Cycling Tour of Japan’s North Alps: Nikko, Chuzenji-ko & Ashikaga

Dates
2020 Apr 9-16 ⭐ 🌸
2020 Oct 25-Nov 1 🍁

🌸 Blossom Season
🍁 Fall Colors
⭐ Guaranteed Trip
Difficulty
⛰⛰⛰
Level 3

Distance: 30-75km/day
Elevation: 500-1500m/day

See FAQ for Route Levels

Accommodations
Premium Traditional Ryokans

Learn more about the ryokan experience
Regions
Nikko National Park
Lake Chuzenji
Japan’s North Alps
Kirifurikogen
Ashikaga
Mount Akagi
Mount Haruna
Price
$4,950 USD
(+ $1,000 USD Single Supplement)

E-Bike Option: $750 USD

The Tour of the North Alps is Bike Tour Japan’s highest rated adventure, and for good reason! Explore beyond the bustling cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. We’ll take you on an unforgettable adventure to breathtaking mountains, grasslands, lakes, shrines, and hot springs nestled deep in the Japanese countryside. Reconnect with your body and bike as we discover pagodas, temples, and historic hot spring towns.

You’ll never forget the crisp clean air as you climb to the Hangetsu Observatory, with amazing views of Nantai and Lake Chuzenji below you. Each day, we’ll savor meals skillfully prepared by the region’s best chefs while enjoying local sake from the rice that was grown in the very mountains and farms we ride through. Wrap up each day with a relaxing soak in the zen hot spring bath at our ryokan hotel.

Drone Shot River

Itinerary

Days 1-2: Land of Shoguns & Samurai

Meet our guides at Nikko Train Station. We’ll welcome everyone and make introductions over lunch at a local restaurant. Then, off to see the Toshogu Shrine and museum at the edge of town where you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back to a time when Shoguns still ruled this land. Choose your own adventure with several ride options, or return to the hotel to decompress in the hotel’s onsen hot-spring spa. Take a quick stroll around town before meeting up with your guides for a beautiful traditional Japanese dinner.

Stats: 16-40km | 150-400m

Included Meals (Day 1): Lunch + Dinner

Included Meals (Day 2): Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner

Day 3: Lake Chuzenji and Nikko Natl Park

Today, we begin our journey into the heart of the Japanese countryside by climbing the famous Irohazaka road up to sacred Lake Chuzenji. We’ll get our first glimpses of Mt Nantai’s enthralling volcanic shape. The full expanse of the North Alps will fill in behind Lake Chuzenji as we ascend. Finally, we’ll roll through the Senjogahara grasslands and into the historic Yumoto Onsen Town. End the day with a traditional ryokan meal and a soothing bath in the onsen.

Stats: 40-60km | 1,000-1,300m

Included Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner

Days 4-5: Rolling Across the North Alps

Hit the onsen early for one of the most magical sunrises over the North Alps before breakfast. Then, it’s a quick ride down from the highlands into Nikko, before we begin rolling through the beautiful road along the scenic Watarase River Valley. Small town Japan and roads that literally sing as you roll over them! Mountains, rivers, lakes, and nature at their finest. We’ll give a final push when we arrive at the base of Mt Akagi.

The next morning, we have our final big climb. We will find the road’s summit on tranquil Mt Akagi. Crest the caldera, and be rewarded for all your hard work by unbelievable views of this ancient volcano, its lake, and the floating shrine within. We’ll take a lap around the lake and enjoy a delicious local lunch before flying down to our secluded ryokan for the night.

Stats: 60-80km | 800-1,500m

Included Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner

Day 6: Hidden Shrines of Gunma


Today, we visit the Nagusaitsukushima Shrine, in the heart of the Ashikaga Hills. We will immerse ourselves fully in the Satoyama experience, rolling through small towns and rice field landscapes. A break atop a nearby hill reveals the Saishoji Temple, the town of Ashikaga, and its Gakko, the first school built in Japan. Take in the history, gardens, gates, and more as we meander through the serene Sano Valley. We’ll take a step back in time and find peaceful rest at Ichinokan, a well-preserved and beautiful ryokan from the past.

Stats: 50-70km | 600-1,000m

Included Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner

Days 7-8 – Silk Town Exploration & Sayonara

On our final day, we’ll head out one last time by bike for river ride through Kiryu. Along this path, we begin to see all of the mountains reveal themselves in the distance. We’ll also get a spectacular glimpse of the vastness of the wondrous Tone Valley.

Stats: 30-50km | 200-800m

Included Meals (Day 7): Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner

Included Meals (Day 8): Breakfast + Lunch

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Cycling on Japan North Alps Roads
Japanese North Alps Ryokan Meal
Japanese Temple

North Alps Map

Included

  • Fully-serviced road bike or hybrid bike, with helmet and accessories. Please inquire in advance if you would like an e-bike (Electric Bike Rental: $550 USD)
  • Two BTJ Expert Guides, who will be your cultural ambassadors and road navigators during your cycling experience.
  • All accommodations: traditional Japanese Ryokan Hotels.
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and all snacks/hydration throughout the tour.
  • Luggage delivery.
  • Support and gear vehicle.

Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Transportation to and from the tour
  • Meals not listed above
  • Alcoholic beverages