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+61 (0)407 114 439 bade@connectsport.com.au


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Pre 2019 Rugby World Cup Tour

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September 21, 2019
Available: 7 seats
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700 KM




6 / 8

The 2019 Japan Rugby World Cup will be the first ever to be hosted in Asia and promises to be one of the most exciting tournaments in the history of the event. 

Japan also offers some of the best cycling in the world, so why not combine the two!

Our cycling tour finishes at Mt Fuji on Sat 28 September so you can make your way back to Tokyo in time to enjoy the Australia v Wales match on Sun 29 September. 

Tour Dates

Sat 21 September – Sat 28 September, 2019 | 8 Days 7 Nights

Meet Location



Matsumoto, Nagano | Mt. Fuji, Shizuoka

Total Distance

600 km

Total Climbing


Tour Level

6 / 8

Accommodation Type

Traditional & modern Japanese.

Tour Details

Welcome to Japan

Japan is truly timeless, a place where ancient traditions are fused with modern life as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Join us in September 2019 for this amazing cycling tour and then head back to Tokyo for the Rugby World Cup! Over 8 days, we will ride some of the best roads in the world and delve deep into the rich culture of the Central Alps and Mt. Fuji regions. Our journey will take us up pristine mountain passes with testing sections of gravel at more than 2200m up in the clouds; we will encounter villages tucked deep in the hills, seemingly lost to time, skirt alpine lakes and to top it all we’ll climb majestic Mt.Fuji.

What lay in store for the lucky 18 that get to join us on this tour is the trip of a lifetime. With incredible support from the ConnectSport and RideJapan teams, the experts at riding Japan, there is no doubt that the scene is set for an amazing experience, both on and off the bike.

You need to book your 2019 Rugby World Cup package separately. Below is a link to the official package providers who have various options available which include accommodation and tickets to the Australia v Wales match on Sunday 29 September, 2019.

Events Travel

Gullivers Sport Travel

Kingdom Sports Group

Sportsnet Holidays

We Love Rugby

JTB Australia



What's Included

Price Includes

  • 7 Nights Accommodation
  • Breakfast and Dinner
  • 2 Tour Guides
  • Vehicle Support
  • Soigneur Support

Price Excludes

  • Lunch and Beverages
  • Air Fares
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Room Service Expenses
  • Rugby World Cup tickets
  • Rugby World Cup accommodation


  • Connect Sport Japan Santini kit
  • Mechanical Support
  • Baggage Concierge
  • Personalised Scicon Kit Bag
What to Expect

Since 2014, ConnectSport and RideJapan have been delivering top class cycling experiences in Japan. The tours are about both on and off the bike experiences and we want you to discover something unique. Our overnight destinations, and the rides each day are all carefully designed to create life long memories and we want to share these experiences with you. Discover the new destination for top class cycling. Discover Japan.

Each day, you will ride and discover some of the worlds mostly undiscovered cycling roads.  Join us today.

  • Average daily distance of approximately 116km.
  • Average daily climbing of 2000m
  • Live Itinerary App
  • Incredible support from highly experienced guides and crew.
  • The best courses through the best locations.
  • Taste and experience the wonderful Japanese culture.

Tour Partners:


Day 1 | Tokyo to Matsumoto

Welcome to Japan and welcome to the Alps. After we gather in Tokyo you will travel on the world famous Japanese rail network. We will begin our tour deep in the Central Alps region in the legendary castle town of Matsumoto. This ancient town is a favourite for cyclists and is also the base for many pro riders. Adam from RideJapan knows the roads well and lived, trained and raced on these roads for several years. Matsumoto is a great base, and we will spend a few days exploring some of the best cycling roads in Japan. The group will be enjoying the stunning blend of traditional and cosmopolitan sights and tastes that the city offers its visitors. Our hotel for the next few days will highlight that blend of the traditional Japanese styling and the modern, with its beautiful facilities, natural onsen bath, tatami style rooms and not to forget the most incredible breakfasts that celebrates local ingredients. 

