Japan · September 12 - 22 2024

Epic Alps Adventure

Big mountains. Rich culture. Exquisite food.

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The Experience

Japan is a culturally rich island country decorated with significant mountain chains containing peaks that tower over 3000 meters (9,843ft) above sea level. Home to more than a dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites and the birthplace of sushi, Japan is both a cultural and adventurous experience. Though it’s most notably known for the incredible skiing and snowboarding in winter, we think it should be recognized for the little known, yet supremely fun mountain biking. Imagine loamy, tacky dirt and flowy trails that twist and turn through steep mountains and thickly covered dense forest. Along the trail you may come across a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple and sacred places to meditate or stop and take in the incredible views. Japan truly is an undiscovered mountain bike gem. Skill Level: INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED Fitness Level: 4/7

Highlights

Enduro-style shuttle laps & bike parks

Enduro-style shuttle laps & bike parks

Post Ride Onsen Soaks (Hot Springs)

Post Ride Onsen Soaks (Hot Springs)

Excellent Local Cuisine

Excellent Local Cuisine

A Combo of Culture & Adventure

A Combo of Culture & Adventure

Itinerary

EPIC ALPS ADVENTURE | INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED

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TRAVEL DAY

Depart North America and travel to Japan. This travel day is considered the first day of this trip.

If traveling from the United States or Canada, book your flight to depart North America on the first day of the trip. Most flights leave the US/Canada and arrive the next day. 

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DAY 1. WELCOME TO JAPAN!

Upon arrival to the Haneda Airport, get your luggage, go through customs then exit the airport. The Ride the Earth team will be waiting for you as you exit the airport. Our group will exit the airport, load into the vans, and travel into the mountains of the Gunma region, the first stop on our advenure.

We’ll enjoy dinner out on the town and go over the plan for the week. Get ready as this is going to be an amazing experience!

Note: The group shuttle will be picking up people at the Haneda Airport. If you arrive to the Narita Airport, we will arrange a shuttle for an additional charge.

Estimated travel time: 2-3 hours

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DAY 2. REST, BUILD BIKES, & RIDE

We'll kick this trip off with a relaxing morning to allow people a chance to adjust to the time change. 

After a relaxing morning and breakfast, we’ll assemble our bikes and head out to ride a series of shuttle laps in the surrounding mountains. These carve-worthy trails will be a great way to warm up the legs, shake off the jet lag, and get into the fun flowy singletrack of Japan.

After our day of riding, we’ll head into town for dinner to experience one of the local ramen houses. 

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DAY 3. INTO THE JAPANESE ALPS

Today we will wake up early and head into the mountains to spend the day at a private bike park. We'll take laps to our hearts' content and shred into the late afternoon, stopping only to grab food midday.

After our day of riding, we'll load the vans and travel into the heart of the Central Alps. Take in the views of the countryside as we travel into the mountains and shore up lakeside and in a local boutique hotel. Once everyone is settled, we'll head into town for a traditional sushi dinner. 

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Day 4. FUJIMI PANORAMA RESORT

Awake to breakfast at the hotel and then load up the van. Today is an amazing day of riding the biggest bike park in Japan, Fujimi Panorama. This park has a wonderful selection of chairlift access trails and, on a clear day, you can see Mt. Fuji off in the distance.

This park has a little something for everyone. There are really fun flow trails as well as steep technical trails. We'll lap the day away until we're all sufficiently tired and then return to our lakeside hotel for the evening. Rest up as there is more to come tomorrow!

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DAY 5. SHUTTLE LAPS

Today, we'll start the day off with a small drive to a private trail system where we'll spend the day with some locals shredding in their backyard. These trails are loamy and fast and, if you keep your eyes peeled, you may even see monkeys running about in the forest. We will take a break midday for a traditional family-style lunch provided for our group in a local’s home and then we'll continue to ride for the remainder of the day.

At the end of the day, we'll return to our hotel to relax, enjoy some dinner, and get ready for another big day of riding tomorrow.

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DAY 6. TEMPLES, TRAILS & TRAVEL

Wake to a healthy breakfast, then hop in the van to head north to the town of Hakuba. On our way, we'll shuttle a couple of enduro-style mountain laps and then stop for a late lunch in a local village.

After lunch, we'll visit the Buddhist temple of Reishoji, one of the most ancient zen buddhist Sotoshu temples in Nagano. Here, you’ll find magnificent carvings and the rare and grand fossil trees known as Ohatsuki Ginko trees. The leaves of these trees bear seeds on it and are used as a talisman for fertility.

We'll continue on to Hakuba, where we'll settle into our lodging and head to a local onsen (hot springs) to soak for the evening. 

