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299 Beyond Chichibu


Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
I'll be going to Nagano this week either on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on work.

I plan on going there over Rt299, with a visit to the vicious beast of Arima Toge and something called 十石峠 along the way. The total distance is 210km, with a rather ambitious 3600m of climbing (it's probably way too much for one day) so I'm thinking of stopping off somewhere en route and perhaps doing a bit of further exploration in the area.

Anyway, my question is: what is 299 like after Chichibu? Into Chichibu is always one long traffic queue but I have no idea of what it's like on the other side. Is it full of construction trucks or lots of sightseeing traffic?

Does anyone have any experience of this road? Likewise, does anyone have any nice suggestions for some exploration in this area?

This is a rough version of the route, which is still subject to change.

Route 299 beyond Chichibu is nice and quiet, in particular beyond Ogano. The climb up Jukkoku Toge is long and on a nice small road, but can be awful on days when hundreds of motor bikers go up too.

It's definitely doable to go from Tokyo up to Ueda - I have gone all the way to Joetsu this way. To save yourself energy, you should probably do Yamabushi Toge instead of Arima Toge, and follow the valley from Saku to Ueda (or even Nagano) instead of crossing through the base of Yatsugadake.

Thanks very much for the advice Ludwig. Yamabushi is indeed a less taxing climb than Arima and is good advice - I'll download your map. I'll let you know how the ride went.


Hi Travis,

I remember reading your thread but it'd kind of slipped my mind... sorry about that.

I'd love to join - been a very long time since we last rode together - but I'm still not sure about work at the moment.

At a push, it still looks like I'll be finishing stuff off until at least Thursday AM so can't really commit.

Have a safe ride!

A bit of advice

Although you might be almost ready to go, this is just a bit of advice on the route from Komoro city.

Once you get to Komoro city, just try to find Chikumagawa (千曲川) cycling road along the Chikumagawa river. This goes all the way to IIyama city via Ueda city and Chikuma city. This route will give you a great view of Japan alps with no trafic. More than that, it is downward only, no climb. This is obvious since thie CR goes along the reiver.

Once you get to IIyama city, you can take hw 292 and 579 which will guide you to Naoetusu, or Japan sea. This route is introduced as one of the best 10 cycling routes by a famous tour guide who I know.

Just FYI in case you have still time to make a change, good luck

Minoru Arai
Thanks, Arai-san, and agree. The reason I didn't take the cycling road was because I had enormous head wind and it was better to cycle less in the open and with the benefit of the occasional traffic giving me the chance to draft a bit, and also because I found the cycling road was in rather bad condition and my back was hurting already sufficiently to make me prefer a less bumpy surface. Other than that, I think it would be a nice cycling path and better than going down the normal roads.
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