Top Ten Japan Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Bike White Country in Summer
By Brent Madison

Thirsty for sunlight after six months of snow, summer on the northern island bursts with color. Pedal through fields of fragrant lavender, past majestic mountains etched against the bright blue sky. Mount Asahi-dake dominates the island as the "Fuji of the North," where small roads wind through countryside from fog-shrouded marshlands to hidden lakes and wild forests.

Pack your panniers and start your ride right from the train station or airport, heading clockwise up the coast. Plan your route so that it includes a few of the island's biggest hits, including Shiretoko National Park; Japan's biggest, Daisetsuzan; and the spectacular lavender and poppy fields near the town of Biei.


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