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DAY 7. BIKE PARK LAPS & HOT SPRINGS

Today we’ll wake up in the heart of the Japanese Alps and take in the view of the mountains that surround us as we enjoy a healthy breakfast. Then, we’ll load up and head to the Iwatake Bike Park, just outside of Hakuba. This park isn’t very big compared to North American parks, but it has super fun flow trails and some tech trails that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. We’ll spend the majority of the day here, only to stop for lunch, and then we’ll take more laps to complete our afternoon.

This evening, the group will head into town for an incredible meal at a local Soba Noodle house. Relax into a spectacular evening in a traditional restaurant and replenish your body with the healthy cuisine of Japan.

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DAY 8. SHUTTLES & RYOKANS

Today we’ll wake up for breakfast and then pack up to head to our last destination, Shibu Onsen. On our way, we’ll ride the mountain trails of the Nagano region. These rides will be shuttle drops that lead to a variety of incredible trails. We’ll ride past Shinto shrines in the forest and stop at gorgeous overlooks.

We’ll stop for lunch in a local village and then travel north to a local Ryokan village, known for the monkeys that soak in the hot springs, traditional bath houses, and specatular food.

Here will will check in to a Ryokan, a traditional hot spring hotel. We will enjoy a nice soak and a delicious Kaiseki Ryori meal, a multi-course dinner featuring a variety of local delicacies. 

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DAY 9. THE WAY OF THE ONSEN

Today is full of culture, good food & relaxation. This history of this village is said to go back over 1,300 years. It has long been a rest stop for pilgrims making their way to Zenkoji, a temple in Nagano City. The cobblestone streets lined with traditional wooden Japanese inns, dotted with shrines, create the atmosphere of another era in time.

There are nine bath houses in town, each known to cure different ailments. They say if you try all 9 baths, you'll have good fortune. Challenge accepted! We'll spend the day wandering the streets, soaking in healing waters, sipping sake, and snacking on sushi. Good fortune awaits...

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DAY 10. RETURN TO TOKYO * AIRPORT DROP OFF

Today we'll wake up early for breakfast and then travel towards Tokyo. Once everyone is ready to go, the group will hop the train to the Haneda Airport (for those returning today) or to the heart of Tokyo, for those staying on. If you wish to have an extra night (or two) in the city, join us on our Tokyo Night Out Add On and we'll get you to the airport the following day, after a night of good food in the city.

For those departing today, we thank you for joining us to shred in Japan!

Those staying on with us in Tokyo will head to the hotel for showers and some R&R, then we'll take you out in the city for some excellent food and beverages. This additional evening is a great way to see the city, experience more Japanese culture, and finish your trip at a more relaxing pace.

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Epic Alps Adventure

Epic Alps Adventure

Big mountains. Rich culture. Exquisite food.

$5,695.00/pp

BOOK NOW

Extras

Airport Shuttle (Arriving Early)

Add this option if you want to arrive a day (or more) early and want us to arrange your airport pick up upon arrival.

FROM$150.00/pp

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Airport Shuttle + Hotel (Arriving Early)

Arrive early and stay and extra night in Tokyo to rest prior to our trip. Includes: Airport shuttle & lodging in Tokyo

FROM$350.00/pp

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Tokyo Add On (End of Trip)

Stay in Tokyo at the end of the trip and spend a night in the city. Includes: Dinner, Hotel, Guide, Airport Shuttle

FROM$425.00/pp

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Details

What's Included

Scheduled airport shuttle to/from Haneda Airport (HND)

9 nights of boutique accommodations

7+ days of mountain Biking in the heart of the Japanese Alps

Full day at Fuji Panorama - Largest Bike Park in Japan

Full day at Iwatake Bike Park

Daily fresh breakfast & healthy lunches (Days 2-9)

An ice cold beer post ride and other beverages provided each day

*Optional: Extra night in Tokyo at the end of the trip to experience the city

Equipment Rentals (Bike, helmet, pedals)

Dinners, most alcohol & snacks

Non-Scheduled Airport Shuttles

Gratuities for guides & drivers

International Airfare

Dates

August 2024 October 2024
September 2024
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Epic Alps Adventure

12 - 22 September 2024

FROM$5,695.00/pp

BOOK NOW

Destination Info

Getting There & Away

Getting There & Away

The Epic Alps Singletrack tour starts and ends at the Haneda International Airport (HND) in Tokyo, Japan.

Trip Start Info: A scheduled shuttle will be provided from the airport on Day 1 and another one on the last day for your return to the airport. Day one is reserved as an arrival and rest day so the group can recover from the long flight and adjust to the time change. There are no scheduled activities this day to allow time for all the riders to arrive via their different international flights and travel to our first hotel.

Trip End Info: On the final day, the group will take a train to either the Haneda Airport or into Tokyo. 

