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Nikko Mountain Biking

13237 Views 41 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  winkplay
(X-Post from Passion

Starting the New Year out right. A few days later I decided to check out some of our higher elevation trails.

This trail is in the Kirifuri Highlands of Nikko in Tochigi Japan. 7.2 km (4.5 mi) after a quick descent to a river crossing, you have a steep climb for 1.7 km that leads to the above downhill. High point is 1218m (4020ft) descend to 645m (2128ft) for a total vertical of 573m (1890ft). The off camber stuff is quite tricky in the snow.

Hard to tell in the video, but there is blood on the trail from a deer kill where the snow gets deep and kills my momentum. Thinking it might be one of my hunter buddies with a fresh kill, I went to his cabin. Unfortunately it wasn't his kill that I came across. Lucky for me though, he did have some wild boar stew on the stove.:thumbsup:

Here are some pics from the downhill before the snow.

This is the river crossing before the steep climb up to to long downhill

This is the steep climb

The clearing at the top

This picture is west (to the right) of where I exit the forest at :48. The mountain in the distance is the high point in Tochigi, Mt Nantai 2,486m (8,203ft)

To anyone who might be interested in riding in Japan, I can provide logistical support to ensure your trip is a memorable one.
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Wow, what great videos!

Is that a chest or belly cam you have there :D

I just recently joined up here and I'm looking through various boards and found this, impressive!

I'm located in Tokyo, right downtown in Shinjuku, and I'm rebuilding my old Cannondale right now, but your videos bring back lots of memories of Mt biking in Canada, 20 years ago!

Domo! :thumbsup:
Velocipedist those vids are great. I`m in central Tokyo, too, and in the middle of building up a new mtb, finally putting to rest my Cannondale. Just yesterday I and a friend hiked all over Oyama in Tanzawa area close to Yokohama scoping out the riding possibilities. There`s a funicular up to around 800m but I have serious doubts they`d let me on with my bike. If I could get up there, the downhill ridge ride looks exactly like the one in your video. Huge potential there, I think.
So I have to ask: doesn`t anyone give you grief for bombing around Nikko? It looks awesome and I`m psyched to head out there to give it a go. Have you tried Mt Mitake in Western Tokyo? A guy in a shop told me you can take a bagged bike up in the cable car to the summit. Pretty amazing, as there are shrines and temples all over it. The trails take you south, coming out near Mt Takao, which I know has `no cycling` signs...
Nikko is 1/4 the square area of Tochigi Prefecture

I have never had a bad biker - hiker interaction in Nikko (knock on wood). It has a lot to do with massive area and low population (less than a 100,000 people). And I really haven't been able to video any of my longer trails with the last snow flurry we had, hopefully in the next week or so some of the higher elevation stuff will open up.

As to the bike, most bike shops in Japan sell specific Rinkou Bukuro bags to put your bike in for train travel. They only cover the bike and provide no protection at all, last time I asked a station attendant as long it doesn't look like a bike you are good. I figure some heavy duty garbage bags would do the job too.

A trip to Nikko would be well worth it in my biased opinion. Great food and and great trails await!:thumbsup:
I`ve been on the trains a few times with my roadbike in a rinko-bukuro, out to okutama area or, once, to Bosso penninsula. But off-road is my main thing (lived in Kyushu for many years; the whole island is like a mtb park) My Cannondale is old and beat and I just wouldn`t trust it, especially the fork, so I haven`t ridden trails for a long time.

I just, today in fact, ordered an Intense frame from the US, and I`m hoping to have the build finished and be riding by May. Are you still going to be there in Nikko? I will definitely be taking the rig on the trains, heading out of Tokyo for excursions. And I live a short ride to Asakusa, where the Nikko trains leave from. It would be awesome to hook up with a local. Also looking to do some overnight trips to the ski resorts that have opened their gondolas for mtbs (WingHills, Fuji Panorama; ever been?know of any others?)

Never been to any of the Lift assisted areas (fujimi is a good 300km away from me, and Gifu is farther). I feel spoiled by the trails and solitude I have now. Near me in Ibaraki Pref. there are some pay for play shuttle spots, but most parks like that charge 500 yen per shuttle on top of a usage fee. All for trails that might be 3-4 minutes long if you aren't pinning it.

I have some epic camping/riding loops that I am planning this summer that will be sick. On Monday I checked out a crazy 8km (one way) out and back that linked three good sized peaks together, high point was around 1,530m. (GyoujyaDake, JizouDake, YuuhiDake) Total elevation gain and descent was close to 1000m. There was some bike portage for sure, but the bombing descents more than made up for that. Soon the snow should all be gone.

What intense did you pick up? I love my Uzzi. I am living long term in Nikko, so when ever you can make it up I can arrange some riding.

edit: This is one of the better trails and, you can link to it from some other fun trails
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Velocipedist said:
I have some epic camping/riding loops that I am planning this summer that will be sick. On Monday I checked out a crazy 8km (one way) out and back that linked three good sized peaks together, high point was around 1,530m. (GyoujyaDake, JizouDake, YuuhiDake) Total elevation gain and descent was close to 1000m. There was some bike portage for sure, but the bombing descents more than made up for that. Soon the snow should all be gone.

