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Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

  • There aren’t a lot of places in Japan where you can enjoy a downhill bike trip from summit to sea, so we were really looking forward to checking out Cogstation at Morinokuni, a service providing easygoing rentals of quality bikes. We took a scheduled tour with them, but you’re also free to rent the bikes on your own for pretty reasonable prices. It’s a perfect way to see the area and get some exercise, and there are a few different levels of difficulty depending on your comfort level.

    Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

    Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

    Starting around 800 meters above sea level at the Katori Observation Deck, you’ll spend the next four hours or so winding your way down to the sea, with beautiful views and interesting stops along the way. You’ll be spending most of your time on normal roads, but there isn’t much traffic to speak of, and you’ll see the landscape change from mountain vistas to lush fields as you cruise down the 22km course.

    Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

    Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

    You won’t just be biking the whole way down, as there are lots of stops along the way as you head down towards the sea. You can make some side hikes on the mountain through ancient trails dotted with Jizo statues and waterfalls, have lunch or a snack at a dairy farm complete with grazing cows, or go through apple orchards. If you’re looking for speed and a challenge you can have it, but the best part of this kind of trip is making sure to stop and take in the spots on the way down (mostly because it’s a whole lot harder to go back and see what you missed!).

    Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

    Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

    Whatever you do, be sure to stop by our favorite place on the course, the Monozukuri School, a gallery space and center for creators and craftsmen housed in a formerly abandoned schoolhouse where you can see a nice variety of works on display and for sale, especially using local materials. The school and connected cafe are closed in the winter time and only open on weekends and national holidays, so if you happen to make it during the times it’s open, it’s well worth checking out.

    Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

    Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

    As you get closer to the sea, the terrain and foliage changes quite dramatically, and as the roads are flatter you’ll have a lot more freedom to go around the towns, especially if you’re renting the bicycles freely. Check out the fishing villages, and you’re certain to meet some friendly locals while you’re at it!

    Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

    Downhill Cycling on Mt. Daisen

    The organized tours end at the sea, but before they pick you up and bring you back up the mountain or drop you off where you need to go, there are also some other interesting tours offered at Morinokuni, from kayaking to more local bike tours. If you’re coming in the winter they have snowshoe hiking and will even equip the bicycles with snow tires if you’re that bold.

    Tottori
    Address
    Tottori Pref. Tottorishi Higashihonjichou
    Phone
    Mt. Daisen
    Address
    Tottori Pref. Saihakugundaisenchou Daisen
    Phone
    Daisen Monodukuri School
    Address
    Tottori Pref. Saihakugundaisenchou Toyofusa 2046-79
    Phone
    0859538072
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