Posts Tagged ‘Karuizawa’

Special ride in Nagano

May 26, 2017

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We, staffs of Tokyo Great Cycling Tour traveled to Karuizawa, Nagano during Golden Week holiday in this year as has happened in the past.

This year, we have decided to head to Kirizumi Onsen which is located in the deep mountain in Gunma prefecture. karuizawa map

The first 2 hours were rather easy ride with lots of fun. With decent distance and angle of hill climbing, we enjoyed watching cherry blossoms in the mountain. Here is about 1200 meters high from the sea level, so flowers have just started blooming. We were trying to cycle in the same pace as we were afraid of meeting bears who might have just come out from their hibernation. Yes, there are many bears in this mountain! Actually the area is named Kuma no Daira and Kuma means bear in Japanese.

 

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Two hours later we arrived at a kind of dead end but we found the sign pointing the very steep cliff and narrow road to Kirizumi Onsen.

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We put our bikes on our shoulders and climbing up this mountain wall standing in front of us. There are not many pictures we could take as the road was so hard and we didn’t have enough remaining power to do so… Some parts of the road were very slippery and one side of the slope face is all the way down to the bottom of the valley…!

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After another one hour of cycling (well, actually we were pushing our bike most of the parts), we finally arrived Kirizumi Onsen. It was truly a hidden gem, very quiet even in Golden Week and wonderful location Onsen in the serene hush. Onsen water contains lots of carbonic acid so when you soak in the bath you can see your hands and legs would be wrapped lots of fine bubbles. We had late lunch along a fresh stream.

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The time spending in the heaven can last only a short time… We need to cycle back to Karuizawa. We cycle down from Kirizumi Onsen which locates 1200 meters elevation to 400 meters (fun and easy!)  and then hill climb again to Karuizawa which also is 1200 meters! What the hell !!!

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In total, we are very much enjoying a day between the heaven and the hell. If you are interested in this route, we can tell you more details, or you can join us next year golden week 🙂

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Karuizawa Great Cycling Tour in Golden Week

May 17, 2013

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Hello, I am Kazu. I would like to write on 2013 Karuizawa Great Cycling Tour (KGCT). It was held at Karuizawa, Nagano, known as an old and famous resort area in Japan, on May 4, 2013, in the middle of Golden Week, national holiday week.
It was a beautiful day, just blue sky without clouds, perfect for cycling. Participants of the tour were fifteen(15) ; Yukiko, Carlos, Masa, Naoko, Akane, Yayoi, Etsuko, Haruna, Nobutaka, Takk, Linda, Jan, Yoshiko, Yoshiko’s daughter and myself.
We joined either A-Course with a hill of 250m elevation or B-Course without it. Both courses merged in a half way and all of us went on the same course after that.
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The spring has come here in Karuizawa, which is about one month later than in Tokyo. We enjoyed seeing beautiful flowers including cherry blossoms and vivid green leaves on trees under sunshine on our way. We stopped at a park and had lunch under cherry blossoms, viewing Asama Mountain in the distance.
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We also stopped at a popular sweet shop for coffee break and enjoyed chatting at open air space of the shop. All of us finished the tour after 3 p.m. with feeling of satisfaction. Nobody failed. Good job, everyone!
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From Tokyo to Karuizawa ~ Long bike ride in my Golden Week vacation

May 11, 2011

It has been my long time target to go to Karuizawa in Nagano from my house in Tokyo by bike. It is about 190 km.  I’m doing the tours mostly four days every week and that means I ride a bike about 120 km every week. And it is helping me to stay healthy (maybe?). But so far, my longest distance of bike riding in one day is about 85 km which I had done in Norway three years ago.

Fortunately or unfortunately, at this moment I’m not so busy as usual year as many of our tours were cancelled due to the disaster, I decided to set my plan into action this Golden Week. I asked my friend, Pierre to go together as he had done the same bike ride before.

 On April 29, I left my house at 4:00 am for Pierre’s house and we started our trip together. We took nice and easy path by the river same as Pierre did last year. Here is the similar route.

The weather was just perfect for cycling and lots of colorful flowers were blooming, so beautiful! It was just very comfortable cycling ! ….. for the first 1/3 of the distance. Gradually my knee and ankle started to hurt and it was getting worse and worse. As last 20 km from Yokokawa to Karuizawa, we had to climb the hill from 300 meters to 1,000 meters (Usui Pass), once I was almost about to give up continuing, but Pierre was kind enough to cheer me up patiently.

It also got dark, we were delaying about 2 hours from our original plan. But finally we arrived at Karuizawa at 7:00 pm after 15 hours we left Tokyo!

I was so — exhausted and I took almost three days to recover after this, but my face looks very happy, doesn’t it?  🙂

Yukiko