5 days
Activity Level
★★★★☆
Cycling
218km

Lake Toya to the Sea of Japan | 5 Day Cycling Tour

This cycling and cultural discovery tour first explores Shikotsu-Toya National Park, the closest National Park to Hokkaido’s capital city Sapporo. This easily accessible area offers plenty of opportunities for scenic cycling along with some challenging climbs, and visits Hokkaido's must-see destinations of Noboribetsu, Lake Toya, Niseko and Otaru. Starting from the Pacific Ocean side of Hokkaido, we traverse the mountainous area of Niseko all the way to the Sea of Japan. This tour is perfect for keen adventurers who are visiting Hokkaido for the first time, enjoy cycle touring with a few challenging hills and discovering our unique culture and lifestyle in between rides.

MAP

Otaru city, Noboribetsu city, Niseko town, Kyogoku town, Kutchan town, Yoichi town, Akaigawa village, Sobetsu town, Toyako town

Highlights

No. EM000021 Lake Toya to the Sea of Japan | 5 Day Cycling Tour

Area Otaru city, Noboribetsu city, Niseko town, Kyogoku town, Kutchan town, Yoichi town, Akaigawa village, Sobetsu town, Toyako town
Length 5 days
Price From JPY 260,000
Season July - September
Group size Minimum : 4 Maximum: 10
Activity level 4*★★★★☆
Activities Cycling
Meeting point JR Sapporo Station
Price includes • 4 nights accommodation on single occupancy basis
• 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
• Rental bike (hybrid with flat handlebar or road bike with drop bar handle)
• Other bike accessories 
• Cable car tickets
• All transport as described in the itinerary 
• Snacks and refreshments
• English speaking Japanese guide(s) & mechanic(s)
• Spare parts and mechanic services
• Support vehicle(s)
Clothing • Adequate cycling clothing & high visibility items
• Waterproof jacket
• Fleece jacket or similar in case of cold weather
• Cycling gloves
Items to bring • Sunscreen
• Water bottle or hydration system
• Personal medications

Traveler’s Digest

DAY 1

You’ll meet your group at 1pm at JR Sapporo Station. Once everyone is together we will hold a short meeting to introduce ourselves and to brief everyone on our upcoming 4-day cycling adventure. Leaving Sapporo, we head for Lake Toya via Noboribetsu. An hour and a half drive from the city gets us to this volcanic hot spot with abundant thermal springs and geysers which provide the most dramatic of landscapes. Here we take a leisurely stroll in Jigokudani (Hell Valley) and check out a natural outdoor foot spa, before we continue on to today’s destination of Lake Toya. Our accommodation is located right on the lake shore, where we enjoy the famous night-time fireworks display right above the lake.

DAY 2

After breakfast we get our bikes ready and fitted for everyone to start pedalling for the day. We start right from our hotel on a lakeside path designated for pedestrians and cyclists, then eventually get on a quiet road which goes all the way around Lake Toya. We cycle clockwise around this caldera, which is over 30km/19miles in circumference. Since Lake Toya was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption the adjacent areas enjoy vibrant agriculture and horticulture, which we will take in from the saddle during the day. Another geographic feature of this area is, of course, active volcanoes. We visit Mount Showa-shinzan and Mount Usu located on the southern side of Lake Toya, which form Toya-Usu UNESCO Global Geopark. From the bottom of Mount Showa-shinzan we take a cable car to the observatory on Mount Usu. On a fine day, we can enjoy the panoramic view from Lake Toya to Mount Yotei, the route which we will be cycling the next day. We finish at the hotel at around 4pm.

DAY 3

This morning we farewell Lake Toya and head north into the farming area of Toyoura. Mount Yotei, also known as Ezo Fuji because of its resemblance to Mount Fuji, will be in our sight all morning. Once we get to the foothills of Mount Yotei, we will find a popular natural spring water park where local people and visitors come to fill their water bottles with the natural mineral-rich water. The heavy snowfall makes this area of Niseko a world-famous snow resort, and also gifts us with the special water, proudly denominated as one of “Japan’s 100 Best Spring Waters”. After our refreshing visit, we continue to cycle around the northern fringe of Mount Yotei and through the potato capital Kutchan Town. We finish our day with an ascent to Konbu Onsen at the foot of Mount Niseko Annupuri. 

DAY 4

Today is our last and most challenging cycling day, with three major climbs. From our hotel in Konbu Onsen we start climbing towards Goshiki Onsen on an alpine road which cuts through the Niseko mountains. Just before reaching the top of the pass at 800m/2625ft above sea level, we will have a short break from pedalling and enjoy an hour’s walk around a natural garden of alpine flowers. The trail is well marked and maintained,  you can walk comfortably with your casual walking shoes. We then continue on our bikes to traverse between Mount Iwaonupuri and Mount Niseko Annupuri before our descent into Kutchan Town. Here we savour the local speciality of Udon potato noodles for lunch, before we leave for our final destination Yoichi. On the way we stop at the small village of Akaigawa for a break before the last hill, or alternatively you can part from your bike and travel in the van to finish. In Yoichi, we celebrate the completion of our ride at Nikka Whisky Distillery, founded in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru who was the first Japanese person to serve as an apprentice in whisky making in Scotland. We transfer by train to the port town of Otaru, where we stay overnight.

DAY 5

After checking out of our hotel we leave Otaru by train for Sapporo. After breakfast you can freely explore this historic town featuring an old canal and stone warehouses. The transfer to Sapporo takes approximately one hour, and we say our goodbyes around noon at the JR Sapporo Station which is situated in the centre of the city.

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