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This may give an idea of the road: lovely but steep. The entire distance from Kamigori to Hattoji is only 16 km, and it will be both scenic and strenuous, and therefore this route is recommended for people who want a bit more of a workout to make up for that short distance.


The original tour in 1994 involved cycling in sequence to all six villas: in order, Ushimado - Hattoji - Koshihata - Takebe - Fukiya - Shiraishi.

Since there are only four villa now, the new sequence is Hattoji - Ushimado - Fukiya - Shiraishi. (The Koshihata and Takebe pages are preserved for posterity at the end of the Story & Photos section, in the archived pages marked A1 - A4.)

You can reverse the order of the first two, which of course will alter the first three rides (we’ll cover that option in a future addition to this section).

If you’re going to Hattoji first, probably the most straightforward and least strenuous way to get there would be to cycle straight up from Yoshinaga Station on the main JR line. However, since we’ll be cycling down that route to get to Ushimado, here’s another, shorter route to Hattoji that starts from Kamigori Station a bit east on the same train line. This way is quite a bit shorter but involves some significant hill climbing; you’ll be going up into the mountains anyway to get to Hattoji, but this route has you go up and over another pass before you even start the climb up to Hattoji.