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Self Guided Cycling Adventure - Japanese Alps Nagano, Hakuba

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🌸Spring Flowers
Apr 15 - Jun 15

🌈Summer Splendor
Jun 15 - Sep 15

🍁Fall Colors
Sep 15 - Nov 15

❄️Winter Ski Season
Dec 20 - Apr 30

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Level 3-5

Level 1-2 riders: we recommend hopping on an e-bike so that you can make the most of your time in this region.

200-3,500m gain/day

See FAQ for Route Levels

Bike Price & Options
hybrid/road bikes are included at no additional fee
e-bike: $95 USD per day

learn more about our bikes here!

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Accommodation Options
Standard Apartment-Hotel

Premium Ryokan Hotel

Luxury Ryokan Hotel

Luxury Mountain Chalet (recommended for groups & families)

Learn more about the ryokan experience, which includes traditional Japanese futon beds.

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Single Location Options
Hakuba Village (Host of the 1998 Winter Olympics)
Omachi City

Multi Location Options
Hakuba Village
Otari Village
Omachi City
Matsumoto City
Asama Onsen
Norikura-dake (Japan's highest road)

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Price per Rider

Standard Hotel

$398-478 USD per day
+ $100 USD per day Single Supplement

Premium/Luxury Hotel

$730-$1,250 USD per day
+400 USD per day Single Supplement


This self-guided tour is specifically designed to show off the best cycling routes of the Japanese Alps. Unpack your bags and set off on endless adventures covering this vast region, full of mountains, lakes, and shrines.

We'll show you the best places to ride: stunning forest roads along the sides of iconic Olympic ski slopes, through hypnotic rice fields, and around serene alpine lakes. If you want some time off the saddle, we'll recommend a gondola ride and hike to the top of the Hakuba ridge, reaching gorgeous summits that take you above 2500m.

*we recommend 3-5 days at each ryokan location.


Traveling by bike means something different to every rider. For some, it’s about grinding up the steepest roads and pushing the limits. For others, it’s a mode of travel that allows you to stop and enjoy the scenery. It’s a vehicle to enjoy local cuisine, tea, coffee, or sake, at every possible moment.

We have spent years on the bike, exploring all the best places to ride in Central Japan to bring you these must-do routes for every level. Ride on roads rarely visited by cars, explore unforgettable landscapes, and experience incredible scenery around every switchback.

At Bike Tour Japan, we attempt to capture the entire spectrum of experiences, whether it’s a morning of zen river paths followed by hot-springs and off-bike exploration, or a full day of epic volcano climbs. Your BTJ support team is always just a call or message away should you need help navigating Japan’s traditions, from ryokan hotels to kaiseki meals, hot spring onsens to sacred temples. We can’t wait to share our home and wild backyard with you!

Join us on an unforgettable self-guided cycling tour of Japan. We’ll take care of all the details so you can ride, relax, and repeat.


Choose your adventure from more than 30 GPS route options! We offer rides for all levels so you can pick your journey each day.

The itineraries below are samples of a single day’s route for each ride level.

After a relaxing morning, enjoy a soak in the hot spring before you head to the dining hall for breakfast. A beautiful set of small plates greet you as you sit down to enjoy breakfast in your yukata robes. Today’s selection of miso soup, fish, pickles, rice, and salad makes for a traditional Japanese breakfast.

Set off on the bikes and ride through the valley on gorgeous country roads & enjoy the flavor of the season: cherry blossoms in spring, lush terraced rice fields in summer, vibrant colors in autumn, and snowy wonderland in winter. Hop off the bikes and wander around a local shrine as you take in the peaceful tranquility of the surrounding area.

For lunch roll down the neighboring valley to stop at a local soba shop for a delicious plate of buckwheat noodles and locally grown vegetable tempura. Finally, head back to your ryokan for a soak in the hot springs and relaxing afternoon by the mountains. Reconvene for dinner and choose from a selection of cuisines: Japanese yakiniku (we'll recommend an amazing specialty lamb spot), traditional kaiseki dining, sushi, and other Japanese and Western option. Chat with the friendly locals and raise a glass to a fantastic day exploring the Japanese countryside!

Navagate With Ease

Our goal is to provide you with the tools to not only ride amazing roads, but also to dive deep into the local area and culture. Our self-guided packages include multiple routes and itineraries for each day, as well as an interactive map of the region with English translations and descriptions of each shrine, restaurant, cafe, snack stop, and more. Head out on one of our pre-built routes and hit all the sights and bites on the way.

Or, open your custom map of the area and spend the day wandering and exploring whatever inspires and excites!


