Probably my favourite road in Japan these days. Deep in the Nagano mountains but within reach of Nagoya. While riding we came across a Japanese serow (kamoshika/カモシカ) in the forest. There’s something wonderful and magical about these forest dwellers, especially if you can make eye contact. Stay adventurous, stay keen, and keep exploring. Ridden with Zac […]Read more "Nagano Rindo Ride"
I’ve been wanting to combine cycling with hiking for a while now and decided that this weekend was going to be the time to actually try it out. This is the hike up to Sanpukutoge (三伏峠) on the Nagano/Shizuoka border in the Minami Alps. On a clear day Mt.Fuji is clearly visible so it would […]Read more "Bike & Hike in the Minami Alps"
Old friend Alex – an English, Japanese, French, and German speaker – has finally opened a guest house in Urugi, southern Nagano. A great place for cycling, hiking, and rural Japanese life. Find him on Google and Facebook at Urugi International Center.Read more "Urugi International Center"
Hiking – The benefits of shinrinyoku (森林浴) have been known for a long time now and there is no doubt that being outdoors often alone on a mountain trail is good for your health. Road cycling, bike packing, and mountain biking are all great alternatives but it’s hard to beat the simplicity and laid back approach […]Read more "Hiking – Kurofuyama, Mt. Asama, and Komoro"
One of the frustrations of riding a mountain bike in Japan is the lack of long distance trails. For so many years now I’ve headed down a newly discovered promising gravel track only for it to abruptly end 200m or so later. There are trails out there but they are often difficult to find and […]Read more "Mountain biking in Shinshiro & Nagano"
Mt. Norikura (乗鞍) is considered a right of passage for many cyclists in Japan. It’s the highest road in the country and only bicycles, taxis, and official buses are allowed up. It’s sometimes called Japan’s version of Alpe d’ Huez with plenty of switchbacks, 1200m of elevation gain from the Norikura Heights car park, and […]Read more "Mt. Norikura – Bike and Hike to 3026m"
Friday evening after work I hitched a ride with a friend and his wife to Gokayama (五箇山), a world heritage site, high in the mountains in Toyama prefecture (富山県), about 3 hours north of Nagoya. Arriving around 11pm we all chose to sleep at one of the Michi-no-eki (道の駅) that you can find everywhere throughout […]Read more "Gokayama – Takayama – Nakatsugawa"