One of the highlights of our trip to Japan was the Rail Mountain Bike Gattan Go in Hida City, Gifu. If you are looking for a fun outdoor activity with gorgeous views of Gifu’s countryside, this is an absolute must! We had so much fun and would definitely do it again given the opportunity. Here is our complete review of the Gattan Go and what you need to know before riding.
The Gattan Go Mountain Bike Ride is an outdoor attraction where bikes are mounted on frames and are ridden down railroad tracks. The railroad tracks are no longer in use and are safe. The mountain bikes have battery assisted motors but you will still have to pedal. For those pedaling the bikes as long as you have no existing injuries or breathing problems you should be fine.
Rail Mountain Bike - Gattan Go Review
When you first arrive at the Gattan Go, you will enter the front gift shop area and be greeted by staff. It’s important that you arrive 15 minutes prior to your booking time as they take you through a safety demonstration first. The demonstration is completely in Japanese but there are lots of photos so you will understand enough to keep you safe. It’s mostly common sense.
There are many different options and combinations for the mountain bikes and you must book ahead using their reservation system. There are ride along seats as well with no pedaling required. We wouldn’t suggest just showing up as the bikes are limited and this is a very popular attraction. For this review we only did the “Town Course“. They now offer another brand new advanced track called the “Canyon Course” in a different location.
What To Bring With You On the Gattan Go
There are no baskets on the mountain bikes so bring the least amount of things possible with you. It’s a good idea to not have things in your pocket that can fall out as your sitting or pedaling. If you drop something on the tracks you will not be able to stop the bike and get it. They will send someone back after to check if they can find it.
You must wear close toe shoes and high heels are not permitted. No sandals or beach shoes allowed. Depending on the weather and time of year, a light sweater might be good as it get can get chilly in the tunnels.
Things to Bring:
- Camera with neck strap
- Sun Block (already applied)
- Cell phone for photos (be aware there is no stopping if you drop it)
- Close toe shoes (no sandals, beach shoes or high heels allowed)
- Clothes may get a few water droplets on them in tunnel
- Hat that wont blow off your head
How Long is the Gattan Go Course?
The Town Course is 5.8 km, includes two tunnels and an elevated bridge. The first half of the course is downhill and then a turn around point. Going back is uphill along the same track but gives you a totally different view point. The course takes 40-60 minutes to complete. This is a beginner course for all ages.
The Canyon Course is 6.6 km and takes 50-75 minutes to complete. This course is recommended for adults only and does have thrills of very high bridges. This is an advanced course for people that are in good shape.
What to Expect on the Gattan Go Town Course
The course starts out completely downhill for the first 2.9 km. Pedaling is very easy and at some points you may even apply the break! Watch out for people in front of you and keep your distance. We were lucky to be the front set of bikes so we went faster once we were comfortable. You pass by town homes that line the tracks and hug the edge of a huge hill within the first few minutes. After that you will come to two sets of tunnels that are pitch black except for small lights on the front of your bikes. The downhill part is definitely those most thrilling so make sure to enjoy every moment! You will pass through the beautiful scenery of Hida, Gifu before arriving at the turn around point.
There are lots of opportunities to take photos along the way but you must keep pedaling! No stopping on the course is allowed at anytime.
The Turn Around Point Gattan Go
Half way through the course you will come to the turn around point. The staff will be there to turn the bikes around while you can enjoy a quick 3-5 minute rest.
The Way Back Town Course Gattan Go
From this point on it will be uphill going back the same way you came but with a few surprises.
One of the pitch black tunnels you pass through on the way down will know have lit up tracks with lights. It looks pretty cool and gives you a chance to see more of the tunnel.
The viewpoint coming from the other direction completely changes and gives you new scenery to look at the whole way back.
You will definitely have to work a little harder on the uphill which is great for getting in a bit of exercise, while enjoying the views. Remember the bikes are electric assist! The slower pace also gives more opportunities for photos and more time to take in everything going on around you.
Gattan Go Finish Line
At the end of the course you will have the opportunity to purchase two photos that were taken of you during your ride along with other souvenirs. Overall we had a great time at the Gattan Go Mountain Bike Ride and we would highly recommend it! There are gorgeous views of Hida, Gifu and it’s a fun thrilling ride along the tracks! A very unique opportunity to so do something different and you will be thankful you did!
Bookings: Gattan Go Mountain Bike Ride
Location: Gatten Go Rail Mountain Bike – Town Course
1327-2 Kamiokacho Azumo | Old Kamioka Railway, Okuhida Onsenguchi Station, Hida 506-1147, Gifu Prefecture
Saturday 16th of March 2019
Thanks for posting, Trevor. How can we reach the Town Course starting point with a public transport?
Saturday 16th of March 2019
Thanks Ronald, To be honest we didn't use public transport to arrive at the town course so I'm not sure.