$1790 Ex Tomamu
The extraordinary contrasts of modern Japan are to be found throughout this archipelago but most particularly in Hokkaido. My introduction to Japan 30 years ago was this very island and those early years exploring Hokkaido have left an indelible impression of this wild northern island.
Hokkaido is a place where the power of an ancient and pervasive culture lays like a patch work quilt over an almost sub arctic wild land.
The result is a superb mix of culture and wilderness. Here you will find architecture and structure that reflects the history and refinement of ancient Japan. Where inner spaces comply with the Japanese aesthetic of art and beauty. And of course, delicious and healthy food that can be found anywhere in Japan is abundant in the mountains and valleys of Hokkaido.
Liberally spaced throughout this wild island you will also find some of Japan’s most famous artisans and photographers, who have escaped north to build a life on the edge of the wilderness.
On this self guided tour, using our comprehensive guiding notes, you can visit many of these artisans, including “Takushinkan” the gallery of Japan’s most famous landscape photographer Shinzo Maeda. As well as Maeda San’s gallery you can visit other lesser known photo galleries, painters, wood workers, potters and glass blowers. There is also the chance to visit the Ainu textile museum in Asahikawa.
And the backdrop throughout is the superb alpine scenery of central Hokkaido, where mountains and volcanoes tower over the valleys.
Your accommodation is predominantly Japanese style. Delicious and healthy Japanese meals are a feature of our accommodations. Many have relaxing hot spring baths, a soothing way to finish your day in the saddle.
Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your own independent week of cycling in Hokkaido Japan.
How to book: Download a booking form below and send to us via email, fax or mail. Send the booking form with $A250 deposit/person. All credit cards accepted. Full trip notes will then be sent which include equipment list and other details.
Trip numbers: Min 2, Max please contact us
Suggested Tour Outline
Please note that the following itinerary is the suggested itinerary to get the most from your self guided cycle tour and may change depending on your own personal preference and skills. Your comprehensive self guided tour notes will give details on how to follow this itinerary
Day 1. Meet Journey into Japan representative on arrival at first night's accommodation. Your first night is 2 hours by direct train from New Chitose airport. Access details will be incuded in your information package. After meeting our representative and receiving bikes, set up the bikes to your requirements and you are welcome to have small ride in the vicinity of the Inn at a leisurely pace.
Day 2. Cycle 45 km/28 miles
Mountain lakes and rivers and villages.
After a leisurely breakfast you head off for your first full day’s riding. the ride today takes you through delightful rural villages and landscapes that feature crops not usually associated with Japan. Vast fields of carrots and onions fill the valley floors between villages. You travel past pristine mountain rivers in the shadow of steeply wooded peaks over a route that is gentle and relaxing, with no major climbs. Along the way you can visit to a local wood carver who crafts superb wooden canoes. You will finish your ride along the shore of a pristine mountain lake before arriving at your inn on the shores of the lake. Here you can go for a walk or enjoy a thermal bath before dinner.
Day 3. Cycle 52 km/32 miles
Rolling hills, TV drama sets, glass and craft stalls, and a local winery.
Today you continue cycling through similar terrain to yesterday. However as you head north the surrounding peaks get higher. Today you have small sharp climbs up to a kilometre in length and some gentle climbs to add some challenge to the day's riding, but as well as this you have some long gentle downhill gradients beside quietly gurgling mountain streams. Just before the Rokugo area you get your first views of the mighty Tokachi mountain range. Rokugo is a famous town in Japan that was the scene for a long running television show that romanticized the life in the deep north. You can have lunch in this setting before the slow run into the town of Furano. Here you can visit local glass and wood artist's stall's, the cheese factory and winery to taste the local beverage before or after heading to your pension accommodation for the night.
Day 4. Cycle 55 km/34 miles
Famous artists and photographers, coffee shops, spa baths and the mighty Tokachi mountains.
Today, after a relaxing night on the edge of the ski ground, you cycle in the shadow of the Tokachi range as you continue over rolling valleys and the hills of Biei, made famous by world renowned photographer Shinzo Maeda. Today you can visit the gallery of famous Japanese artist Goto Sumiyo and Maeda San’s “Takushinkan” gallery, set amidst the beauty of the Biei hills. The cycling again is fairly gentle with some small and gentle climbs, as well as some short sharp inclines. Lunch can be had in the town of Biei. The word Biei means beautiful image, and this town set at the base of the Tokachi mountains with its imposing volcanic peaks, is just that. What’s more it is a lesson in rejuvenation, as its main street is a wide lazy thoroughfare which fully encapsulates the town's name's true meaning. After lunch you head into the mountains on a gentle incline and a dedicated cycle track, stopping in coffee shops en route as you head towards the spa town of Shirogane, where you can finish your day soaking in a neck deep thermal pool either inside or outside in the forest.
Day 5. Cycle 58 km/36 miles
Rolling hill country, Hokkaido’s highest peak and the beauty of Daisetsusan National Park.
Today you roll back down the valley to Biei and take a northerly road through some valleys of traditional farming and rice growing before heading to your only major climb of the ride. Mt. Asahi (2290), or sunrise peak, Hokkaido’s highest lures you ever upwards to its base. The route takes you past the spectacular towering Hokkaido Red Pine and the ghost like Silver Birch forests. Yet again the soothing waters of natural hot springs await you in your accommodation. On arrival, if time permits you can catch the cable car to the base of the climb, where high alpine lakes and form an honour guard to this lofty peak. Or you can hike one of the short tracks through the forests, before returning to your night of in our specially chosen accommodation.
Day 6. Cycle 45 km/ 28 miles
Long descents, Hokkaido’s most northerly city, potters, glass artists and Ainu textiles.
After a leisurely breakfast and a morning hike to the base of the mountain you have a relaxing two and a half hour cycle for your last morning's ride. This last ride is all downhill or flat and is a relaxing way to finish your “Tour De Hokkaido”. En route you will stop at a photo gallery set in an old rice warehouse and a wood worker whose craft is famous in Hokkaido. Your Japanese inn tonight is in the centre of Japan’s most northerly city. After lunch you can explore the attractions of Asahikawa, including famous potters, glass artists and the Ainu textile museum on the edge of town. Your bikes will be left at this last inn and our representative there, Shoko, can assist with your sightseeing or future travel plans in Hokkaido and beyond.
Day 7. Depart
After your last breakfast you can depart for Chitose or Asahikawa airports for your return flights or continue your travels. Chitose airport is approximately 3 hours while Asahikawa airport is approximately 1 hour.
6 nights accommodation twin (single option POA); 6 dinners and 6 breakfasts; meet and greet on arrival day 1 at Tomamu Station; comprehensive self guiding notes; daily baggage transfer service (minimum of two full paying cyclists); Contact us if you dont need baggage delivery service.
Air fares: all items of a personal nature; tour leader; support vehicle; transfers; travel insurance (compulsory): bicycles (bicycle hire for this tour is $A190 including back up mechanical service) meals other than those specified.
How to book: Download a or . Send the booking form via email or post with $250 deposit/person. All credit cards accepted. Full trip notes will then be sent which include equipment list and other details.