Ever wonder what 8 Days of training in the Alps of Japan might look like? Bike Tour Japan and Achieve Training & Coaching Team up to bring you 8 days packed with all of the best rides, hot springs, and food Japan has to offer. Climb to the top of volcanoes, ride by alpine lakes, and pace through country valleys in the beautiful back roads of the North on this special trip to put in some great miles in the heart of Japanese riding country.
A week that you won’t want to miss with roads rarely traveled by cars that were almost made for cyclists rich in unforgettable scenery. All while staying in the traditional Japanese Ryokan experience with the wonderful rooms, food, and of course, the hot springs. We welcome you to come tour Japan with this fall and share the adventure of a lifetime in the land of the rising sun with Achieve Training and Bike Tour Japan!
The Trip At a Glance
Start Location: Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
End Location: Ota, Gunma Prefecture, Japan
Days Riding: 8
Maximum Group Size: 12
Total Distance: 662km
Total Climbing: 13,100m
Longest Day: Day 2 – Endless Zen Loop – 150km
Most Gain Day: Day 2 – Endless Zen Loop – 3,100m
Average Dist & Elev: 83km and 1,600m
Dates: Monday October 1st to Monday October 8th. 2018
Flights: Fly out Saturday, arrive Sunday. Fly back Monday evening, arrive Monday evening. (need help with logistics? Want to spend more time in Japan? Send us a message here and we would love to help with the logistics!)
- REGION: Gunma and Tochigi Prefecture
- DESTINATIONS: The North Alps, Mt Akagi, Mt Haruna, The Hills of Ashikaga
- DURATION: 8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS
- DIFFICULTY: 4/5
- PRICE: $4,300
Day to Day
Day 1: Satoyama and Ashikaga’s Temples
— 32km & 400m gain —
A big welcome as we all arrive at Ashikaga station we start our journey with a shakedown ride through the foothills of the North Alps in beautiful Japanese countryside. Shake out the legs and soak in the surrounding area with views of all of the climbs in store for the week to come. A tasty lunch and stop at the big temple in Ashikaga. Toss some lucky coins in and make a wish for a safe and unforgettable week ahead. Then back to the Ryokan to settle in for the night, a delicious dinner and a soak in the hot springs relaxing for the big day tomorrow!
Day 2: Endless Zen Loop
— 150km & 3,100m gain —
The biggest elevation gain and distance day in our trip at over 3,000m of gain in just over 150km (don’t worry, there are extra river path miles for those that need to round up to 100mi). Beginning with a set of 6 moderate mountain passes be sure to save energy for our final assent to over 1,200m above sea at the Kasuo Pass. A long winding valley ripe for pace lining await for the first half of the climb before the final kick upwards. Once over the pass soak in the incredible descent to the Watarase River valley and the sights of all of the mountains to come. Once in the valley a ripping final 50km awaits at an average of -2% for some great pace lining and short rollers home. A delicious dinner awaits and a soak in the healing waters of the onsen hot springs make for the perfect nights sleep.
Day 3: Hidden Temples and the Kanahara Pass
— 82km & 1,300m gain —
Today is built of three moderate passes each gaining about 300m. The first will take us past the tranquil hidden Lake Ume. The second to the Kanahara Pass with it’s beautiful exposed views on the descent. The last pass will take us up to the Saishoji Temple buried deep in the side of the mountain. A day full of exploration and wonder as we step back in time in the Japanese countryside.
Day 4: The Red Fortress Mountain, Mt Akagi
— 110km & 2,200m gain —
You will see it from the day you arrive, the red fortress Mt Akagi dominates the skies of the Tone valley. Today we will climb the hidden back road on the east side up it’s 100 switchbacks to the top of this volcanoes caldera. Atop a views of the caldera lake and floating shrine await and delicious local lunch. A lap around the lake and then a small climb out of the caldera begins an unforgettable descent down the massive mountainside. Small rollers and a general downhill home top off the first half of our trip and a taste of what’s to come!
Day 5: Recovery Ride
— 53km & 900m gain —
A new take on a few familiar roads and a few new this loop gives us a chance to take it easy and still see some great sights. Sleep in and spin easy with these gently sloping valley roads and river paths to prepare for the last three days of epic rides.
Day 6: Mt Akayuki and the Sakuhara Pass
— 90km & 2,300m gain —
Today we take on another large pass at over 1,200m high. Before it we have two moderate passes on small back roads that the area is so famous for. Breath deep and dive into the massive pine forests as you climb to the summit. Another great descent to the Watarase River leaving us with a beautiful fast 50km steady home to Ashikaga.
Day 7: Mt Haruna and Ikaho Onsen Town
— 103km & 2,100m gain —
Our final big ride day we head out to traverse the side of Mt Akagi at the start. With views across the massive Tone Valley Mt Haruna takes form in front of you, it’s towering jagged peaks lie ahead. Down and along the side of the mountain before a quick turn right to begin the famous Mt Haruna Hill Climb Course that hosts an annual race to it’s summit each summer. A perfect climb beginning with steady low grades that seem to add a percetage every kilometer or two until the final pitches at the last kilometer top at 14%. The day is all but done at the top so ride on in to the caldera, take a lap around the lake and soak it all in. A long flat and small climb take us out of the caldera on the east side and we descend half way to the Onsen town of Ikaho. A dip in the bath, a delicious dinner, and a walk around town as the sun begins to set makes for a great last night.
Day 8: Country Roads Take Me Home
— 42km & 800m —
Our last day together we will hit the best of the area one last time and a final new small climb to the top of Mt Kanayama and it’s observation deck to see all of the mountains you have climbed this trip. A final lunch at the temple together before headed off to the station to conclude.
*Direct bus from Ota Station to Narita & Haneda Airport Available – Must be booked in advance
*Direct Train to Asakusa Station in Tokyo Available every 30min
- Accommodations each night in traditional Japanese Ryokan Spa Hotels
- Access to beautiful relaxing hot spring baths (onsens) each day
- (Private Onsens are booked separately please inquire further)
- Daily breakfasts, bento lunches, and dinners including beverages and expert nutritional support before during and after each ride with the best energy snacks, snacks familiar and new, (‘onigiri’) and hydration available
- Expert guides with extensive cycling, repair, and local knowledge who will go above and beyond to cater to your every need
- SAG Wagon van support all of the way for the perfect ride
- Baggage transfers from trip pick up to drop-off
- Entrance/tours of museums and shrines
- Ability to purchase gifts, local snacks, local sake, etc along the way and put them in the van at any time
- Pick up and drop off before and after your tour (Nikko Station and Ota Station respectively)
- Gratuities for BikeTourJapan guides (learn why we don’t ask for tips!)
BikeTourJapan strives for a truly immersive and unique experience. For this reason, each itinerary may be subject to slight modifications. Contact us for the most up-to-date tour inclusions.
- Concierge from Tokyo Station, Haneda Airport, or Narita Airport (please inquire)
- Pre- and post-travel planning advising with optional upgrade to Full Planning (please inquire)