58 km | 500 m

Day 2 | The Venus Line

After a delicious breakfast we prepare for our first full day on the bike and what a course it is. By now, the group will have realised that they are surrounded on all sides by mountains, many of them above 3000m. While we will not climb that high today, (perhaps to the relief of some), we will tackle the famous Utsukushigahara, a 1200m ascent that tops out at 2200m. It is a beast, and also home to one of Japan’s toughest hill-climb races where its grimpeur champions usually complete the course in about 1 hour. We head out of the city for Asama onsen and the start of the climb. The 5km ride should provide ample time to warm up the legs before the brutish 15% ramps that test the riders immediately. The first 3km of the 22km climb are not indicative of the remainder of the climb and Lake Mizuzu allows the riders a brief respite. Stunning views of the lake and the thick forest can be enjoyed as the road takes us beyond the cloud and treeline. Higher up, glimpses back down to Matsumoto as we head for the plateau at the summit. 

It is a great climb for several reasons, but none more than after the regroup and our tyres meet the high alpine gravel that takes us to the actual summit itself at Ougatou. This section is a challenge for the roadie, but with a bit of bike handling, it provides a unique experience, especially at 2200m above the clouds and always brings a smile to the riders faces, even if a wry one. We love it!! After the gravel finishes we meet up with the famous Venus Line, a stretch of fabulous mountain road that crosses the high plateaus from Utsukushi to Yatsugatake. Super smooth roads, sinuous descents and majestic views greet us on the undulating course as the Venus line whips around the top of the mountain.

At the 50km point, we begin our descent proper, a testing section of tree-lined forest road that has one begging for disc brakes. It is descents like this that make riding in Japan a treat, with little traffic and perfectly banked corners this is alpine riding at its best. Lake Suwa, a natural alpine lake is famous in the area but also brings the downhill to a close. A disappointment for some, and on taking in the terrain will realise that some more climbing is needed. We spin around lakeside before the climbing starts again as we climb out of the crater and begin the journey back to Matsumoto.

One more challenge lay in the form of Takabochi Skyline road, an 8km climb that brings the riders back up to 1600m. Very different to the Utsukushi climb, as the cedar pines hide the snaking road into the distance, indeed a place to quieten the mind and enjoy the peaceful nature that abounds. This is what cycling in Japan is all about, total serenity.The views at the toge (Japanese for mountain pass) on a clear day allows a glimpse of Mt. Fuji, and the descent again will be enjoyed on the quiet, smooth mountain roads. We finish the day with 115km in the legs and some good climbing. The onsen will no doubt be a fine reward for everyone’s legs as will another amazing dinner as stories are shared and the day debriefed.

115 km | 3000 m

Day 3 | The Higashichikuma Paradox

Today takes the riders on some very unique roads and we want to show you why Japan is one of the best places to ride a bike in the world. Today is all about local knowledge and the seemingly lost in time villages and roads that are synonymous with these ancient mountain areas. It took years to discover these roads before the days of Google Maps and GPS devices, and lots of trial and error. The surprising aspect of the course is just how few cars and people you will see and no doubt wonder why the roads are even there to begin with.

It is day of the paradox, because, not only are we on some incredibly quiet roads through the mountains, we need to remember that Japan is a country with a population five times that of Australia and one tenth the size. These regions are a sign of the times, the aging population and the shift of the youth to where the work is in the cities. It is timeless, thought-provoking and extremely peaceful and as we climb and descend on tiny roads through the deep forests.

“These courses take me back to when I was 12 years old, discovering the Adelaide Hills with a ripped page out of Dad’s UBD street directory. Those were simple times in Australia to be cyclist and I design my courses in Japan to hopefully remind our guests of how simple and relaxing riding a bike can be. No stress, no traffic, just brilliant cycling. You and the bike.”

