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Picture yourself tearing through ancient forest paths, your eyes feasting on the iconic Mount Fuji and your ride propelled by crisp autumn breeze. You feel the golden leaves from ancient ginkgo trees rustling under your tires—soundtrack for your 8-day MTB trip in central Japan. As you shred world-class trails amidst the peaks of the Japanese Alps, you fantasize about the tantalizing aromas of sizzling yakitori and delicate tempura. Between the rides, witness the seamless merger of history and sacred traditions in majestic castles, Shinto shrines, and serene temples. And once out of the saddle, rejuvenate your weary muscles in blissful onsens, its steam melting away the day’s exertions. Join your guides in Japan and experience the captivating fusion of modernity and adventure, loamy trails and tradition—indulgence and iconic natural sites.

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  • Hero MTB infrastructure

    Ride world-class MTB trails amidst snow-clad peaks and ancient forests

  • Centuries of culture

    Visit hidden temples, feudal castles, and sacred pilgrimage sites

  • Traditional cuisine and hot springs

    Relish tempura, soba, yakitori, and sushi and end each day with a soothing soak in onsen

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Itinerary

Embark on a week-long journey through Japan's premier trails and discover why this country is quickly becoming a hotspot in the MTB scene. Based in Hakuba, you'll find yourself surrounded by snow-capped peaks and verdant forests of the Japanese Alps. Prepare to ride a variety of meticulously crafted trails adorned with rich loam—ranging from heart-pumping lift-accessed double black diamonds to ancient forest paths adorned with colossal berms, leading you to enchanting Shinto shrines, serene Buddhist temples, and awe-inspiring castles. In the evenings, unwind in natural hot springs and relish authentic Japanese cuisine, before retiring to your unforgettable lodge.

  • Meet your Japan MTB guide in Hakuba, a scenic village nestled in the Japanese Alps. After picking you up at Hakuba train or bus station, your guide will take you to Morino lodge, your home for the next 7 days. Do a quick gear check and head to dinner with fellow bikers. Get to know your squad for the week, go over the plans, and discuss your objectives.
    Accommodation: Merino Lodge

    Hakuba valley in the Japanese Alps during fall.

  • After enjoying a leisurely breakfast and receiving a helpful orientation, you will embark on an exciting adventure at the local DH hill, Iwatake. This mountain offers a range of thrilling trails, from easy-flowing paths to more challenging jump tracks, all surrounded by the breathtaking forests and peaks of the Japanese Alps. As you ride, keep an eye out for the stunning flora and fauna that call this area home. After an invigorating day on the trails, unwind your tired muscles in a nearby hot spring before venturing to a traditional Izakaya for a mouthwatering feast of local delicacies.
    Accommodation: Morino Lodge
    Meals: Breakfast and lunch

    Winding narrow roads surrounded by ginkgo trees with yellow leaves during fall.

  • Prepare for an exciting day of trail riding as you venture to the neighboring village of Ikeda. Immerse yourself in the picturesque scenery of traditional houses, pastoral landscapes, and enchanting forests, all interconnected by a network of perfect loam trails. Along the way, discover a hidden gem—an extraordinary temple with a fascinating history and vibrant autumn colors. After an unforgettable ride, reward yourself with a well-deserved dinner served in the warm ambiance of a traditional thatched house.
    Accommodation: Morino Lodge
    Meals: Breakfast and lunch

    Ancient wooden temple surrounded by beautiful trees covered in autumn leaves.

  • Today, you’ll journey to Nagano city, renowned for its remarkable pilgrimage site, Zenkoji. In addition to the spiritual experience, Nagano offers epic trails that await your exploration. Test your skills on these adrenaline-pumping routes, and once you’ve satisfied your thirst for adventure, delve into the rich history of the main temple and sub-temple complex. Don’t miss the opportunity to browse the traditional shops for unique souvenirs before indulging in a sumptuous meal at a famous local restaurant.
    Accommodation: Morino Lodge
    Meals: Breakfast and lunch

    Gable of a Zentoji temple in the Japanese city of Nagano.

  • Get ready to visit Fujimi, the birthplace of downhill biking in Japan. The name Fujimi, meaning “Fuji-view,” perfectly captures the breathtaking backdrop of Mount Fuji on the trails. You’ll have the chance to explore a wide selection of routes, including flow trails, beginner-friendly paths, technical sections with rooty drops, and challenging rock gardens. As you descend, take in the stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountain meadows. To soothe your muscles, treat yourself to a rejuvenating onsen experience before returning to Morino Lodge.
    Accommodation: Morino Lodge
    Meals: Breakfast and lunch

    Week of Mountain Biking and Discovery in Central Japan.