  • Garmin with preloaded routes
  • Custom map of the area with English translations and our top recommendations for sights, bites, and things to do
  • Pre-trip call to help go over all resources and make sure you are ready to have an amazing time in the Japanese Alps
Custom Map of Local Eat, Sights, and More!
Garmin Computers for easy GPS Navigation while Cycling



Hakuba Hotel

Unpack your bags at the heart of Hakuba’s entertainment and shopping district, Echoland. Closest to Happo One, the host mountain to the 1998 Winter Olympics downhill events and Hakuba’s largest ski resort. Each apartment features a private bedroom with split kings (king beds split into twins) and a queen size sofa bed. These units also include kitchenette, shower, separate living and dining areas, and laundry facilities.

These are simple yet luxurious self-contained apartments with all of the amenities you need, a beautiful setting on the edge of town, and a walk away from a local grocery, where you can stock up on ride snacks. Based on the edge of town, it’s an easy ride to get into nature. It’s the perfect base for your countryside cycling adventure.

Hakuba Village Hotel

Please note that self-contained apartment and chalet options do not include meals.


Happo Hotel

We recommend this option for travelers who want the Japanese experience without sacrificing Western amenities. Each room has high-quality western bedding, private bath + shower, and the hotel also includes Japanese public bath and aesthetic. The hotel also includes a wide selection of Japanese and western cuisine.

Centrally located, your hotel will be an excellent base to reach the mountains for cycling, skiing, and hiking.

Public bath

Public bath or private shower - your choice!


Japanese Style Rooms

Our premium and luxury ryokan partners are top of their class in the area. Located on serene roads in the countryside, these are amazing places for weary travelers to escape the hectic cities to relax in the beauty of the Japanese countryside. Enjoy freshly-prepared kaiseki breakfasts and dinners, as well as beautifully-crafted hot spring baths.

Japanese Bath

Premium Ryokan Bath

Japanese ryokan hotels are typically 1/2 ensuite, meaning they will have a toilet and wash basin with mirror in each room, but all bathing is done in the ofuro bath area. This area is open to all guests staying at the ryokan. The tradition of public bathing is an essential part of Japanese culture. Please see our guide on bathing etiquette if you are unfamiliar with this, or send us a message and we would be happy to give you more info on onsen etiquette.

If you would prefer a own private bath, please ask us about room upgrades.

Kaiseki Meal

Kaiseki is an essential part of the Japanese dining experience. Multi-course meals will be freshly-prepared for breakfast and dinner at premium and luxury-level ryokan hotels. These local flavors and sure to surprise and delight you!

*please note that some dietary restrictions may be difficult to accommodate. We will make recommendations based on your specific allergies or dietary requirements.

Hoshino Kai

Cultural Activities & Alternative Adventures

HIKE (July - Oct)

  • Happo-ike + Karamatsu Hike – Take the gondola from Happo Station and enjoy a beautiful ridge walk through alpine wildflowers. Local tip: on weekends, the gondola has early start at 4am so you can enjoy sunrise on the mountain.
  • Shirouma Summit – Reach the highest point in Hakuba and one of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains. There are two main routes to reach the summit: via Sarukura Sanso Trailhead or via Tsugaike Ropeway. This is a full day hike, so please be prepared for a long day on the mountain. Crampons and hiking poles are highly recommended.
  • Goryu Botanical Garden – Take the gondola from Escal Plaza for an enjoyable walk/hike through nature! A variety of wildflowers bloom during the summer, between July and September.
  • Yari Onsen Hike – This out-and-back hike ends at a beautiful mid-mountain natural hot-spring source! Dip your tired legs in the footbath as you enjoy lunch, or soak in the co-ed outdoor bath (bathing suit optional) that looks out at Hakuba Valley. There are options to extend this hike to reach the summit of Yarigatake.

MTB (May - Nov)

  • Iwatake MTB Park – Grab a lift pass and enjoy a beautiful day on the trails of Iwatake. Beginner friendly options available.
  • Hidden Local Trails – If you are an intermediate-advanced rider, we can show you around some of the less-traveled trails in Hakuba. Guide is recommended for ease of access and navigation.

LAKE (May - Nov)

  • Swim & SUP at Lake Aoki– We'll share the best spots to go for a dip in the beautiful and clean lake, located just between Hakuba Village and Omachi. SUP rentals are available lakeside.
  • Wakeboard at Lake Kisaki – Let us know if you want to go for a few runs on the water, and we'll set up a reservation for a private boat to take you out! Recommended group size: 2-6.


  • Piste Ski – Hakuba Valley has 6 main areas with world-class ski resorts. We know the best spots and will make recommendations based on the snow reports and your ride level.
  • Powder Ski – We'll share our knowledge of the best spots to maximize your time spent in fresh pow.
  • Tree Ski – Tsugaike, Happo, Cortina, Norikura, 47 - each resort has different types of tree-ski areas with different restrictions. We'll make sure you are safe and well-equipped to take on the incredible tree runs in this area that is famous for its incredible tree runs. Guide is recommended - please let us know in advance.
  • Backcountry Ski – We'll connect you with local expert guides who will keep you safe and show you the ropes and the routes. Find truly once-in-a-lifetime runs in the endless beauty of Japan's backcountry.

