Explore Japan on foot
Discover the rich culture of Japan
Bike around the country
Japan as so much to offer, prepare all your senses to this experience. Join us and experience a rich history that dates back centuries and to soak up after a day of cycling in zen like onsen spas; visit beautiful forests, mountains and sea coasts as well as futuristic architecture and transportation; sample delicious regional cuisine; meet polite and candid locals as well as lovers of Hello Kitty and karaoke. See the best of Japan, cycling in 8 days!
Soak in outdoor onsen hot springs
Enjoy exquisite Japanese cuisine
Hike around Mount Aso’s volcano crater
Visit the Hells in Beppu
Stay in a temple on Mount Koya
Feed the deer in Nara Park
Cycle around temples, palaces and geisha quarters in Kyoto
What is included:
All meals (B=breakfast / L=lunch / D=dinner)
What is not included:
Drinks with meals
International & domestic flights
Passport or travel visa requirements
Medical check up and inoculations
Anything not specifically stated
From September 1 until May 31. Private guided tours upon request.
from US$2,485 per person (single guest: US$3,280)
8 days on the road
You will meet your guide and fellow Japan Bikers in Kyoto.
Soak in outdoor onsen hot springs, enjoy exquisite Japanese cuisine, hike around Mount Aso’s volcano crater and so much more.
Bicycle. Riding distances of 40-70 km on rolling terrain with sometimes a climb. Suited to intermediate riders.
Everyone younger than 20 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
Welcome to Kyoto. You arrive in the course of the day at the hotel. Please note that your room may not be available until check-in time at 3pm, however if you arrive early the hotel will keep your luggage secure if you want to do some exploration. Tonight’s dinner is not included. There are plenty of nice restaurants nearby to have your pick.
Your Japan Highlights tour officially starts at 9am in the lobby of the hotel: you will meet your guide and fellow Japan Bikers. Please be dressed in cycling gear and have your luggage (suitcase and daypack) ready for the van. After bike fitting it is a short ride to Fushimi Inari shrine with its picturesque rows of red tori gates. After lunch we cycle to Nara. The road winds through green tea fields. In the afternoon we visit the Big Buddha in Todaiji – the biggest wooden structure in the world.
After an early morning visit to the Big Buddha in Todaiji – the biggest wooden structure in the world, we transfer to Onomichi. Onomichi marks the Honshu start of the famous Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road connecting Honshu and Shikoku island. After lunch we set out on this dedicated cycling road. And dedicated means dedicated in Japan: purpose-made ramps with smooth grades lead us up to the bridges with their separate bike lanes offering splendid views of the surrounding islands and the Seto Inland Sea.
We veer off the Shimanami Kaido to take a ferry to Okamura island and the start of the Tobishima Kaido, another fantastic string of islands. In the afternoon we transfer to Hiroshima. Hiroshima (??) is the principal city of the Chugoku Region and home to over a million inhabitants. When the first atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the city became known worldwide. The destructive power of the bomb was tremendous and obliterated nearly everything within a two kilometer radius. After the war, great efforts were taken to rebuild the city.
A free morning in Hiroshima to visit the Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park and then another transfer to Hita. Hita prospered as Tenryo (direct controlled territory of Edo Shogunate) during the Edo period (1603-1868). It is called “Little Kyoto”, and still has many old merchant residences left.
Today it is all ups and downs in the shadow of Kyushu’s highest mountain, Mt Kuju (1791m). We are on our way to Mount Aso, the world’s largest caldera. Crossing the rim of the vulcano crater we finally get a glimpse of the impressive Aso plain. Legend is that the outer crater was once a lake, but one day the god of the mountain kicked open the only break (through which rail and bus pass) emptying the water and leaving the plain fit for cultivation. We stay at the foot of the climb to Nakadake.
Have a hearty breakfast because the day starts with the climb up Nakadake. If the vulcano is not too active, we are allowed a peak accross the rim. After the descent we sneak through the hole in the caldera and follow the Shirakawa river to the west. The city of Kumamoto is nearing quickly. We stop to visit Kumamoto castle set amid fragrant ancient camphor trees. The castle dates back to 1467 and is considered one of Japan’s top 3 castles (??? Sanmeij?) together with Osaka and Nagoya. If we have time we’ll ride on to Suizenji garden and visit the replica of Mount Fuji.
A leisurely ride on the fertile Yatsushiro plain, crossing the big rivers of Kyushu. Soon we arrive in Hinagu Onsen. This hot spring dates approximately 600 years back. During the Edo era (17th-19 centuries), it was designated as a hot spring run by the Hosokawa domain of Kumamoto. This historic hot spring was even loved by the lord of the Yashiro Castle as well as the lord of Shimazu who temporarily resided in the area. Even today, there are many buildings here that continue to depict the days long past. From the Hinagu Onsen Jinja, a shrine where the god of the hot spring is enshrined, a sweeping view of the hot spring resort and the Shiranui Sea as well as the islands of Amakusa and Shimabara in the distance can be seen. Even today, there are many buildings here that continue to depict the days long past. Such as our ryokan from 1909 with its exquisite wooden interior.
We dance a tango with the little railroad and continue along the Shiranui Sea. Mitachimisaki and Ashikita Beach merit a stop. As well as Minamata with its harrowing museum dedicated to the victims of the Minamata disease. Without noticing we arrive in Izumi, winter resting grounds for Siberian cranes and home to Japan Biking. And the end point of our trip.
Then it is time for final goodbyes… after breakfast you don’t have to climb in the saddle any longer. Now you are freed from the chores of the road. Check-out before 10am.