|Hinode (日の出) is the ride to do in the Tokyo area, or so it seems from reading mailing lists and bulletin boards. From Kamakura, it's more than 2 hours on the train to Musashiitsukaichi station (武蔵五日市駅) where the ride starts, and we have a fairly nice ride literally at our doorstep (our off-road commute to work) so we had never got around to it. But after 6 years here, we thought it was time we went to see what all the fuss is about. So one Saturday at the start of March, off we went...|
|First, here's the map - pulled off the Tokyocycling mailing list website to give it wider visibility. Feel free to download and print out a full-size version. It should also be easy to match it up with the Yama to Kougen Okutama map.|
|The route starts on the the main road out the front of Musashiitsukaichi station (last stop on the Itsukaichi line). Follow it down hill, under the railway viaduct and for about 3km where there is a clearly-signed turn to the left for Tsurutsuru Onsen (つるつる温泉). This road climbs gently at first, then more steeply (and getting more narrow) as you continue straight past the onsen up to the top of the ridge. Don't worry about the no-through-road signs, it is closed to cars at the top with a gate but you don't need to go through and anyway cyclists can easily get round the barrier (in fact one could start the trip from the Okutama side, or continue over for a road ride). However, the barrier means that the upper reaches are completely clear of traffic.|
|From the col, a sharp left takes you along the ridge to Hinode yama. It starts off as a well-made track, gradually getting narrower, rootier and steeper but mostly ridable even on a tandem. Whether or not you want to bother visiting the summit, you may prefer to to take the left fork 500m from the summit rather than carry straight up the steps. The lower left path curves round the side of the hill to join up with the descent route, at which point you can ride up to hut and toilet just below the summit if you wish.|
|The descent is straight down the ridge of Konpira-one (金比羅尾根), so these are the signs to watch for (there is one where the 2nd kanji actually seems to be wrong). It took us a little bit of head-scratching to work this out, actually, as the town Musashiitsukaichi is not actually indicated and it took me some time to locate the numerous place names on our map. There are routes down either side to the onsen and another bus stop respectively, but you don't want them.|
big fast descent, very steep in parts, with plenty of bits where we got
off and walked. There are enough short climbs to keep you warm too.
it is a great ride though the forest, with plenty of challenging bits.
I didn't take any pictures of the best sections cos I was too busy
hanging on to the bike!
There are Japanese ride reports with more pictures here, here, here, and here.
|Generally the route levels and smooths on the descent, and past the summit of Konpirayama it quickly turns into a road. It's worth remembering that the station is at the end of the railway line, so don't head straight expecting to hit the tracks as a guide! Heading vaguely left and down hill is a safer bet. There's a decent small bakery/cafe just outside the station for refuelling before the long train ride home.|
total trip is about 25km, with maybe 800m or so of climbing. We were a
bit under 3h riding time, plus getting on for an hour of stops and
I've heard there are some other good rides in the area - I'll try to find out a few more details. (Here's another one, perhaps not as good)
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