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Legacy of Kyoto and Surrounding Prefectures
While Japan may be seemingly gripped by an obsession with the modern world it still retains a fascinating traditional culture. Join this special cycling adventure that soaks up those traditions as you pedal out of the ancient city of Kyoto, marvel at the world renowned cherry blossom trees, and meet the monks atop mountains who lead such a unique way of life. This is a journey that truly shows off Japan’s history, beauty and culture.
- CategoryRoad Cycling
- Duration7 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level3 - Intermediate
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation3 - Intermediate
- Distance158.4 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance31.7 miles
Japan effortlessly blends ancient traditions with a frenzied approach to embrace the modern world. Exploring this historic land demands a slower pace, and riding by bicycle from Kyoto through ancient cities, past cherry blossom trees, and up to dazzling views from Mount Yoshino is the perfect way to do it.
Your journey begins in the former capital of Kyoto and this intriguing city is the best place to start. Time is taken to check out the city both on two wheels and by foot, so you can really appreciate why Kyoto is thought of as the spiritual home of Japanese culture. On every corner you can sample delicious Japanese signature dishes, while historic temples will also tempt your eye.
Your journey will venture further afield and out of Kyoto as you pedal onwards to the lesser known former capital of Nara. Taking rural routes to avoid traffic you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of the countryside with tranquil rivers, bamboo forests, green tea plantations and corn crops providing incredible views on the ride.
As the trip enters its second half, you will delve further into Japanese culture as you point your bikes towards Mount Yoshino and Mount Koya. Both are spiritual spots with Mount Koya providing a fantastic chance to stay in a shukubo, a traditional form of accommodation connected with a monastery that is still in use to this day. It’s a unique experience to pray with monks and observe their way of life. Furthermore, the property comes complete with an onsen, a traditional Japanese hot spring bath where you can soak your muscles after a day of riding.
The final day in Koya begins early so you can soak up the views and peaceful atmosphere around town. After that, a thrilling descent down the mountainside leads you back to some countryside riding. Adopt a calm pace to the final stop of Wakayama where you can contemplate on this epic journey.