Lakes, Forests, and Mountains “Middle-earth” Honshu.
This tour is still in the planning stage if you are interested, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you as soon as dates and prices have been set.
Day 1: Tokyo to Nikko then on to Lake Chuzenji.
Route to Nikko is mostly urban for the first 150km. Becomes forested and more interesting after Utsunomiya. So long as we head out early, this is a 1.5 to 2 hour ride on the Tohoku Expressway from central Tokyo. Easy ride, but traffic will be heavy if we start too late
Stop at Service Area for Refreshments.
Stop at Nikko for lunch, visit Tokugawa Shrine/look around Nikko with its Lush, green forested hills, cute forest town and some great river walks.
Ride up past the to the spectacular Kegon Waterfalls, rated one of the top 3 most beautiful in Japan. Then continue on to Lake Chuzenji, to stay at an onsen. 30 minutes ride on local roads. The winding mountain road (Nihon Romantic Highway) is fun and challenging (over 20 tight switchbacks).
Day 2: Nikko to Lake Chuzenji via Kusatsu and Shiga Kogen to Yamanouchi to Yudanaka (Monkeys).
Head west from Lake Chuzenji, out over local roads and highways, through the mountains to the onsen town of Kusatsu for lunch and afterwards take a look around town a 2 hours easy ride.
Ride over the volcanic mountain pass to Shiga Kogen. Stop for refreshments. Probably 1.5 hours ride. Local roads, easy ride.
Ride down to Yudanaka to stay at onsen. Look around town or visit the monkey onsen park. 0.5 hours ride on local winding roads down a mountain.
Wonderful views of the Northern Alps.
Day 3: Yamanouchi to Yudanaka to Kanazawa.
Yudanaka to Kanazawa by expressway. Stop half way at Service area for refereshments. 2.5 hours ride. Easy ride not much traffic.
Stay at hotel or onsen, visit famous aspects of Kanazawa, Ninja House, etc.
All day wonderful views of the Northern Alps, and after lunch, on the right, the Japan Sea.
Day 4: Kanazawa to Wajima.
Easy ride on local highways, 3 hours.
Lots of quaint fishing villages and side roads along the way. Feeling adventurous? There is a steepish forestry road that offers panoramic views of the coast.
Stay at hotel or onsen. Downtown (Wajima is a small village) is interesting to walk around, with the famous Asaichi Markets selling more kinds of seafood than you ever knew existed. Can also visit a lacquerware (Urushi) factory owned by one of the local families.
Day 5: Wajima around the Noto Hanto to Wakura Onsen.
The small local road around the coast of the Noto Peninsula is a great ride. About 4-5 hours with a stop in Suzu or somewhere nearby for food and refreshments. Some of Japan’s best sushi to be had in this area.
Wakura has an onsen hotel strip facing the waters and Noto Island opposite. All are luxurious, and come with natural water onsen. Great food selections.
Day 6: Wakura Onsen to Shirakawa to Hida.
Leave Wakura, follow the coast for a short time, then back inland past farms and small rural villages.
Shirakawa is famous for its traditional thatched roof houses. We take local highways to get there. About 4 to 5 hours ride
Great scenery, with kilometre upon kilometre of green forests and clear-water streams.
Push on to Hida, and stay at onsen the night. Look around the ancient streets and buildings of both Hida and Takayama before night fall.
Day 7: Hida to Kamikochi to Matsumoto.
Great ride and mountain scenery all the way. Probably 4 to 5 hours ride on local highways and roads.
If getting a late start, can do an early lunch at Takayama, where they are famous for their beef.
Must stop at Kamikochi which is a pristine (and very photo-worthy) alpine valley, featuring towering snow-covered mountains in the background and a wending clear-water stream in the foreground.
No vehicles allowed, so the motorcycles will remain at the carpark.
Hotel or onsen at Matsumoto. A visit to the castle is a must.
Day 8: Matsumoto to Tokyo.
3 hour easy ride by expressway.
Suggested stops at Kofu, especially when grapes are in season, or Kawaguchiko for views of Mt. Fuji.
Comments or questions are welcome.
Comments or questions are welcome.