ROUTE MAP

20th MAY 2018

エロイカジャパンコース2018
Agatsuma District (Agatsuma-gun)
The Agatsuma District is a hidden gem located in the Gunma Prefecture, North of Tokyo. The District is comprised of 6 towns and villages. This area was formerly part of Kōzuke Province, administered directly by the Tokugawa Shogunate (he is one of the most famous Shogun/Warlord in Japanese history) and the Oguri-Samurai Clan.
The area economy is predominantly supported by agriculture and tourism.
There is something for everyone to be found throughout the district.
If you love food you will have a difficult decision to make as there are so many excellent options. There are art shows, festivals throughout the year, skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hiking and cycling the rest of year.
The Onsen will be waiting for you to relax in when you return after an exciting day of exploring.

MEDIUM ROUTE 105km

The Medium Route follows the Long course, however turns before reaching Nakanojo and Shima-Onsen. Riders will encounter a steep (13%) grade along a narrow road through a wooded forest
  • Medium Route: 105 km
  • Ascent: 2100 m
  • Unpaved Road: 4 km
  • Start Times: 7:00 AM
  • Rest Stops:
  • 1. Aisai Hill (service point) - 29km
  • 2. Kitakaruizawa Kusakaru Old Station - 51km
  • 3. Kuni no Michi Road Station - 80km
  • 4. Shiriyaki Hot Springs (check point) 105km
>>Route Closing time
If you do not pass Shiriyaki Hot Springs service point by 18:00, you will be transferred to Kusatsu by car.
GPS Route: here (external link)

 

LONG RUOTE 168 km

The Long Route follows the medium course then climbs Kuresaka Cliff and Shima-Onsen forest road. Along the way you will encounter challenging, gravel roads.
  • Long Route: 168km  (Ascent: 3400m)
  • Unpaved Road: 4km
  • Start times: 5:30 AM
  • Rest Stops and check points:
  • 1. Aisai Hill (check point) 29km
  • 2. Kitakaruizawa Kusakaru Old Station - 51km
  • 3. [new] Nakanojo Yamanoue Garden - 84km
  • 4. Shima Onsen Hot Spring Oketsu Parking- 108km
  • 5. Kurasaka (Check point) - 134km
  • 6. Shiriyaki Hot Springs (only check point) - 150km
>>Route Closing time
  1. 11:30 Nakanojo Yamanoue garden (if you don't pass this point by 11:30,  the route will be changed to Middle Route)
  2. 18:00 Shiriyaki Hot Springs service point  (if you don't pass this point you will be transferred to Kusatsu by car).
GPS Route: click here (external link)

CHALLENGE RIDE 39 km

The Challenge Ride is ideal for riders of all levels, however there will be some challenges with its altitude. Challenge Ride: 39 km
Ascent: 900 m
Unpaved Road: 3km
Start Times: 9:00 AM
Rest Stops: 1
GPS Route: click here (external link)

草津温泉 エロイカ ジャパン 我妻
Copyright (C) 2018 KUSATSU-ONSEN All RightsReserved.
The start: KUSATSU ONSEN
Kusatsu is recognized as one of Japan’s three most famous hot spring resorts. People have been relaxing in the Kusatsu Onsen since the 9th Century. The high quality hot spring water is said to cure everything but love sickness.
Kusatsu’s fame was bolstered by the German doctor, Erwin von Baelz, who recommended the water’s health benefits. The doctor served the Imperial court in the late 1800’s.
The Yubatake (Hot Water field) is a central meeting and sightseeing spot in Kusatsu Onsen. There is a foot bath right next to the Yubatake, where you can soak your weary feet and enjoy the view.
The Yubatake at night is a spectacular sight. This is the water source for the bubbling Onsen water supplied throughout Kusatsu City.

嬬恋 エロイカジャパン ビンテージバイク 我妻
(c) tsumagoi-kankou.jp
Tsumagoi
You will ride through the beautiful countryside of Tsumagoi on both the medium and long routes. Here you will find cabbage as far as you can see. The area is very favorable to growing cabbage due to the volcanic ash. They produce over half of the cabbage consumed in Japan.
Those of you who enjoy archaeology and history, in 1877 an American scholar Edward S. Morse, discovered shards of pottery, here in Tsumagoi, that were “cord-marked” which translated into Japanese as Jomon. The Jomon period is dated between 14,000 - 300 BCE.
The pottery from this culture was decorated by impressing cords into the surface of wet clay. This pottery style is considered to be one of the oldest, not only in East Asia but the world. During this period jewelry and tools were made from bone, stone, shell and antler. The town of Tsumagoi has embarked on an idea to create a little nicer and more peaceful world. You are wondering how this could be accomplished? Well gentlemen it starts with showing appreciation for your wife. They have a lookout point where you can tell the world, you love your wife.
The town started the Japan Aisaika Organization which translates into Adoring Husbands, this appears to be an unknown traditional culture of Japan. The village name is formed from the Kanji meaning “wife” and “love”.

長野原 エロイカジャパン 吾妻郡 群馬県
Naganohara
Located in the northwestern portion of Gunma Prefecture, almost all of Naganohara has an elevation higher than 500m. It’s famous by Minamoto no Yoritomo, the founder of the first shogunate in Japan.
The main attractions are: Kawarayu Hot Springs area and Yukake festival (the tradition-filled mystical Yukake Festival is said to have been running for some 400 years, where on the morning of the coldest day of the year January 20th, heroic young men bearing traditional fundoshi-wear splash hot water on one another), Asama Volcano Museum, the Maruyama castle ruins and the wooden station building of Kitakaruizawa.
Already the railway service was stopped in 1962, but the station building has been saved as “tangible cultural heritage”.

中之条 四万温泉 エロイカジャパン 我妻郡
Nakanojō
The beautiful city of Nakanojo is surrounded by peaks of over 1,000m high and is only on the long route. The city itself has an average elevation of 400m above sea level. It will be a beautiful ride as the area is made up of 83% mountains and forests. The Azuma River travels from west to east through the middle of the city, and north of the city are many hot spring resorts.
The Shima Onsen (the translation is 40,000), this represents the 40,000 ailments the water is supposed to cure and dates back to the year 989.
Several other hot springs in the area are the Sawatari and Hanashiki Onsen. Some of the Onsens baths are located along a river where you can relax and enjoy Mother Nature while you soak your stress away.
The area has clear stream waters, multiple waterfalls and Lake Okushima, which is colored a brilliant blue hue. The area is showered in cherry blossoms in the spring and autumn colors in the fall. Those of you that are Studio Ghibli/Anime fans will be excited to know that you will be stopping by the 300 year old Sekizenkan Onsen and red bridge. These are the inspiration for the Inn and bridge in the movie “Spirited Away”. This movie won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film making it the only hand drawn animated film and non-English language animated film to win that award.

     
      

         
   

                       





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