What intense did you pick up? I love my Uzzi. I am living long term in Nikko, so when ever you can make it up I can arrange some riding.
You are speaking my language.

I got the Uzzi, works, large, with the new DHX Air 5.0. Was going to hold out for the Tracer29 but it`s looking like May or later and I just couldn`t wait any more. Plus the yen is strong, and WrenchScience has a sale on. Pulled the trigger this morning over coffee!

So glad you have the same frame!

I`ll definitely be in touch!

Do you realize you can hear your heartbeat on that vid?

Truth be told, you have the frame I want. Yours being the Uzzi Vp and mine being the last year of the Uzzi VPX. Not that I am complaining and considering this is my second Uzzi I am a fan. The Vps are so sexy though, one of these days when I can get some more change together.. You will be stoked on the ride, coming from your old ride.

Could be dangerous though, you bring that up to Nikko and I could see myself wanting/needing a new frame. Congrats man, great choice:thumbsup:
wow i'm glad i stumbled upon this thread. i also have an intense uzzi but it is the vpx and i live in kawasaki been here for 4 months now. anybody know of a nearby trail in yokohama?

sorry i don't have my bearings yet, but where is nikko in relation to tokyo?
Nikko shi Tochigi ken

Nikko is in the northwestern mountains of Tochigi prefecture. About 2 1/2 - 3 hour train ride from Tokyo (JR trains through Utsunomiya, Tobu trains from Asakusa) say around 100km.

Shoot me an email when you plan on visiting, I can set up some trail tours if you are interested.:thumbsup:
Looks like we`re going to have to all get together - UZZI/UZZI/UZZI.

The most accessible riding to Yokohama is supposed to be at Hayama, near zushi/kamakura. I haven`t been yet but it looks pretty easy to get on some trails.

新禄 / New Green

The monsoon season has officially started in Japan, but the rains have yet to fall in Nikko. And all of the "New Green" is is looking quite nice.

Got out for an early morning ride with some of the locals on the Boshin trail. The Boshin trail flows down the escape route Ootori Keisuke used in 1868 during the Boshin War fleeing from the westernizing Meiji forces, before they had their final battle north in Aizu.


really need to remember to keep my camera properly charged.

Next time I will be prepared and get the whole trail, about 5km and 550m vertical descent.
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Sweeeeeet. I`m surprised how different the terrain looks compared to the stuff I`ve been riding in the Ome/Okutatma area. This Uzzi just rocks, it`s totally changing riding for me. I go out every Friday - almost no-one on the trails. The route I`ve been doing is 10km w/740m of elevation loss and 90% ridable, by me, in the dry. But I`m improving. Went out last Friday in heavy fog and rain... not a soul. Spooky, fantastic.


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I am local to Ome and ride most weekends. Maybe I can take a Friday off after the rain season. You don't need the bag for the Mitake cable car and if you drive and are willing to peadl up to the station, there is free parking on the river in Mitake.
My standard route to ride to the cable car, take it up then ride to Hinode-san and down to Hinatawada. But this past Friday I decided to start from Okutama Station. I rode up the Nokogiri-toge, (around 1000m) which I`d done a few times on my roadbike and which recently re-opened after some landslides. Then from the ridge I got on the hiking trails and went up Otake-san. That was hard - too hard to do again, actually, but the ride down to Mitake was some of the best flowy single track, root-free, with streams and a few old wooden bridges. Plus the most amazing broken-down old shrine... I`d love to find a way to get up there without scrambling over rocky outcrops with my bike on my shoulder for an hour...

Every time I ride I see other knobby tracks, but I`ve never met another rider. I swung fri/sat/sun weekends from May, when got my new bike, because I wanted to avoid the wknd crowds. But if you ride on sat/sun I`ll definitely go with you. And if you can take a Friday, even better. Friday the place is deserted...


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Well familiar with where you rode. Some of those tracks you see are probally mine. The combination of trails in that area is endless. A fun, all day route is to take the cable car up and then work to Otake. Instead of climbing up and over, continue past the shrine in your picture and circum-navigate the peak. From there the trail is all flow to Nokogiri-toge. Instead of taking the road back to Okutama, continue the trail at the pass to Gozen-yama. A ton of hike a bike, but a fun trail awaits that will drop you back on Rt 33. Spin back to Itsukaichi station for the exhausted train ride home.

Had a perfect day on Hinode Saturday.
Mr. Velocipedist, don't be surpised if a car load of folks from Tokyo show up on your door step. Those trails look fun!
You are welcome anytime!


Drop me a line when you plan on coming up, I can give you the primo onsen DH tour 16km with 3,000 ft of vertical. Starting July 22nd I can guide on weekdays too (summer vacation). We just finished rough cutting a new beginner oriented 6km downhill run from the top of Kirifuri Kogen. This fall it should be butter.

Look forward to showing your crew around Nikko.
Count me in

If you have an extra seat I`d love to join. Any Friday or Weekend.
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