  • This day is a flex trail day—the group can decide on a few options for local trails or go further afield. There is also the option to travel to Matsumoto Castle—a fascinating glimpse into Japan’s feudal past. Conclude your day with a culinary delight at an award-winning yakitori restaurant nestled in the heart of the city.
    Accommodation: Morino Lodge
    Meals: Breakfast and lunch

    Matsumoto, a Japanese castle near a lake.

  • Join your group as you head to Trailcutters, a renowned local shuttling operation known for its impeccably maintained singletrack and long descents. Savor the smooth and perfect trails that await you. After an exhilarating ride, you have the option to continue your journey or return to Hakuba for a relaxing final night at Morino Lodge, providing the perfect opportunity to reflect on your incredible adventures before bidding farewell.
    Accommodation: Morino Lodge
    Meals: Breakfast and lunch

    Mountain bikers getting instructions from their guide before riding a trail of a bike park in the Nagano Prefecture in Japan.

  • After breakfast, your MTB escapade in Japan will have come to an end. Head back to the train or bus station and say goodbye to your guides, fellow bikers, and to this enchanting Japanese region—or continue touring on your own (just ask your guides for recommendations!)
    Meals: Breakfast

    Mountain bikers cycling through the streets of a city in the Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

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Meet your guides

Will Mackannes
5.00
Will Mackannes
Will, a resident of Squamish, BC, finds himself immersed in the heart of the mountain bike mecca. Alongside his passion for backcountry ski guiding in both BC and Japan during the winter months, he has developed a profound admiration for the Japanese people, their culture, and the majestic mountains that surround them. In addition to his ACMG certification, Will holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Adventure Eco Tourism and an Adventure Guides diploma from Thompson Rivers University. His infectious enthusiasm and unwavering professionalism in adventure guiding and exploring wild terrains resonate deeply with those he accompanies. During the summers, he embraces his love for the natural world and its conservation, dedicating his time to navigating the boundless and exhilarating mountain bike trails while honing his own skills. With a meticulous focus on risk management, Will skillfully guides his clients, ensuring their profound and gratifying experiences amidst the mountains.
Johanna Weintrager
5.00
Johanna Weintrager
Johanna began riding in North Vancouver around the dawn of the millennium. Falling in love with the gnarly shore trails and spending most of her summer days in Whistler and Squamish, she soon started racing and coaching. She spent her early years traveling and riding all the best trails British Columbia had to offer. Johanna has led mountain bike trips throughout British Columbia, and the world, from all around the US, to South and Central America and now Japan. A certified MTB Coach, Wilderness First Responder, and a Yoga Instructor, Johanna is a multifaceted guide with satisfied clients from all over the world.
Ryan Stimac
5.00
Ryan Stimac
Ryan is a seasoned mountain bike guide with an insatiable passion for adventure and exploration. With extensive experience guiding private groups in Chile, he has had the opportunity to immerse himself in the breathtaking landscapes of this South American paradise. Leading riders through rugged terrains, lush forests, and majestic mountains, Ryan shares his vast knowledge of the local trails and hidden gems, ensuring unforgettable experiences for his clients. In addition to his work in Chile, Ryan has also had the privilege of guiding for Sacred Rides in the stunning regions of Utah and Colorado, and, more recently, in Japan. Ryan's unwavering commitment to providing safe, enjoyable, and transformative mountain biking experiences shines through in every adventure he leads.
OneLife Adventures
5.00
OneLife Adventures
OneLife Adventures, guided by a unique philosophy, delivers exceptional experiences. With a background spanning Australia, the Canadian Rockies, Squamish, and Japan the focus is on customized service and lasting relationships. Expertise in backcountry skiing, rock climbing, and mountain biking in Japan ensures safety and exhilaration. A deep connection to nature drives the promotion of human-propelled adventure sports and the cultivation of a sense of value and preservation. Safety is paramount in all their endeavors—with extensive experience and full ACMG Certification in Backcountry Ski Guiding, Rock Climbing, and Mountain Biking in Japan, an exhilarating yet secure journey is guaranteed.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced MTB guide with extensive local knowledge of the area
      • A tail guide on every riding day
      • Lift tickets for riding at bike parks
      • Accommodation in twin rooms at the Morino Lodge (7 nights)
      • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (8 breakfasts and 7 lunches)
      • All transportation during the tour (shuttles to certain trails and dinner shuttles to local restaurants in Hakuba)
      • Pick up and drop off at Hakuba train or bus station

    What’s not included:

      • Airfare to Tokyo and transportation to Hakuba (can be arranged for an additional fee)
      • Meals not indicated in the itinerary (dinners)
      • Mountain bike and helmet
      • Spare parts for your bike
      • Any personal expenses
      • Travel and medical insurance — recommended
      • Guide gratuities — optional

    Mountain bike and helmet rentals are available for an added fee of $300.

