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Explore Hokkaido’s Lake Shikotsu by mountain bike with an expert guide. You’ll depart along the Chitose River and then ride through the woods to the tranquil caldera lake, enjoying breathtaking views of neighboring mountain peaks as you pedal. Take a break during the moderate, 5-hour ride to purchase your own lunch at your choice of lakeside restaurants. Round-trip transport is available from the Sapporo train station, a nearby hotel or New Chitose Airport. Numbers are limited to 10 on this small-group tour, ensuring a personalized experience.
Please note: This tour is seasonal and runs yearly between April and October. The date is subject to change.
After morning pickup by air-conditioned minivan, you’re driven to the Chitose trailhead, located approximately 1.5 hours away from Sapporo.
Once you’re fitted with a mountain bike, helmet and gloves, you’ll hear safety precautions and biking tips for moderately skilled cyclists. Then follow your guide along the pristine waters of the lower Chitose River toward Lake Shikotsu, immersing yourself in the natural splendor of Hokkaido.
Soon the dirt and pebble path veers off into beautiful woods of white birch, taking you uphill for approximately 1.5 hours – a distance of 9 miles (15 km). Arriving at a clifftop, stop at a hydroelectric plant to enjoy views of the upper Chitose before continuing another 3 miles (5 km) to Lake Shikotsu.
With a 24-mile (40-km) circumference and a maximum depth of about 1,180 feet (360 meters), the volcanic Lake Shikotsu is the second-deepest lake in Japan and boasts some of the country’s best-quality water. Enjoy the tranquil surroundings and views of neighboring volcanoes – Mt Eniwa, Mt Tarumae and Mt Fuppushi – from the shore, and pose for a group photo.
Take an hour of free time to purchase lunch (own expense) at one of the lakeside restaurants. Choose from many options, including ones serving freshwater salmon (sushi or sashimi), hamburgers made with Hokkaido beef, or traditional Japanese plates like ramen and curry.
Afterward, you can choose your return route, based on your skill level and energy. Select the mountain path for a moderate, off-road downhill course with more challenges and occasional uphill climbs, or ride through the woods on an entirely downhill slope; both options travel 15 miles (25 km) along a pebble road for approximately two hours past streams and across bridges.
Note: If at any time the pace is too fast, you can ask your guide to slow down, take a break or even shorten the course.
Enjoy panoramic mountain views and possible animal sightings – including Ezo deer, Hokkaido native foxes and raccoon dogs – before your small group returns to the Chitose area. Then hop off your mountain bike and relax during the comfortable drive back to Sapporo or New Chitose Airport.