Join this exclusive tour geared towards advanced cyclists. Explore the magnificent landscapes along the Nakasendo Trail and across Western Japan. End the adventure in Gujo, and discover the centuries-old charm of this picturesque town.
Experience the highlights of Japan's culture and nature by bike. We will be exploring the remote, mountainous countryside alongside famous sightseeing spots such as Takayama and Shirakawa-go. On the way, we will take time to sample Japanese cuisine and soak in hot springs.
Our first biking day will be a long day. Therefore, you will arrive in Nakatsugawa one day in advance so you will have enough time to do tour briefing, bike fitting, and equipment checking.
Accommodation:Plaza Hotel Sakae or similar
We will ride along the old Nakasendo Trail, a centuries-old route between Kyoto's imperial capital and the shogun's capital Edo (present-day Tokyo). The day's highlight is the section between Magome and Tsumago, two traditional inn towns with incredibly scenic townscapes. Elevation gains: (2,000 m) After a 400 m climb and descent at the beginning of the route, we will steadily ascend to 1,400 m before dropping down to 1,000 m at Nagawa, the day's final destination.
Accommodation: Sanso Watari or similar Meals: Breakfast, dinner
After breakfast, we tackle the long 40 km climb to Norikura Pass at 2,700 m on the Echo Line, a small road through the Japanese countryside. We will start at an altitude of 1,000 m and climb to 2,700 m, where you can enjoy breathtaking views over the Japanese Alps from the summit of Japan's highest paved pass. Depending on our arrival time at our destination, Hirayu, there is the possibility for an optional tour to Kamikochi, a spectacular high plateau (25 min by bus).
Elevation gains: (1,800 m) There are about 1,700 m of climbing over 40 km with some steep sections and an average gradient of a little over 4%.
Accommodation: Hirayu no Mori, a traditional Japanese "onsen" (hot spring) or similar Meals: Breakfast
After two rather intensive days, today's ride to Takayama is relatively easy. On the way, we can enjoy scenic views over the mountains. Upon arrival in Takayama, we will stroll through the historic township, visit a sake brewery and the town magistrate's old residence (Jinya). In the evening there will be an optional dinner at a Japanese restaurant.
Elevation gains: (1,000 m) An initial 20 km descent to 500 m followed by a climb back up to 1,100 m, after which the rest of the ride to Takayama is mostly downhill. Accommodation: Takayama Country Hotel or similar Meals:Breakfast
Before leaving Takayama, we will visit the traditional morning market. The winding route to Shirakawa-go through the mountains is very picturesque. After arriving in Shirakawa-go, we will stroll through the village, a World Heritage site, and visit one of the thatched-roof farmhouses. Elevation gains: (1,400 m) The first 30 km are relatively flat, followed by a gradual ascent and then a final 700 m climb to Mt Soreyama before arriving in Shirakawa-go.
Accommodation: Shirakawa-go no Yu ("Onsen" hot spring) or similar Meals: Japanese-style dinner
We will ride on small roads through Japan's remote countryside, where you can experience authentic rural Japan far away from the urban sprawl. After arriving in Gujo, we will visit the Samurai castle, Gujo Hachiman, which overlooks the town.
Elevation gains: (1,400 m) We start at an altitude of 500 m, climb very gradually to 800 m over the next 35 km, and from there to 1,350 m over 10 km, before a 35 km descent to Gujo. Accommodation: Gujo Hachiman Inter or similar Meals:Breakfast
This tour is for experienced cyclists used to extended days in the saddle and long climbs in the mountains with some steep sections (10-15% gradient). A sufficient level of fitness is required. If you bring your bike, make sure the gearing is appropriate. As the weather in the mountains can change quickly, proper rainwear is necessary. Temperatures in the mountains will be moderate to cool, but as soon as we get out of the mountains, the weather will be hot and humid. Please bring light clothing and sunscreen.
Tour participants are encouraged to bring their own bikes, although a limited number of bikes are available for rental.
The following rental bikes are available:
*For those renting a bike, feel free to use your own pedals, saddle, etc. if you would prefer.
*A smartphone can be used together with a handlebar mount for navigation purposes.
Plaza Hotel Sakae
3-5 Sakaemachi, Nakatsugawa, Gifu 508-0032
2 days prior to the day of your trip: 40 % of tour price
1 day prior: 50% of tour price
On the day, no-show: 100% of tour price