Guide To Mountain Biking In Kyushu | 10 Kyushu Mountain Biking Trails

Planning an MTB adventure in Kyushu? Here are amazing Kyushu mountain Biking Trails for you! Check it out!

The island of Kyushu, Japan’s southwestern gem, is renowned for its diverse landscapes, stunning natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage. 

For mountain biking enthusiasts, Kyushu offers an abundance of thrilling trails that wind through lush forests, traverse volcanic terrains, and reveal breathtaking vistas. 

Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a passionate beginner, Kyushu’s MTB trails promise unforgettable experiences.

In this article, we’ll unveil some of the best Kyushu MTB trails that showcase the island’s captivating landscapes and provide an adrenaline-filled adventure.

Amazing Kyushu Mountain Biking Trails

Aso Kuju National Park Trails

Aso Kuju National Park, situated in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, is a magnificent destination for mountain biking enthusiasts.

The park is renowned for its towering mountains, stunning valleys, and picturesque lakes, offering a diverse range of MTB trails to explore. Here, we’ll delve into the details of some of the notable trails within Aso Kuju National Park:

  • Tadewara Marsh Trail

This trail takes riders through the captivating Tadewara Marsh, a wetland known for its lush greenery and serene atmosphere. 

As you pedal along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by vibrant flora and fauna, creating a peaceful and immersive experience.

The trail offers a mix of gentle ascents and descents, making it suitable for riders of varying skill levels. 

Along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the iconic Mt. Kuju, providing a stunning backdrop to your ride.

  • Mount Aso Loop Trail

For more experienced riders seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure, the Mount Aso Loop Trail is a must-ride. 

This trail takes you to the rim of the colossal Mount Aso caldera, one of the largest volcanic craters in the world.

As you navigate the trail, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the volcanic landscape, including the steaming vents and rugged terrain.

The descent from the caldera rim is particularly thrilling, offering a mix of technical challenges and fast-paced sections.

  • Kusasenri Grassland Trail

Located near the iconic Nakadake crater of Mount Aso, the Kusasenri Grassland Trail offers a unique riding experience through expansive meadows and rolling hills. 

The trail showcases the natural beauty of the grasslands, adorned with colorful flowers during the blooming seasons.

As you pedal along, you’ll be mesmerized by the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including the magnificent cone-shaped Nakadake volcano. 

The Kusasenri Grassland Trail provides a tranquil and picturesque ride amidst nature’s splendor.

  • Kuju Mountain Range Trails

The Kuju Mountains within Aso Kuju National Park are a paradise for mountain biking enthusiasts. With their rugged peaks, dense forests, and cascading waterfalls, the trails in this area offer a combination of natural beauty and thrilling riding experiences. 

The Kuju Forest Road Trail takes riders through ancient cedar forests, immersing them in a serene and mystical environment.

The trail offers a mix of terrain, from gravel paths to narrow singletracks, allowing riders to enjoy a diverse and exciting ride.

  • Shirakawa Springs Trai

 Situated in the northern part of Aso Kuju National Park, the Shirakawa Springs Trail provides riders with a captivating journey through dense forests and alongside crystal-clear streams.

The trail offers a sense of tranquility as you pedal along the peaceful pathways, surrounded by lush greenery. 

 of the highlights of this trail is the opportunity to visit Shirakawa Springs, a picturesque natural spring known for its pristine water and serene ambiance. The trail’s gentle gradients and scenic beauty make it a pleasant and enjoyable ride.

Whether you’re seeking a leisurely ride through stunning landscapes or craving a thrilling adventure with technical challenges, Aso Kuju National Park has something to offer for every mountain biking enthusiast. 

From the wetlands of Tadewara Marsh to the volcanic wonders of Mount Aso, these trails allow riders to immerse themselves in Kyushu’s natural splendor and create unforgettable biking experiences.

Kirishima-Yaku National Park Trails

Kirishima-Yaku National Park, located in Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, is a remarkable destination for mountain biking enthusiasts.

The park encompasses the Kirishima mountain range and the remote island of Yakushima, offering a diverse range of trails that showcase stunning volcanic landscapes, lush forests, and unique cultural attractions.

Here, we’ll explore some of the notable trails within Kirishima-Yaku National Park:

  • Ebino Plateau Trail

The Ebino Plateau is a vast volcanic plateau within Kirishima-Yaku National Park, known for its scenic beauty and panoramic views.

The trail takes riders through expansive grasslands, offering breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains, including the iconic volcanic peaks of Mount Karakuni and Mount Takachiho. 

The Ebino Plateau Trail provides a gentle and enjoyable ride, allowing you to soak in the tranquil atmosphere and appreciate the splendor of Kirishima’s volcanic landscapes.

  • Yakusugi Land Trail

Yakushima, a UNESCO World Heritage site and part of Kirishima-Yaku National Park, is famous for its ancient cedar forests and mystical atmosphere. 

The Yakusugi Land Trail provides riders with a unique opportunity to explore this enchanting island on two wheels.

The trail winds through dense forests, passing by towering Yakusugi cedar trees that are thousands of years old. The ride offers a sense of serenity and allows you to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Yakushima’s primeval forests.

  • Karakuni Circuit Trail

This trail takes riders on a circuit around Mount Karakuni, one of the most prominent peaks in the Kirishima mountain range. 

The trail offers a mix of challenging climbs and thrilling descents, with sections that pass through volcanic landscapes and dense forests.

As you pedal along the trail, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of volcanic craters, steaming vents, and lush greenery. The Karakuni Circuit Trail combines the excitement of mountain biking with the awe-inspiring beauty of Kirishima’s volcanic terrain.

