July 31-Aug 1 Mount Fuji

DanBell

Speeding Up
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Kawasaki
#1
I'm thinking about doing a weekend trip out around Lake Yamanaka and up to Mount Fuji this coming weekend. Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions for this trip? I checked directions on google maps, and it seems to be just 3 main roads from Shibuya. Has anyone here done this ride before?
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#4
Mikes advice is good :)

Assuming you are riding back (and took R413 Doshi Michi up) I would suggest you come back via R35 > R517 > R412/R413 to Hashimoto.

Cheers,

Philip
 

trad

Maximum Pace
Dec 4, 2006
393
30
48
Tokyo
#6
my 2 yen...
1) Be mindful of turn at Mikage. I forgot to turn left at Mikage (to go to rt 413 from rt 412) on my first time thru this route. Easy to get into the smooth rolling hills and forget the turn. Ended up going to Fuji through Otsuki on my first trip
2) Recommend takign north side of Yamanaka-ko - much less traffic.
3) Get through Hashimoto to Mikage early in am.. Gets very crowded
 
May 22, 2007
3,630
1,469
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#7
2) Recommend takign north side of Yamanaka-ko - much less traffic.
When I was there in May they were doing some work on the cycle path which, when finished, should eliminate the nasty little hill on the northeast 'corner'. Gently riding around the lake (counter-clockwise) is a nice end to the day.

If you've time for some sightseeing while in the area, I recommend the Oshino-hakkai springs where water emerges after seeping through the ground for 7 (or is it 70) years through from Mt. Fuji.

--HF Mike--
 

DanBell

Speeding Up
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Kawasaki
#8
Thanks for all the advice. We're actually thinking about leaving on Friday night. That way we avoid most of the traffic and the heat. We'll see how far we can go Friday, camp somewhere along the way if we don't make it all the way to the lake, then continue on Saturday. Do you guys think the 413 is alright to ride at night?
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#9
There is no street lighting along large sections of R413 and you are in the mountains > so expect it to be DARK.

You can reach Yamanakako from Shibuya in under 6 hours. So you could arrive before midnight on Friday evening. Shame to miss the super scenery along R413 in the dark though . . .

I would have left Tokyo at sunrise (4:30AM) on Saturday and taken a deserved rest at Yamanakako before tackling Fuji-san in the afternoon.

Cheers,

Philip
 

DanBell

Speeding Up
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Kawasaki
#10
Hmm... will have to think about departure time then. If we do end up leaving Friday night, we'll probably come back by the same route on Sunday. In the daylight and in reverse it will be a whole new ride!
 

DanBell

Speeding Up
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Kawasaki
#11
Ended up being a really good time, but cut a bit shorter than expected.

We left on Friday night but a little later than planned. My riding partner was on a Haro aluminum mountain bike, with slick Maxxis Detonator tires. It's a great bike for ripping around Tokyo, but not the best for tackling the hills. This meant that he was falling behind on every incline. He's a gamer, and never gives up, but it was taking him a while to grind up each climb. This was good for me however, as it gave me time to rest at the top of each little incline.

The evening ride on Friday was nice: cool and uneventful. After about 65km on his Haro, my friend was totally exhausted though, and we stopped to camp for the night. Unfortunately, it took us a while to find a flat space to set up our hammocks along the 413, and when we finally did the sun was just beginning to come up. Immediately after laying down, a flock of birds seemingly perched somewhere inside my hammock began the f#$%king dawn concerto. Shortly thereafter the motorcyclists and drifters began tearing up and down the roadf near where we were camping. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep.

After a few hours of pseudo-sleep, we packed off and headed out again. Again, my friend's bike necessitated a slower pace, which was fine with me on no sleep. We took it easy over the last 25km, stopping to have a swim in the river along the way. At some point my buddy rolled over a tack, causing us to stop again to repair the puncture. All of this lead to us arriving at Yamanakako around 1 in the afternoon. We decided that was enough, and set up camp in a forest just off the north side of the lake.

Yamanakako is a weird spot. It's populated with all of these sports camps. I guess parents send their kids there for a week or two of tennis camp to get them out of the house during the summer. Seems like a prime place for a decent bar/restaurant. The coaches and chaperones have to have somewhere to go after they put their charges to bed, right? Well, if such a place exists, we couldn't find it. We ended up eating at Zaza Le Bistro, which, surprisingly, is a Sri Lankan curry joint and not a very good one at that. A few beers later, I was back in my hammock for the first real sleep I had had in about 36 hours.

Sunday was the return. While it was cloudy and overcast around the lake, as soon as we got to the top of Yamabushi heading out of town, the skies cleared and the sun was beating down. After putting in the effort going up the 413 the day before, I knew I was going to enjoy hammering down it heading home. That descent does not disappoint. It just goes on and on forever. I also managed to stop and get some pics of the scenery we missed heading in there on Friday night. The ride got a little frustrating as we got closer into Tokyo, but I suppose that's true for any ride. I love zipping through traffic on my commute, but after a couple of days of flying up and down hills in the fresh air of the countryside, it's hard to see the fun in city riding.

