Epic Tours

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

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DestinationTochigi to Akita via Fukushima and Yamagata
Duration10 days / 9 nights
DatesOctober 6 - October 15, 2020

(Ask for PRIVATE / CUSTOM Tour)
Price360,000JPY
Single Supplement50,000JPY
Bike Rental30,000JPY for whole tour (road bikes / e-hybrid bikes)

OVERVIEW

This is a shorter version of our “TRANS-TOHOKU Bike Tour“.
Cycle shorter distance (on Stage 1-3 and 7-8) and stay more “onsen” (hot spring) villages in Tohoku region.
Every night you can be soaked in natural hot springs (onsen) after the ride and make your body refresh.
Around the time of the tour is when the leaves of trees turn red and yellow. You will enjoy these beautiful Autumn colors along the way.

The Tohoku region, comprised of six prefectures located in the northernmost part of Japan’s main island ‘Honshu’, is known for its gorgeous natural environment, rich local history, and delicious agricultural produce.

Experience a more traditional side of Japan and follow in the footsteps of famous Japanese poet Matsuo Basho and his journey along “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”.

Your journey will begin in Nasu, Tochigi. It is a gateway to Tohoku and is a convenient access point from Tokyo. From Nasu, your destination is Kakunodate, an elegant SAMURAI town in Akita prefecture. It will be a 590km bike tour through the tranquil and picturesque landscape of Tohoku where you will meet few cars or other tourists. Another major tour attraction is the food. With everything from unique and gorgeous Japanese cuisine to regional specialties such as fruits and sake, you’ll love the dining experience including those at local restaurants.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gorgeous Nature, including fantastic Autumn color leaves in mountains
  • Relaxing and refreshing visits to some of Japan’s top hot springs (onsen)
  • Gourmet traditional food made using fresh local ingredients
  • Stays at spectacular traditional Japanese-style inns (ryokans)
  • Rich local history that served as a base for modern Japan
  • While they may seem shy at first, some of the friendliest people you will ever meet
  • Carefully selected beautiful and less-traveled roads

RIDING LEVEL

MODERATE-CHALLENGING 60 – 100km / day (average 73km / day)
Total Distance: Around 590km in 8 cycling days

There will be van transfers along the route enabling participants to cut the miles and steep hills.
A choice of e-hybrid bikes will make the mileage and ascents easier.

ITINERARY

Day 1

Meet at a hotel in Nasu, Tochigi. Check-in for the tour and arrange bike rentals, then a briefing and ice breaking.
Nasu is Located at the northern edge of the Kanto area, on the border between Tohoku and Kanto. It is 180 km from Tokyo or 70 minutes by Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nasushiobara station.
Nasu lies at the foot of the expansive Nasu mountain range, is home to the Imperial villa (Nasu Goyotei), and is one of the most famous onsen (hot spring) and resort areas in Japan. The main peak, Mt. Chausu, is idiosyncratic to the townsfolk and opens below to milk sheds and Satoyama, the classic Japanese rural landscape.
(Overnight stay・No-meal provided)

Day 2 / -Stage 1- Nasu to Yunokami Onsen [70km]

Travel the Nasu Highlands while enjoying stunning views of the Nasu mountain range and enter Fukushima Prefecture for the first hill climb of the tour. Bike beside Lake Hatori and take a comfortable slow downhill journey along the peaceful river to Yunokami Onsen.
Yunokami Onsen is a small riverside onsen (hot spring) village surrounded by distant mountains. The nearest train station (Yonokami Onsen Station) is famous for its picturesque thatched roof and traditional architecture.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast & Dinner provided)

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

Day 3 / -Stage 2- Yunokami Onsen to Yokomuki Onsen [65km]

Take a local train from the picturesque Yunokami Onsen Station with your bike and enjoy beautiful views from the window in the morning. Ride along nostalgic farming area and visit Tsuruga Castle, the symbol of Aizu, a town of the Last Samurai. Cycle past the town of Aizu and climb heading to Yokomuki Onsen on the base of Mt. Bandai.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast & Dinner provided)

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

Day 4 / -Stage 3- Yokomuki Onsen to Iizaka Onsen [60km]

Exciting journey up hill to the Mt. Bandai and take in the breathtaking panoramic views of Jododaira. After a long downhill ride pass through a group of fruit orchards and arrive at Iizaka Onsen.
Iizaka Onsen, a traditional hot spring town with a long and rich history, is also home to one of Japan’s oldest community bathhouses, Sabakoyu, which still carries its age-old look from eras past, and today serves as the proud symbol of the historic hot spring town.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast & Dinner provided)

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

Day 5 / -Stage 4- Iizaka Onsen to Kaminoyama Onsen [75km]

Travel from Iizaka Onsen along the winding mountain roads and climb the panoramic pass heading for Yamagata Prefecture. Ride through rich soba fields and stop by a traditional local food supplier before arriving at a nostalgic onsen and castle town, Kaminoyama Onsen.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast & Dinner provided)

