Bringing a bicycle to Nozawa Onsen

by Gavin McAleer, General Manager of kk Nozawa Hospitality

Step #1: Get a bicycle bag a.k.a rinko-bukuro

I bought the large size Rinko bag from Mont-bell for my massive mountain bike. This bag only requires removal of the front tire and it has a handy shoulder strap for carrying.

Photo by: Kinya Handa

Step #2: Buy a ticket to Iiyama (make sure to buy a reserved seat)

The train is named Hakutaka and runs on the Hokuriku shinkansen line from Tokyo to Kanazawa. The Hakutaka makes 15 return trips daily.

Each train has 12 cars. Car 12 is Gran class, car 11 is the Green car, cars 1-4 are usually unreserved,  leaving cars 5-10 for reserved seats.

Car 1 is on the Tokyo end of the train and luggage racks are located in row 1 of each car where seat 1D/1E would have been.

Step #3: Ride up to the village

From Iiyama station, the distance is about 12km with an elevation gain of about 250m.

Traveling west I place my bicycle in  the space behind seat 1A/1B/1C, eastbound you will find space at the opposite end of the car.  

My bike, a massive mountain bike, doesn't  entirely fit behind the row of seats.  

The handle bar protrudes a bit into the aisle so, I carry a tool to remove my handlebars if necessary, but have not had to use it.

Tip! Practice securing your wheels and covering your bike before your trip. Running late for a train is not the time to figure this out.

Enjoy your ride!