  • Fukiagehama Beach Trail

Located near the coastal area of Kirishima-Yaku National Park, the Fukiagehama Beach Trail provides riders with a unique combination of coastal scenery and off-road biking. 

The trail meanders along sandy beaches and coastal cliffs, offering stunning views of the sparkling blue ocean. Riders can enjoy the thrill of riding on the beach, navigate rocky sections, and experience the refreshing sea breeze. The Fukiagehama Beach Trail provides a refreshing and invigorating biking experience in a picturesque coastal setting.

  • Kirishima Shrine Trail

For riders seeking a cultural and historical experience, the Kirishima Shrine Trail is a must-ride. The trail takes you to Kirishima Shrine, one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines nestled amidst the mountains of Kirishima. 

As you ride along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by ancient cedar trees and serene forested landscapes.

 Upon reaching the shrine, you can take a moment to appreciate the tranquil surroundings and soak in the spiritual ambiance. The Kirishima Shrine Trail offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural significance, and spiritual tranquility.

Kirishima-Yaku National Park presents a wealth of mountain biking opportunities, allowing riders to explore diverse terrains, from volcanic plateaus to ancient forests and coastal landscapes. 

These trails provide a chance to immerse yourself in the scenic splendor, rich cultural heritage, and mystical atmosphere that Kirishima-Yaku National Park has to offer.

Yufu trails

Yufu is one of two popular destinations in Oita prefecture known for their hot springs and natural beauty (the other one being Beppy trails). 

Both areas offer fantastic mountain biking trails that combine breathtaking scenery, challenging terrain, and unique cultural experiences. Let’s delve into the details of the Yufu trails:

  • Mount Yufu Loop Trail

Mount Yufu is a picturesque mountain that dominates the skyline of Yufuin, a renowned hot spring town.

The Mount Yufu Loop Trail takes riders around the base of the mountain, providing stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the charming Yufuin town. 

The trail features a mix of gentle ascents, technical descents, and scenic pathways through forests and meadows. As you pedal along the trail, you’ll be captivated by the serene beauty of Yufu’s landscapes and the soothing atmosphere of the hot spring town.

  • Yunotsubo Kaido Trail

This trail offers riders a unique cultural experience as they explore the Yunotsubo area, a district famous for its traditional buildings and hot spring foot baths. The trail winds through narrow streets lined with shops, cafes, and ryokans, allowing riders to soak in the local ambiance. 

Along the way, you can take a break and dip your feet in the foot baths to rejuvenate before continuing your ride. The Yunotsubo Kaido Trail combines biking with a glimpse into the traditional and relaxing atmosphere of Yufuin.

Beppu Trails

  • Beppu Hells Circuit

Beppu is renowned for its geothermal activity and hot spring “hells.” The Beppu Hells Circuit trail takes riders on a journey to visit the famous hot spring locations, known for their colorful and unique thermal features. 

The trail passes through stunning landscapes, volcanic steam vents, and bubbling mud pools, offering an extraordinary biking experience.

It’s important to note that parts of the trail may be walking-only due to the protected nature of the hot spring areas, so riders should plan accordingly.

  • Beppu Skyline Trail

For riders seeking a challenging and rewarding adventure, the Beppu Skyline Trail is a great choice. This trail takes you high into the mountains surrounding Beppu, providing panoramic views of the city, the surrounding mountains, and the Beppu Bay. 

The trail features steep climbs, thrilling descents, and technical sections, making it suitable for experienced riders. As you navigate the trail, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas and a sense of accomplishment.

  • Kannawa Onsen Trail

Kannawa Onsen is a historic hot spring district in Beppu known for its traditional architecture and therapeutic hot springs. 

The Kannawa Onsen Trail takes riders through this charming area, allowing them to explore the narrow streets lined with ryokans and bathhouses.

The trail offers a leisurely ride, punctuated by opportunities to take a dip in the rejuvenating hot springs and experience the healing benefits of Beppu’s famous waters. It’s a unique blend of biking and cultural immersion.

Yufu and Beppu offer a range of mountain biking trails that cater to different interests and skill levels. Whether you seek stunning natural landscapes, cultural experiences, or challenging rides, these areas provide a mix of options to satisfy every rider. 

Yakushima Island Trails

Yakushima Island, located off the coast of Kagoshima prefecture in Japan, is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its ancient cedar forests and pristine natural beauty.

The island offers a range of mountain biking trails that allow riders to explore its lush landscapes and immerse themselves in its mystical atmosphere. Here are some notable Yakushima Island trails:

  • Arakawa Trail

The Arakawa Trail is a popular route that takes riders through the heart of Yakushima’s ancient cedar forests. The trail winds its way through dense vegetation, passing by towering Yakusugi cedar trees that are thousands of years old. 

As you pedal along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature, with sunlight filtering through the thick canopy above. The Arakawa Trail provides a serene and immersive biking experience, showcasing the island’s incredible biodiversity.

  • Jomon Sugi Trail

The Jomon Sugi Trail is a challenging but rewarding route that leads to the Jomon Sugi, one of the oldest and largest cedar trees in Yakushima. The trail takes riders through diverse terrain, including steep climbs, rocky sections, and river crossings. 

It requires a higher level of fitness and technical skill, but the effort is well worth it. Arriving at the Jomon Sugi, with its majestic presence and ancient wisdom, is a truly awe-inspiring experience that highlights the island’s natural grandeur.

  • Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine Trail

The Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine Trail is a scenic and accessible route that showcases the mesmerizing beauty of Yakushima’s forests. The trail meanders through moss-covered rocks, across wooden bridges, and past crystal-clear streams. 

Along the way, you’ll encounter unique rock formations and dense foliage that add to the enchanting atmosphere. The trail is relatively gentle, making it suitable for riders of various skill levels who wish to appreciate Yakushima’s serene landscapes.

  • Yakusugi Land Trails
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Yakusugi Land is a dedicated area within Yakushima where visitors can explore various trails that showcase the island’s ancient cedar trees. These trails range in difficulty and length, allowing riders to choose routes that suit their preferences and abilities. 

Whether you opt for a shorter and easier trail or embark on a longer and more challenging adventure, Yakusugi Land offers a unique opportunity to ride amidst the giants of the forest and witness the enduring beauty of Yakushima’s natural heritage.

  • Kurio River Cycling Road

If you prefer a more leisurely biking experience, the Kurio River Cycling Road is an excellent option. This paved road follows the course of the Kurio River, providing a scenic route that allows riders to appreciate the surrounding landscapes at a relaxed pace. 

The road is relatively flat and easy to ride, making it suitable for riders of all ages and skill levels. Along the way, you’ll be treated to picturesque river views, lush greenery, and glimpses of the island’s captivating flora and fauna.

Yakushima Island’s mountain biking trails offer an extraordinary opportunity to connect with nature and experience the island’s unique charm. 

From ancient cedar forests to tranquil river valleys, each trail presents its own blend of natural wonders and adventurous riding.

Kirishima Mountain Range Trails

The Kirishima Mountain Range, located in Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, offers a diverse range of mountain biking trails that showcase the natural beauty and volcanic landscapes of the area.

With its rugged peaks, dense forests, and volcanic terrain, the Kirishima Mountain Range provides an exhilarating and scenic playground for mountain biking enthusiasts. 

Here are some notable trails within the Kirishima Mountain Range:

  • Kirishima Forest Road Trail

The Kirishima Forest Road Trail takes riders through ancient cedar forests, immersing them in a serene and mystical environment. 

The trail follows a well-maintained gravel road that winds its way through the mountains, offering a gentle and enjoyable ride amidst the natural beauty of Kirishima.

As you pedal along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by towering trees, tranquil streams, and an abundance of flora and fauna.

  • Takachiho Farm Trail

Located near Mount Takachiho, this trail provides riders with a unique combination of nature and agriculture. The trail passes through picturesque farmland, offering views of green pastures and livestock grazing in the fields. 

As you pedal along, you’ll also be treated to breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains. The Takachiho Farm Trail is a great option for riders who want to experience the rural landscapes of Kirishima while enjoying a leisurely ride.

  • Karakuni Circuit Trail

The Karakuni Circuit Trail takes riders on a loop around Mount Karakuni, one of the most prominent peaks in the Kirishima Mountain Range. 

The trail offers a mix of challenging climbs, technical descents, and stunning views of volcanic craters and steaming vents.

As you navigate the trail, you’ll be surrounded by dense forests, rocky terrain, and vibrant flora. The Karakuni Circuit Trail provides an exciting and rewarding adventure for experienced riders.

  • Ebino Plateau Trail:

The Ebino Plateau is a vast volcanic plateau within the Kirishima Mountain Range, known for its scenic beauty and panoramic views.

The trail takes riders through expansive grasslands, offering breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Karakuni and Mount Takachiho.

The Ebino Plateau Trail provides a relatively flat and gentle ride, allowing you to appreciate the tranquility and grandeur of the volcanic landscapes.

  • Kirishima Shrine Trail

The Kirishima Shrine Trail combines mountain biking with a cultural experience. The trail leads riders to Kirishima Shrine, one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines nestled amidst the mountains of Kirishima.

As you ride along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by ancient cedar trees and serene forested landscapes. 

Upon reaching the shrine, you can take a moment to appreciate the tranquil surroundings and soak in the spiritual ambiance. The Kirishima Shrine Trail offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural significance, and spiritual tranquility.

The Kirishima Mountain Range trails provide a wide range of riding experiences, from peaceful forest paths to thrilling volcanic terrains. 

They allow riders to immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring landscapes and rich natural heritage of the region.

Unzen-Amakusa National Park Trails

Unzen-Amakusa National Park, located in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures, is a stunning natural wonderland that encompasses both volcanic landscapes and coastal beauty. 

The park offers a variety of mountain biking trails that allow riders to explore its diverse terrain, from rugged mountains to picturesque coastlines. Here are some notable trails within Unzen-Amakusa National Park:

  • Unzen Jigoku Trail

Unzen Jigoku, or “Unzen Hell,” is a volcanic area within the park known for its geothermal activity and dramatic landscapes. The Unzen Jigoku Trail takes riders through this otherworldly terrain, offering a unique biking experience. 

As you pedal along the trail, you’ll witness steaming vents, bubbling mud pools, and vibrant mineral-rich hot springs. The trail provides an opportunity to appreciate the raw power of nature and the unique geological features of Unzen-Amakusa National Park.

  • Nita Pass Trail

The Nita Pass Trail is a challenging yet rewarding route that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and coastal landscapes. The trail features steep climbs, technical descents, and exhilarating singletrack sections.

 As you conquer the climbs, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas that stretch across the park and the Ariake Sea. The Nita Pass Trail is suitable for experienced riders seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure amidst stunning natural scenery.

