Cycling in Yamagata Prefecture

Yamagata Prefecture

One of the greatest limitations of Yamagata Prefecture is also one of its greatest strengths.

Leave the car behind and explore the wide open plains, rural farming villages, and beautiful coastline of the Yamagata Prefecture with the absolute freedom only a bicycle can afford.

With few traffic lights and few cars, some of the most relaxing and beautiful cycling routes in all of Japan can be found amongst the sea of rice paddies and lush forests that cover Yamagata Prefecture.
We have gathered a list of cycling programs from around Yamagata on this page run by The Hidden Japan, and also other tour groups around this prefecture.

Most of these cycling programs are led by experienced local guides who will show you the deep history and vast beauty of this rural region as you cycle along a variety of courses to choose from.

See below for details on a variety of courses, and check back as we continue to add more courses across Yamagata Prefecture.

Cycling courses by location

Haguro Cycling Courses

What's Included

Haguro cycling short course and long course includes:

  • Rental Bikes (Specialized Sirrus cross bikes with Shimano drivetrains)
    Helmets
  • Trained and experienced guides (English and Japanese)
  • All entrance fees
  • Tea and Wagashi Sweets at the temple

Haguro long course exclusively includes:

  • Shojin Ryori lunch
  • Zen meditation at Gyokusenji temple

Cost

Short course: from 9,000 yen per person
Long course: from 20,000 per person

Experience Availability

April to October

Average Duration

Short course: 3 hours
Long course: 4 hours

Meeting Location

Miyatabo Touge-225 Haguromachi Touge, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0211

Minimum amount of participants

2 people

Important notes

Note that this tour starts at Miyatabo, one of the Yamabushi lodges at the base of Mt. Haguro. It can be reached by bus from Tsuruoka Station.
Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.

Haguro Short Course

Tsuruoka City
from 9,000 yen

A relaxing 3-hour guided cycling and hiking course around the lush forests of Mt. Haguro.
This fully guided cycling course takes guests off the beaten path and immerses them in the splendor of the spiritual town of Togue which rests at the base of the Dewa Sanzan Mountains.

During this 3-hour program, we will see the famous five-storied pagoda of Mt. Haguro in its ancient cedar forest, the vast farmland of the Gassan Plains, cycle through small villages and forests, and stop at a gorgeous temple to enjoy tea and matcha tea by its Japanese garden.

You will be led by a bilingual local guide who will share with you the deep history and stories of the places we see throughout the day.

These bikes are Specialized Sirrus cross bikes that glide across the flat terrain on this course.

Haguro Long Course

Tsuruoka City
from 20,000 yen
This is a longer 4-hour course, that is guided by the Yamabushi monks of the Dewa Sanzan Mountains.

This course integrates an emphasis on the Yamabushi culture of these mountains with a more in-depth hike in the forest of Mt. Haguro as well as a visit to one of the Shukubo Yamabushi lodges where you will also enjoy the Shojin Ryori cuisine founded on these mountains.

Building off of the standard Haguro course, this tour will also visit Gyokusenji temple, but will also include zen meditation with the monks of this temple in front of its beautiful Japanese garden.
This is course is for those wishing to gain a deeper cultural experience during their ride around Mt. Haguro.

You will be led by a bilingual local guide who will share with you the deep history, and stories of the places we see throughout the day.

These bikes are Specialized Sirrus cross bikes that glide across the flat terrain on this course.

Kaminoyama Cycling Course

What's Included

Rental Bikes (Specialized Sirrus cross bikes with Shimano drivetrains)
Helmets
Trained and experienced guides (English and Japanese)
All entrance fees
Lunch and crafts fee

Cost

from 13,000 yen per person

Experience Availability

April to October

Average Duration

5 hours

Meeting Location

Kaminoyama Onsen Station
1 Chome-1-1 Yarai, Kaminoyama, Yamagata 999-3134, Japan

Minimum amount of participants

2 people

Important notes

Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.

Kaminoyama Cycling Course

Kaminoyama City
from 13,000 yen
Glide through the wide-open rice fields and vast fruit orchards surrounding the hot spring city of Kaminoyama, just south of Yamagata City.

During this full-day 5-hour cycling course, you will cycle to an artisans shop in a small village where you will make table coasters with a local craftsman that you can take home.
You will then cycle to a lovely rural restaurant that serves local home-cooked cuisine prepared with local and fresh ingredients grown in the farmland around Kaminoyama.

This course is led both, by local Japanese and English speaking guides who would also be happy to give you advice about your travel plans in and around Kaminoyama and Yamagata.
End the day back in Kamiyama Onsen, where we recommend you visit one of the onsen baths where you can soak in the hot spring water and refresh your body in the soothing alkaline baths that moisturize your skin and soak away your fatigue.

Reserve your cycling tour today!

You can send a booking inquiry for your experience below. After we receive your inquiry, we will confirm the booking with our partners and send you a booking confirmation email at least 3 days before your desired date.
Please note this form does not confirm the availability of an experience or reserves an experience straightaway.

Cancelation policy

Our general cancelation policy for our experiences is below. Cancelation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances.

3 days before

Free

2 days before

30% of experience cost

Day before

50% of experience cost

Day of

100% of experience cost