Bicycling & Camping
Cycling in the Ishizuchi Moutain RangeRun through the refreshing highlandsand rice fields of satoyama
The expansive area that straddles Ehime and Kōchi Prefectures has many gentle slopes that beginners can enjoy as well as various points of interest concentrated within close proximity. There are also long courses and technically advanced courses with greater elevation differences that will satisfy the mid- to advanced-level cyclers. The greatest appeal, however, is being able to ride through natural environments that change with the seasons unlike those at the ground level while being enveloped by clean air. A delightful time of running through the highlands and rice fields of satoyama* awaits.
*Satoyama are Japanese farming landscapes located between villages and the mountains.
Here you will find the perfect environment for experiencing the real thrill of bicycling
Some may think that the bicycle paths on the Ishizuchi Mountain Range are long and have dramatic hills, and therefore are only suitable for advanced bicyclers. But in the area that straddles Ehime and Kōchi Prefectures there are a great number of places that can be enjoyed by beginners.
Variety of bicycling courses to choose from
There are long courses and technically challenging courses for the enjoyment of mid- to advanced-level cyclists. There are shops, albeit few in number, in Kumakōgen-chō and Ino-chō cities that rent hybrid bikes so visitors can enjoy cycling without having to bring their own bikes.
Run to the TopBicycling with majestic view that seem to connect to the heavens
There are no words to describe the exhilarating feeling of coasting along while viewing the landscape or the sense of achievement that comes with making it to the destination all on one’s own. When you pedal along on a bicycle, you will likely notice sceneries that you may normally pass by without much thought, and make other new discoveries and encounters.
Mid-level cyclists can choose to take the “UFO Line” (Chōdō Kamega-mori Line) which runs along the ridges at elevations of 1,300 to 1,700 meters, offering breathtaking views that seem to continue up into the heavens, or they can opt for long rides along the Omogo-gawa and Niyodo-gawa rivers. Advance cyclists can tackle serious hill climbing courses along the Ishizuchi Skyline. The leisurely rides (called “pottering” in Japan) can be enjoyed by all cyclists, regardless of age or gender, as there are no predetermined courses and they can simply take whatever paths they fancy.
There are courses recommended for beginners. One runs through the rice fields of satoyama around Naose and Hatano-kawa river in Kumakōgen-chō (Ehime Prefecture) and around the Sameura dam of Ōkawa-mura village in Kōchi Prefecture, while another is a course of leisurely cycling in downtown Saijō-shi while visiting local food joints like at the markets selling products directly brought from farms.
Your Cycling CourseHill Climb on Ishizuchi Skyline
Held every September in Kumakōgen-chō, the long course that is a mix of gentle and steep hills can be physically and technically challenging. But once the destination is reached, the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that is felt can be indescribable. Hill climbing can be enjoyed while viewing the stunning view of the Izhizuchi Mountain Range.
The Ishizuchi Hill Climb is a bicycle race for advanced cyclers that is challenging in terms of elevation differences, incline, and distance, but the refreshing feeling you get as you run through the natural landscape of the Ishizuchi Mountain Range is quite exceptional. At the event, various treats are offered to the participants after they complete the race, and there are booths of local restaurants and sponsoring companies and stage performances. It is a fun event for racers as well as their supporters.