  • Amakusa Coastal Trail

If you prefer a more relaxed ride along the coast, the Amakusa Coastal Trail is an excellent option. This trail takes riders along the picturesque shoreline of Amakusa, providing panoramic views of the sparkling sea and rugged cliffs. 

The trail passes through quaint fishing villages, allowing you to experience the coastal charm and soak in the laid-back atmosphere of the region. The Amakusa Coastal Trail offers a blend of scenic beauty, cultural immersion, and tranquil riding.

  • Nita Lava Flow Trail

The Nita Lava Flow Trail showcases the unique volcanic history of Unzen-Amakusa National Park. The trail leads riders through an ancient lava flow area, where hardened lava formations create a surreal landscape. 

As you navigate the trail, you’ll encounter rocky terrain and interesting geological formations, providing a sense of exploration and adventure. The Nita Lava Flow Trail offers a fascinating glimpse into the park’s volcanic past.

  • Nita Pass Forest Road

The Nita Pass Forest Road is a scenic route that takes riders through dense forests and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The road is well-maintained and relatively gentle, making it suitable for riders of various skill levels. 

As you pedal along the road, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, tranquil streams, and the soothing sounds of nature. The Nita Pass Forest Road provides a peaceful and refreshing biking experience.

Unzen-Amakusa National Park’s mountain biking trails offer a mix of thrilling adventures, breathtaking scenery, and cultural immersion. From volcanic landscapes to coastal vistas, each trail presents its own unique charm and beauty

Yufudake and Kuju Trails

Yufudake and Kuju are two prominent mountain areas in Oita prefecture, Japan, known for their natural beauty and hiking opportunities. While they are primarily known for hiking, these areas also offer some exciting mountain biking trails. Here are some details about the Yufudake and Kuju trails:

Yufudake Trails:

  • Yufudake Loop Trail

Yufudake is a picturesque mountain located near the popular hot spring town of Yufuin. The Yufudake Loop Trail takes riders on a scenic journey around the base of the mountain, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. 

The trail features a combination of gentle ascents, thrilling descents, and winding paths through forests and meadows. As you ride, you’ll be immersed in the tranquility of the natural surroundings and enjoy glimpses of the charming Yufuin town.

  • Yufuin Valley Trail

The Yufuin Valley Trail is a beautiful route that follows the meandering Yufuin River through the serene Yufuin Valley. The trail offers a mix of off-road paths and quiet country roads, taking riders through idyllic rural scenery and past traditional Japanese houses. 

You’ll have the opportunity to cross charming wooden bridges, pedal alongside lush rice fields, and experience the peaceful ambiance of the countryside. The Yufuin Valley Trail provides a relaxing and enjoyable biking experience.

Kuju Trails:

  • Kuju Highland Trail

Kuju is a mountain range known for its stunning peaks, lush forests, and expansive meadows. The Kuju Highland Trail offers riders the opportunity to explore this scenic area on two wheels.

The trail takes you through pristine forests, across mountain streams, and along ridgelines with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. 

The terrain varies from smooth paths to rocky sections, providing a mix of challenges and rewards. The Kuju Highland Trail is perfect for riders seeking a blend of natural beauty and exhilarating riding.

  • Makinoto Pass Trail

The Makinoto Pass Trail is a popular route in the Kuju area, known for its breathtaking views and challenging climbs.

The trail leads riders through dense forests and ascends to the scenic Makinoto Pass, offering sweeping vistas of the Kuju mountains. 

The climb is steep and demanding, but the sense of achievement and the stunning scenery make it worthwhile. As you descend, you’ll experience thrilling descents and enjoy the lush greenery that surrounds you.

  • Nabegataki Waterfall Trail

The Nabegataki Waterfall is a magnificent natural wonder near Kuju, and the trail leading to it provides a unique biking experience.

The trail winds through forested areas, passing by streams and meadows, before reaching the impressive waterfall. 

Riders can dismount and explore the area on foot, taking in the beauty and power of the cascading water. The Nabegataki Waterfall Trail combines biking with a chance to witness the grandeur of nature up close.

Both Yufudake and Kuju offer mountain biking trails that showcase the natural beauty and diverse landscapes of Oita prefecture.

Whether you prefer gentle rides with scenic views or challenging trails that test your skills, these areas provide options for riders of various preferences and abilities.

Fukuoka Forest Park Trails

Fukuoka Forest Park, located in Fukuoka City, is a green oasis that offers a variety of outdoor activities, including mountain biking. 

The park features a network of trails that cater to riders of different skill levels, providing opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the area. Here are some details about the Fukuoka Forest Park trails:

  • Forest Road Loop

The Forest Road Loop is a beginner-friendly trail that circles through the park’s forested areas. The trail follows well-maintained gravel paths and offers a gentle and scenic ride. As you pedal along the loop, you’ll pass through dense woodlands, meadows, and peaceful picnic areas. 

This trail provides a relaxed biking experience, allowing riders to enjoy the tranquility and serenity of the park.

  • Mountain View Trail

The Mountain View Trail is a moderate-level trail that takes riders to higher elevations within the park, providing beautiful vistas of the surrounding mountains and Fukuoka City. The trail features a mix of smooth sections and some technical challenges, such as narrow paths and short climbs.

 As you navigate the trail, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views and a sense of adventure. The Mountain View Trail is perfect for riders seeking a slightly more challenging ride.

  • Nature Exploration Trail

The Nature Exploration Trail offers riders an opportunity to immerse themselves in the diverse flora and fauna of Fukuoka Forest Park. This trail winds through various ecosystems, including wetlands and groves of bamboo and cedar trees. 

