- Tour Plan
- Additional Info
- Similar Tours
- Accommodation twin share room
- Cycle Friendly Accommodation
- Expert advice
- Premium bike rental
- Wahoo GPS unit with preloaded routes
- A guided tour of important places
- Medical insurance and emergency insurance
- Personal expenses
- Services not specifically stated in the itinerary
- Tips to guide and driver
- Visa arrangements
Gotemba, nestled in the valley between Mt. Fuji and Hakone, Gotemba is one of the most scenic and incredible cycling destinations in Japan. With a long history as the holiday home location for the royal family, the landscape offers incredible scenery and many hidden cultural gems. With good access from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, not to forget one of the key locations for the Tokyo Olympic Road Race, Gotemba is developing its cycle friendly amenities and offering some unique on and off bike experiences.
Exploring the East
The quiet roads to the east offer up unique views of Mt. Fuji, all an easy ride form the main entry point at Gotemba Station. Choose the Hakone/Otome exit and the mountain greets you. The newly opened cafe 4120223 is the perfect place the start and the tourist centre located next door is also great for more information. There are two main loops, both intermediate to advanced as there is a moderate amount of climbing. See our recommended courses for more details, but expect stunning views of Fuji on a clear day and quiet undulating backroads through the forest. Heading further south, another great location and stopping point is the famous Tokino Sumika, which is part hotel complex, part theme park. Again, great coffee and some unique views of Mt. Fuji can be enjoyed.
Exploring the West
The west exit of Gotemba Station lands you at the foot of Mt. Fuji. There is no escaping the slope and essentially the climbing begins from your first turn of the pedals. However, before you get stuck into the climb proper, filling your bidons with Mt. Fuji water at the Shinbashiasama Shrine is a must. This local landmark is considered the official starting point for the climb up mt. Fuji and the ever flowing water from deep within Mt. Fuji has taken 50years to make it to the surface. We like to map a route that takes you into the quieter urban areas as you navigate your way out of Gotemba. The density of houses soon changes to rice fields and, small forests and farming lands and some incredible views of Mt. Fuji from these back roads can be enjoyed. The Self Defence Force barracks mark the end of the built up areas and the climbing really starts to get serious. Two options await and during the warmer months, you can head to the 1400m Gotemba 5th Station or continue toward the 2400m Fujinomiya 5th Station. Both are serious commitments, but worth the effort.
Downtown & Cultural Experiences
One of the most enjoyable ways to explore Japan’s iconic cities and town is with the “Mamachari”. Mamachari are utility bicycles relied on by families for a variety of basic transportation needs, including lugging groceries from the supermarket, getting to the train station, or shuttling children to and from kindergarten or daycare. Inexpensive and dependable, these workhorses are common sights in Japan’s urban landscape. Easy to ride and rent from Gotemba Station, they are the perfect way to visit local attractions off the beaten track. Gotemba was the location of the earliest known settlement founded in the region of Shizuoka which dates back 2,000 years ago and also housed the summer residence of the royal family as many historical sites remain. Together with some of the best Green Tea in the country, and traditional Japanese indigo dyeing, which is passed down from Edo period, there are plenty of off-bike experiences to enjoy all within easy reach of the station.
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
Arrive Gotemba + Nagao Pass Loop (30-40km)
Arrive Gotemba Station and depending on tour style, either pick up rental bike at hotel or local tourism office. The afternoon ride is a few hours with some moderate climbing and some wonderful views across the higher points. On the way out of Gotemba, the course takes you past some of the local heritage sites, including a famous shrine used by one of Japan's most revered directors for filming. The surrounds of the temple are simply magical.
The route then heads upward, avoiding the more trafficked roads before connecting with the 401 route and Otome viewpoint. Hopefully the skies are clear and the majestic Mt. Fuji is visible before heading deep into the forest road and the next viewpoint at Shirukoya Teahouse (closed) and on to the Nagao Pass. The climb is approx 7km and finishes at the ridgeline and tunnel that heads to Hakone.
Toilets and another great view can be had from the startpoint of the Hakone Skyline Road, a toll road that is unfortunately closed for cycling, but we can still use the facilities at the toll gate. Head back down and turn right for Hakone and enjoy the Lake Ashinoko and the views of the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park.
The narrow gentle descent is wonderful in all seasons and finishes at the 138 which takes you back over the pass. The tunnel at the top is the only concern, so carry some lights for safety, but make sure to stop at the newly renovated Fujimi Cafe and enjoy a coffee or a great Burger.
Head back down the hill and make your way to your accommodation or onward journey.
Green Tea Loop (60km) + Cultural Experience
Mt Fuji 5th Station (35-70km) + Depart
Beginning the ride with a stop at the shrine that pays homage to Mt. Fuji, you can also fill water bottles with the purest Mt. Fuji water that has spent 50years making its way through the mountain. The ride then heads through the backroads where a glimpse of suburban japanese style can be enjoyed. Soon the landscape opens up and Mt. Fuji is ever present in the backdrop.
The turn onto route 23 marks the start of the serious climbing. Depending on route, either 7km to Gotemba 5th Station which peaks at 1400m altitude, or the longer route the 28km course to the lofty 2400m Fujinomiya 5th Station. Weather is variable on Mt. Fuji. so pack appropriate clothing.
The course is simple to navigate, just hard to ride as the climbing is relentless, however, pick your day and the views from high on the slopes of Mt. Fuji can be simply stunning. With the hard work done, it is time for the long descent, so be sure to ride within your limits and enjoy the amazing road.
More about Gotemba Discover Gotemba
More about Mt.Fuji Discover Mt.Fuji
More about Shizuoka
More about this tour
Gotemba Station can be easily accessed from Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Station. From Tokyo take the JR Tokaido Line to Kozu then the Gotemba Line to Gotemba. Altogether it takes just over two hours. Alternatively, the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku will get you there in one hour and 40 minutes.
- Indigo Dyeing Experience
- Green Tea Farm Experience
- Buddhist Temple Experience