Lake Toya to the Sea of Japan
Multi-day Guided Cycling Tour in Western Hokkaido
4 Day Cycling Tour
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.
Tour Duration4 Days
Minimum Travellers4 People
Tour StartsLake Toya, Hokkaido
Included Meals3 Breakfasts
Tour FinishesYoichi, Hokkaido
- Cycle touring around Lake Toya & Mount Yotei in Shikotsu-Toya National Park
- Relax & rejuvinate each evening in natural hot spring Onsens
- Taste the pure spring water of the Niseko mountains
- Visit the award-winning Nikka Whisky Distillery in Yoichi Town
About Lake Toya to the Sea of Japan
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. We visit Hokkaido’s must-see destinations of Lake Toya, Mount Usu and Niseko. Our journey starts from the Pacific Ocean side of Hokkaido and we traverse the mountainous area of Niseko all the way to the Sea of Japan.
Who is this tour for?
- Visitors to Hokkaido who would love road cycling & discovering the island’s popular destinations
- Keen adventurers who enjoy cycle touring with a few challenging hills in alpine landscapes
Lake Toya to the Sea of Japan Cycling Tour Itinerary at a Glance
*B: Breakfast D: Dinner
Day 1 Group meets in Lake Toya, Cycle around Lake Toya – 53km/33miles (D)
Day 2 Cycle to Niseko Onsen – 87km/54miles (B, D)
Day 3 Cycle to Yoichi – 55-78km/34-48miles (B, D)
Day 4 Transfer to Yoichi Station, farewells (B)
This tour is operated in conjunction with Cycling Japan.
Tour InclusionsItems that are included in the cost of tour price.
- 3 nights accommodation on twin share basis
- 3 breakfasts & 3 dinners
- Rental bike (hybrid with flat handlebar or road bike with drop bar handle)
- Other bike accessories (See the equipment section on “Trip Details” page)
- All transport as described in the itinerary
- Snacks and refreshments
- English speaking local guide(s)
- Spare parts and mechanic services
- Support vehicle(s)
Not includedItems that are not included in the cost of tour price.
- Personal expenses
- Drinks with included meals
Meet your group in Lake Toya & Cycle around Lake Toya
You’ll 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 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, you can take an optional ride on the 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. (D)
Cycling Distance – 55 km / 33 miles
Elevation – 630m / 2,067ft
Cycle from Lake Toya to Niseko Onsen via Mount Yotei
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 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. (B, D)
Cycling Distance – 87 km / 54 miles
Elevation – 1,150m / 3,773ft
Cycle from Niseko Onsen to Yoichi
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 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 in 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 specialty 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 (30mins) to finish.
In Yoichi, we celebrate the completion of our ride at the Nikka Whisky Distillery, founded in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru, the first Japanese person to serve as an apprentice whisky maker in Scotland. (B, D)
Cycling Distance – 55-78 km / 34-48 miles
Elevation – 900-1,260m / 2,953-4,134ft
Transfer to Yoichi Station, Farewells
Our tour finishes after breakfast today; we take you to the Yoichi JR Station. We recommend that you visit the historic port town of Otaru, which is only half an hour train ride from Yoichi, on the way to Sapporo.
Otaru is renowned for its nostalgic, old-fashioned atmosphere, which is enhanced by its architecture and the famous canal. From Otaru to Sapporo is another half an hour train ride, or alternatively, the same train takes you all the way to the New Chitose Airport (CTS). (B)
Please note that the route on the map doesn’t indicate the actual cycling routes.
Travel to the Meeting Point
On the first day of the tour, we will meet at 9:30am at Lake Toya JR Station or 10:00am at your hotel in the Lake Toya onsen village. There is a direct train departing from Sapporo JR Station at 7:30 am and arriving at Lake Toya JR Station at 9:22 am.
The closest airport to Sapporo City is New Chitose Airport (CTS), from which the Rapid Airport Express departs every 15-20 mins for Sapporo (takes just under 40 mins, costs JPY 1,150 per person). It is recommended that you arrive in Sapporo the day before the tour starts, in this case, we are more than happy to assist you with booking your pre-tour accommodation.
On booking, please let us know your travel plans to Lake Toya, and we will confirm in detail where and what time we will meet you on the first day.
You can search train timetable in English on Japan Transit Planner website.
Lake Toya to the Sea of Japan Cycling Tour Accommodation
|DAY 1||Ryokan||Ensuite||Onsen spa|
|DAY 2||Ryokan||Ensuite||Onsen spa|
|DAY 3||Hotel||Ensuite||Onsen spa|
What to Bring on your Lake Toya to the Sea of Japan Cycling Tour
- Adequate high visibility cycling clothing
- Waterproof jacket and pants
- Fleece jacket or similar in case of cold weather
- Cycling gloves
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Water bottle or hydration system
- Personal medication
- Travel insurance
- Cash in Japanese yen. Small restaurants and shops in rural parts of Japan do not accept credit cards. Lunch in general costs 1,000-1,500 yen and dinner 2,000-3,000 yen. You can withdraw cash from an ATM at a post office and 7-eleven convenience stores.
- Cycling shoes
- Your own seat and pedals; we have them fitted to our bikes, but nothing is more comfortable than your own gear!
- Your own helmet. It is compulsory to wear one on our tour
- Rental bike, a road bike or a hybrid bike of your choice
- Front bag for hybrid bike (8L volume), or
- Seat post bag for road bike (6L volume)
- Helmet and gloves on request
- Spare tube, tyre levers, multi tool, pump, and flat patches are placed in the bag
- All the bikes are equipped with front and rear lights, and cycle computers
- Support vehicle
- Water and snacks
- First aid kit
Please note that you will be asked to show your passport when checking in accommodation in Japan. It is a requirement for accommodation providers to take a photocopy of the passport of international guests.
Rental bike & equipment on your Lake Toya to the Sea of Japan cycling tour