It provides an educational experience as well, with information boards along the route highlighting the park’s natural features. The Nature Exploration Trail offers riders a chance to connect with nature and learn about the local environment.

  • Pump Track

Fukuoka Forest Park features a pump track, which is a small, looped circuit with a series of bumps and berms. The pump track is designed to allow riders to build momentum and flow through the course without pedaling, using body movements and weight shifts.

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 It’s a great place for riders of all ages and skill levels to practice bike handling skills, improve balance, and have fun in a controlled environment.

  • Family Trail

The Family Trail is a beginner-friendly trail that is suitable for riders of all ages. It offers a wide and flat path, making it accessible for children and families to enjoy a leisurely ride together.

Along the trail, you’ll find picnic areas, playgrounds, and rest spots, providing opportunities for breaks and relaxation. 

The Family Trail is a great option for a day out in nature, combining biking with family-friendly activities.

Fukuoka Forest Park’s trails offer a range of experiences, from peaceful rides through lush greenery to more adventurous routes with scenic viewpoints.

Whether you’re a beginner looking for a gentle ride or an experienced rider seeking some technical challenges, Fukuoka Forest Park has something to offer.

Saga International Balloon Fiesta Trails

The Saga International Balloon Fiesta, held annually in Saga Prefecture, Japan, is a mesmerizing event that attracts hot air balloon enthusiasts from around the world. 

While the focus of the fiesta is on hot air ballooning, the surrounding area also offers some fantastic trails for mountain biking. Here are some details about the trails around the Saga International Balloon Fiesta:

  • Kasegawa Cycling Road

The Kasegawa Cycling Road is a dedicated cycling path that runs alongside the Kase River, offering a scenic and leisurely ride. The trail is well-maintained and mostly flat, making it suitable for riders of all ages and skill levels. 

As you pedal along the path, you’ll be treated to beautiful views of the river, lush greenery, and the occasional hot air balloon floating above. The Kasegawa Cycling Road provides a relaxed and enjoyable biking experience for visitors to the balloon fiesta.

  • Jindai Forest Park Trail

Jindai Forest Park is a sprawling park located near the balloon fiesta venue. The park offers a variety of trails, including paved paths and off-road tracks, which can be explored on a mountain bike.

The trails wind through forested areas, providing riders with a peaceful and immersive experience in nature. 

With ample green spaces and picnic areas, Jindai Forest Park is an ideal place to enjoy a bike ride and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

  • Furuyu Trail

The Furuyu Trail is a moderate-level trail located near the balloon fiesta site. This trail takes riders through a combination of open fields, woodlands, and small rural communities. It offers a mix of smooth sections and some technical challenges, such as short climbs and descents. 

Along the way, you’ll have opportunities to catch glimpses of hot air balloons in the sky, adding to the unique atmosphere of the area. The Furuyu Trail provides an enjoyable and diverse biking experience for intermediate riders.

  • Karatsu Kunchi Loop

Karatsu Kunchi is a popular festival held in Karatsu City, not far from the balloon fiesta site. The Karatsu Kunchi Loop is a biking route that takes riders through the historic streets of Karatsu, showcasing the city’s rich cultural heritage. 

The loop offers a mix of paved roads and narrow lanes, allowing riders to explore the city’s traditional neighborhoods, temples, and shrines.

The Karatsu Kunchi Loop combines biking with a cultural experience, providing a unique way to immerse yourself in the local traditions.

While the focus of the Saga International Balloon Fiesta is hot air ballooning, these nearby trails provide an opportunity for visitors to enjoy mountain biking amidst the beautiful landscapes of Saga Prefecture. 

Whether you prefer leisurely rides along scenic paths or more adventurous trails, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Nagasaki Mountains Trails

Nagasaki, a prefecture in southwestern Japan, is known for its beautiful mountainous landscapes that offer a variety of trails for outdoor enthusiasts, including mountain bikers. Here are some details about the Nagasaki Mountains trails:

  • Mt. Inasa Trails

Mt. Inasa is a prominent mountain located in Nagasaki City and is renowned for its stunning panoramic views of the city and Nagasaki Bay.

While there are paved roads that lead to the summit, there are also off-road trails that cater to mountain bikers. 

These trails wind through lush forests and provide a challenging yet rewarding biking experience.

As you climb higher, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of the cityscape and the sparkling bay below.

The Mt. Inasa trails offer a mix of natural beauty and the thrill of conquering steep ascents.

  • Mt. Unzen Trails

Mt. Unzen is an active volcano and a popular outdoor destination in Nagasaki. The mountain offers a range of mountain biking trails that cater to different skill levels. From gentle forest paths to more technical singletracks, riders can explore the diverse terrain of Mt. Unzen. 

The trails pass through volcanic landscapes, dense forests, and scenic ridgelines, offering a unique and immersive biking experience.

Mt. Unzen is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its geothermal activity, and riders may come across steam vents and hot springs along the trails.

  • Mt. Kurokami Trails

 Mt. Kurokami, located in the western part of Nagasaki, is another popular destination for mountain biking. The mountain offers a network of trails that vary in difficulty, catering to both beginners and experienced riders. 

The trails meander through tranquil forests, traverse ridgelines, and lead to scenic viewpoints overlooking the surrounding landscapes.

Mt. Kurokami provides a great opportunity to explore the Nagasaki Mountains while enjoying a mix of challenging climbs and thrilling descents.

  • Tsushima Island Trails

Tsushima Island, located in the Korea Strait, is a mountainous island that offers an array of mountain biking trails. The island’s trails provide a combination of coastal views, forested paths, and historic landmarks. 

