Valleys & Volcanoes Cycling Tour

2020 Dates
Apr 19-25 ⭐ 🌸
Nov 12-18 β­πŸ 🍱

🌸 Sakura Season
🍁 Fall Colors
⭐ Guaranteed Trip
🍱 Almost Full!

Difficulty
Level 2 out of 5

Daily Distance: 35-60 km
Daily Elevation: 200-700m

See FAQ for Route Levels
Explore Bike Options

Accommodations
Traditional Ryokan Hotels + Futon Japanese Beds + Public Hot-Spring Onsen Bath

Learn more about the ryokan experience

Regions
Tochigi Prefecture
Gunma Prefecture
Watarase River Valley
Ashikaga
Kiryu Historic Silk Town
Tone Valley

Price
$4,350 USD

+ $1,000 USD Single Supplement

+$750 USD E-bike Rental

All of the beauty with a fraction of the climbing! Our Tour of Japan’s Valleys & Volcanoes will take you on a deep journey into the small towns carved by the Watarase River Valley.

Uncover breathtaking mountains, tranquil rivers, beautiful valleys, and natural hot springs. Choose your favorite color palate to ride through: vivid fall colors, or light spring blooms.

All the amazing elements of cycling in Japan will be covered in this week-long adventure. Find serene moments in elegant temples rich in Japanese history. Visit hidden treasures in the hillsides of the North Alps. Enjoy crisp air and clear skies, peaceful back roads and fall colors. Savor local meals, skillfully prepared by the region’s best chefs. Taste local sake from the rice grown in the very towns and mountains we visit.

Ready for this journey? Set up a time to connect with us over the phone or book your spot on tour now!

Itinerary

Day 1 (32km | 400m) Tracing the Watarase River to Lake Umeda

Your BTJ guides will be ready to meet you at the exit of Ashikaga-Shi Station. After introductions and bike fits, we are off on our scenic ride along the Watarase River. Trace the rushing river while taking in the stack of mountains of the North Alps across the massive Tone Valley. Stop in historic Kiryu for a traditional Japanese lunch and then begin the gradual climb to Lake Umeda. We’ll take a break to soak in the views, deep in the hills of Kiryu. Then, roll into our hidden ryokan in the woods to enjoy the serenity of the Japanese countryside. Choose to settle in with a relaxing bath in the natural hot springs, or continue riding with our guides for a few bonus miles. We recommend a relaxing stroll by the river before sunset. When you’re ready, meet up with our group for a beautiful traditional dinner and our first toast to a great week of adventures ahead!

Day 2 (58km | 700m) Hidden Shrines + Ancient Paths

Today, we will begin our journey into the heart of the Japanese countryside. Begin by riding deeper into the mountains on tranquil roads up to Mt Akayuisan Pass. Then dive into secluded forests to the Nagusaitsukushima, a beautiful and secluded shrine in the deep rich pine forests. After exploring the shrine, we will head to a lunch of fresh regional food before we make our way back to the ryokan for another amazing evening.

Day 3 (45km | 550m) Kanahara Pass

Today we take on our biggest climb of the trip, the Kanahara Pass. Follow the valley east to a secluded back road that rewards us with a hidden road and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. Then, meander down to the serene Sano Valley for a step back in time at Ichinokan, a well preserved ryokan out of the past.

Day 4 (40km | 460m) Japan’s First School

Today, we head over the hill to Ashikaga, a quaint and historical town at the base of Japan’s North Alps. We’ll take a stop to visit the Gakko, the first school built in Japan. History, gardens, gates, and more, as we explore the hills through the afternoon before heading off to an afternoon in the award winning Ashikaga Flower Park.

Day 5 (55km | 600m) The Red Fortress Mountain, Mt Akagi

Our final ride along the Watarase River Path, today is a journey to the hot-spring source as we head up to Mt Akagi. A quick stop to take in the peaceful Hotokuji Shrine and lunch before we embark on a long gradual uphill with scenic views of the massive volcano. Our ryokan tonight is situated on the lower steps of Mt Akagi with incredible views of the Tone Valley below.

Day 6 (30km | 400m) Inaka Exploration

Our last full ride day offers several options: choose a simple short climb to the amazing hidden Miyazawa Shrine, or extend it for a loop around the base of Mt Akagi. For those who want more miles and a challenge, the full climb to the summit Mt Akagi awaits. Finally, you can choose to enjoy a restful day off or stroll to the Senbonzakura park just up the road. Later that evening, we will all reconvene for one last dinner together: a beautiful Japanese feast.

Day 7 (30km | 200m) Sayonara!

On our final day, we head out one last time by bike for a flat/downhill ride through the country back along the Watarase River towards Kiryu. We will roll down the valley to Takatsudo Park for a final exploration, and views of all that we have accomplished. Enjoy lunch and coffee in Kiryu before we say farewell, til the next time!

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Soba Lunch Japan

Valleys & Volcanoes Tour 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: $750 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 porterage.
  • Support and gear vehicle.
  • All gratuities for ryokans, restaurants, and guides.

Not Included

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