Nikko/Aizu – challenging

A Japanese proverb says, “Never say ‘Kekko’ (meaning I am satisfied) until you’ve seen Nikko.” Our ride starts in Nikko, a Shinto and Buddhist mountain worship center for many centuries and the Toshogu shrine’s seat, an UNESCO’s world cultural heritage site. We then explore its surrounding area, which offers magnificent landscapes, lakes, waterfalls, and hot springs. We spend the latter half of the trip in Aizu, a scenic region in northern Japan surrounded by beautiful mountains. The route takes us through quaint farm villages, rice fields, and narrow mountain roads. Our accommodations are mostly elegant ryokans (Japanese-style inns) that offer local charm and comfort and excellent onsen (natural hot spring bath). Our route encompasses several challenging hill climbs and therefore is most suitable for intermediate to advanced riders.

  • Meet/Depart:  Tokyo/Tokyo
  • Trip Length:  7 days 6 nights
  • Price per Person:  300,000JPY (click HERE for indicative amounts in other currencies)
  • Single Supplement:  20,000JPY
  • Ave. Temperature (High/Low) :  June 24/8C (75/46F)   October 20/7C (68/44F)
  • Minimum number of guests required for a guaranteed departure: 4

2021   May 30-Jun 5 / Oct 3-9

2022  coming soon!

  • Picturesque rides in pastoral areas with several challenging hill climbs with spectacular views
  • Stay at elegant ryokans (traditional Japanese-style inns)
  • Indulge yourself in great onsens (natural hot spring baths) – a perfect way to relax after your rides
  • Visit Nikko’s Toshogu, UNESCO’s world heritage site
  • Visit a variety of cultural/historical attractions in the Aizu region, including post town with thatched roof houses, an old samurai villa, and sake brewery
  • Oka Tours custom cycling jersey and a water bottle
  • All lodgings on a twin-share basis. A limited number of single-occupancy rooms are available for an additional charge on most tours. If you are a single traveler, please inquire for room availability and a single supplemental charge.
  • Meals (6 breakfasts 6 dinners. Lunch is not included.)
  • English-speaking guide and van support
  • Rental road bike or hybrid bike. If you would like to rent a road bike, please ask for availability in advance.
  • Any ground transportation (except for private taxis)
  • Admissions to museums and temples/shrines
  • Oka Tours custom cycling jersey and a water bottle
  1. Once you have read and agreed with the Terms & Conditions, click  the ‘BOOK ONLINE’ button below and submit an online booking form.
  2. We will contact you within one business day by email to confirm your reservation and arrange for payment of your deposit, which is 10% of the trip price.
  3. We accept payments by credit cards (Visa or MasterCard only) or wire transfer.
  4. After receipt of your deposit, we will send you a registration form. We ask you to fill out, sign, and return to us.  
  5. Full payment is due 21 days prior to the first day of the trip. 

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 : Nikko (52km)

Meet at the Tokyo train station in the morning and transfer by train to Shimo-Imaichi (takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes), which was once an important transportation point in the old days. Our warmup ride starts on one of the old main roads lined with 380+ years old cedar trees, and then onto quiet country roads amid rice field and gently rolling hills. Tonight we stay in a cozy pension located adjacent to Toshogu Shrine and unwind in a nice onsen (natural hot spring bath). (Dinner included)

Day 2 : Okukinu onsen spa (51km)m)

We spend the morning sightseeing Toshogu Shrine, the site for the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who established the shogunate government that ruled Japan for 260 years until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. You will be overwhelmed by the serene atmosphere and series of gorgeous engravings and statues that decorate the shrine’s buildings. Today, our ride starts with a challenging ascent to Lake Chuzenji via the Irohazaka road with 20 ‘hairpin’ turns. Then we bike along Lake Chuzenji and in the Oku-Nikko (inner Nikko) area, which is blessed with magnificent natural beauty. We eventually head Oku-Kinu, which is known as “the home of secret spas.” We stay at a ryokan (traditional Japanese-style inn), which has excellent onsen baths. (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 3 : Kinugawa onsen spa (68km)

After a smooth and gradual downhill in the morning, we start a challenging 13km ascent via Ozasa pasture to Kirifuri Highland, home to beautiful azaleas in spring and colorful leaves in autumn. Past Kirifuri Highland, we enjoy spectacular downhill towards Nikko and then to Kinugawa onsen spa. Kinugawa Onsen, which was found around 300 years ago, is one of the most famous hot spring areas in the northern Kanto region. We stay at a large Japanese-style hotel with excellent facilities for a relaxing and fun stay. (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 4 : Yunokami onsen spa (103km)

After breakfast, we take a local train and transfer to the rural Aizu region. In the morning, we cycle on quiet country roads through rice fields. After lunch, we ride into mountainous areas. We hunt two challenging passes, riding past beautiful rice fields and small farm villages. Tonight we stay at Yunokami onsen, a secluded spa with excellent hot spring water. You can soak in abundant hot spring water and relax – a perfect way to end a long day of riding! (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 5 : Aizuwakamatsu (80km)

Following a smooth start on flat roads, we ride up to Ouchijuku, an old post town used long ago by Aizu feudal lords until the 19th century to travel back and forth to Edo (now Tokyo). Preserved thatched-roof houses give you an idea of what the town used to be like in the old days. Past Ouchijuku, our ride starts with a steep but short climb, followed by a long descent through mountain forests into the Aizu Basin. On our way to Aizuwakamatsu, we stop by one of the oldest temples in the region and a sake brewery. We stay at a beautiful ryokan in Higashiyama onsen spa, Aizuwakamatsu’s back parlor. (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 6 : Lake Hibara (82km)

In the morning, we visit the Bukeyashiki (reconstructed samurai villa) in Aizuwakamatsu to see what the samurai lifestyle used to be like. Today, our ride starts with an 11km climb to Mt. Seaburi, followed by a nice descent to Lake Inawashiro. We then take on the most challenging hill climb of the whole trip towards Lake Hibara, a serene lake situated halfway up the Bandai-san (Mount Bandai, a magnificent volcano). After lunch by Lake Hibara, we wind down by a relaxing ride around the lake. We retreat in a western-style hotel by Lake Hibara. (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 7 : Departure

Following breakfast, we leave Lake Hibara by shuttle bus and local train and transfer in Koriyama to the Shinkansen (bullet train) for Tokyo. Once in Koriyama, it is time to say goodbye to your leader/guide. You arrive in Tokyo in the afternoon. (Breakfast included)