Riders can explore ancient ruins, ride alongside scenic coastlines, and pedal through peaceful rural areas. Tsushima Island’s trails offer a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor adventure.

  • Nagasaki Countryside Trails

The countryside surrounding Nagasaki City offers a variety of trails that take riders through picturesque rural landscapes. 

These trails often pass through idyllic farming villages, rice fields, and quiet country roads.

Exploring the Nagasaki countryside by mountain bike provides an opportunity to experience the region’s traditional way of life, enjoy the peacefulness of nature, and interact with friendly locals.

Nagasaki’s mountains offer a diverse range of trails, allowing mountain bikers to immerse themselves in the region’s natural beauty and experience thrilling rides.

From volcanoes and geothermal areas to coastal vistas and historic sites, Nagasaki’s mountain trails offer a mix of scenic wonders and cultural exploration. 

Miyazaki Coastline Trails

Miyazaki, a prefecture located on the southeastern coast of Kyushu, Japan, boasts a stunning coastline that stretches for miles. 

This picturesque region offers a range of trails that allow mountain bikers to explore the scenic coastal landscapes. Here are some details about the Miyazaki coastline trails:

  • Nichinan Coastline Trail

The Nichinan Coastline is a scenic stretch of coastline that extends from Miyazaki City to Cape Toi. The trail along the Nichinan Coastline offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, and secluded beaches. 

The trail primarily follows paved roads that wind along the coastline, but there are also opportunities for off-road exploration on the adjacent paths.

Riders can enjoy the refreshing sea breeze, soak in the coastal scenery, and discover hidden coves and viewpoints along the way. The Nichinan Coastline Trail offers a mix of natural beauty and coastal charm.

  • Aoshima Cycling Road

Aoshima is a popular tourist spot known for its beautiful beaches and the iconic Aoshima Island with its distinctive rock formations.

The Aoshima Cycling Road is a dedicated cycling path that runs parallel to the coastline, providing a leisurely and family-friendly biking experience.

 The path is well-maintained and offers scenic views of the ocean and surrounding landscapes. 

Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Aoshima Island, explore the Aoshima Shrine, and relax on the sandy beaches. The Aoshima Cycling Road is perfect for riders looking for a gentle ride with coastal beauty.

  • Sun Messe Nichinan Trail 

Sun Messe Nichinan is a park located near the city of Nichinan, known for its replica of Stonehenge and beautiful flower gardens.

The park offers a trail system that winds through the surrounding hills and offers panoramic views of the coastline. 

The trails consist of dirt paths and gravel roads, providing a mix of terrains for mountain biking. As you ride through the park, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, stunning vistas, and the intriguing sight of the Stonehenge replica.

The Sun Messe Nichinan Trail combines biking with cultural exploration and scenic beauty.

  • Hyuga Coastal Trail

Hyuga City is another coastal destination in Miyazaki Prefecture that offers excellent trails for mountain biking. 

The Hyuga Coastal Trail follows a mix of paved roads and off-road paths along the coastline, allowing riders to enjoy the views of the sparkling ocean and dramatic cliffs.

The trail passes by charming fishing villages, sandy beaches, and rocky outcrops, providing a dynamic and visually captivating biking experience. 

The Hyuga Coastal Trail offers opportunities to explore both natural and cultural attractions along the way.

The Miyazaki coastline trails provide mountain bikers with an opportunity to experience the beauty of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, and scenic landscapes. 

Whether you prefer leisurely rides along dedicated cycling paths or more adventurous trails that combine off-road exploration with coastal views, Miyazaki’s coastline has something to offer.

Kagoshima Volcano Trails

Kagoshima, located at the southern tip of Kyushu, Japan, is an area known for its volcanic activity and stunning natural landscapes. 

The region offers several volcano trails that allow mountain bikers to explore the unique terrain and experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Kagoshima’s volcanoes. Here are some details about the Kagoshima volcano trails:

  • Sakurajima Trails

Sakurajima is an active volcano and one of Kagoshima’s most iconic landmarks. It is located just across the bay from the city of Kagoshima and offers a variety of trails for mountain biking enthusiasts. 

The trails on Sakurajima range from gentle slopes to more challenging climbs, catering to riders of different skill levels.

 As you pedal along the trails, you’ll be surrounded by volcanic landscapes, including lava fields, steaming vents, and ash-covered paths. The trails also provide stunning views of Kagoshima City and the bay. Riding on Sakurajima is a thrilling and unique experience that showcases the raw power of nature.

  • Kirishima Volcano Trails

The Kirishima mountain range, located in Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, is a volcanic area with a network of trails for outdoor enthusiasts. The trails in Kirishima offer a mix of terrains, from gravel paths to forested singletracks. 

As you ride through the volcanic landscape, you’ll encounter lush forests, volcanic craters, and hot springs. The Kirishima Volcano Trails provide a diverse and scenic biking experience, allowing riders to immerse themselves in the natural wonders of the area.

  • Kaimondake Trails

Kaimondake, also known as “Satsuma Fuji,” is an extinct volcano and the symbol of Ibusuki City in Kagoshima. The mountain offers trails that lead to its summit, providing riders with panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and the Kaimon Strait. 

The trails range in difficulty, with some sections being steep and challenging. As you ascend the mountain, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas and a sense of accomplishment. The Kaimondake Trails offer a combination of physical exertion, natural beauty, and stunning viewpoints.

  • Iwoyama Trails

Iwoyama, located in Kirishima City, is another volcanic peak that offers trails for mountain biking. The trails on Iwoyama take riders through dense forests and volcanic landscapes, providing a unique biking experience. 

