Epic Tours

Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO

DestinationNasu to Mashiko
Duration6 days 5 nights
Dates2023 Tours
(1) December 11 - December 16, 2023
(2) January 26 - January 31, 2024

2024 Tours
(1) April 17 - April 22, 2024 [Available]
(2) May 19 - May 24, 2024 [Available]
(3) November 10 - November 15, 2024 [Available]

On request in 2024 (Ask for PRIVATE / CUSTOM Tour)
Price¥539,000- /person (Twin room share basis)
Single Supplement40,000JPY (Note, may not be available in all locations)
Bike Rental20,000JPY for whole tour (Gravel road bikes / e-Moutain bikes)

OVERVIEW

Ready to immerse yourself in Japanese culture? In this 6-day cycling tour you will visit “Craft Masters” of Japanese Traditional Handicrafts during Gravel Biking through breathtaking countryside landscapes between Nasu and Mashiko.
You will learn the process and traditional technique for making Bamboo grass weaving, Japanese Paper (Washi), Indigo dyeing, Pottery, and Organic Japanese Sake directly from their enthusiastic “Craft Masters”. And you can also experience some of these handicrafts.
Another feature is that this is the first and sole Multi-day Gravel cycling tour in Japan!
You will enjoy beautiful gravel road cycling through forests, terraced rice fields and riverside.
Riding off the beaten countryside gravel roads is the best way for feeling and understanding the nature, soil, climate, and rural lifestyle of this countryside area between Nasu and Mashiko. Then, you will see the background of these local traditional crafts in this region.
Gravel roads in the tour routes are mostly flat and easy to ride. If you like, you can use rental e-mountain bikes with electric assist and wide tires for easier biking.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit “6 Craft Masters” of Japanese Traditional Handicrafts such as Bamboo grass weaving, Japanese Paper (Washi), Indigo dyeing, Pottery, and Organic Japanese Sake.
  • Ride off the beaten countryside gravel roads through forests, terraced rice fields and riverside.
  • Stop many places for nature and gourmet experiences during cycling.
  • Immerse yourself and relax at Onsen (natural hot spring) after a day of biking everyday.
  • We have hand-picked excellent ryokans & hotels that have the longest history in each local area with its distinctive characteristics.
  • Our knowledgeable and experienced cycling guides will provide you with an exquisite and personalized escort.
  • The cycling routes are full of discoveries and easy to ride, carefully and meticulously constructed according to the history and story of the region.
  • You can rent a high-performance Gravel Road Bike or an e-Mountain Bike.
  • A large support vehicle (sag-wagon) will accompany the riders on all stages, transporting luggage, supplying water and food, and dealing with any mechanical problems.

RIDING LEVEL

MODERATE Cycling 20 – 60km / day
A choice of e-Mountain Bikes will make the mileage and ascents easier.

ITINERARY

Day 1 / Meet day

Meet at JR Nasushiobara Station (70 minutes from Tokyo station by Tohoku Shinkansen (super express train)).
Adjust and test rental bikes at Ride Experience tour desk.
Move to an excellent onsen ryokan (Japanese traditional style inn with hot-spring) with modern art arrangements in Nasu.
Dinner at the ryokan will be a Japanese traditional “Kaiseki” style meal with many dishes full of seasonal vegetables, fishes and local ingredients.
(Overnight stay・Dinner provided)

Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO

Day 2 / Nasu to Ashino [Cycle 55km]

The first cycling day is a day of gravel biking throughout mountain forests and scenic riverside in Nasu. You will feel the nature, soil, climate, and rural lifestyle of this countryside area very closely.
After enjoying fresh Soba for lunch and riding through a hidden terraced rice fields between a valley, you will visit a young craft artisan in an old post town. Then, you have a privilege to see how the beautiful baskets are made out of local bamboo grass. This enthusiastic artisan has been training for 10 years to perfect her art of Bamboo Craft. You will be impressed by her special technique and accuracy in wide and thickness of the bamboo grass.
Stay at a cozy resort hotel with onsen in the quiet forest of Ashino.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)

Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO

Day 3 / Ashino to Bato [Cycle 49km – 55km]

Cycle from Ashino to Bato, a beautiful old country village where gold was first found in Japan. Ride through endless windings in a long quiet forest road, up the mountains and flying down. Visit a serene Zen Buddhist temple in the deep mountainside followed by a gourmet bento (picnic) lunch.
After biking along beautiful terraced rice fields, you will visit a 100 years old Organic Sake Brewery growing their own organic rice for the sake. Learn the delicate and complicated Sake production process from the owner of the brewery. And the end, enjoy tasting their award-winning wide variety Organic Sake! After drinking sake, you will move to the hotel by van.
Stay at a Japanese traditional style onsen ryokan located in the riverside of Bato and enjoy beautiful sunset down to the river from its open-air bath.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)

Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO

Day 4 / Bato to Mashiko [Cycle 60km]

Cycle from Bato to Mashiko, a famous pottery and craft village in the middle of mountainous countryside of Tochigi.
Ride through Tochigi’s Satoyama countryside including exiting up and downs, enjoy riverside gravels into the nature and have a super fresh river fish lunch at a riverside restaurant.
This day, you will visit two traditional craft masters. Visit Washi (Japanese Paper) artisan in Karasuyama and learn the process and technique for making Washi. You can also experience to make your own Washi post card using your own sense!
In Mashiko, you will visit a traditional Indigo Dyeing studio with very rare Japanese traditional style dyeing equipment working over 200 years. Learn the process and ingredients of traditional Indigo Dyeing from a really knowledgeable master of Indigo Dyeing. You will also have a change to try your own dyeing art!
Stay at an onsen hotel in the quiet countryside of Mashiko.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)

Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO

Day 5 / Ride around Mashiko [Cycle 21km]

Cycle around Mashiko village, ride up and down a mountain gravel road and visit an old thatched roof temple in the mountain.
Visit a famous pottery artisan and lean about ceramic art and history of Mashiko Pottery with Mingei movement. It must be extremely interesting to see the magic of the potter turning clay into pots or jugs using a kick-wheel.
Finish cycling at a local Sake brewery followed by really fancy Sake tasting experience. A charismatic owner of the sake brewery will host an impressive and delightful tasting of excellent top-quality sakes. That will provid a wonderful celebratory end to your cycling trip!
Stay at the same onsen hotel in Mashiko.
(Overnight stay・Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner provided)

Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO

Day 6 / Break up the tour

After having breakfast and checking out of the hotel, the tour breaks up. You can take a train or bus from Mashiko station.
(Breakfast provided)

ACCOMMODATION

In Nasu and Bato, you will be staying at Japanese traditional style ryokans with long history and fascinating atmosphere. The accommodations in Ashino and Mashiko will be cozy modern resort hotel surrounded by nature with comfortable rooms and open spaces. Every ryokan and hotel has its own excellent ONSEN for you to relax in after a day of riding. All accommodations offer top-level hospitality and finely tuned Japanese style service.

Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO

FOOD

For your culinary delight the tour offers kaiseki dinner featuring dozens of dishes served at a long-established ryokan, local specialties in each village you visit, and a great variety of Japanese food made with a range of seasonal ingredients.

Some of the unique dishes include shabu-shabu and sukiyaki of the finest wagyu beef (“Nasu wagyu beef”), super fresh river fish (grilled or sashimi), highland vegetables, cheese and ice cream available at ranches-owned shops, jidori chikin, and tasty soba with tempura etc. While biking, you will have chances to have a closer look of places where these local ingredients are produced.

If you love to drink, yes, this tour includes 2 Sake brewery visits and tasting experiences there. Here, Tochigi is the rice production center of the Kanto region. And craft beer in Nasu and Tochigi wine will be another great highlight of this tour.

Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO

EQUIPMENT

High-performance Gravel Road Bikes with suspension (CANNONDALE SLATE) and High quality e-mountain bikes (MIYATA) are available for rent at a rate of 20,000JPY for whole tour.

A support vehicle (sag-wagon) will be available throughout the entire tour. No need to carry your bags on your bike during the ride – they will travel in a support vehicle between hotels.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • 5 nights’ accommodation on twin share basis
  • 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners
  • First one beverage for a toast (“Kanpai”) in the dinners (Further more beverages are not included)
  • Cycling Tour guide(s)
  • Van support
  • Mechanical support
  • Luggage transfer by van
  • Snacks, fruits and water during ride
  • All visit and experience fees at crafts studio and sake breweries in the itinerary
  • 2 Sake tasting fees at the sake breweries in the itinerary
  • Transportation between Nasushiobara station, Ride Experience tour desk and accommodation on the day 1
  • Transportation from Sake brewery to the accommodation on the day 3 and day 5
  • Bike bag transfer to the finish point by courier (for your own bikes)
  • Accident insurance (limited)

MAP

INQUIRY

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

BOOKING

Tour:Gravel & Craft Bike Tour NASU – MASHIKO
Price:¥539,000- /person (Twin room share basis)

    Select Tour Date (Required)

    First Name (Required)

    Last Name (Required)

    Email (Required)

    Confirm Email (Required)

    Address

    City

    State / Province / Region

    Postal code

    Country (Required)

    Phone Number

    Gender (Required)
    MaleFemale

    Age (Required)

    Total number of guests (Required)
    (Please include yourself.)

    Bicycle

    Accommodation

    Comments

    Review of this tour

    Evizel Seymour

    Wow - a super professional company with great friendly English speaking staff. If you’re looking for a cycling adventure, then look no further. They will adapt the tour to what you would like to do. A great mix of cycling, cultural events with extremely comfortable accommodation. oh, don’t worry about going hungry, the food is exceptional.

    Richard Breedon

    The cycle routes and site visits were well chosen. The hotels were excellent and all had onsen baths, which provided welcome respite at the end of each day of cycling. The visits to the various craft centers were fascinating and enjoyable. It was a unique experience to guided by the master craftspeople themselves. We learned about weaving with bamboo grass, indigo dyeing, and made our own postcards with traditional Japanese paper (washi).

    Other Recommended Tours

    Foodie’s Bike Tour NASU – NIKKO

    [6 days 5 nights]
    In this foodie's bike tour, you will go on an eating spree and experience a wide variety of great food that Japan has to offer. You will visit historic towns and stay at long-established hotels and ryokans (inns), which have been welcoming VIPs from inside and outside Japan for a long time, and also at accommodations that are committed to serving high quality meals.

    KUMANO KODO Pilgrimage Bike & Hike

    [7 days 6 nights]
    In this tour, you will be biking and hiking on Japan's oldest ancient pilgrimage roads called "Kumano Kodo", in the south of Wakayama. Visit the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano, and will find yourself completely immersed in the beautiful nature of spectacular mountain ranges, massive and strange rocks, clear streams of water, and magnificent waterfalls.