Lake Toya To The Sea Of Japan 4 Day Cycling Tour

Rural cycling around Lake Toya

Hokkaido cycle touring at its best. An adventurous snapshot of Hokkaido’s wild landscapes, gastronomy and unique culture in 4 days traversing the Niseko mountains.

This cycling and cultural discovery tour explores the 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. We visit Hokkaido’s must-see destinations of Lake Toya, Mount Usu and Niseko. 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 operated in conjunction with Cycling Japan.

Tour Highlights

Marvel at the volcanic landscapes and caldera lakes of Shikotsu–Toya National Park

Cycle the perimeter of the beautiful Lake Toya, enjoying a landscape forged by volcanoes that still shape the area to this very day.

Enjoy the serene sight of Mt. Yotei, or "Ezo Fuji"

Enjoy the sight of Hokkaido's very own "Mt. Fuji"! Mt. Yotei is a similar stratovolcano to the iconic Mt. Fuji, which in time has earned it the nickname "Ezo Fuji" which borrows from "Ezo", the former name for the island.

Pedal your way through an agricultural heartland

On this tour, you'll cycle past vast fields of wheat, potatoes, beans and more. This fertile belt provides delicious produce that is enjoyed by the residents of Hokkaido, and will be on your plate at dinner.

Relax & rejuvenate each evening in natural hot springs

As we pass through this volcanic landscape, there is plenty of opportunity to soak in rejuvenating natural hot springs - perfect for those tired legs.

Itinerary

Day 1

Meet your group in Lake Toya & Cycle around Lake Toya

You will meet your guides and group between 9:30 am and 10:00 am in the Lake Toya onsen village. Once everyone is together we will hold a short meeting to introduce ourselves and brief everyone on our upcoming 4-day cycling adventure. We will then get our bikes ready and fitted for everyone to start pedalling for the day.

We start cycling from our hotel on a lakeside path designated for pedestrians and cyclists, then on to a quiet road that loops all the way around Lake Toya. We cycle clockwise around the caldera lake, which is over 30km in circumference.

Since Lake Toya was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption the adjacent areas have vibrant agriculture and horticulture, which we will take in from the saddle during the day.  Active volcanoes are another geographic feature of this area. We will climb up the lower slopes of Mt. Usu and visit Mt. Showa-shinzan, which only formed in 1943. Both mountains and the lake caldera form the Toya-Usu UNESCO Global Geopark.

After completing our circuit of the lake, we will return to our hotel, where you can relax in an onsen hot-spring looking over the lake.

Cycle 55 km with 630 m climbing
Stay Hotel at Lake Toya
Day 2

Cycle from Lake Toya to Niseko Konbu Onsen via Mount Yotei

This morning we bid farewell to Lake Toya and head north into the farming area of Toyoura. This area has unobstructed views of Mount Yotei (also known as Ezo-Fuji as it resembles Mount Fuji). We will point our front wheels towards the volcano with spectacular views all morning.

Arriving at the foot of Mt. Yotei, we visit a popular natural spring. Local people come here to fill their water bottles with natural mineral-rich water. The heavy snowfall that makes the area of Niseko a world-famous winter resort also gifts us with special water, renowned as one of ”Japan’s 100 Best Springs”.

After filling our bottles with fresh water, we continue to cycle through farmland around the northern fringe of Mount Yotei to the potato capital Kutchan Town. From Kutchan we climb through the international resort town of Niseko to Konbu Onsen, our lodging at the foot of Mount Niseko-Annupuri.

Cycle 87 km with 1150 m climbing
Stay Ryokan at Konbu Onsen
Day 3

Cycle from Niseko Konbu Onsen to Yoichi & Transfer to Otaru

Today is our final 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 that cuts through the Niseko mountains.

Just before reaching the top of the pass at 800 m above sea level, we will have a short break, enjoying morning tea in the mountains. We then continue on our bikes, passing between Mt. Iwaonupuri and Mt. Niseko-Annupuri before descending into Kutchan Town on a stunning mountain road.

Stopping for lunch in Kutchan, we will savour the local specialty — Udon noodles made with potatoes grown in the area. After filling up, we will depart for our final destination, Yoichi, on the Sea of Japan.

After another scenic climb, we will stop at the small farming village of Akaigawa for a break before attacking the last hill. Alternatively, you can part from your bike and travel in the van for the last 30mins. Situated on the shores of the Sea of Japan, the small town of Yoichi marks the end of our ride.

After celebrating finishing our ride, we pack the bikes into the van and transfer to Otaru by train. Otaru is a historic port town famed for its seafood and the canal that connects the town centre to the sea and it is here that we will look back over our adventure with a final evening feast.

Cycle 55 km with 900 m climbing
Stay Hotel in Otaru
Day 4

Farewells

Our tour finishes after breakfast today. We recommend that you explore the town of Otaru on foot. The town has a unique, old-fashioned atmosphere, which is enhanced by its architecture and the famous canal. It is a half and hour train ride from Otaru to Sapporo and the same train goes all the way to New Chitose Airport (CTS).

What Guests Say

A cyclist passes by Mount Yotei, a conical volcano.

All in all, an excellent experience.


Good route - challenging, but satisfying, with charming views largely on back roads. Our guide, Ayu, was very dependable and adaptable, and managed the group really well. GPS maps were easy to follow if you're a little ahead or a little behind. Loved the accommodations picked (awesome views & onsen in Lake Toya; great food in all).

All in all, an excellent experience.

Dates & Prices

+¥16,000pp for single room
  • 2024

    1. June 24, 2024 - June 27, 2024
      Fully Booked
    2. August 01, 2024 - August 04, 2024
      from ¥176,000pp
      Open
      Enquire
    3. August 28, 2024 - August 31, 2024
      from ¥176,000pp
      Open
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    4. September 10, 2024 - September 13, 2024
      Fully Booked
  • Enquire About a Private Departure

Travel Style

We aim to cycle from accommodation to accommodation on this tour. We will provide a vehicle to support cyclists and carry water, snacks and any other items needed for cycling. You will load your luggage into the support vehicle, so you only need to carry daily necessities when you ride. If you need to stop cycling at any point during the day, you are welcome to take a rest in the support vehicle. Please be aware that the number of seats may be limited depending on the number of people and the vehicle we use.