Tama River Headwaters – Relaxed

Did you know that you could bike around beautiful mountain forests and pristine river valleys without leaving Tokyo? In less than one hour on a local train from bustling Shinjuku station in the central Tokyo, you are ready to hop on the saddle and start biking in the laid-back suburb of Tokyo. Pedaling along the Tama River upstream, we cycle into the westernmost part of Tokyo that does not feel like part of Tokyo at all. We spend one night at a shukubo (lodge for pilgrims) in Mount Mitake, a great way to experience traditional Japanese lifestyle. On the second day, we bike on Okutama Mukashi Michi, a beautiful trail that takes us through forests and pastoral villages, offering breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains and river valleys. After lunch by Lake Okutama and a quick dip in an onsen (hot spring bath), the trip ends at the Okutama train station. You can catch a train back to the central Tokyo. This trip will make you a perfect break from the city.

Note: Accommodation used for this trip has shared bathrooms only.

  • Meet/Depart:  Hino train station (45 minutes from Shinjuku) /Okutama train station (in western Tokyo)
  • Trip Length:  2 days 1 night
  • Level:  RELAXED
  • Price per Person:  50,000JPY   (for currency converter click HERE)
  • Ave. Temperature (High/Low) :  Mar 13/3C (55/37F)   May 22/12C (72/54F)  Sep 26/18C (79/64F)   Nov 16/6C (61/43F)
  • Minimum number of guests required for a guaranteed departure: 2

On request. Using the Tour Request Form, please contact us with your preferred dates and number of guests.

  • Ride leisurely along the Tama River and see many faces of Tokyo which you have never seen before –  peaceful residential neighborhood in the suburbs, small vegetable plots, beautiful mountain villages and more.
  • Overnight stay at a shukubo (mountain lodge for pilgrims) on Mount Mitake, which has been worshipped as a sacred mountain since ancient times. Great way to experience natural beauty and mountain-worshipping culture of Japanese.
  • Ride on the Okutama Mukashi Michi (Okutama Old-time Trail), a beautiful road that goes through pristine river valleys and forests passing by sparsely populated villages.
  • Easily accessible from the central Tokyo. Great break from hustle and bustle of the city.
  • One-night’s lodging on a double- or triple-occupancy basis
  • Meals (1 breakfast, 2 lunches and 1 dinner)
  • Guide support (no support van)
  • Rental cross bike
  • Baggage transfer from Hino to the first-night inn, and to Okutama train station. There are size and weight restrictions for baggage. Please inquire.

Trip Itinerary

We meet at the Hino train station at around 9:30am. Hino is easily accessible from central Tokyo – only 45 minutes away on a local train from Shinjuku. After briefing, we start biking from Hino station and soon be on the Tama River cycling road. En route, we stop by a beautiful Japanese garden of Seiganin Temple and Negarami-mae rice paddy field. We stop for lunch in Ome and enjoy locally produced soba noodles. In the afternoon, we ride into the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park. Scenery changes from that of idyllic suburbia to picturesque mountain region. We finish biking for today at the foot of Mount Mitake, leave our bikes behind, and ride the cable car up the mountain. Tonight we stay at a shukubo (traditional Japanese-style lodge for pilgrims) near the mountain top. Enjoy delicious and healthy dinner, as well as quiet and peaceful times in pilgrims’ lodging with hundreds of years of history. (Lunch and dinner included)

After breakfast, we take a short walk to the Musashi-Mitake Shrine on the mountain’s summit (929 meters), which is believed to have been serving as a center of mountain worship for almost 2000 years. The shrine’s stunning main hall and other structures, along with many stone monuments and a 1000-year old sacred tree in the surroundings, create special and serene atmosphere. By mid-morning we take the cable car down and be back on the bike. We bike on Okutama Mukashi Michi, a beautiful road which was once used for trading between Ome and Kai province (current Yamanashi). It leads us through mountain trails (mostly paved, not hilly), passing by pastoral villages and suspension bridges along the way and offering magnificent natural scenery of surrounding mountains and river valleys. Riding on Okutama Mukashi Michi gives us a great insight into Japanese rural life of old days. We take a lunch break by Lake Okutama, and then enjoy smooth descent to the Okutama train station. After a quick dip in an onsen (natural hot spring bath) nearby, the tour ends. You can catch a train back to the central Tokyo. (Breakfast and lunch included)