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Cycling in Japan
Discover the best of rural and modern Japan on two wheels over an unforgettable fortnight as you cycle tour from Tokyo to Kyoto. There is no better way of experiencing the ever-changing landscapes of Japan than on two wheels, as you pedal from the rugged seascapes and wild beaches of the Noto Peninsula to picturesque farmlands and remote mountainous regions of Takayama and UNESCO Shirakawa-go, where you are able to get a close feel for the timeless rhythms and customs of the Japanese countryside.
- CategoryCultural & Historical
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration14 days
- Culture LevelOut There
- Skill Level2 - Novice
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation3 - Intermediate
- Distance310.7 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance37.3 miles
From temples, shrines and market visits, to hot springs and overnights in ryokans – traditional Japanese guesthouses – this trip offers excellent rural cycling without compromising on the cultural elements. No trip to Japan would be complete without a visit to Kyoto, Japan's age-old capital, with its peaceful Zen gardens and geisha districts and futuristic Tokyo: sprawling, inimitably busy and extraordinary.
Highlights include cycling rural roads through the peaceful Japanese countryside, discovering temples, zen gardens and geisha districts in Kyoto, riding along the picturesque shores of the Noto Peninsula, experiencing the authentic guesthouses of the region, bathing in hot springs and visiting the UNESCO historic village of Shirakawa-go.
On this trip, you will cycle more than 500km (310mi) over 9 days with an average of 60km (37.2mi) per day so a good level of fitness is required. You will cycle mostly on surfaced roads with a few sections on country lanes, cycle paths and gravel. The routes are mainly undulating but they get hillier on the inland section to Takayama and Shirakawa-go where you will face some steady climbs. A support vehicle (with limited seats) accompanies the rides throughout the tour, except for the city bike tours in Kanazawa and Kyoto. Routes follow mainly quiet back roads with low levels of traffic, but this does increase when approaching towns. The tour operator does aim to cycle most of the route door-to-door, with only a few transfers and train rides organised to shorten some distances and avoid busier roads. Most rides will include some short sections through tunnels which are lit.
This trip is great for a first time visit to Japan as it encompasses the varying different aspects of the destination, from the serenity and history of Kyoto to the extraordinary and modern Tokyo. Some nights will be spent in traditional rural accommodation and guesthouses with shared facilities which do not run along the same lines as western hotels, all in all, making for an unforgettable and wonderful experience.