Mountain Biking in Madarao
The Buddha Bus Stop Downhill.
Madarao is more than a ski resort. In the trails and back roads that lead down the mountain from Madarao village is some amazing cycling that starts at the end of April. This is our favourite...its short and its sweet...The Buddha Bus Stop Downhill to Iiyama Station. It is around 12 km of easy, downhill terrain that follows the old highway to Iiyama along the Kiyo River. For an easy day, catch the bus back up the hill to Madarao- or ride back to make it super challenging.
Starting from the Madarao Kogen Hotel, ride straight back down route 97 towards Iiyama past Active Life Madarao. Continue for around 2km, go past the Madarao Kanko Hotel and descend down to the tiny hamlet of Bundo. In Bundo, on the left side of the road you will find a large statue of a smiling Buddha next to a bus stop. This is the Buddha Bus Stop.
Opposite the Buddha bus stop on the right side of the road if your coming down from Madarao, is the entrance to the old road to Iiyama.
Leave Route 97 and take the old road down past some small houses and a large decrepit ski lodge that is on your right hand side. The road is steep and passes through the abandoned village of Dodaira into the Kiyo River Gorge.
The road then follows a gravel path all the way down along the Kiyo river to Iiyama. It meanders past rice fields and pine forest groves until finally coming out near Iiyama Jonan Junior High School. You will then enter the outskirts of Iiyama town. Continue down the hill and finish at Iiyama station. From Iiyama station you can then catch the bus back up the hill.
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Mark is the owner of Madarao Mountain Lodge. He has been coming to Japan since 1991 and has lived in the Madarao area since 2008.