Dining Experience

Shinshu Salmon

Recommended Restaurants

We'll provide a map of our top recommendations in the area so you don't have to spend time sifting through search results.

While riding, our interactive map has all of our top choices for gelaterias, cafes, and restaurants in the countryside. Also, we have made sure to mark the convenience stores, perfect for quick snack stop or a mid-ride ice cream!

Ryokan Meals

Breakfast – All premium and luxury level ryokan hotels will prepare a multi-course breakfast for you each morning. Wake up to an amazing selection of the freshest seasonal ingredients artfully prepared by the chef.

Lunch – On self-guided tours, lunch is not included but we will provide an interactive BTJ Google Map that you can download and access on your phone. You’ll find our recommendations, English translations, and descriptions of the best eats in the area.

Dinner – At premium and luxury level ryokan hotels, don your traditional yukata robes and head down to the dining area for an unforgettable meal of the finest Japanese cooking. Local regionally sourced ingredients from the very farms and lakes you are riding by. Spring dishes typically include fresh fish, bamboo shoots, and cherry blossom-inspired foods. Summer dishes are rich in fresh veggies and fruits. In fall, you’ll find hearty mushrooms, fish, soups, and persimmons. And in winter, warm stews and fresh citrus.

Snacks – On this self-guided tour, we have labeled all of the best stops for snacks on our interactive BTJ Map.

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Riding without guides, mechanics, or a SAG vehicle means that riders must be comfortable without constant support while on the road. While your BTJ crew will assist in case of emergency, all self-guided riders must be comfortable with the following:

  • Navigation using Garmin/GPS device. If you have your own GPS, we will share GPX/TCX files to load onto your device. If you do not have one, we will provide a Garmin Edge for you to use. Familiarity with using digital navigation systems (GPS device and Google Maps) is necessary, as we do not provide physical maps.
  • Using Google Translate and body language to interact with locals if you do not speak Japanese. English-speakers can be rare on some parts of your route, so some comfort and patience with language barriers is very helpful.
  • Basic bike mechanic skills such as fixing a flat tire, minor bike adjustments, etc.

If you are not comfortable with the above, let your expert BTJ Guides take care of the details for you! Explore our Guided Tours.

T. Koegel 🇺🇸

Bike Tour Japan was OUTSTANDING. The riding was incredible with beautiful Fall colors, quiet back roads and challenging climbs. The countryside is gorgeous and Rob knows how to end every day at the perfect ryokan with onsen baths and delicious food! Can’t wait to do another tour in 2018!

Tour of the North Alps 2017

D. Gray 🇮🇪

Our group of 4 enjoyed an incredible 3 days of self guided cycling in Japan in October. The information provided by BTJ before and during our trip was top class - very clear and professional. The selection of routes provided by BTJ was excellent and varied. Beautiful and quiet but challenging country roads. Excellent accommodation and the onsen was special! Michelle was extremely knowledgable, helpful and friendly. I would definitely recommend BTJ if you're thinking of cycling in Japan.

M. Chin 🇸🇬

The biking-ryokan-onsen combination is fantastic, loved it! Both you guys were great company, and we enjoyed the cultural exchange dinner conversations. Learnt a lot more about Japan in this short trip than from other Japanese holidays. The planning and organisation were professional, your eloquence with the language was impressive, and our bikes were a joy to ride. Hope to come again on another ride with BTJ in future!

A. Hipsley 🇦🇺

Rob and Michelle are a terrific team, offering a first class experience, thoroughly researched and planned to suit the riders and the conditions. From the initial enquiry, through the planning and registration to the trip itself, everything was easy and hassle free. I would thoroughly recommend BTJ as an amazing way see incredible sights and enjoy incredible cycling with great leaders and people.

Bespoke Tour 2020

J. Porter 🇺🇸

BikeTourJapan brought my dream vacation into reality. Amazing rides matched with unforgettable scenery, endless photo opportunities. I got to experience beautiful countryside, amazing hot spring towns, friendly folks, great food, all one could ask for, and to be on a bike, the icing on the cake…..cant wait for my next trip, on a bike… Japan, thanks Robert!!!

Japanese Alps Tour 2016 & Bespoke Tour 2018

A. Morgan 🇬🇧

After watching one of the ride vlogs on YouTube, I decided to drive up from Tokyo with some friends for a day trip. It certainly did not disappoint!

The location meant that we were quickly out of the down, able to ride along a beautiful river and then straight into the mountain roads. There were long stretches which we had to ourselves. And the beautiful thing about Japan is that the road surfaces are all immaculately well maintained, even for those roads that barely see any road traffic. So for those who enjoy zipping downhill at high speed (like me), it was really a treat.

