"Tokapuchi 400" cycling route nominated as nationally designated bicycle route candidate
“Tokapuchi 400” is a cycling route that features amazing views of the grand natural scenery in the Tokachi region. It is the first cycling route in Hokkaido to be nominated as a candidate for National Cycle Route designation by the government as a course with an excellent traveling environment for bicycles. If it is designated, it can be promoted within Japan and internationally as a safe and pleasant course. A review board of experts will soon inspect the area, and may even make a decision by this summer at the earliest.
Tokapuchi 400 is a 403-kilometer circuit that starts in the city of Obihiro and extends from the town of Kamishihoro to the town of Taiki in a number eight shape. The highlight of the course is the grand natural scenery unique to Tokachi, including Lake Shikaribetsu, the Mikuni Pass, and the concrete arches of the Shihoro Line on the Former National Railway. In addition to fun for intermediate and advanced cyclists, there is also a short course for beginners that hits the major sightseeing spots.
The National Cycle Route system was established by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in 2019 to promote cycling tourism, in which tourists enjoy sightseeing on bicycles. For the first wave, in November of that same year the Ministry designated three routes nationwide including the “Shimanami Kaido” route which connects Hiroshima Prefecture and Ehime Prefecture. The candidates for the second wave were announced in January of this year. Three routes were nominated, including Tokapuchi 400.
To be designated, a route must clear a total of 12 requirements, such as having rest spots about every 20 kilometers and assuring the presence of lodging facilities that let guests bring bicycles into their room. From April 15 onward, Tokachi City Design (Obihiro) has started offering 12 rooms that allow bringing bicycles inside at a hotel that it newly constructed in Obihiro called “NUPKA Hanare”.
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