2021 JAPAN ALPS RAID

Tokyo, Japan

Rc
8 reviews
Aug 22 - 29, 2021
Group size: 6 - 18
2021 JAPAN ALPS RAID
Tokyo, Japan

8 reviews

$5900
Deposit: $800
Aug 22 - 29, 2021
Group size: 6 - 18

About this trip

Travel for the sake of travel is silly. Japan is travel for the sake of the pursuit of the best. You'll be hard pressed to find better roads, and you'll be harder pressed still to find an experience that challenges and rewards on so many levels more than simply cycling.

JAPAN ALPS RAID

Sometimes, it feels like there's a trend to travel for the sake of traveling, to visit a place merely because it's far away and exotic. Japan could be a place like that, but it isn't. The riding in Japan can go toe to toe with any region around the world. The terrain is perfect for cycling – undulating with a lean toward mountainous. Roads are tiny, nearly overgrown, plentiful in selection, and generally bereft of cars. And that certain magic that makes a place special? Japan has it in spades.


Starting in Tokyo, the megalopolis of Japan, the RAID  heads south on challenging roads dotted with climbs through verdant, dense forests on perfect pavement, barely wide enough for a car – a theme for most of the trip.


Over the first three days, the rider will be treated to a mountainous buffet of perfection – deserted, unused roads, through dense forests, peppered with broad views. The climbs grow, the elevation soars, the roads grow ever twistier.


Early in the trip, the route ascends one gigantic climb, Mount Norikura. Every bit the equal of Europe's greatest, Norikura gains 1,500 metres and tops out at 2,700 metres, like the Stelvio. It's big, it's tough, and it's worth the effort.


After reaching the outskirts of Kaga on the coast, the route heads south away from the Japanese Alps. At this point, it is hard to imagine much better, but that's exactly what lies ahead.

On the other side, the Sea of Japan coast, the landscape opens up and welcomes the water and the beautiful autumn skies. We ply a path south along the coast with never ending views of the water, before heading inland, to small roads that climb and climb and seem barely able to hold off nature's onslaught. Grass, trees, bushes, and vines are all barely held at bay at the side of the road.


During the day, the rider will be treated to the best that Japan has to offer. That theme will continue in the evenings, with the chance to explore all things uniquely and wonderfully Japanese: hot-springs, food, lodging and people.


We finish after an unforgettable parcours in the stylish city of Kyoto, Japan's former capital, and by all accounts Japan's city of cities, renowned for its temples, shrines, and vibrant geisha culture.

WHAT IS INCLUDED

Our departures are all-inclusive. All prices 
include hotel accommodation on a double-occupancy basis (single-occupancy is available on most trips for an additional fee), professionally guided rides, on-road
 vehicle support, limited laundry & recovery, all meals (excluding alcohol), and ride nutrition/food (hydration, energy bars, etc.). Baggage transfer, porterage and all gratuities at restaurants are also included.  

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

Airfare is not included and gratuities for our trip leaders and personal expenses. Bicycles are not included on this departures. *For all Japan departures, airport transfers are not inclusive. There are many affordable and convenient transportation options from airport to city centers in Tokyo and Kyoto. 

CANCELATION POLICY

RAID strives to ensure our guests have the most flexibility when signing up for a cycling adventure. Deposits: Deposits are fully refundable up to 90 days before the trip start date. Within 90 days of the trip, deposits are no longer refundable. Refunds: You can request a refund up to 90 days before trip start. Once within 60 days from the start of the trip, there are no refunds of any kind. Trip Transfers: You may transfer 100% of your payment or deposit to another trip 60-90 days before your trip departure. Once inside of 60 days of trip start, 50% of your trip fee is eligible for transfer. This allows you to credit your payment towards a future trip with RAID.    

*A cancellation administration fee of $75 applies to all cancellations from 60-120 days prior trip departure.
This cancellation policy applies to all trips, as well as all other additional services.
The effective date of a cancellation will be the date on which your cancellation notice is received.

Note: Cancellation policy for certain longer voyages and Holiday departures may vary due to high demand for these tours. Our Group cancellation policies vary.  Also, please review our Terms and Conditions. We stress the importance of purchasing a travel protection plan to protect yourself from fees in the event you need to cancel your reservation.  


IN THE EVENT THAT WE CANCEL YOUR TRIP

We will provide you with a $150 credit to use on another RAID trip departing over the proceeding two years. You will also be entitled to: (a) book any other available trip; or (b) receive a full refund of all monies paid; and we will not be liable for any flight or insurance costs you have incurred (it is for this reason that we recommend you delay booking flights and arranging insurance until your trip is confirmed). We reserve the right to stop you from participating on your trip if you: behave in an abusive and/or threatening manner; or engage in illegal activities.

