• Spring
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.

        Solace and Giant Salamanders in Akiota

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.
    • Summer
    • Autumn
      • Pow Bar Founder Megumi Scott

        Beyond the Brand: Pow Bar

        An interview with Megumi Scott, the founder of Niseko brand Pow Bar.
        Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
    • Winter
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.
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    • Ocean and Beach
    • River and Lake
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
    • Travel
    • Food and Drinks
    • Races and Events

Niseko Trails

When people talk about Niseko the focus is always on the world-class skiing. But if you’ve enjoyed Niseko in winter, you’ll love it in summer. The air is clean, the food fresh and the streets and mountains perfect for cycling. There is something for everyone, from smooth, open roads and scenic cycling paths to rolling cross-country trails and exhilarating downhill tracks. There are many road cycling events as well as a growing MTB scene.

Ground zero for cycling in Niseko is Rhythm Japan. Now in its third year, the company began as a collaboration between Rhythm Snowsports and Groove Cycles. The shop has been instrumental in promoting MTB riding in the area, with staff putting in countless hours building and maintaining trails and galvanizing support from local businesses supporting cycling in Niseko.

Rhythm Japan offers rentals, sales tours and workshops. Stop by the shop for the latest info on what’s happening or their website to check out the full cycling calendar.

Grand Hirafu MTB Park

This largest mountain bike park in Hokkaido offers a lift-accessed three-kilometer downhill track, which drops about 500 meters in altitude. The trail has been given a major overhaul this year, making it longer, more enjoyable and easier to ride.

The dual slalom course is located at the base of the mountain and doesn’t require a lift ticket. It’s a great place to hone your skills or simply prove who is fastest. The skills park is next to the dual slalom track and gives riders the chance to try various terrain they might find on a downhill course in a safe environment. There are jumps, rollers, bridges and training lines.

The pump track, located across the road from the skills park, is where you can learn how to use your body weight to your advantage as you pump around the circuit, and it’s a great workout. You’ll also find an excellent cross-country track that leads to Niseko Village and back. Lift tickets for the park are available through Rhythm Cycles for ¥1,000 a run, ¥2,500 for three hours and ¥3,500 for six hours. A season pass is also available for ¥20,000.

Niseko Village Pure Park

Access to Niseko Village is possible via the cross county trail at the base of the Hirafu MTB Park as well as by car. Among other activities, they have a great cross-country trail and a skills area. This is an awesome place to experience MTB for the first time. Rental bikes are available.

Hanazono MTB Park

Hanazono has a large cross-country loop within the resort as well as a small skills area. Rental bikes are available.

Rusutsu Resort MTB Park

Established in 2013, Rusutsu Mountain Bike Park has a growing network of trails suitable for all levels of riders. Follow a winding trail through the forest, it is filled with flowing banked turns and great scenery. A selection of the latest premium mountain bikes is also available to rent. The park is open until Oct. 19.

Kamui Ski Links MTB Park

Kamui Ski Links is opening a new MTB Park for 2014 including three short tracks and lots of variety with one intermediate bike park-style trail, one intermediate single trail through the woods and one for the beginners. Developments are planed to open a longer trail from the top of the gondola for 2015. No rental bikes are available, but you can pre-book a bike through Rhythm Cycles. Opens July 5.

Niseko Cycling Calendar

  • July 13: Niseko Nature Ride, Niseko Classic and Sun Sports
    Niseko Nature Ride is a road race with multiple length races; Niseko Classic is a road race with 70-km. and 140-km. races; Sun Sports is a family event hosted by Cezar from Niseko Pizza featuring cycling activities, bouncy castle golf, music and delicious food.
  • July 19: Grand Hirafu MTB Park Opening Day
    The MTB Park is in its third year of operation and will see new trails and skills areas for 2014.
  • Aug. 2-3: Hanazono Hill Climb
    One of the biggest cycling events of the summer, the “Race to the Top” differs from other road races in that it is focused on climbing rather than endurance.
  • Aug. 24: Iron Man Japan
    Japan’s Iron Man is based at nearby Lake Toya. Spectators can watch the world’s top triathletes battle on the gruelling Iron Man course as they roll through Niseko. Local Iron Man competitor Jess Ripper runs Niseko Multisport (www.nisekomultisport.com), which provides training and camps for triathletes in Niseko.
  • Aug. 31-Sept. 6 & Sept. 7-13: Tour du Nord
    Experience riding the best roads in Asia followed by a soothing onsen and fresh Hokkaido seafood. Tours average 80-100 kms. a day.
  • Sept. 13-15: Tour de Hokkaido
    Part of the UCI Asia Tour, this event is a great way to see some awesome road racing form either in the saddle or as a spectator in Niseko.

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