As you explore the trails, you’ll come across volcanic craters, steam vents, and scenic viewpoints. The trails on Iwoyama offer a mix of technical sections and smoother paths, catering to both intermediate and advanced riders.

When riding on the Kagoshima volcano trails, it’s essential to follow safety guidelines and be aware of the volcanic activity in the area. 

Pay attention to any advisories or warnings issued by local authorities regarding volcanic eruptions or gas emissions. It’s also recommended to check trail conditions and plan your rides accordingly.

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The Kagoshima volcano trails offer mountain bikers an opportunity to explore the dynamic landscapes created by volcanic activity.

From active volcanoes and lava fields to lush forests and panoramic viewpoints, these trails showcase the natural wonders of Kagoshima. So, gear up, embrace the adventure, and experience the thrill of biking through Kagoshima’s volcanic terrain.

Osumi Peninsula Trails

The Osumi Peninsula, located in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, is a stunning region known for its rugged coastline, lush forests, and diverse natural landscapes. 

The peninsula offers a variety of trails that allow mountain bikers to explore its beauty and experience outdoor adventures. Here are some details about the Osumi Peninsula trails:

  • Cape Sata Trails

Cape Sata, the southernmost point of mainland Japan, offers a captivating trail system for mountain biking enthusiasts. The trails wind along the rugged coastline, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. 

As you ride along the Cape Sata trails, you’ll encounter cliffs, rocky outcrops, and sandy beaches. The trails vary in difficulty, ranging from gentle coastal paths to more challenging ascents and descents.

Cape Sata provides a unique biking experience, allowing riders to feel a sense of remoteness and enjoy the raw beauty of the southern tip of Japan.

  • Yakushima Trails

While Yakushima is an island just off the coast of the Osumi Peninsula, it is worth mentioning due to its proximity and popularity among outdoor enthusiasts.

Yakushima is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its ancient cedar forests and diverse wildlife. The island offers a network of trails that cater to hikers and mountain bikers alike.

 The Yakushima trails provide an immersive experience in nature, with lush forests, waterfalls, and panoramic mountain views. Biking on Yakushima allows you to explore this mystical island and discover its unique flora and fauna.

  • Kirishima Trails

The Kirishima mountain range, located on the northern part of the Osumi Peninsula, offers numerous trails for outdoor enthusiasts.

These trails traverse through dense forests, volcanic landscapes, and picturesque mountain valleys. Kirishima provides a mix of terrains, including gravel paths, singletracks, and forest roads.

 As you bike through the Kirishima trails, you’ll come across volcanic craters, hot springs, and serene mountain lakes. The area’s natural beauty and cultural heritage make Kirishima an attractive destination for mountain biking.

  • Ibusuki Sand Bath Trails

Ibusuki, a coastal city on the Osumi Peninsula, is famous for its unique sand baths, where visitors can immerse themselves in naturally heated sand for relaxation. The city also offers trails that combine biking with visits to the sand baths. 

These trails meander through scenic coastal landscapes, passing by sandy beaches and volcanic formations. After a satisfying bike ride, you can take a rejuvenating sand bath, a therapeutic experience unique to Ibusuki.

The Osumi Peninsula trails provide mountain bikers with a range of options, from coastal rides with dramatic views to trails that delve into the region’s volcanic landscapes and ancient forests. 

As you explore these trails, it’s essential to follow local guidelines, respect the natural environment, and be prepared with appropriate gear and safety equipment.

Embarking on a biking adventure in the Osumi Peninsula allows you to experience the raw beauty of Kagoshima’s coastal and mountainous landscapes.

When is a good time to go mountain biking in Kyushu?

A good time to go mountain biking in Kyushu depends on various factors such as weather, trail conditions, and personal preferences. Here are some considerations for choosing the best time to go mountain biking in Kyushu:

  • Spring (March to May)

Spring in Kyushu brings mild temperatures and blooming cherry blossoms. It’s an excellent time to enjoy mountain biking as the weather is usually pleasant, and trails are often in good condition.

The spring landscape offers vibrant colors and fresh greenery, enhancing the overall biking experience.

  • Summer (June to August)

Summers in Kyushu can be hot and humid, particularly in July and August. However, if you don’t mind the heat, early mornings or late evenings can still be suitable for mountain biking.

You may also consider higher elevation trails, where temperatures are slightly cooler. Just make sure to stay hydrated and wear appropriate sun protection.

  • Autumn (September to November)

Autumn is considered one of the best seasons for mountain biking in Kyushu. The temperatures are cooler, and the humidity starts to decrease.

The fall foliage adds a beautiful backdrop to your rides, creating a picturesque and enjoyable experience. It’s important to note that trails can get crowded during weekends in popular spots due to the popularity of leaf-peeping.

  • Winter (December to February)

Winter in Kyushu is relatively mild compared to other parts of Japan, but it can still get chilly, especially in the mountains.

While some trails may be accessible during the winter, it’s essential to check the conditions, as certain areas might experience snow or ice. Lower elevation trails, particularly in coastal regions, are more likely to be suitable for winter mountain biking.

It’s worth noting that Kyushu’s climate can vary across the region, so it’s advisable to check specific weather forecasts and trail conditions for the area you plan to visit. 

Additionally, weekends and holidays tend to be busier on popular trails, so if you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting on weekdays or during less crowded seasons.

Remember to always prioritize your safety and be prepared with appropriate gear, including a helmet, protective clothing, and tools for basic bike repairs.

