The Kubiki Cycling Road is a classic bicycle “rail trail” – built atop the remains of the Old Hokuriku Railroad, which was moved into the mountains in the 1960s.

As the course follows the old railway line, the Sea of Japan-facing course offers a unique opportunity to ride through several old rail tunnels and bridges and rice fields.

The ride is an ideal way to take in the Itoigawa-Joetsu area either before undertaking the Shio no Michi hike, or as a post-hike warm-down activity.

The 33klm dedicated trail winds spectacularly along the coast of the Sea of Japan,  passing through fishing villages and mountain farms, dotted with shrines, temples and some of the areas most-famous seafood areas and restaurants, to its finish in the town of Joetsu, to the north.

Rental bicycles are available at Itoigawa Station and Marine Dream Nou – including electric-assist bikes for a very reasonable 2500 yen for the day.

Done at a leisurely pace, stopping for shrine visits, a seafood lunch at Kaniya Yokocho – Crab Market Street – at Marine Dream Nou (around the half way mark) , coffee stops and plenty of breaks to take photographs of the spectacular scenery, the return ride can be done very comfortably in 4-5 hours – making it an ideal day trip from Itoigawa.

Around 5KM from Itoigawa station is the official start of the Kubiki cycling route – just look for the Lawson Station.