Arrival & Departure

Arrival & Departure

Arrival Day Shuttle Times: 2:00-4:00pm at Haneda International Airport (HND)

Departure Day Shuttle Time:
The group will take a train to the Haneda International Airport on the final day with arrival time to the airport scheduled by 1:00pm. Most flights returning to North America depart in the late afternoon and evening.

*Additional Airport Option: You may also join this trip by flying into Narita International Airport (NRT). Our team can provide a shuttle for you upon request from Narita Airport for an extra charge.

Visas & Entry

Visas & Entry

All travelers require a current passport that is valid for 6 months after your return date in order to enter the country. Citizens of most countries (ex: USA, Canada, UK) will receive a tourist visa upon entry and don’t need to apply for any approvals in advance. For more information, or if you’re from a country not listed above, check with your local embassy or passport office for detailed travel requirements.

FAQs

In general, you can expect warm days and cool nights during this time of year in Japan. Typical fall temperatures range from 70-80F (21-27C) during the day and dropping to 50-60F (15-21C) in the evenings. You will need very light, quick drying biking clothes for each day. The Epic Alps Singletrack tour will travel to areas in the mountains where the temperature can drop and rain can happen at anytime. You will want to have a rain jacket and warm layers with you to be prepared for a variety of temperatures and weather changes. Refer to the suggested packing list for detailed information on what to bring. You will also be able to leave items in our van each day so you can have back up supplies if needed throughout the day.

Yes, we will be riding all day most days, so you will want a lot of water. We recommend all riders should be prepared to carry 2-3L of water on them each day. There are a lot of shuttle rides on this trip so you can carry smaller amounts during the rides on some days and refill in the van throughout the day.

Our crew will have some snacks available, however, it is up to each participant to provide their own personal snacks and electrolyte replacement tabs and/or chews while riding. There are stores in Japan where these can be purchased, however, it is recommended that you bring a supply of your favorite items from home as the selection in Japan can be limited and often times very different than what you’re used to at home. Think dehydrated fish and shrimp!

There are 6.5 full days of riding on this tour. The majority of the riding in Japan is shuttle access. There will be a half day of cross country-style riding with small climbs and the remainder of the trip will be filled with shuttle-assisted laps on super fun singletrack. There will also be a couple days at bike parks with chairlift and gondola access. Expect to be biking for 5-6 hours each day. The rides are mixed up so there is time to rest (i.e. not too many days of big climbs in a row). Expect to climb for 1 - 1.5 hours during enduro rides and up to 2000ft of vertical.

All of our trips can cater to most dietary needs, however, make sure you tell us in advance so our team can be properly prepared. We will provide you with forms to fill out prior to travel that will allow you the opportunity to notify us of any dietary needs or allergies.

Once you’re in Japan, there are a variety of incredibly healthy choices and vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free is available at all locations. If you have very specific needs beyond those, please let our team know in advance.

Our guides will be there to help you build your bike at the start of the trip and pack it up at the end. We will have tools available and we’re very experienced in assembling and packing bikes. We’ll gladly give you tips and help you out during the process.

Note that trip insurance is required for all riders on any Ride the Earth tour. You must provide proof of policy prior to departure. We have partnered with World Nomads to provide you with affordable trip insurance. Click {HERE - need to link new Travel Insurance page when ready} to view our trip insurance page to choose and purchase your policy.

Although tipping is completely up to your discretion, it is customary to provide gratuity for guides and drivers. A typical gratuity for your expert mountain bike guides is 5-10% of your trip cost per person and 2-5% for drivers. This may be given to the lead guide on your trip or to each person individually.

Note: Tipping is not customary in Japan. Know that you won't be expected to tip at restaurants or other areas in Japan.

This trip is set up to accommodate riders that range from intermediate to advanced skill sets. We will have two vans and the flexibilty to split up the group into smaller groups to ride varied trails and speeds.

Skill Level Needed - Intermediate to Advanced (Blue to Black Trails): You have a strong understanding and practice with the skills of braking, shifting, cornering and descending. You are able to navigate variable terrain at a good pace. You are confident and comfortable riding singletrack trails and can easily navigate roots, rocks, mud, sand and creek crossings. You are capable of a front wheel and rear wheel lift and can put the two together to navigate over obstacles. You are fairly confident on steep climbs and descents, but you may walk sections on trails that are rated Black or Double Black.

Fitness Level - 4/7: You have moderately strong mountain bike fitness. You bike or exercise 3-4 times per week all year long for at least 2-3 hours per session. You are comfortable biking for 2-3 hours at a strong pace and 4-6 hours with some stopping or at a slower pace. You can comfortably ride 5 days back-to-back with climbing of up to 1500ft per day.

Epic Alps Adventure

Japan · September 12 - 22 2024 · 10 nights

FROM$5,695.00/pp

BOOK NOW
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