After the ride the group can enjoy the afternoon exploring Matsumoto. A few activity options and a guide will be arranged to take those who wish through the 500year old Matsumoto Castle, explaining all the secrets of the Samurai warriors who built and fought there.

Dinner recommendations on request, but we leave it open so that the group can enjoy a night to explore the city and engage with local people, cook their own Shabu-Shabu or even try some yaki-niku at the local street side stalls. Japan is all about experiences and we hope that everyone has a great day, both on and off the bike.

102 km | 2200 m

Day 4 | The Hakuba Olympic TTT

Hakuba is a place that many will be familiar with. Not only one of the host locations for the 1998 Winter Olympics, it is made famous with the ever increasing Australian contingent who visit every year to ski. However, what many will not know is that it is also one of the most incredible places to ride a bike. Pristine alpine lakes, stunning green rice field roads and amazing climbs offer the cyclist some amazing experiences and ride options.

Our course today takes us on some amazing roads as we skirt the base of the western edge of the valley. This is Azumino and some of Japans top produce comes form this area. The snow melt provides pure mountain water which is great for farming, and along with pollution free air, wasabi, rice and of course sake are all grown here with great success. As we head up the valley our route maps us very closely to the Azumino Alps Century Ride, one of Japan’s leading Gran Fondo events, where more than 4000 riders tackle the 160km course every May.

It is gently undulating as we climb toward Hakuba, and after a little 5km pinch, we descend into Hakuba and the halfway point. A trip to Hakuba would not be complete without visiting their mighty Olympic ski-jump structure. We hope the group saved their legs, as our journey home takes us through some of the small roads of Ikeda before we start our TTT. A 15km uninterrupted flat course that hopefully puts two groups against each other in a battle for supremacy. A bit of fun, but some bragging rights no doubt to the victorious team.The 150km day finishes with an easy roll through the rice fields and back along the river as we head home to our wonderful hotel and a great dinner to mark our final night in Matsumoto.

157 km | 1900 m

Day 5 | Transfer Day

Welcome to Lake Kawaguchiko and Mt.Fuji. After arriving lakeside and getting ourselves checked in, you will have an opportunity to kick back and relax. Following 4 big days of riding the legs will appreciate a day off! Soak in the onsen, go for a walk around the stunning lake or just chill in the hotel.

But if you simply can’t go a day without riding we’ll take those who are keen out for a spin around the local area.

Day 6 | Lakes of Mt. Fuji.

We will start the day with a beautiful breakfast in our hotel before heading out for a ride that takes in some of the famous sights of Mt.Fuji and hopefully spot some monkeys along the way. We head first for the cobbled climb to the Chureito Pagoda, probably the most photographed images along with Mt.Fuji. It is an amazing view and the lightweight climbers will also enjoy the 20% rough cobbled climb. After a brief stop, we head for some amazingly quiet roads at the back of Lake Kawaguchiko. Monkey’s love this area and we ‘usually’ encounter many of them, and it is always a sight for our guests to see wild monkeys and hopefully snag a photo or two.

This is why cycling is a great way to see a country and you just can’t get to some of these places any other way. The views of Mt. Fuji along this road are some of the best, yet many will never get to see the lake stretching out in the foreground with mighty Mt. Fuji resplendent in the backdrop.What goes up must come down and we drop off the hill and head back to the lakes edge before hitting the onsen and resting the legs.

42 km | 970 m

Day 7 | Mt. Fuji Skyline Climb

We finish the tour with a climb that this Connect Sport Japan tour experience would not be complete without. Tackling the mighty Mt. Fuji. The ride up to the 5th Station is about 30km of up and the climb tops out at more than 2300m. The experience and the views are well worth it.

95 km | 2500 m

Day 8 | Sayonnara

After a great week, both on and off the bike, we help you get to the station for your onward journey back to Tokyo to start part 2 of your amazing Japanese adventure, the Rugby World Cup Australia v Wales match!