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

Day 6 / -Stage 5- Kaminoyama Onsen to Hijiori Onsen [95km]

Cycling along the edge between mountains and farm fields in the center of Yamagata, you can enjoy the typical landscape of Japanese country side. Climb the deep mountain road towards Hijiori Onsen, a small hot spring town nestled in a caldera at the foot of Mt. Gassan. This place is known for “Toji”, a long term onsen stay to cure the body. On the way, visit a small old temple that stands on a steep cliff. Early the next morning, you can walk around a narrow main street and enjoy the morning market by local farmers.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast & Dinner provided)

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

Day 7 / -Stage 6- Hijiori Onsen to Chokai Onsen [100km]

Enjoy a downhill ride from Hijiori Onsen along the Mogami River towards the Sea of Japan where a lovely view of Mt. Chokai awaits. On the way, stop by a mossy mysterious waterfall and shrine, a true “hidden gem” of Tohoku. Cycle on the comfortable farm roads towards the Sea of Japan and arrive at Chokai Onsen, a seaside onsen town with view of Mt. Chokai.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast & Dinner provided)

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

Day 8 / -Stage 7- Chokai Onsen to Anraku Onsen [60km]

Cycle north alongside the Sea of Japan to Akita Prefecture and stop at some further more “Hidden Gems” such as underground water on the base of Mt. Chokai and spectacle stone walls on the coastline. Cycle into a seaside town, Yurihonjo and experience the life of a seaside local town in Japan.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast & Dinner provided)

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

Day 9 / -Stage 8- Anraku Onsen to Kakunodate [70km]

The last stage is the most “FLAT” day in this tour. After leaving the seaside town, enter a belt of land known for rice cultivation and enjoy the peaceful scenery full of rice paddies while riding along a flat course to Kakunodate, a former castle town famous for well-preserved samurai houses and its district. Kakunodate has a refined (“miyabi”) and elegant (“iki”) atmosphere and is called the Little Kyoto of Tohoku. If you like Japanese sake, you can visit a local sake brewery with long history and get a nice fresh one for the last evening.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast & Dinner provided)

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

Day 10

Tour breakup at the hotel in Kakunodate.
You can take the Shinkanasen bullet train from Kakunodate station to Tokyo Station.
If you have a time, you can walk around the samurai town of Kakunodate and visit samurai houses.
(Breakfast provided)

ACCOMMODATION

9 accommodations between Nasu and Kakaunodate have been carefully selected, including spectacular traditional Japanese style inns (ryokans), truly hidden historical onsen inns and modern resort hotels which the Tohoku region has to offer.

Almost every accommodation (except Kakunodate) has its own hot springs (onsen). Enjoy a relaxing time in some of Japan’s top hot springs and refresh yourself for the next day’s ride.

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

FOOD

Our guests of past tours all loved the level and varieties of food. A great dining experience is the feature that we most proudly present in this tour.

In this tour, you will be visiting Fukushima, Yamagata, and Akita while traveling through the Tohoku region. Each prefecture has its unique environment, climate, culture, and specialties. You will have opportunities to stop along the way to try a wide variety of local foods and meals made with regional specialties. Japanese style dinners offered at a ryokan feature many colorful and entertaining dishes for your visual and culinary delight.

For lunches during the ride, we have hand-picked locally popular restaurants offering soba, ramen, teishoku (pre-fixed meals), and so on where you can experience typical everyday Japanese meals.

Also, Tohoku is a rice production region. Not only the rice tastes wonderful but also there are many Japanese sake breweries. The tour offers another great attraction of trying locally produced and only locally served Japanese sake in places you visit on the way to Kakunodate.

TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour

EQUIPMENT

A support vehicles will be available throughout the entire tour. No need to carry your bags on your bike during the challenge – they will travel in a support vehicle between hotels. You will also be provided with GPS devices, maps and a GPS tracking smartphone application for checking each rider’s real time position. High-performance carbon disk road bikes (Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disk), Comfortable adventure bikes (Cannondale SLATE) and High quality e-hybrid bikes (YAMAHA) are available for rental at a rate of 30,000JPY for whole tour.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • 9 nights’ accommodation on twin share basis
  • 9 breakfasts and 8 dinners (Lunch is not included)
  • First one beverage for a toast (“Kanpai”) in the dinners (Further more beverages are not included)
  • Tour guide(s)
  • Van support
  • Mechanical support
  • Luggage transfer by van
  • Bike bag transfer to the finish point by courier
  • GPS device with pre-installed tour routes,
  • Snacks, fruits and water during ride
  • Insurance
  • Ride Experience high-performance cycling jersey and a water bottle

MAP

INQUIRY

If you have any questions about this tour, please contact us via the Contact form.

BOOKING

Tour:TOHOKU Onsen Hopping Autumn Tour
Price:360,000JPY

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