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Cycling in Yamagata Prefecture 

Yamagata Prefecture

One of the greatest limitations of Yamagata Prefecture is also one of its greatest strengths that makes this region a true joy to visit and explore. 

 

Leave the car behind and explore the wide open plains, rural farming villages, and beautiful coastline of the Yamagata Prefecture with the absolute freedom only a bicycle can afford.  

With few traffic lights and few cars, some of the most relaxing and beautiful cycling routes in all of Japan can be found amongst the sea of rice paddies and lush forests that cover Yamagata Prefecture.  

We have gathered a list of cycling programs from around Yamagata on this page run by The Hidden Japan, and also other tour groups around this prefecture.

 

Most of these cycling programs are led by experienced local guides who will show you the deep history and vast beauty of this rural region as you cycle along a variety of courses to choose from.

See below for details on a variety of courses and check back as we continue to add more courses across Yamagata Prefecture. 

Haguro Cycling Course 

Tsuruoka City

9,000 yen

A relaxing 3-hour guided cycling and hiking course around the the lush forests of Mt. Haguro.   

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This fully guided cycling course takes guests off the beaten path and immerses them in the splendor of the spiritual town of Togue that rests at the base of the Dewa Sanzan Mountains.

During this 3 hour program we will see the famous five storied pagoda of Mt. Haguro in its ancient cedar forest, the vast farmland of the Gassan Plains, cycle through small villages and forests, and stop at a gorgeous temple to enjoy tea and matcha tea by its Japanese garden.
 

You will be led by a bilingual local guide who will share with you the deep history and stories of the places we see throughout the day.

These bikes are Specialized Sirrus cross bikes that glide across the flat terrain on this course.

Haguro Long Course 

Tsuruoka City

20,000 yen

This is a longer 4 hour course that is guided by the Yamabushi monks of the Dewasanzan Mountains.  

This course integrates an emphasis on the Yamabushi culture of these mountains with a more in depth hike in the forest of Mt. Haguro as well as a visit to one of the shukubo yamabushi lodges where you will also enjoy the shojin ryori cuisine founded on these mountains. 
 

Building off of the standard Haguro course, this tour will also visit Gyokusenji temple but will include zen meditation with the monks of this temple in front of its beautiful Japanese garden.  

This is course is for those wishing to gain a deeper cultural experience during their ride around Mt. Haguro.

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Note that this tour starts at Miyatabo, one of the yamabushi lodges at the base of Mt. Haguro. It can be reached by a bus from Tsuruoka Station see here for a link to its location. 

Haguro Cycling Courses 

Availability                                                                                                          April to October

Price                                                                                                          From 9,000 yen per person

Activity Length                                                                                                       3-4 Hours 

Starting Point                                                                                                         Miyatabo

Included: 

-Rental Bikes (Specialized Sirrus cross bikes with Shimano drivetrains)

-Helmets 

-Trained and experienced guides (English and Japanese)

-All entrance fees 

-Tea and wagashi at the temple

Please note that this tour requires at least 2 people to operate.  

Private tours are also possible upon request. 

Kaminoyama Cycling Course 

Kaminoyama City

13,000 yen

Glide through the wide open rice fields and vast fruit orchards surrounding the hot spring city of Kaminoyama just south of Yamagata City. 

During this full day 5 hour cycling course, you will cycle to an artisans shop in a small village where you will make table coasters with a local craftsman that you can take home.  

You will then cycle to a lovely rural restaurant that serves local home cooked cuisine prepared with local and fresh ingredients grown in the farmland around Kaminoyama.   
 

This course is led both by local Japanese and english speaking guides who would also be happy to give you advice about your travel plans in and around Kaminoyama and Yamagata.  

End the day back in Kamiyama Onsen where we recommend you visit one of the onsen baths where you can soak in the hot spring water and refresh your body in the soothing alkaline baths that moisturize  your skin and soak away your fatigue. 

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Kaminoyama Cycling Course 

Availability                                                                                                          April to October

Price                                                                                                               13,000 yen per person

Activity Length                                                                                                        5 Hours 

Starting Point                                                                                           Kaminoyama Onsen Station

Included: 

-Rental Bikes (Specialized Sirrus cross bikes with Shimano drivetrains)

-Helmets 

-Trained and experienced guides (English and Japanese)

-All entrance fees 

-Lunch and crafts fee 

Please note that this tour requires at least 2 people to operate.  

Private tours are also possible upon request. 

Reservations 

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