Aomori Bike and Sightseeing Tour (Intermediate)

Take on the captivating hills of Aomori in an exciting bike tour - For the experienced cyclist

5 days
Aomori

Highlights

  • Join an exciting tour carefully designed and led by experts
  • Discover the true gems of Aomori
  • Put your fitness and endurance levels to the test

Description

Explore the breathtaking northern region of Aomori while cycling its picturesque routes during this tough yet rewarding 5-day tour designed for intermediate cyclists. 

Details

Venture on an exciting and demanding 5-day cycling journey across Aomori, the northern region of Japan. Discover Aomori's breathtaking mountainous landscapes, dotted with volcanic lakes and lush woods, as well as its rich historic and cultural heritage such as the famous Hirosaki Castle.
Stay 3 nights at Rockwood Hotel & Spa, located along the slopes of Mt. Iwaki also known as Tsugaru's Fuji, enjoy indoor, outdoor 'onsen' hot springs, and an array of delicious Japanese and Western cuisine. Spend 1 night in the magnificent Lake Towada area and opt for cycling around the Lake or join some exciting optional activities such as kayaking and RIB (rigid inflatable boat) riding.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Aomori Airport or Shin-Aomori Station to Rockwood Hotel & Spa - 51.7 km

The starting point of the tour is Shin-Aomori Station. In case you are arriving at  Aomori Airport, a pick-up service is available to transfer you to Shin-Aomori Station. After a briefing with staff and fellow tour participants, gear up and head towards Mt. Iwaki and Rockwood Hotel & Spa. The first thirty minutes of the ride follow the route through busy downtown area, however the road soon clears up. 
Elevation gains:  745 m
Accommodation: Rockwood Hotel & Spa
Meals: Dinner 


Day 2: Mt. Iwaki Circuit - 52.7 km

After breakfast, head west of Rockwood for Dake Onsen, famous for its fountain head since Edo Period (early 17th century). The plateau area near the Dake Onsen Hot spring also served as a setting for the novel "The Grass-Cutting Girl" written by Yojiro Ichizaka, a popular novelist of the post-World War 2 Japan. Another highlight on this day along the route that encircles Mount Iwaki, a compound volcano and the highest mountain in the prefecture  at 1,625 meters,  is Iwakiyama Shinto Shrine. Located at the foot of Mount Iwaki, and initially established some 1,200 years ago, the shrine is made of wood that has endured harsh Aomori climate for almost four centuries. Lunch is along the way, and the daily route finishes at Rockwood Hotel. 
Elevation gains:  996 m
Accommodation: Rockwood Hotel & Spa
Meals: Breakfast, dinner


Day 3: Hirosaki -  78.4 km

After breakfast, gear up and head towards Hirosaki Castle, the only remaining castle in Tohoku area which was built in Edo period (1603-1868), and registered as a National Cultural Asset. The road leads across Tsurunomai Bridge - Japan's longest triple-arch wooden bridge. Another point of interest is Zenringai in Hirosaki City, district famous for numerous Zen temples, originally built elsewhere in the region and moved to Hirosaki. Lunch will be in town, at a French restaurant, as Hirosaki is famed for serving excellent French cuisine. After Hirosaki, proceed to Apple Park where over 1,300 apple trees grow in 65 varieties. Aomori apples are well-known in Japan and abroad. You can take a quick tour of the park and see first-hand what it takes to produce apples. 
Elevation gains:  1,002 m
Accommodation: Rockwood Hotel & Spa
Meals: Breakfast, dinner 


Day 4: Towada - 20.4 km

On Day 4, after checking out at Rockwood Hotel & Spa, head southeast towards Lake Towada.  The ride on this day is easy, take in the beautiful landscape of the Lake and make the most of your rest day in this area, as you can enjoy not only cycling around the Lake but also choose some exciting activities on the lake shore - such as kayaking and RIB boat riding. The overnight is in the Lake Towada area, which gives you ample time to explore the lakeside and its scenic landscape, get well-deserved rest and recharge your batteries for the last leg of the cycling tour.
Elevation gains:   685 m
Accommodation: Towada Lake View Hotel or similar class
Meals: Breakfast, dinner 