Does Kyushu have good mountain biking trails?

Yes, Kyushu is home to numerous excellent mountain biking trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. The region’s diverse terrain, including mountains, forests, volcanoes, and coastlines, provides a variety of landscapes for mountain biking enthusiasts to explore. 

Here are some reasons why Kyushu is a great destination for mountain biking:

  • Varied Terrain

Kyushu offers a wide range of terrains, from challenging mountain trails to scenic coastal routes.

The volcanic landscapes of Kirishima and Sakurajima, the dense forests of Yakushima, and the coastal paths along the Nichinan Coastline are just a few examples of the diverse terrain available for mountain biking.

This variety ensures that riders can find trails that suit their preferences and skill levels.

  • Stunning Natural Beauty

Kyushu’s natural beauty adds to the allure of mountain biking in the region. Whether it’s riding through dense forests, crossing scenic rivers, or enjoying panoramic views from mountain peaks, the landscapes of Kyushu provide breathtaking backdrops for outdoor adventures.

From the vibrant cherry blossoms in spring to the colorful foliage in autumn, the changing seasons enhance the beauty of the trails.

  • Well-Maintained Trails

Many of the mountain biking trails in Kyushu are well-maintained and marked, providing a safe and enjoyable experience for riders.

Local authorities and biking communities often work together to ensure that the trails are in good condition and offer clear directions. Some trails even have dedicated facilities, such as bike parks and rest areas, where riders can take a break and socialize.

  • Cultural and Historical Attractions

Kyushu is rich in cultural and historical attractions, and many mountain biking trails offer opportunities to explore these sites along the way.

From ancient shrines and temples to traditional villages and historic landmarks, riders can combine their biking adventures with cultural immersion and learning.

  • Local Biking Communities

Kyushu has a vibrant biking community, with local riders who are passionate about the sport and eager to share their knowledge and experiences.

Joining local biking groups or participating in organized events can provide opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, discover new trails, and gain insights into the region’s biking scene.

It’s important to note that while Kyushu offers excellent mountain biking opportunities, it’s essential to be prepared and ride responsibly.

Always check trail conditions, follow local regulations, and respect the natural environment. Consider your skill level and choose trails that are suitable for your abilities.

Overall, Kyushu’s combination of natural beauty, diverse terrain, well-maintained trails, and vibrant biking community make it an ideal destination for mountain biking enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, Kyushu has something to offer for everyone seeking thrilling outdoor adventures on two wheels.

Can you rent mountain bikes in Kyushu?

Yes, it is possible to rent mountain bikes in various locations across Kyushu. The region is home to several bike rental shops and outdoor adventure companies that cater to tourists and locals looking to explore the mountain biking trails. Here are some options for renting mountain bikes in Kyushu:

  • Local Bike Rental Shops

Many cities and towns in Kyushu have bike rental shops where you can rent mountain bikes. These shops typically offer a range of bike models and sizes to suit different preferences and skill levels. 

Some rental shops may also provide safety equipment like helmets and knee pads. It’s advisable to check ahead of time for availability and make reservations, especially during peak seasons.

  • Outdoor Adventure Companies

Outdoor adventure companies and tour operators in Kyushu often offer mountain bike rentals as part of their services. These companies may provide guided tours along popular trails or rent out bikes for independent exploration. Renting through an adventure company can be beneficial if you’re looking for a guided experience or want assistance in selecting the best trails based on your skill level and interests.

  • Bike-Sharing Programs

In larger cities like Fukuoka, bike-sharing programs have become popular, providing access to rental bikes for short periods. While these programs are primarily designed for urban transportation, they may offer mountain bike options for longer-term rentals or specific trail exploration.

Check with the local bike-sharing program in your chosen city to see if mountain bikes are available.

Tips to enhance your MTB experience in Kyushu

  • Plan and Prepare

Before setting off on your mountain biking adventure, research the trails you plan to ride, including their difficulty level, distance, and any special considerations. Check the weather forecast and pack appropriate gear, including a helmet, gloves, knee and elbow pads, and a repair kit.

  • Respect Nature and Local Communities

Kyushu’s trails pass through pristine landscapes and local communities. Respect the environment by staying on designated trails, not littering, and following any rules or regulations in place. Be mindful of private property and local customs, and always yield to hikers or other trail users.

  • Safety First

Mountain biking can be physically demanding and carries inherent risks. Ride within your skill level and wear protective gear to minimize the chance of injury. Carry a first aid kit, sufficient water, and snacks to keep yourself hydrated and energized during the ride.

  • Preserve the Trails

Help preserve the trails for future riders by not damaging the vegetation or disturbing wildlife. Leave no trace and avoid skidding or creating unnecessary erosion. If you come across any trail maintenance needs, report them to the appropriate authorities or local biking organizations.

  • Support Local Businesses

Kyushu is home to charming towns and communities near the MTB trails. Take the opportunity to support local businesses, such as bike rental shops, accommodations, and restaurants. Embrace the local cuisine and immerse yourself in the region’s cultural offerings.

Remember, the joy of mountain biking lies not only in conquering the trails but also in appreciating the natural wonders and cultural heritage that surround you. 

Take your time to soak in the stunning vistas, breathe in the fresh air, and embrace the adventure that Kyushu’s MTB trails offer.

So, gear up, hop on your bike, and embark on an unforgettable journey through Kyushu’s best MTB trails.

Get ready to experience the thrill of riding amidst breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in the island’s rich heritage, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Kyushu awaits, ready to captivate and inspire the adventurous soul within you.

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