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Tour suggestions for October - any favourite climbs to recommend?


Nov 16, 2009
Hello all:

I previously posted a request for some advice when I toured Japan in Sept/Oct 2010 (as subject: Two Canadians to visit Tohoku.) At that time, we rode 1,300 km from Tokyo over the alps - following part of the Coast to Coast route suggested by Takashi Niwa in his book of the 10 best rides - then up the Sea of Japan coast from Niigata to Noshiro, crossing back to the Pacific side and into the Shimokita Hanto to Wakinosawa. It was an amazing adventure and I will be back again to focus on the mountains.

I am planning to return in October for a solo tour and would like to ask for some suggestions as to where to ride. I plan to start in Tokyo and do a loop going northwest up to the Kusatsu area and circling west to Ueda, Matsumoto and possibly down to the Kiso valley and then back to Tokyo. I will be on the road for about 2 weeks. My goal is to seek out quiet, rural mountain roads with great views. My questions are:

1. Are there any top favourite rides around these areas that I should do?
2. Is there a base where I can spend a couple of days and explore with great climbs? I was considering spending 2 days in Matsumoto and riding up to Utsukushigahara.
3. I see reference to various routes such as the "blue line" or "green line." Where can I find more information about these routes?
4. Also, any suggestions for cheap accommodations would be greatly appreciated. In 2010, we stayed a few times at the Toyoko Inn which, at 8,000 to 9,000 yen for a twin room with breakfast, was a great deal.

I'd like to join in on one of Pete's rides as well if one is posted when I arrive and spend the first weekend in Tokyo. They look like a lot of fun and a chance to check out the mountains just outside Tokyo.

Thank you kindly in advance for your suggestions.

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