Lake Kasumigaura 2-Day Bikepacking Trip

I went on a 2-day bicycle bikepacing trip in Kasumigaura on Oct.7-8th, 2023. We spent two full days cycling on the flat road while watching beautiful Lake Kasumigaura and eating delicious food at a local restaurant.


▽Video (subtitles ON recommended)

▽Overall course (191km in total)

Day 1 (116 km): Chiba New Town Chuo → Tone River Cycling Road → Route 125 → Seven-Eleven Inashiki-Furuwatari → Kasumigaura (Haguroyama Park)

Second day (75 km): Kasumigaura (Hagurosan Park) → Seven-Eleven Inashiki-Furuwatari → Chiba New Town Chuo



We started from Chiba Newtown Chuo Station. This time we left around 6:00 am. Beautiful sunrise.

Tone River Cycling Road. In summer, the cycling road is full of weeds and insects, but at this time of year, the weeds are starting to die down.

Beautiful mackerel sky.

We are heading for Kasumigaura via the red bridge (Kanzaki Ohashi) and Route 105 to 125.

On the right is Osugi Shrine. It was a magnificent structure. I would like to visit next time.

Route 125 has many hills.

We arrived at Kasumigaura via Shinkotobashi Bridge!

It is not winter yet, so there is not so much baggage to cycle with.

The area of the lake is huge. Overwhelming.

Ruins of Kashima Naval Air Station (Daisen Lakeside Park). The place where the Japanese military of the time trained to fly seaplanes is now open to the public, and has been since July 2023

Some people were playing with rc planes.Looks like they are having fun!

The Kasumigaura Bike Path is marked with blue from beginning to end, so it was smooth ride without getting lost.

It was a Saturday and the weather was nice, so there were many cyclists with road bikes. They seemed to be having a lot of fun with air-drafting. We went around Kasumigaura clockwise this time, but most of the cyclists went counterclockwise. Later, I found out that (1) when going clockwise, you need to cross the road to get to the public road, and (2) counterclockwise is a little closer to the lake. That makes sense.

There are many shrine gates around Kasumigaura. This may be because many farmers and fishermen lived around Kasumigaura and often prayed to the water god for a good harvest or flood damage (I found an interesting paper on this consideration).” It is said that there are more than 200 stone shrines to water deities in the Kasumigaura basin.” It shows the influence of water god.

Freshwater fish: a dead Hakuren. The smell of decomposition was strong. For some reason, there was also the carcass of a weasel? In recent years, large numbers of dead Hakuren have observed in Kasumigaura due to changes in water temperature and water level. The smell of decomposition was quite strong along the cycling road(even though you cannot see them, you can still smell it).

We also saw many farmers burning the fields.

Kasumigaura General Park. Beautiful Dutch windmills.

On the way to the sushi restaurant from the cycling road, we found something that looked like an abandoned apartment. I’m very curious to know. Since there is no information about it on Google Maps, I’ll note the street view link. Please let me know if you know anything about this.

Sushi Yuki. Service lunch for 500 yen (very reasonable).

Miso soup, chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), and mozuku (seaweed) are self-service. The miso soup had salmon in it, which made the soup broth taste good. The steamed egg custard had delicious chestnuts inside. The mozuku, which I did not like so much before, was the best I tried. The sourness of the vinegar was excellent.

We ordered 10 pieces of sushi for 900 yen. Great price for the amount.

Cycling Rest Area Rinrin Port Tsuchiura. There are showers (200 yen) and cyclists friendly. You can see that this area is making efforts to attract cyclists.

The lotus root fields in the western part of Kasumigaura. Up close, the lotus leaves are huge.

Birds chilling around the lotus field. Even though they are far away, they seem to be aware of the distance between humans and them.

After lunch, we stopped by Pumpkin Bakery.

It was a small store, but they had a wide variety of breads. Kanta and I had blueberry cheese and pumpkin pie. It had whole blueberries inside, which went well with the cream cheese!

