Mountain biking and Cycling
For something a bit more fast-paced and adrenaline-producing, mountain biking in Japan is the way to go, and it’s a great way to enjoy Japan’s incredible mountain ranges outside of ski season.
Once the snow melts on the mountains of Hokkaido in spring, it is the perfect time to jump on a bike and start exploring all over again. Head to Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Annupuri for some incredible freeriding and great trails. All three resorts are booming winter wonderlands but are fast becoming popular destinations for adventure riders in the warmer months.
The majestic Mt Fuji (or Fuji-san) is not just for climbing. At the base of the revered mountain, you will find a myriad of trails for walking and biking. Hop on your bike and explore the local landscape of waterfalls and streams, and while you’re in the region journey to the Five Lakes which surround Fuji-san. Mt Fuji is the grand centrepiece of a huge nature reserve that is a mountain biker’s paradise.
Similar to Hokkaido’s ski resorts, a spring or summer journey to Nagano will reveal mountain biking trails to suit most levels. Some of the best can be found in Hakuba, where mountain biking has grown in popularity with new trail building projects, races, and annual events to keep you active and entertained.
Shimanami Kaido, a road that links Onomichi in Hiroshima on Honshu island to Imabari in Shikoku, is a popular cycling route across nine bridges, six islands and spanning 70km in total. Cyclists can complete the full trip in a day, but those who opt for a more relaxed pace, taking in breathtaking views of the Seto Inland Sea, might choose to stay overnight at one of the inns on the route, or cycle part of the way, dropping off their bicycles for ferries instead.
Urban cycling adventures are also a great way to experience Japan. One of the best ways to see the cities like Tokyo and Kyoto is to cycle around them as the locals do. Cycling enables you to not only see and experience cities in ways that you cannot do from inside a bus or on the subway, it gives you the freedom to make new discoveries of your own, plus you’ll work up an appetite for those delicious izakaya meals!
Where to go Mountain Biking:
• Mt. Fuji
• Hida Furukawa, Gifu
Where to go City Cycling: