Only 1 hour from Tokyo! Cycling in Ibaraki: “Tsukuba-Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road”
Access from Tokyo
JR Ueno Sta. -> 45 min. by limited express/about 75 min. by local train -> JR Tsukuba Sta.
TX Akihabara Sta. -> 45 min. -> TX Tsukuba Sta.
Selected as one of the greatest cycling routes that Japan can be proud of to the world, along with Shimanami Kaido and Biwako Isshu (going around Lake Biwa) is Tsukuba-Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road in the southern part of Ibaraki Prefecture. This route running in a rich natural environment can be accessed in about 1 hour by train from Tokyo.
“Tsukuba-Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road” goes around Lake Kasumigaura, the 2nd biggest lake in Japan, stretching to the base of Mount Tsukuba, one of the 100 Famous Mountains of Japan, with a total of about 180 km. Although it is a long course, it is easy to ride even for beginners as the roads are flat. The best part of this course is that you can enjoy both environments of waterside and mountains.
Convenient rental bicycles!
There are about 11 rental cycle facilities in the “Tsukuba-Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road” area, including “Ring Ring Square Tsuchiura,” which is directly connected to Tsuchiura Station. You can rent and return a bicycle at any one of these facilities.
Point 1: Beginners should go around the lake first!
As the lakeside roads of Lake Kasumigaura are well-maintained and flat, they are perfect for cycling. Ride a bike while looking at the shiny lake, and you will feel refreshed! For this route, it is recommended to rent a bicycle at Kasumigaurashi Koryu Center.
At the Kasumigaurashi Koryu Center, cross bikes from popular manufacturers, such as Giant, are available for rent. In the facility, “Kasumi Kitchen” offers a popular hearty burger with local ingredients, which is perfect for charging your energy before and after your cycling. Moreover, this facility offers rental BBQ equipment, which is hard to prepare on a cycling tour. So you can enjoy both outdoor activities, cycling and BBQ!
Point 2: Try hill climbing!
The course going to Mount Tsukuba is fully equipped with a cycling and walking path with few ups and downs and a rest area. If you are an advanced cyclist, you can try a Mount Tsukuba hill climbing course running through mountain tracks with a steep incline of over 10%.
While cycling, you can drop by Tsukubasan Shrine with its long history. Mount Tsukuba is one of the famous power spots near Tokyo and it is said that it gives good luck in marriage ties and family safety.
Point 3: Delicious local dishes!
Ibaraki Prefecture is a treasure box of food ingredients, including delicious vegetables, meat, and fish!
Among cyclists, Tsukuba Purin (pudding) available at “Fuji-ya” is popular. The pudding is made with eggs and milk from Ibaraki Prefecture. Its rich taste and melting texture will heal your fatigue.
The official website of “Tsukuba-Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road”: https://www.ringringroad.com/english/
[Recommended accommodation facility]
Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura
Opened in October 2020 within “PLAYatré TSUCHIURA,” a commercial facility directly connected to Tsuchiura Station, it is a hotel for enjoying cycling.
You can bring your bicycle into the building and there is a special space for your bike in front of your room.
You really should join an activity to go watch the early morning glow, “Asayake Zekkei Cycling”! A beautiful view of the sky with a gradation of colors from blue to orange reflecting on Lake Kasumigaura is a must-see. Everything is available at the hotel, from bicycles to selfie-sticks, so you can join empty-handed!
*Reservation on the day before is required. An extra fee is applied.
6,000 yen and up per night (per person with 2 persons per room, tax not included, no meal included)
*The information herein is as of November 2020.