The mountainous terrain of the Shin’etsu area makes for some excellent cycling—and many of the best mountain bikers in the country are located right here. But not all cycling in the region has to be a rugged trip up and down; riding a bike in the areas at the foot of the hills is a great way to explore both the beautiful natural setting and the unique culture to be found in the area.
Start at the Shin’etsu Shizenkyo Activity Center (SAC), which has bicycles available for rent. Then head out on the gentle roads along the base of the mountains, between the terraced rice fields and through the villages and towns. You’ll pass over beautiful streams and rivers, meet the friendly and welcoming people of the area, and discover the picturesque and historic farmhouses, Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples that dot the area.
The traditional lifestyle in Shin’etsu has always depended on the beech forests that cover the mountains all around. The beech trees have a unique ability to store water—the forest are known here as the “Green Dam”—water which will later flow down from the peaks to irrigate the rice fields, provide homes and farms with drinking water and even be the source (with the rice) for the delicious local saké.
On your ride through the Shin’etsu outdoors, you’ll sense the depth of that relationship between the mountains, forests, water and the people. It’s often noted that Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan, is a reflection of the people’s respect and awe for the forces around them. You’ll find everything from tiny stone shrines to large wooden buildings marked in front by red tori gates.
And, if you’re lucky (and here particularly in spring or autumn), you might very well pedal your way into a local festival, celebrating the seasons and the local kami, or spirits, with traditional dances and music, food, drink and lots of fun.
In short, a bicycle is a great way to get close to the fantastic, fascinating places and people of the Shin’etsu area. Whether it’s bouncing down a sun-dappled dirt road in the forest or a smooth paved road between villages, cycling will give you an unmatched introduction to this beautiful region.
There is a lot of danger that you have to pay attention during enjoying activities in the mountains, rivers, lakes and ponds etc.
Have the knowledge and experience, and be ready for any situation.
We would reccomend you to have guides who are specialized in the feild or paticipate tours.
It is necessary to keep to its field regulations, rules and manners.