The Chikuma River, Japan’s longest, flows through open fields surrounded by magnificent mountains. Centred on
Iiyama Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen, Shin’etsu-Shizenkyo is a popular cycling area, attracting riders from
all over the country.
At the Shin’etsu-Shizenkyo activity centre, you can rent a variety of different types of bicycles and buy a range of cycling goods. We recommend taking a bicycle tour of local tourist spots or exploring downtown.
It’s possible to abandon your rental bikes, so you can enjoy a carefree long cycling trip without worrying about how you’ll get back; if you want to make a one-way trip, just leave your bicycle at one of our return facilities and go home on public transport.
What to bring on bike ride
What you’ll want to bring with you will of course vary depending on the route, what you want to do, and the
season, but we’d appreciate it if you try and keep luggage compact and to a minimum. A standard set of equipment
you might want to bring is described below.
You can buy or rent a wide variety of cycling goods from the Shin’etsu-Shizenkyo activity centre, and we can also look after your hand luggage for you.
It is convenient to have a bag to carry your belongings. Backpacks and messenger bags are recommended, so that both hands are free to bike safely.
Sometimes we don’t realize how much unexpected physical strength we use when we are biking. Frequent hydration is indispensable. It is also fun to look for spring water!
Keep yourself warm in the sudden rain and cold weather while wearing rain gear to keep the rain out.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays. They should fit well and comfortably so that you won’t lose them while cycling.
It is also nice to take a brief stop for sightseeing and delicious dishes etc. Please do not forget to lock your bicycle when you are away from it. Bicycle locks are attached to our rental bicycles.
Be sure to wear a helmet and keep yourself safe.
Bike carry bag
They are designed to carry your bicycle in public transportation systems. It would be nice to get in onsen to refresh after cycling then take a train back home.
ID / Insurance card
Carry insurance cards or IDs in case of injury or sudden illness. They are also required when you rent bicycles at rental stations.
What to wear on bike ride
This will vary depending on your route and goals, but it’s best to wear clothes that are easy to move around in. We recommend trousers with a tight hem that allow you to freely use your feet, and also that you bring a windbreaker or something similar to avoid sunburn or in case of storms. If you’re planning a city cycling trip, your normal clothes will be fine.
Shin’etsu-Shizenkyo is dotted with over 50 “cycling stations”. “Cycling stations” are rest spots where you can relax and take a breather in the middle of your tour. They support your cycling by offering use of pumps and tools, and have lavatories and water available.
Drop off Station
You can leave your bicycle in whichever of our return facilities you like. Please use them freely for one-way cycle trips, tours around the area, and so on. You can then return in comfort by train or bus.
Shinetsu-Shizenkyo Activity Center
This is the starting point of your trip! You can go with your favorite bicycles. There are nine kinds of bicycle; city cruiser, electric city cruiser, electric cross bike, electric mountain bike, cross bike, road bike, mountain bike, fat bike and tandem bike.
Iiyama Hokuryu Onsen Bunka Hokuryu Kan
This route is recommended for advanced cyclers since maximum angle of inclination is 20degrees when you bike via Kosuge shrine. It feels great to accomplish especially after seeing the amazing view from there.
- Closed accasionally for maintenance
We commend to go to Madaraokogen at an altitude of 1,000 meters by bus. It is very refleshing to go down the forest road by mountain biking on the way back!
(Except busy season)
Iiyama Yutaki Onsen
The route is mostly flat and recommended for cycling beginners.
Spring spa beside Chikuma river is
wonderful! You can get back from Kamizakae station to Iiyama station by local train
(Except national holidays)
Go through the vast rural area, you will reach Nabekurakogen with altitude difference of 200 m.
spectacular view from the bridge, the landscape of Satoyama is worth a visit.
(Except busy season/May have temporary closure)
Roadside Station Farmus Kijimadaira
It's easy cycling with a relaxing view of the rural landscape.
Let's go for a homemade gelato!
(Except national holidays)
Nozawaonsen Tourist Information Center
The last climb is a bit tiring but the hot spring is the best for a tired body!
We recommend to walk
around the hot spring town and take "Sotoyu".
Sakae Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction Memorial Hall Kizuna
It is a long cycling going along with the relaxing flowing Chikuma river
Returning on a local line,
(Except national holidays)
Myoko Kogen Tourist Information Center
Rode bike retal is available. Bike through a specutaclar view of Mt. Myoko a.k.a. "Echigofuji".
Shinano town Tourist Information Center
Shinano town is widely known as a leader in forest therapy. Explore the healing forest and get away from today’s stress-filled society.
Iizuna town Tourist Information Center
It's a pretty sweet experience to pedal through apple fields that spread through out this area.
- 9:00-12:00 / 13:00-17:00
Yudanaka Station Guide Center
Explore a picturesque national park and countryside. The town retains its traditional Japanese atmosphere.
Please make a reservation by the day before. (Let us know you would like to leave the bike at Yudanaka station when you book.)
- 9:00～12:00 / 14:00～17:00
Let's keep rules and manner - Five Rules for Safe Bicycle Ride
Ride bicycles on the roadways
Under the Road Traffic Law, bicycles are light vehicles. Where there is a distinction between a sidewalk and a roadway, roadway is used.
Keep left on the roadways
The bicycle must pass by the left end of the road.
The pedestrian takes priority on pedestrians and slowly stops on the side of the road
The bicycle should go slowly. The riders should stop when their riding may block a pedestrian.
Observe safety rules
Drunken riding, riding double and riding side by side are prohibited.
Have lights on during evening hours.
Obey the traffic lights, and stop to check the safety at an intersection.
Wear a helmet for safety
Understand the importance of bicycle helmets and bike safely.
Bicycles, trekking gear, snow surfboard and our must-have winter gear in Shinetsu Shizenkyo, rainboots are available in store.
Luggage day delivery service
If you arrive in the morning (9am-12am), we can take care of your luggage at the Shin’etsu-Shizenkyo activity centre located at JR Iiyama Station, so you can have fun cycling empty handed!
If you’re in either Iiyama, Nozawaonsen or Kijimadaira areas, we can then send your bags to where you’re staying by 8pm on the same day, so you can fully enjoy a cycling trip as far as your lodgings or final destination.