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"
I did a short trip from Agematsu (上松) on the Nakasendo (中山道) to Mt. Ontake (御嶽山) recently, catching the late afternoon train from Kachigawa (勝川) north of Nagoya to Nakatsugawa, where I changed trains to Agematsu. Altogether about two hours of travel. From there I rode just under 40kms or so west towards Kaida Kogen […]Read more "Agematsu – Mt. Ontake"
Urugi – Fujimi Panorama – Shiojiri At the end of July and beginning of August I had a few days spare to do a short bike packing trip before a two week trip to Australia for work. A friend of mine, Alex, who I hadn’t seen in a while and had previously been living just […]Read more "Urugi – Fujimi Panorama – Shiojiri"