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Winter Riding in Nikko Japan

2866 Views 19 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  hondaph00l

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:

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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I love that video angle. I have tried numerous positions for the camera but it seems that only on the body works. Handlebar mount offers a great view but too bouncy.

How did you strap camera to your chest?

I am about to pick up a Kodak Zi8 and want to do more biking vids.

Go Pro HD camera with their chest harness (chesty). I have been playing with the height of it though, I think I prefer a little higher placement on my chest, especially on steeper trails. Besides nifty looking video, gives you good feedback to improve your riding skills.
very cool, would be an awesome trip.
1:17 animal of some sort crosses the road! looked like a dog........ Sweet Vids
Looks like a little deer. Cool vids, I didn't realize mtb was very popular over there
ae111black said:
1:17 animal of some sort crosses the road! looked like a dog........ Sweet Vids
That would be a deer.

Damn tasty too.

It is really hard to see, but there is also a monkey jumping out of a tree on the right side of the trail maybe 30 seconds later.
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Nikko Tochigi Prefecture

Stripes said:
Sugoi! I'm so jealous. Mountain bike e ikkimasu! :D

I want to go back to Japan next time, and mountain bike :) What prefecture is Nikko? Is that near Hokkaido?

I'll definitely contact you before we book our next trip. I really wanted to ride there, as long as the brakes are set to non-moto style :D
I am in the north western mountains of Tochigi prefecture. About 100 km north of Tokyo, spring for a bullet train and its under 3 hours from Narita.
wow. some of the coolest videos I've seen on here.

Beautiful place.

Well done!
Great looking video and trail!

Might just have to make it up to Nikko this summer. I am in the Ome/Okutama area of Tokyo, let's work out a trade of our favorite runs.
Nice vids, those look like some great trails in both winter and summer!
I know video cams make it seem like the rider is going faster, but... you seem to be going REALLY fast on some of that slick snow!!!!

Got any pics? Looks like a dreamy place.
playdead said:
I know video cams make it seem like the rider is going faster, but... you seem to be going REALLY fast on some of that slick snow!!!!

Got any pics? Looks like a dreamy place.
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)
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Friggin' awesome! I work with a bunch of Japanese folks at Kawasaki Rail Car here in NY. I'll be sending this thread to a few friends for sure! Beautiful scenery and awsome point of view vids! Please post more!!!

New Videos

Decided to see how the snow pack was in the higher elevations. Went to the Boshin Trail near the top of the Kirifuri Highlands. Its 5 km (3.2mi) with a starting elevation of 1381m (4557ft) and an end elevation of 860m (2838ft) for a total descent of 521m (1719ft). It has some steep sections, but mostly flowing single track, with a couple climbs to keep you working. And snow there was...

Unfortunately when the slope went from steep to mellow it turned into bike portage. Once I got low enough the trail improved.

After you exit, you cross the road and have a really short hike up to the next ridge.

After that there is some pavement and logging roads that weren't worth videoing. At the end you connect it to Cheap Thrills (the trail I rode on new years). We have had some good weather in the lower elevations so no more snow made this the highlight of the day. Our hunters need more practice though...

Cheap Thrills gets its name from having a micro brewery at the exit and hot springs near the trail entrance, making it a nice night ride.

Snow had me frustrated so I decided to check out my current nemesis, the Screaming Chicken:madman: . It is the highest mountain in the lowlands south of the Kirifuri Highlands. High point is around 960m (3168ft) down to 460m (1518ft) total vertical around 500m (1650ft). Hands down it is one of our most technical trails. The camera isn't shaking because its loose, the trail is roots roots and more roots:eek: . One of these days....

Get out and ride!:thumbsup:
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Great stuff!!

Easily some of the best trail ride footage on this site. You didnt edit out the crashes and that keeps the vids real. Great Job!! Love the trails too.:thumbsup:
Sun Salutation

Decided to get up early yesterday for the sunrise and check out the "plain of clarity", some really fun single track in the Kirifuri Highlands of Nikko Japan. With no recent snow and below freezing temps provided some sweet trail goodness.

Might be cold, but year round riding is simply too much fun:D.

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seriously i need to take a cam on one of my rides soon.
I read this thread the night before we talked about the origins of Nikko in my Tokyo history class lol! This looks sick, and mountain biking is one more reason to plan a trip to Japan (although NYT recently suggested the South Korea is becoming more cutting edge with architecture and technology). Is it easy to transport a bike via public transport etc? You mention a 3 hr train ride out to Nikko, do they have space for bikes? Maybe a dumb question, but they wouldnt let me bring my bike on the train in South Africa when I was there. How is the riding in Nikko as far as multitude of trails? If I remember right Mt. Fuji is the other direction leaving Tokyo, Im guessin Nikko is still decently mountainous. (frantically searching for cheap plane tickets to tokyo haha!)
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