Robert (our guide and company co-founder) knows the area very well. He was able to choose a route that matched our fitness levels and dynamically adjust it when we came across some random roadworks. Highly recommended.


Bespoke Tour 2020

S. Ball 🇬🇧

After the organisation of our wedding, we were happy to hand over the reins to BTJ to kick-off our honeymoon. Prior to the trip, Rob and the BTJ team were alert and responsive to our needs. We were met off the train and soon off on our adventure with BTJ’s high-spec bikes and Garmin. We thoroughly enjoyed our rides up and down and through the alps. The ryokans were varied and wonderful, with delicious food and the luxurious onsens were a blessing after a day in the saddle. We would like to thank Rob and the BTJ team for their dedication to providing an outstanding service. We will use them again and highly recommend others to do so too!

Bespoke Tour 2019

A. Fossett 🇺🇸

I'm not a cyclist, but I've been living in Japan for a few years and love any opportunity to explore the countryside and spend time away from the cities. I joined a day tour with some friends, and I'm glad I did.

Firstly, everything was taken care of - the team clearly knows everything that goes into well-planned outing, and every detail, from the equipment to communication and even meals was thoughtfully planned and managed. Secondly, our route took us along some beautiful scenes with lots of fresh air along well-maintained roads. Even with pretty good Japanese, there's no way I could have planned as smooth and enjoyable an itinerary, let alone managed the logistics outfitting our group with reliable gear. Thanks to Bike Tours Japan for an experience to remember - I'll be recommending them to friends who visit Japan in the future.


Bespoke Tour 2020

E. Rivers 🇺🇸

Bike Tour Japan organized a Self-Guided adventure for me over 5 days and 4 nights. Toyokan was an great ryokan in Ashikaga. The route planning and self-titled, "Eugene's Adventure Map," was amazing! I felt completely secure cycling along with Bike Tour Japan one message away on What's App. They turned my first time in Japan to an unforgettable experience of a lifetime. From the food, riding, and support, Bike Tour Japan is a great company to assist with your cycling needs while in Japan. I vow to return for one of the scheduled Tours!


Bespoke Tour 2019

J. Campbell 🇺🇸

Bike Tour Japan made possible an amazing Japan Adventure. Cycling the cities and country side while staying in a local Japanese inn (Ryokan) was the perfect way to see the area and experience its people/culture.

Bespoke Tour 2019

S. Gribble 🇺🇸

I've been on many great cycling vacations, but my experience with Bike Tour Japan was easily the best of all of them. Rob and Michael were incredible hosts: hugely knowledgeable about the area, top-notch hospitality, and best of all, really fun to be around. The bike routes were extraordinary; each and every day on the Ashikaga training camp felt as picturesque as a National Geographic documentary, and I rode a wonderful mixture of challenging mountains, valleys, and descents.

Ashikaga Training Camp: Tokyo Escape 2019

R. Dutton 🇺🇸

My husband and I have just returned from a most wonderful bike trip with Bike Tour Japan guides, Rob, Michelle and Michael. We were fortunate to be there when the maples and their red, golds and oranges were on fire with color. Just beautiful!! We visited hidden magical shrines tucked away in the forest. After interesting and sometimes challenging rides we soaked in fabulous hot spring-fed baths and tucked ourselves into cozy futon beds on tatami mats in the lovely ryokans. Meals were a real adventure too as we sampled every imaginable and artistically displayed culinary delight the Japanese are famous for. We just so appreciate how professional and fun our guides were. We had a blast, lots of laughs and great camaraderie. We highly recommend this trip

K. Shumaker 🇺🇸

The tour and a vacation of a lifetime. Robert and company were the perfect hosts and organizers taking us to places and situations in the Japanese culture we would never been able to access ourselves. Riding the Japanese Alps at peak fall colors dazzled my retinas and burned into my brain an experience I will never forget.

P. Burgess 🇦🇺

A group of us road the northern Japanese alps with Rob in September. Rob was a great host, rode with our fastest and slowest riders, provided food and drink and navigation. Rob is a great guy who loves riding and hosting tours in Japan. He is flexible with his planning and accommodates all types of riders. He also selects some amazing Ryokan and Onsen locations. I would recommend his tours to anyone looking to ride Japan

Road Cycling Hakuba
  • Fully-serviced road bike or hybrid bike, with helmet and accessories. Please note there is an additional fee for an e-bike; please inquire in advance to reserve
  • All accommodations during your tour
  • Bespoke map to show you the best places to ride, dine, and explore in Japan's countryside
  • Luggage delivery
  • Text support during your tour to address any questions that come up
  • Emergency support in case of accidents on the road