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Fishermans' Choice Trail

Average Rating:    (3 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 2

At this point your just out in the middle of farm country. You can just keep going, accompanied only by the occassional fisherman at the side of the river and a lot of birds you've probably not seen much in Japan--such as egrets. It's mostly flat, but rough riding, single track, double track--with lots of growth between the two side by side tracks--back roads, good gooey mud after a rainy night, sand, rocks, everything nature has to offer. In the summer it becomes quite overgrown, but still doable and with a lot more interesting wildlife before they cut down the tall grasses in September. There are lots of places to ride left and right of this and those of you with hand held GPS units would be wise to bring them. So close to Tokyo, and yet so natural. Note: I have never seen a single other mountain biker riding here except my one cycling friend who I showed the trail to who said it was "awesome" and wanted to keep it a secret; nor have I seen any mountain bike trails listed in this area on the internet. Only occassionally I see some farmer taking a short cut on a mamachari or a fisherman riding to his favorite spot, or people collecting wildflowers. It's pretty much cross-country heaven. The farmers you meet along the way are very friendly and don't mind you riding the trails between the fields--so please don't be a nuisance or leave garbage on the trail. Also, the towns along the way have often planned on mowing the whole thing down and building shopping malls, but it's one of Japan's few wetlands and the fisherman and environmentalists are in an uproar any time development is proposed. Hense, this is a special, protected place and I suggest we respect it as we ride through it.
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Trail Directions
The most recognizable starting point is the Hanamigawa Koen (which I think is in Sakuradai, next to Yachiodai--I ride there). There's a short mountain bike trail from there on the other side of the river from the park (3.5 kilometers). Ride up this trail (north) until you get to the bridge on the other end of the main section. (You can keep going straight by the way for a little single track, but you end up being cut off by the Keisei-line near Owada Station; still, it's a nice place to stop). Cross the road bridge to the other side and continue in the same direction down the road, under the railway bridge, to the end of that road, and turn left until you get to the first traffic light, then turn right. Go down that road until you to the end or just short of it and turn right (the point being to get back to the riverside). There's a paved path there and many people familiar with the area will recognize this as the way to the paved cycling path which leads all the way to the Inba in Sakura-city and beyond to Narita, but you're not going to go that way because you want dirt! Instead of crossing over, stay on the left side of the river heading north and eventually (after about ten kilometers) you'll come to the end of the paved path where there's a busy road crossing in front of you and a dirt road on the other side continuing north. Cross over to the dirt road and you're there. Between the farms and the river you can keep going seemingly all the way through Ibaraki. I've ridden 30 miles or more that way and still haven't come to the end of it, and it's all dirt from that point--no more cycling paths and only the occassional road bridge crossing your path. The only reason I give these lengthy directions to the trailhead is because I ride there from my home in Narashino, near Keisei-Okubo Station, but I'm sure there's a way to get there for those of you who wish to drive out. My best suggestion in that case is to drive to and park at Keisei Owada station, then head to the river and start riding north.
Trail Length
endless
Trail Level
Trails for all skill levels
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Chiba/Funabashi-Shiroi
   


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

Review Date
February 15, 2003

Overall Rating
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: Sprocketeer , from Narashino, Chiba, Japan

Summary:
If you're a road biker as well, go ahead, it's a road biker's dream come true now. Mountain bikers, forget it. It's gone.

Recommended Route:
I wrote too late. As I write this, the entire area is being paved.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
I wandered around after finding the asphalt Armageddon which has rained down on the entire area and found some fairly short, but excellent off-road stuff. Reviews will come once I figure them out.



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Review Date
November 28, 2002

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: Sprocketeer , from Narashino, Chiba, Japan (native of New York)

Summary:
This wetland area was recently recognized by the UN as one of those places which should be protected and therefore, while development sprouts all around it, the riverside and wetlands themselves will never be "improved," as Japanese government likes to call it. Well thank my knobby tires for that. It's a great place to ride.

Recommended Route:
Take the train to Keisei Owada station and head to the river. Stay on the left bank going north. You might have 5 to 7 K of rough bicycle path until you meet up with a national road at the end. Cross the road to the dirt on the other side and just keep going. It seems endless, and near as I can tell you'd find yourself in Aomori prefecture before you saw another bit of asphalt.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
There is a great book of mountain bike trails in Japan which I recently purchased called Mountain Bike Touring Guide, published by the Japan Mountain Bike Association. It's in Japanese, but I'm sure you can get some bilingual friend--like myself (feel free to e-mail to mtbmania@seaple.ne.jp)--to decipher it for you and write over the main points in English.



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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)