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2 Route Options: Hirayu Hot Springs to Matsumoto


Jul 19, 2013
I'll be on my (moderately loaded) touring bike, day 6, going from the Hirayu Hot Springs area to Matsumoto. I've mapped out two route options:

- option A) via route 158 down to the Matsumoto river valley. This is about 65 km and 775 mt of climbing, but there are a lot of tunnels
- option B) via the Norikura Skyline (route 5) and then route 84 until I meet up with route 158 in option (A). This is 95 km and 1550 mt of climbing, and no tunnels until I hit route 158

If I wasn't on my touring bike, I would definitely take option B, and may still.... does anyone have any knowledge of either these routes?

(my noted elevation gain is less than what's stated in RWGPS as sites which rely on Google for accumulated elevation gains do not accurately consider tunnels, which I manually subtracted)
They're both perfectly navigable by bicycle. The pass on option A is called Abo-toge; the immediate descent from there is kinda rough, with striated concrete on the hairpin turns.

The views from Norikura will be worth the extra climbing. Stock up on water in the town before you begin climbing as there's nothing until the top. Private cars are not allowed, so there's only taxis and tour buses to content with, and they are used to dealing with mad cyclists. It's the highest paved road in Japan!
Thank you! The highest paved road in Japan is now going to be hard to pass up. This year I cycled the two highest paved roads in North America, Mt Evans and Pikes Peak, both over 14,000' (4,300 mt). Thanks for letting me know about that fact.
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