Japan Sea Bike Trail | Kubiki Cycling Route

Are you bringing your bike to Japan? Then don’t miss out on this Japan Sea bike trail – the Kubiki Cycling Route! One of the many great things to do in Joetsu – the Unknown Japan. The ride is an ideal way to begin or end your stay in Joetsu-Myoko.

Japan Sea bike trail
Views of the Japan Sea from the Kubiki Cycling Route

The Kubiki Cycling Road stretches 32 kilometres along the Sea of Japan coast between neighbouring Itoigawa and Joetsu Cities passing through fishing villages and mountain farms, dotted with shrines, temples and some of the areas most-famous seafood areas and restaurants. The Kubiki Trail is a classic bicycle “rail trail” – built atop the remains of the old Hokuriku Railroad, which was moved into the mountains via a series of tunnels and bridges more than half a century ago in the 1960’s.

The trail basically follows along the coastal Route 8 offering gorgeous views of the Sea of Japan and featuring a number of old train tunnels and bridges preserved as they were when they were last used. Cyclists will pass through scenic seaside and fishing communities (such as Nou Fishing Port), popular summer beaches (such as Nadachi), rice fields, traditional architecture and large seafood markets (such as UmiTerasu Nadachi and Marine Dream Nou).

The time taken is as long or short as you want. Done at a leisurely pace, including stopovers along the way, the ride can be done very comfortably in 4-5 hours – making it an ideal day trip. There are a number of small minshuku along the way that you may be able to stop at. However none of these are bookable online in English. You can find a range of Joetsu accommodation here not far from the beginning of the trail.

Things not to miss on the miss on the Kubiki Cycling Route / Japan Sea Bike Trail:

Visit and eat at Kaniya Yokocho (Crab Market Street) in Marine Dream Nou. There is also a maritime museum;

Tsutsuishi underground train station. A unique station in the middle of a tunnel. Visitor passes are available from the ticket office;

The many local shrines and temples along the route such as Nou Hakusan Shrine, as well as the Nou Museum of History and Folklore set in an old traditional farmhouse (entry fee is ¥100);

Take a side route to one of many of the local onsen hotsprings such as at Umiterasu Nadachi;

Plus plenty of breaks to take photographs of the spectacular scenery!

Important questions about the Kubiki Cycling Route / Japan Sea Bike Trail

Can I bring my bike on the train?
Can I bring my bike on the train in Japan?

In Japan, traveling on the train with a bicycle is permitted, even on Shinkansen with no extra charge. You can take a bike on any train at any time for free of charge if you store it in a bike bag called ‘Rinko bag’. See here for more info.

What if I don't have a bike?
What if I don’t have a bike?

Rental bicycles are available at Itoigawa Station and Marine Dream Nou – including electric-assist bikes for a very reasonable 2500 yen for the day. Rental bike enquiries can be directed to: 025-566-3456 (Japanese speakers only)

How do I get there?
How do I get there?

Catch the Hokuriku Shinkansen to JoetsuMyoko Station and then change to the Myoko Haneuma Line to Naoetsu. Or stay on the shinkansen to Itoigawa and ride back. See here for getting to JoetsuMyoko access information.

Can I book accommodation?
Can I book accommodation?

There are a number of small minshuku along the way that you may be able to stop at. However none of these are bookable online in English. You can find a range of Joetsu accommodation here not far from the beginning of the trail.

Where does this Japan Sea bike trail start and finish?
Where does this Japan Sea bike trail start and finish?

It doesn’t run directly from each city, rather from the fringes of each city – Nakashuku in Itoigawa and Gozu in Joetsu. From the Joetsu end it’s best to access via the coastal road rather than the quite dangerous bypass tunnel on Route 8. At the Itoigawa end look for the Lawson store just after the start point.

kubiki bike trail map, Japan Sea Bike Trail
Click here for the Google map
Can I download a map of the Kubiki Bicycle Road?
Can I download a map of the Kubiki Bicycle Road?

Yes! Download a comprehensive map of the Japan Sea bike trail here (Japanese only).

Are there any videos of the Kubiki Bicycle Road online?
Are there any videos of the Kubiki Bicycle Road online?

Yes! Here’s two.

 

Drone view of the Kubiki Cycling Route – a Japan Sea Bike Trail
 

 

Go Pro view of the Kubiki Cycling Route – a Japan Sea Bike Trail
I have another question?