Day 5: Oirase, Hakkoda - 41.7 km

On your last day, after leaving your Lake Towada accommodation, you will traverse Oirase Gorge surrounded by rich forest and numerous waterfalls, as well as the Hakkoda mountains, a massive range comprising sixteen mountains, offering panoramic views of the greater area. The tour ends at the foot of Mt. Tamoyachi, where 300-year old Sukayu 'onsen'  hot spring is located. From Sukayu Onsen, you will be transferred to Shin-Aomori Station and Aomori Airport, which marks the end of the tour. 
Elevation gains:  1,065 m
Meals: Breakfast

Important information

The tour starts on May 28 and ends on June 1, 2018. 

Minimum number of participants required for either tour to run is 6.
Maximum number of participants in the tour is 12. 


This tour includes:

  • Pick-up and Drop-off at Aomori airport
  • Service of our local guides (English and Japanese)
  • All ground transportation & luggage transfers
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Hotel amenities
  • All breakfasts & dinners and refreshment during rides
  • Support vehicle equipped with water cooler, track pump and basic repair service
  • Mechanic support
  • Route planning and cue sheet (route cards to be attached to stem/stowed in a jersey pocket)

This tour does NOT include:

  • Flights, airport tax & surcharge
  • Travel & personal insurance 
  • Medical insurance 
  • Lunch on any day
  • Additional hotel expenses: phone charges, drinks
  • Sukayu Onsen bathing fee (600 yen) - pay on site
  • Optional rental bike and helmet available at Rockwood Hotel & Spa - pay on site
  • Optional RIB ride tour in the Lake Towada area - pay on site
  • Optional kayak tour in the Lake Towada area - pay on site 
  • Optional boat and kayak tour in the Lake Towada area - pay on site 

Other important information

  • Rental bikes available at Rockwood Hotel & Spa are limited in number and availability.  The price of rental bike for the duration of the tour is 17,500 yen and for helmet 2,500 yen.
  • The optional RIB Ride Tour is approximately 50 minutes long and covers the distance of 22 km.
    The price of tour per person is 6,000 yen.
  • The optional kayak tour is approximately 2 hrs long. The price of the tour per person is 6,000 yen. 
  • The optional boat and kayak tour is approximately 2 hrs long, includes a boat ride to the starting point of the kayaking part of  the tour which takes you into a deep forest. The price of the tour per person is 10,000 yen. 

*Both the kayak and the boat and kayak tour need to be booked 1 week in advance. 

Transport information

Rockwood Hotel & Spa offers free bus transfers for tour participants who take 'shinkansen' bullet trains or flights shown below:


Day 1 (May 28)

  • Shinkansen : Arrival time at Shin-Aomori Station is 13:29 (Hayabusa 13 departs Tokyo at 10:20)
  • Flight : Arrival time at Aomori Airport is 14:35 (JAL 145 departs Tokyo Haneda Airport at 13:15)

The hotel bus will come to Shin-Aomori Station at 13:29, pick up participants, their luggage, and bikes, and proceed to Aomori Airport. The bus will arrive at Aomori Airport at around 14:30 and carry all participants’ luggage to the hotel. Participants can either start cycling to the hotel, or they can take the hotel bus.


Day 5 (June 1)

  • Shinkansen : Departure time from Shin-Aomori Station is at 14:38 (Hayabusa 24, arriving at Tokyo at 18:04)
  • Flight : Departure time from Aomori Airport is 16:55 (JAL 148, arriving at Tokyo Haneda Airport at 18:15)

The hotel bus will carry participants, their luggage, and bikes from Sukayu Onsen to Shin-Aomori Station. Afterwards, the bus will proceed to Aomori Airport and arrive there at around 15:00, and drop the participants off.

* Tour participants taking other flights or trains, can take taxis from Shin-Aomori Station (11,110 yen) or from Aomori Airport (9,360 yen) to Rockwood Hotel & Spa. 

Meeting point

The meeting point for the tour participants will be at Aomori Airport or at Shin-Aomori Station. Details regarding the meeting point and the tour itself will be sent to all participants via email several days prior to departure.

Organised by Rockwood Hotel & Spa

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