While we were eating at a cozy table outside, the store owner gave us iced coffee for free! Apparently, they give cyclists(?) coffee (according to reviews on Google Maps). Anyway, it is very nice.

There are so many shrine gates.

Kasumigaura Ride Quest

Another cyclist-friendly place with bike rentals and a restaurant!

This is the bike that Kanta uses. He cycled with a city-bike + single gear for this long distance trip. His stamina is crazy…

Kasumigaura Bridge. It takes 140 km to go around Kasumigaura, but we could cut 50 km short by going through this bridge. It was also a nice place to see the almost entire view of Kasumigaura.

Return to the cycling road via Kasumigaura Ohashi Bridge.

There were fewer cyclists in the east part of Kasumigaura than in the south and west. On the other hand, the scenery was very nice. Green fields on the left, blue lake on the right. If I had to choose the best view around Kasumigaura, this area will be the choice.

Here is an unmanned store called Sunflower, right next to the cycling road.

They sell refreshments at reasonable prices. The rusks and yakisoba bread look delicious. In the northern and eastern parts of Kasumigaura, there are few convenience stores that are accessible from the bike path. So, this kind of store is helpful.

Beautiful reflection of sunlight on Kasumigaura

Swapping bicycles. My arms trembled as soon as I gripped the handlebar, probably due to the stifness of this city-bike. How in the world did you manage to ride 190km…?

Money Shot

Today’s destination: Area near Aso Hot Springs Hakuho-no-Yu. Finding a spot to camp around here

We visited Hagurosan Park. This park was unkempt and covered with weeds. Thanks to this, there were no visitors (Perhaps the reason might be the fact that the park was surrounded by hills which makes it less visible).

We set up our tents, despite being chased around by mosquitoes. Today’s hotel was completed. The view is great.

We visited Shimojima for dinner.

I ordered a stewed hamburger steak (880 yen).

The richness of the demi-glace sauce was amazing. So much so that I could have eaten it with just rice and sauce (I ordered another rice and ate it with this sauce). The hamburger steak was tender and juicy. The rice itself was cooked just right and was very tasty. I couldn’t believe how good the food was for under 1000 yen.

It was so good that Kanta ordered more ramen!

We had a short conversation with a local customer. He seemed to be friendly and happy.

Onsen Shiraho no Yu. You can bathe for 530 yen at night. I forgot to take a picture, but there is an open-air bath and a restaurant on the second floor.

After relaxing in the hot spring, we checked in today’s hotel.

The temperature was about around 13 degrees. I slept with an aluminum blanket and a sleeping bad liner, but I woke up around 1 am. I should have brought a proper sleeping bag. I couldn’t sleep much because my toes were cold ,and I was shriveled up. I couldn’t wait for sunlight.

At 5:00 a.m., I immediately made a cup of coffee to warm up. After long hours of shivering, the hot coffee was damn exceptional!

While the caffeine was still kicking in, we returned to the cycling road. Mackerel sky is beautiful in the morning. This sky is often seen in autumn in Japan and appear in high altitude. This sky is also a sign that the weather is going downhill ( in fact, the day after this trip, the weather turned to be rainy!).

The slope up to the Kitatone Bridge. Quite a steep slope.

After crossing the bridge, we stopped at a restaurant that Kanta found. Suijinya(water god) Shokudo. As the name suggests, the area around Kasumigaura is strongly influenced by the water god.

Not only meals, but also boats are available for rent. The walls were decorated with photos and big fish prints. They are open from 5:00 (!) in the morning. The fact that this restaurant is open early tells us that this place is loved by local fishermen.

I ordered the yakiniku set meal (800 yen), and Kanta ordered wakasagi(smelt) tempura (750 yen). The pork was very hearty and well seasoned. It went well with the rice!

Back on the cycling road for the last spurt!

Seven-Eleven Inashiki-Furuwatari store at the starting point. The store was crowded with cyclists.


Even with all the fun we had, the cost was less than 3,500 yen. Bikepacking is awesome. The advantage of not having to pay for a hotel is great. Thank you for reading!




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