Cycling in Hiruzen-kogen Heights (Maniwa City)

cycling in hiruzen

Hola amigos. It’s Mr. Wada back on duty. Let me share our day of cycling in Hiruzen-kogen Heights.

Cycling in Hiruzen-Kogen Heights (Maniwa City)

Hiruzen is in Maniwa City, Northern Okayama Prefecture. Many Okayamanians visit this place for camping, hiking and cycling with full of nature!

 

Information

Hiruzen-Kogen Heights Cycling Route

It is a 29-km trail with less ups & downs compared to other routes in Okayama Prefecture, which is ideal for beginners.

 

Rental bikes are available at cycling stations or stores in Hiruzen. Kaiyukan Onsen offers 200 yen per 30 minutes for regular bikes and 300 yen/30 minutes for mountain bikes. Let the cycling begin! Our plan is to go clockwise and come back.

 

Breezy!

 

Sakura trees in bloom in May? What a surprise (they are already all greenish in Okayama City).

 

Follow this sign or the blue line so you won’t get lost.

 

So-called panorama area. Indeed the surroundings are quite something.

 

Break time. There are small stops to have a seat on the way.

 

Gotta go through some sloops…..(pant pant)

 

Going along the river. It would’ve been nicer earlier with sakura trees.

 

Now we encountered Hiruzen-Kogen center joyful park (sorta theme park).

 

And there goes Wood Pao over there. We wanted to have something for lunch but a long lineup would take us like an hour, so we decided to get back to the start point and eat there instead.

 

Second half was rather easy with mild ups & downs. We were glad we finished the other part first.

 

Passing our campground. (Naka Hiruzen Auto Camping Ground)

 

Almost there.

 

We made it in an hour! Oh well…..(pant pant)

 

We returned the bikes and had very nice Genghis Khan (grilled lamb) lunch at a restaurant next door. Soooooooooooooo yummy! Oh boy. it really made our day.

 

After lunch we took a bath at Kaiyukan Onsen (in the same building). So this place is designed perfectly for cyclists! Cheers.

 

Let’s call it a day.

 

Lastly

How do you find it? Since Hiruzen is upper part of Okayama Prefecture, it really feels great to hang out in spring and even summer. Please swing by if you get a chance.

See you around!

Okayama’s Cycling Road: Katatetsu Roman Kaido

Okayama's Cycling Road: Katatetsu Roman Kaido

Hi there it’s Mr. Wada back on duty. This time I would like to share our day on Katatetsu Roman Kaido Cycling Road.

Okayama’s Cycling Road: Katatetsu Roman Kaido

Katatetsu Roman Kaido cycling road is a discontinued railroad which was used between 1919 and 1991. City of Okayama put up the official cycling road map in November of 2017 as part of the tourism project. This includes the Kibi Plain cycling road that we have tried before, and Katatetsu Roman Kaido cycling road! According to the map, these two are supposedly easier than others…but it is still about 34.2 km long (one day). Let’s see how it goes.

Katatetsu Roman Kaido Cycling Road Map (PDF)

 

Let the Cycling Day Begin!

We started at the Katatetsu Cycling Road Terminal. It offers rent a bike for FREE for anyone. FYI, there are no NO mountain bikes available. Although no worries, there isn’t much crazy killer-steep on this cycling road. If you are very much attached to mountain bikes, you could get a rent a bike at Ukaidani Transporation Park which is like 12 km ahead of this terminal.

 

Go down the road and the first thing to see would be this Shimizu tunnel. After this tunnel you are already in Wake Town. After a while keep going through the Shimizu Station and Wake Town central.

 

Passing Tawaraiseki Dam.

 

Nigaki Station stands in the middle of the forest road (air is so fresh!). Now we are at half way.

 

Looks like another train station but it’s a washroom.

 

We had lunch and coffee at this neat restaurant called Kiraku. I may feature it another time. It was such a compact & cute place!

 

Going along the river now. Nice views and really nice that it is separated from the car road.

 

Here we are. This is Kichigahara Station, the last stop of Katatetsu Roman Kaido cycling road. It isn’t used now but it seems to be preserved very well. There is a small cafe in the station. Get a drink and chill.

 

A cool retro train. I remember that one of the customers at Fusha Cafe that we have previously visited, mentioned that the floor of this Katatetsu train is made of wood. I wish I could see it.

 

This station has a train-ride event every first Sunday. What a coincident it was the day (hehe). A ticket is available for 300 yen.

We wanted to stay longer but time was running out! We’d have to return the bikes by 17:00. It took us about 3 hours from the terminal to this Kichigahara Station, so…we’d better leave before 14:00.

We wouldn’t need to stop for photos on the way back but my concern was if my remained energy would be enough to make it back in time. (=_=) End up we made it in about 2.5 hours on the way back (phew).

 

Lastly

How do you find it? Overall it was not too bad. The roads are well maintained and distant from car road. I highly recommend it for families and beginners.

See you around!