Overall, it was a great trip. If I do it again I'll be looking to get all the way to the lake in one go, then spend Saturday cycling aorund the area a bit.
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#12
If I do it again I'll be looking to get all the way to the lake in one go, then spend Saturday cycling aorund the area a bit.
Cool story...very much enjoyed reading it. As you discovered, Yamanakako is not all that far away from Tokyo...as a matter of fact, many of us manage to do the round trip plus alpha in one single day :) . Long rides like this are great :cool: !
 

DanBell

Speeding Up
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Kawasaki
#13
Yeah, I know our pace was quite soft. I'm not nearly to the level of most of the riders on this forum yet. It was a lot of fun though. As my rides get longer though, the San Marco SKN I'm sitting on now has got to go. I am not a fan of that saddle.
 

wools

Warming-Up
Aug 24, 2010
2
0
0
London
#14
Afternoon all! This is my first post. I found this thread whilst searching for routes for Tokyo to Mt. Fuji so I hope y'all don't mind if I piggy-back on this here thread. :]

A friend and I are cycling from Tokyo to Osaka. We're going via Mount Fuji, and possibly through Shimada and Cape Irago. Has anyone here done this particular route before? Is it advisable? We're going to be staying in hostels so I'm not sure how busy the towns and cities between Shimada and Cape Irago are and if they're likely to have hostels. :S Any ideas?

Plan goes something like this:
Day 1 - cycle out of Tokyo and get to Lake Kawaguchi
Day 2 - cycle out of Lake Kawaguchi and on to some place before Cape Irago (let's call this 'Random Point A')
Day 3 - Random Point A to some place between Irago and Osaka ('Random Point B')
Day 4 - Random Point B to Osaka

I understand the ferry at Cape Irago may be out of action by the end of September. My friend is looking into that as I type. If it's out of action already then looks like Tokyo to Osaka via Nagoya is the way to go.

This will be my first time in Japan so apologies in advance if this route seems ridiculous. You can blame Google Maps. :] So thanks in advance!

Mike
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#15
I think your route works fine and there will be accommodation - just need to google for it, ideally in Japanese.

To make this trip pleasant it is worth spending some time determining which minor roads you can take without adding undue climbing or detours to the trip. You will not enjoy four days on national highways, at least if you are a "normal" person.

BTW, if you can, it is likely better to do the tour in reverse, as the wind tends to blow from Osaka to Tokyo...
 

wools

Warming-Up
Aug 24, 2010
2
0
0
London
#16
Hi Ludwig, cheers for getting back to my post so quickly. I consider myself to be fairly "normal" so undue climbing and detours will be avoided as much as possible! :] Just out of interest - what method do you use to work out avoiding unnecessary climbs / work out the profile of a particular route?

Looking at the route the OP posted for Tokyo to Lake Yamanaka there seems to be a fair few busy roads. Or at least that's the impression I'm given from Google Maps. I will be avoiding the green roads on Google Maps like the plague but what about the darker yellow roads? Would it be advisable to aim for the lighter yellow roads for the entire journey? Sorry, I don't actually know the terminology for these roads so can only refer to them by colour!

Cheers again. Mike.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#17
Green you need to avoid because they are toll roads and bicycles are not allowed. Very likely you will get caught, and even if not, these roads are certainly dangerous.

Dark yellow are national highways and bright yellow are prefectural roads. Not all national highways are bad, and some prefectural roads can be bad. It is not always easy to tell for an area you don't know.

To get to Yamanakako, take Doshimichi, i.e. route 413 from Hashimoto. Except for peak holiday season, the traffic is fairly minimal, even though it is a national highway.

I use mapmyride.com to plan trips. Fairly easy to use - gives you distance and climbing total. Doesn't tell you any better which roads are busy, but then I don't think there is a tool that would.

Good luck!
 

DanBell

Speeding Up
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Kawasaki
#18
I can only vouch for the first leg of your trip, but as Ludwig said, the 413 is quite nice and rural. Getting to the 413 though is some largely unpleasant city riding. Riding it at night on the way out was great: very little traffic the entire way. Coming back on Sunday afternoon as everyone and their station wagon rushed back into Tokyo was not so fun. If you want to ride in the daytime, I recommend leaving Tokyo really early to avoid the daytime traffic as was suggested earlier in this thread.
 

paullb

Warming-Up
May 24, 2010
57
0
0
Fuchu
#20
my 2 yen...
1) Be mindful of turn at Mikage. I forgot to turn left at Mikage (to go to rt 413 from rt 412) on my first time thru this route. Easy to get into the smooth rolling hills and forget the turn. Ended up going to Fuji through Otsuki on my first trip
2) Recommend takign north side of Yamanaka-ko - much less traffic.
3) Get through Hashimoto to Mikage early in am.. Gets very crowded
Even very early (have rolled through before 7h30 a couple times) and it is still got trucks. You can alternitavly take smaller roads that run almost parallel to 413 to the south and connect to 413 about 10km down the road. Don't have a map handy.

EDIT

Found map. I almost always ride this way, skips all the bad traffic.

http://latlonglab.yahoo.co.jp/route/watch?id=6417b426fa051bb76d9213f1c6dc9df6