way up to the mountainous districts of Gokayama and Shirakawa-go, an area well known for traditional thatched farmhouses. We will be having lunch in one of these traditional houses, before making our way to the mountain village of Shirakawa-go.
Day 3 The Merchant Town (96 km/ 1,808 m)
The destination for the day is the merchant town of Takayama. We will be riding back in to the mountains initially as the route crests an 800 meter vertical pass. It will then follow a series of back roads along isolated valleys to the foothills of the Japan Alps and Takayama. The old town retains its traditional charm where you will catch glimpses of scenes from the Edo era. The buildings were constructed by legendary carpenters using traditional techniques of joints rather than nails. Also known for 'Hida gyu' which is the local wagyu beef which is a delicacy we will sample for the dinner.
Day 4 The Mountain Hot Spring (104 km/ 3,620 m)
Our destination is Shirohane Hot Spring which is deep in the Japan Alps, our biggest day of the trip. We will be riding over the Norikura Skyline road which is the highest road point in Japan which will top out at 2,720 meters. It is a big climbing day of 3,500 meters. The hot spring of Shirohane has a history of 400 years and is revered for its healing mineral waters. Sink in to the spring after the ride and then enjoy a traditional 'kaiseki' dinner to follow. We will be staying in a hot spring ryokan accommodation for the evening.
Day 5 Lake Suwa (102 km/ 1,868 m)
We will be descending from the mountains down to Lake Suwa. Although we will be descending more than ascending for the day, there will still be a few significant climbs along the route over some mountain passes. Lake Suwa is Nagano's largest lake and is located at the foothills of the Yatsugatake Range. The area is famous for the Suwa-taisha which is one of Japan's oldest shrines and dates back 1,200 years. Upon arrival at the hot spring hotel, enjoy some drinks over the lake.
Day 6 Fuji Five Lakes (104 km/ 1,525 m)
Our route continues south and our destination is Lake Kawaguchi which is one of the 'Fuji Five Lakes.' We will be cycling the back roads, descending 60 km down valley which will go through rice fields and then orchards of persimmon. The big ascent will take us to Lake Motosu, past Lake Saiko and then on to the hotel on the banks of Lake Kawaguchi. On a clear day, the iconic views of Mt Fuji will reflect off the surface of the lakes.
Day 7 Honguu Sengen Taisha (47 km/ 455 m)
We will take an easy ride to the town of Fujinomiya in the southwestern hills of Mt Fuji. We will be cycling through the Aokigahara Forest which is also known as the 'Sea of Trees.' The thirty square kilometers of dense forest has grown on hardened lava from the last eruption of the volcano in 864. Our destination is the Honguu Sengen Shrine which was built over 1,000 years ago as protection from volcanic eruptions. We will then transfer back to Fujiyoshida for the entry registrations for the Mt Fuji Hill Climb.
Day 8 Mt Fuji Hill Climb (25 km/ 1,270 m)
For the last day we will be participating in the annual Fuji Hill Climb race. The route ascends the 'Subaru Line' which is the northern side of the volcano which is a distance of 25 km and 1,270 meters with an average of 5% gradient. It is a big event on the Japanese hill climbing calendar with over 8,000 participants. The top is the 5th station of Mt Fuji which is 2,292 meters. In Japanese style there are cheerleaders and taiko drummers urging you on as you ascend. In the afternoon we will be making our way to Tokyo to celebrate our last night.
Day 9 Airport Transfer
After breakfast we will be transferring you back to Narita for your flight home.
Please inquire with group size and accommodation preference.