  • In order to participate in this guided MTB trip in Japan, you need to be in very good physical shape. You’ll be mountain biking for 6 full days, crossing steep and sometimes very technical sections. In order to participate in the tour, you need to have a pretty solid mountain biking experience.

    You can expect a combination of half-lift or vehicle-assisted riding as well as peddle-up-and-descend riding. You can expect to ride a variety of trails, some of which will require advanced technical abilities. In other words, the trails will vary from double black diamonds with rock and root drop offs, to ancient foresting trails with giant berms; from tight technical cross-country singletrack to enduro-style descents.

    That said, descents will be prioritized and you will most often use lifts or vehicle assistance to get to most trails. During the ascents, you’ll always be able to ride at your own pace even if there are some more advanced bikers in your group (you’ll be led by two guides).

    Keep in mind that your group will be able to discuss routes and trails that will be covered, as well as your objectives. There will always be a guide by your side to observe your technique, give suggestions, or even change the plans if something is too strenuous for you. Since the accommodation stays the same for the duration of the trip, you will have an option to skip some riding days if you realize that 6 days in a row is too much. On that note, you should also bear in mind that you will take regular breaks during the riding days, giving you a chance to relax, soak in the surroundings, and do some sightseeing.

  • In order to participate in this guided MTB tour in Japan, you need to have solid mountain biking experience, so it is not suitable for first-timers.

    If you’re new to mountain biking, but want to experience Japan in the saddle, check out this cycling tour on Shikoku island in Japan or this hike and bike tour along Kumano Kodo in Japan.

  • For technical MTB gear, you’ll need:

      • Your mountain bike (can be rented)
      • Helmet (can be rented)
      • Your bike-specific brake pads (x2 sets)
      • Everything you need for repairs if you use tubeless tires
      • Tyre repair kit, inner tubes, and a small pump
      • Chain-specific “quick link”
      • Additional derailleur hanger — if you often damage this easily
      • Spare parts (if your bike contains unique parts)
      • Here’s what you’ll for other personal gear and items:
      • Daypack large enough to fit all the items you may need during a day (around a 20L capacity)
      • MTB shoes
      • Bike gloves
      • Sunglasses
      • Cycling sunglasses
      • Knee and elbow pads — optional
      • Biking shorts and pants
      • Short- and long-sleeved biking tops
      • Warmer clothes to wear in the evenings
      • Leisure clothes to wear when not biking
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)

    Bring comfortable clothes appropriate for the season (layers are best). October temperatures around Hakuba are mild with cool evenings and mornings. Keep in mind that It may rain on some days so you should be prepared for that as well.

  • Nestled in the picturesque and convenient area of Wadano, Morino Lodge Hakuba is the epitome of a perfect mountain retreat. With a warm and inviting ambiance, the lodge offers spacious and comfortable rooms. Each of them features en suite bathrooms, TVs, mini-fridges, and all the essentials for a relaxing stay. The heart of the lodge is the welcoming lounge, designed to create a friendly atmosphere where guests can unwind and make new friends from around the world.

    Indulge in the continental breakfast, sip on a freshly brewed coffee from the espresso machine, or enjoy a drink from the fully stocked bar. A range of amenities are provided, including free internet access, a 50″ TV, a gaming area, laundry facilities, and a repair room.

    This MTB adventure in Japan includes breakfasts and packed lunches. Dinners are not included, but each evening you’ll go to a traditional Japanese restaurant or izakaya with your guide and fellow bikers, sampling traditional drinks and cuisine (the cost of a meal is usually between $10 and $20 without drinks).

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • The group size for this group tour is usually between 4 and 10 people with 1 or 2 guides.
      • The maximum client-to-guide ratio for this Japan MTB trip is 5:1
      • It takes a minimum of 4 people for this tour to operate.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Mountain biking in Japan can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Children as young as 10 are able to go on trips with a legal guardian. That said, if you have a young rider strong enough to handle sustained climbs (either riding or walking their bike) of hundreds of feet, and rough terrain, then they may be able to participate on a case-by-case basis.

    If your group has riders under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Hakuba, the starting point of your adventure, most people fly into Narita International Airport (in Tokyo), which is 4 hours away. From there, we suggest you take train rides (first to Nagano and then to Hakuba). Japan is known for its high-speed trains called Shinkansen and taking one of them is by far the best way to arrive in Hakuba. Alternatively, you can take buses or arrange a private airport transfer with your guide.

    You will meet your guide at the bus or the train station on day 1 and you will go to your accommodation together. You will get a chance to discuss arrival options and logistics with your guide prior to the trip.

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Japan, please visit Japan Travel.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • A 50% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 2 months (60 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of 50% of the amount paid when booking.
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
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