TRANSFERRING YOUR TRIP

Should a business or personal emergency cause you to not be able to go on your trip, you may transfer to any other trip, which: has space available on it; and is scheduled to depart within two years of the trip you originally signed up for. There is no charge for transferring all of your payments to another trip. Transfers made 60 days or fewer in advance will be considered a cancellation, and our standard cancellation policy will apply.

Available Packages

RIDER DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

Pay a deposit now. The remaining balance will be due as shown. You will receive an email with a link to pay when a payment is due.

  • $800 - Deposit due at booking
  • $5560 - Final payment due Tuesday, May 25, 2021
$5900
Deposit: $800
RIDER SINGLE OCCUPANCY

Pay a deposit now. The remaining balance will be due as shown. You will receive an email with a link to pay when a payment is due.

  • $1000 - Deposit due at booking
  • $5560 - Final payment due Tuesday, May 25, 2021
$6800
Deposit: $1000
$5900
Deposit: $800

RIDER DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

Itinerary

Japan Alps
Japan Alps

Day 1: TOKYO (arrival Day)

Upon your arrival into Tokyo, you will make your way from the airport into the bustling heart of Tokyo, Shibuya. The center of young generation, Shibuya is the most energetic district in Tokyo, offering countless restaurants, shops and entertainment. After you check into our arrival hotel, spend a few hours walking around the buzzing neighborhood, witnessing the busiest intersection in the world, Shibuya Crossing, about 3,000 people at most cross the large intersection at the same time, and a half million people a day. There is some great coffee to be found at About Life Coffee Brewers, one of the last Tower Records is nearby and it’s a close walk to Paul Smiths main Tokyo shop. 

This afternoon our RAID staff mechanics will meet you to assemble your bicycle and we will host a briefing about the trip before we head into the heart of the city for dinner this evening. If your up for a shot of Japanese whiskey, we will cozy up with our fellow drinkers at one of the big-hearted “Tiny” bars.  O/N Cerulean Tower, Shibuya


Day 2: HIGASHI OME TO KOFU

65 miles / 6,100 Feet   

We transfer this morning via train that heads south, taking us into the heart of Higashi-Ōme, a mountainous region laced with deep gorges, raging rivers and mountain lakes. Our first ride sees us cycling uphill deep into the river gorge, with exciting side trips through lost villages. It’s the perfect intro into the style of riding we will encounter the rest of the week.  Enjoy a hot bowl of soba for lunch at a mountain top cafe before descending into the lush Kofu valley.  

This afternoon, take a dip into your first Onsen hot spring at Hottarakashi Onsen, an open air bath sitting high above the valley floor below. Soak while taking in the stunning view of Mt. Fuji in the distance.  O/N Fruits Park Fujiya Hotel   


Day 3: KISOFUKUCHIMA TO MT NORIKURA

62 miles / 7,888 Feet   

This morning we begin our journey with another short transfer via bus to the small village of Kiso-Fukushima, located on the historic Edo Period Nakasendo or better known as the 'Road through the Central Mountains' which was part of feudal Japan's network of highways. Traveller’s moving between Kyoto and Tokyo took several days to travel the Nakasendo. We will tackle this remarkable section on our bikes. After a series of short climbs and valley riding, we will come to the base of the monster that is Mr Norikura.  Mount Norikura is more than 38km long with a 5.3% average gradient. Topping out at 2,715m, it is the highest road  in Japan and only cyclists and the occasional private bus are allowed up and over it.  We will spend the first 20km on the lower slope of the mountain before we arrive at this evenings ski chalet.
O/N Northstar-Norikura


Day 4: MT NORIKURA TO SHIRAKAWA

80 miles / 8,600 Feet   

Rise early and take in another morning Onsen soak before we make our final push up and over Mt Norikura. With no cars allowed, this early morning 20-mile climb at 5% is remarkable. As we summit, take in the breathtaking panorama of views above the tree line.  Enjoy the 30-mile descent off the western slope of the giant before we soft pedal through the river valleys before lunch. After lunch we have one more substantial climb before we arrive at our final destination, the historic World Heritage site of Shirakawa-go (白川郷, Shirakawagō) along the Shogawa River Valley in the remote mountains, famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old.  We descend into the village from a remote mountain road. Enjoy a black sesame ice cream before we finish off our last 10-miles to our traditional ryokan.  

Tonight we check into what one guest of ours described as staying in a ‘Samurai’s home’. A traditional Japanese inn offering a nostalgic atmosphere. The inn is full of history and is distinguished by its commitment to the spirit of hospitality. We can enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot springs. Local cuisine made with seasonal locally-sourced ingredients is served.  All guest rooms are Japanese-style  with tatami mat floors and futon bedding.  O/N Oshirakawa-no-yu-Hirase Onsen   


Day 5: SHIRAKAWA TO KAGA

100 miles / 9,206 Feet   

Today is a special ride, we begin from our ryokan this morning, cycling along the Shogawa River heading do west. This ride has it all, fun punchy climbs, fast twisty descents, waterfalls, rice fields, temples and finishing off with a tiny mountain path too small for vehicles. Keep an eye open for bear this afternoon before we arrive into the hot spring town of Kaga.  

