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 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.
Who is this tour for?
- Visitors to Hokkaido who would love road cycling & discovering the island’s popular destinations on two wheels
- Keen adventurers who enjoy cycle touring in alpine landscapes with a few challenging hills
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 Konbu Onsen via Mount Yotei – 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 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 right 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/19miles 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 visit Mount Showa-shinzan and Mount Usu located on the southern side of Lake Toya, which form the 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 we will be cycling the next day.
We finish at the hotel at around 4 pm. Soak in the hot spring spa before refuelling with dinner made using local produce. (D)
Cycling Distance – 55 km / 33 miles
Elevation – 630m / 2,067ft
Cycle from Lake Toya to Niseko Konbu Onsen via Mount Yotei
This morning we farewell 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 Mount Yotei, we visit a popular natural spring water park. 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 gift us with special water, proudly known 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 hotel at the foot of Mount Niseko Annupuri. (B, D)
Cycling Distance – 87 km / 54 miles
Elevation – 1,150m / 3,773ft
Cycle from Niseko Konbu 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 that 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, enjoying morning tea in the mountains. We then continue on our bikes, passing between Mount Iwaonupuri and Mount Niseko Annupuri before descending into Kutchan Town on a stunning mountain road.
Stopping for lunch in Kutchan, we savour the local specialty of Udon noodles made with potatoes grown in the area. After filling up, we leave for our final destination Yoichi, on the Sea of Japan.
After another scenic climb, we 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 30mins to finish.
In Yoichi, we celebrate finishing 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 will 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, enhanced by its architecture and the famous canal. From Otaru to Sapporo is another half an hour train ride and the same train goes all the way to 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 check the 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
- Padded cycling shorts (your bum will thank you)
- Waterproof jacket and pants
- Fleece jacket or similar in case of cold weather
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- 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 ATMs at post offices and 7-eleven convenience stores.
- Your passport. Accommodation providers are required to take a photocopy of the international guests’ passports and you will be asked to show it when checking in.
- Cycling shoes
- Cycling gloves. We can provide these if needed.
- Your own helmet, seat and pedals; we supply these but nothing is more comfortable than your own gear!
- Water bottle or hydration system. We provide a cycling water bottle, but you may prefer your own set up.
- Rental bike, a road bike or a hybrid bike of your choice
- A helmet if needed. It is compulsory to wear one on our tour.
- Front bag for hybrid bike (8L volume), or
- Seat post bag for road bike (6L volume)
- 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
Rental bike & equipment on your Lake Toya to the Sea of Japan cycling tour