Cycling & Walking

Maple Yaba Cycling Road

Opened in 1982. This 36km-long cycle trail was converted from old railway tracks and has a gentle slope and no sharp bends. The conditions make the trail comfortable for almost every age and ability. About 60% of the trail is dedicated to bicycle or unmotorized traffic, however, some public road crossings are on the trail, where riders should pay extra attention.

Cycling Terminals

Two Terminals are in Service.

There are two Cycling Terminals along the trail at Yabakei and Yamakuni. The terminals are for hiring or dropping off bikes, and regularly servicing the bikes. When you plan a cycling holiday, they will be your first stop.

Yabakei Cycling Terminal 0979-54-2700
Open: Thu-Tue (closed on Wed & 29 Dec-03 Jan)
08:30-19:00 (May-Sep), 08:30-17:00(Oct-Apr)

Yasuragi-no-Sato 0979-62-2186
Open: 7 days except 1st & 3rd Tue every month

Maple Yaba Cycling Road Course MapMAP

Renting Bicycles

Rental Bicycles available at Terminals

More than 300 bikes are for hire. A wide range of options such as Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes, City Bikes, Tandem Bikes, and Electric Bikes are available. Pick up your favorite bike and go.

Rental Fees:
  1. Return to the pick-up terminal
    - 400yen (3hours)
    - 200yen/hour (add. charge)
    - 500yen (all day)
  2. Return to the drop-off points
    - 1,000yen (all day)
Maple Yaba Cycling Road Course MapMAP

Scenic Highlights on the Trail
from Yabakei to Ao-no-Domon

The descending ride from Yabakei Cycling Terminal to Ao-no-Domon is an enjoyable experience. The journey takes about 1 to 1.5 hours depending on how often you stop and how hard you push yourself. Soon after leaving the terminal, you cross a river by the 2nd Yamakuni River Bridge. Tranquil scenery on both sides of the bridge make this a great spot for taking photos. Next up is the riverside rural area, if it’s the right time of year, you may encounter the fascinating Sakura-tunnel at ex-Kabushino Station. Only 3km are left from there to the drop-off point at Honyabakei where your journey finishes. Total riding distance: Approx.10km.

Maple Yaba Cycling Road Course MapMAP

Scenic Highlights on the Trail
from Yamakuni to Yabakei

If you are passionate about pushing pedals, it would be a good challenge to ride up the 36 km course gently ascending from Nakatsu station to Yamakuni. If not, we recommend you start your journey from Yamakuni, the final destination and highest point of ex-Yabakei Railway Line. Starting there, the MapleYaba Cycling Road runs through the beautiful countryside of the upper Yamakuni River. You will be treated to stunning scenery while exploring the trail. About 5km from the start, the trail goes through a giant rock at Ebuchi. Then the trail takes you to a nostalgic replica of ex-Shimogo station. You’ll arrive at Yabakei Cycling Terminal in another 4km. Those with energy left can go a further 10km to the popular tourist destination, Ao-no-Domon.

Maple Yaba Cycling Road Course MapMAP

Cycling the Castle Town

Where to Pick Up a Bike

Cycling in the Castle Town Area.

Get around the Castle Town! Nakatsu Yabakei Tourist Information Centre will assist you in renting a bike and providing tourist information.

Tourist Information Centre:
Tel: 0979-64-6565
Open Daily (except 30 Dec-02 Jan)
Information Service: 08:30-17:30
Rental Bicycle Service: 09:00-17:00
Rental Fee: 300yen (4hours)

Riders should be aware of sharing the road with traffic and should follow traffic rules.

Places to Visit in the Castle Town1

Cycling on Compact Urban Area

Cycling’s mobility is ideal for pottering around in the area. Pick up a bike at the Information Centre, then go sightseeing by trying the following course:

1. Temples Street (0.7km from station)
 ↓ 12 temples in a small area
2. Doctor O’e Family Museum (0.6km from 1)
 ↓ Private doctor of the Lord of Nakatsu
3. Fukuzawa's Old House (0.4km from 2)
 ↓ The legend’s old house is open to the public
4. Nakatsu Castle (0.5km from 3)
 Panorama of Nakatsu city from top floor deck

Cycling MapMAP

Places to visit in the Castle Town2

Flatland makes this course easy.

This flat and compact area requires less time and energy so that you can visit more spots.

5. Nakatsu Catholic Church (0.2km from 4)
 ↓ Interesting stained glass windows are displayed
6. Kimura Museum of Art (0.2km from 5)
 ↓ Wide range of artwork related to Nakatsu city
7. Jishoji Temple (0.5km from 6)
 ↓ Calligraphy works by legend, Ikeno Taiga
8. Doctor Murakami Museum (0.5km from 7)
 ↓ Medical family dating back to 1640
9. JR Nakatsu Station (0.7km from 8)

Cycling MapMAP

Walking Nakatsu Yabakei

Onsen Gastronomy Walking

An event of gastronomic proportions.

Onsen Gastronomy Walking is a perfect opportunity to enjoy delectable local food & drinks while walking through the beautiful landscape or historical sites. Onsen is the best way to relax after walking.

Onsen Gastronomy Walking 2018 27 May (SUN)
200 people joined 8km walking event.

Onsen Gastronomy Walking 2019
The fixed schedule & details are coming soon.

Fitness required: all levels(Booking essential)


Fresh Green Walking

Explore a Sanctuary of Fresh Greenery

A magnificent natural environment has been preserved in Shin-Yabakei. A short hiking event is held when fresh leaves appear on native trees. Local soba and onsen are a must-try.

Golden Walk 2019(booking essential)
When: 29 April (MON) at 10:00 (max. 150 people)
Walking distance: appx. 4km
Fitness: all levesl
Soba noodle & Onsen ticket included.

JPY 1000 pp

Castle Town Walking

Walk around and visit Heritage Sites.

Nakatsu city has a notable history and many heritage sites. A quick guided walking tour takes you to highlights of the castle town.

Guided Walking Tour
JR Nakatsu Station→Nakatsu Castle→Fukuzawa Old Residence→Temple Street→JR Nakatsu Station
Walking Distance: appx.3km Duration:2hours
Departure: 10:00 &13:00 Daily except 29Dec-03Jan.
Booking: 3days’ notice is required.
*More than 2 people is required to be operated.

JPY 2000 pp


Walking MapMAP

Cycling & Walking

Cycling and Walking for Fresh Air

Cycling and Walking are the best pair.

Recreational cycling and walking offer tourists mild exercise together with a chance to soak in the fresh air. Here are some popular routes

10km-Cycling (appox.60-90mins)
on MapleYaba Cycling Road.
Yabakei cycling Terminal to the Honyabakei drop-off point.

2km-Walking (appox.45-60mins)
on footpath & road along Yamakuni River.
Ao-no-Domon to Yabakei Bridge and back to Ao-no-Domon

Guided Tours can be arranged

Making the most of our Cycling Road

MapleYaba Cycling Road is safe and energy-saving. Its gentle downward slope allows tourists to take a short hike and other activities after cycling. Specialized guided tours of cycling and walking can be customized for your own group.

Tour Operator
NakatsuYabakei Tourism Association

219-2 Shimata Nakatsu City, Oita Japan
Tel: 0979-64-6565
Licensed by the Oita Prefectural Governor
in accordance with the provisions of the Travel Agency Law
Registration Number: 213
Scope of Activities:
Regional Domestic Travel