In addition to our remarkable ride today, we have some activities planned this afternoon. Enjoy a soak in the famous onsen before joining us for a shot of whisky or manhattan at our friendly Swing piano bar next door. After a wonderful dinner tonight, if your up for it, join us at a traditional Karaoke bar, owned by a lovely and graceful retired Bon Odori dancer.
O/N Hatori-Kaga   


Day 6: KAGA TO SUIGEKKA 

98 miles / 4,500 Feet 

As we depart this morning, the staff from the Hatori lodge come out to send us off wishing us a safe journey. As we roll  south, our first stop once we arrive at the Sea of Japan is at the Yushima bridge. Cycle over to Yushima island and visit the Shinto shrine. From here, we spend the next 60 miles along the coast of the Sea of Japan. At lunch we will jump into the ocean to go for a swim. Tonight we check into Hotel Suigekka, an isolated spa inn overlooking Lake Suigetsuko. The hotel is especially known for its sumptuous kaiseki dishes with lavish amounts of crab and other seasonal seafood. Inside the hotel is a number of hot baths and saunas that overlook the Suigetsuko and the mountains. O/N Hotel Suigekka


Day 7: SUIGEKKA to kYOTO 

89 miles / 7,000 Feet 

Our last days journey has us cycling deep into the mountains north of Kyoto. Tiny mountain roads through the heavily forested river valley’s. The riding north of Kyoto is remarkable, some of the finest stretches of road any where! Once we descend out of the mountains, we will stop for one last lunch at a traditional soba house in the Mayama valley, a remote mountainous location known for it’s sweetfish fishing on the Yura River.  The area is famous for its traditional, thatched roof (kayabuki) farmhouses of which over 200 can be seen dotting the countryside. The majority of Miyama's old houses survive as residential dwellings where people still live and work. This in turn lends a very nostalgic atmosphere to the area, and gives us a chance to experience the traditional, authentic feel of rural Japan. 

A few more stunning climbs with views across the Yamashiro basin, brings us to Kyoto.  This afternoon spend a moment exploring Kyoto's centuries-old geisha district, its many temples and shrines, stunning gardens, and bamboo groves.  Our celebratory dinner tonight is at our beloved Manzara, where you will dine on "Obanzai (Kyoto-style home cooking).
O/N Kyoto Tokyu Hotel 


Day 8: TRANSFER DAY

This morning, we will assist you with your transfer to another hotel in Kyoto, or if your departing, we will assist with the purchase of the limousine bus service to Osaka International Airport, (KIX). It’s fast, easy and the best way to get to the airport for your safe journey home. 

Your Organizer


Rc
RAID cycling
8 reviews
Brad Sauber | Owner Brad brings 25+ years’ experience creating and running cycling and cultural trips around the globe. From Bolivia to Bhutan, the Himalayas to the Alps, New Zealand to the Rockies, Brad has a passion for helping guests uncover the magic of destinations, their people and culture. In addition to guiding all over the world, Brad was a founding partner at inGamba and the founding Head of Rapha Travel in 2012. When you get to know Brad, you understand cycling just isn’t part of his job, it’s a key aspect of his life. Raised in Washington State, Brad now lives in Mill Valley, California – with his wife, Dawn, and undisclosed number of bikes. Let him know if you’re passing through as he’s always up for a ride down the road or up the mountain. @bsauber

Reviews

Thank you Brad for an incredible adventure on and off the bike traversing the Big Island! From Kona along the Ironman route to Hawi, where we were privy to the key spots in an all locals town, to Hilo where we rode up to the Kilauea Ike Volcano and then hiked down into it! Wow! Many more one of a kind stops along our route as we headed back to Kona. A cool ride from Kailua up the mountain through coffee farms to the sacred Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. Lots of great moments to be remembered. And loved our crew, Dawn, Meltem & Engine. We had some fun!
We had a fantastic trip Great cycling great people great food great pampering by Brad! Isabel
Brad and the Raid Cycling staff are incredible. It's not our first time trusting our cycling vacation with Brad, and it won't be our last. They pay attention to every last detail: the rides are superb with stunning vistas, the accommodations & restaurants are excellent, the bikes are checked and maintained daily, and lastly, no matter what your experience is, every rider's comfort is ensured.
What a fantastic trip! The people, support, dining, routes, and scenery were phenomenal! Highly recommended.
By Jim Timberlake for COLORADO: Aspen & Vail on Aug 13, 2019
What a great adventure! This trip exceeded expectations with spectacular scenery, roads less traveled, quirky hotels and great food. Brad would appear in his van as if by magic whenever the hunger pangs threatened and as a local knew exactly where to stop to ensure we got the full adventure tourist experience.
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