Course A – Okutama Historical Road
This is an ancient road that was once used as a trade route in the Edo period.
After Ogouchi Dam (Lake Okutama) and subsequent main road was built, the old road isn’t used much by cars. There are many sights to see as you cycle along the valley of the Tama River including shrines, mountain villages, suspension bridges etc.
There are many trees that show us the changing seasons.
The route is a gentle climb to the lake and if you keep pedaling, it will take you about 50 minutes to reach Lake Okutama (35 minutes on the way back since it’s a downhill). You can also continue to ride along the lakeside, it’s about 9 kilometers from the time you reach Lake Okutama to the end – which is in Yamanashi Prefecture. The road along the lakeside is flat, so it takes about another 40 minutes to reach furthest point. There are many tunnels on the lake side so please be careful.
Course B – Nippara Limestone Caves
Nippara Limestone Caves are one the largest cave systems in the Kanto region, is one of the most famous limestone caves in Japan, and has also been selected as one of the nine best limestone caves in the country.
Inside the cave, the temperature stays on average around 12˚C.
The Nippara Highway leading to the cave is in good condition and is a straight road that is very easy to cycle on, but it is quite a tough uphill climb on the way to the cave. There is a difference of about 300 meters in elevation from the starting point to the cave around 11 kilometers, with an average gradient of 2.7%.
On the way, you can see the Kurasawa cypress tree, one of the largest cypress trees in Tokyo and said to be over 1,000 years old. You can see it by stopping your bicycle and walking along the mountain path for about 25 minutes.
Course C – Unazawa valley waterfalls
There are a number of waterfalls in Okutama, but Unazawa is the most popular. With a series of 3 waterfalls and a valley rich in nature, we call this the “Yakushima of Tokyo”.
This course is recommended for those who want to enjoy both cycling and trekking. The cycling distance is 11.4km round trip (with electric power, 35 minutes for the way there and 25 minutes for the way back), the height difference is 209m, and the trekking distance is 3km round trip, with an elevation of 544m at the starting point and nearly 700m at the highest point along the way, taking about 90 minutes round trip. It can be enjoyed in all four seasons! You may see wild animals and antelopes!
Course D – Ome Healing Byways
Following various back roads down to Ome along the River Tama valley, this is a course where you can enjoy both the charms of Okutama and Ome, there is little traffic and famous places that cannot be entered by car.
The distance from Okutama to Ome Station is about 23km (26.5km to Kabe), and the difference in elevation is 139m (157m to Kabe). It’s mostly a downhill course. After returning the bicycles to the bike shop at the finish line, you can take a dip in the hot springs and stop by popular local restaurants.