To say that gravel cycling is experiencing a global boom would be an understatement.

These versatile bikes blend the speed of a road bike and the versatility of a mountain bike, opening up new possibilities for cyclists and adventurers looking to get out and explore on two wheels. Gravel riding is now leaving its mark on Japan as these bikes are the perfect tool for exploring the mountainous roads and trails which are so often found on the outskirts of towns and cities across this mountainous nation.

The Niseko region, located in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, has fast become home to Japan's, and perhaps Asia's, best gravel riding - this status is thanks in no small part to the region's gravel ride event 'NISEKO GRAVEL'.

NISEKO GRAVEL comes from humble beginnings. The inaugural event was held in Autumn of 2020 as a small ride with just five participants. With each passing year, the event has grown and evolved, and has drawn more and more gravelists on pilgrimage to this mecca of mixed surface riding. Since 2022, NISEKO GRAVEL has partnered with tire manufacturer and event title sponsor, Panaracer. This partnership with the global king of gravel tire manufacturing has helped provide further visibility to the event, and has cemented NISEKO GRAVEL as the leading gravel event in Japan.

The Features of NISEKO GRAVEL

The distinctive features of NISEKO GRAVEL include its ability to cater to riders of all ages and levels – amateur and pro alike. The multiple gravel course options on offer provide hardcore riders with impressive elevation gains and longer distances, whilst those seeking a more relaxed experience will find more mellow options available. Regardless of the distance, riders will enjoy Hokkaido’s picturesque farmlands and remote forests – truly destination worthy.

The event offers an incredible and unique riding experience, an experience with beautiful views and a seemingly endless web of gravel waiting to be explored. From buttery smooth asphalt, to chunky and rutted forest roads, to dreamy gravel paths – its as if gravel bikes were made specifically for this region.

For visitors to Niseko, we hope you will take a bit of time off the bike to enjoy the delicious bounties of our farms and fisheries.

The AUTUMN RIDE starts and finishes at a festival making for a unique and welcoming vibe – in doing so, we hope to welcome locals and tourists alike, regardless of whether or not they participate in the ride.

This festival provides an opportunity for all to mix and mingle, and serves as a space for connection and interaction between attendees and the community.

It is our mission, and that of our community, to create an atmosphere that has a unique sense of place, and which makes visitors feel as if they are returning home each time they visit Niseko.

Event Records
Event YearEvent DateWeather ConditionsParticipants
Autumn 2020October 25thHail5
Summer 2021August 1stSunshine95
Spring 2022May 15thSunshine96
Autumn 2022September 3rd - 4thSunshine324
Spring 2023May 21stRain148
Autumn 2023September 23rd - 24thSunshine439
Spring 2024May 12thcloudy and sometimes rainy223
Niseko Area

The Niseko region is wrapped by stunning peaks, including our beloved Mt. Yotei (known as "Ezo Fuji" for its resemblance to Mt. Fuji) and Mt. Annupuri, the namesake of the Annupuri Range.
Nestled within, and weaving through, these mountains is the Shiribetsu River. This mighty river winds through some of the most fertile soil imaginable, its fertility painting the landscape in rich green hues and providing our region with delicious agricultural products.
Part of the area falls within the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Niseko Shakotan Otaru Kaigan Quasi-National Park, among others, ensuring the preservation of a rich ecosystem.

Mount Annupuri has become globally recognized as the home of the worlds best powder skiing and snowboarding as, within its foothills, one will find Niseko’s many ski resorts and hotels – a true paradise for powder snow enthusiasts and sightseers alike. The wealth of the region’s natural environment extends well beneath the surface as well – Niseko is home to many onsen hot springs, each offering unique mineral compositions, and each the perfect place to rest and recover after a day on the bike.
A stunning year round destination, Niseko is now a leader among Asia’s prominent ecotourism destinations and is a key region in Hokkaido. Niseko boasts incredible powder snow during winter, and abundant harvests in summer with mild weather and a wide array of activities. The diverse range of activities available further enhances its appeal, contributing to its growth and popularity, and making Niseko the perfect venue for gravel cycling.