More than just a cycling tour in Japan, this is a six day cycle adventure spanning three of Japan’s four main islands; experience Japan’s beauty, history and culture as you cross bridges, climb mountains and volcanoes, bathe in historic onsens, stay in traditional guest houses, and eat outstanding local cuisine.
4/5 – Suitable for people who frequently cycle extended distances.
About this tour
Leave the city behind as you venture into the countryside for some of the best cycling Japan has to offer – dramatic landscapes, epic bridges, challenging roads, beautiful seascapes, great accommodation, and fantastic local cuisine. This is the only cycling tour in Japan that takes you to three of the four main islands, along two of Japan’s most famous roads, from the sea to the caldera of the largest active volcano in Japan. It’s perfect for those who love cycling and want to experience the incredible range of Japan’s natural beauty. Quite simply, we think it’s the most breath-taking cycle tour in Japan.
This tour lasts 6 days and 5 nights, with cycling on every day and plenty of time to enjoy the towns and cities through which we pass. The tour starts in Onomichi, on the shores of the Seto Inland Sea, from there we journey out onto the Shimanami Kaido (find out more about the Shimanami Kaido by clicking here). We then head over the mountains to Matsuyama to enjoy the oldest hot spring in Japan and visit a temple from the 88-temple pilgrimage. The third day takes us to an historic town with small streets and a castle in the heart of the mountains. We then turn west to take a ferry to Kyushu, the western island. Arriving in the famous city of Beppu, we climb out of the city to our next stop – a small mountain town known for its hot springs. On the penultimate day we join the Yamanami Highway and head into the Aso Kuju National Park, with fantastic roads and breath-taking views. You’ll stay the final night in Aso village, before a hill climb to the bubbling caldera (weather permitting) on the last day. With about 70kms of cycling per day and opportunities for stops along the way, it’s the perfect tour for cycling-enthusiasts who want to experience the real Japanese.
The cycling is led by an experienced local guide and you will also have a support van. If you would prefer a supported self-guided ride, without a guide, we can arrange that too. We’ll introduce you to our secret spots and great roads – places that we’ve found from our many years of experience exploring this area and talking to the people who live here. We’ve chosen accommodation in beautiful locations that serve local food from the area. For example, you will stay on the shores of the Seto Inland Sea, in a small inn surrounded by mountains, and a hot spring.
You will be fully supported on this cycling tour. We take care of all bookings, luggage transfer, and provide quality cross bikes and helmets. We can also provide ebikes for an additional fee or you can use your own road bikes, if that’s possible for you (you could send them to us from the airport and we will have them ready for you to use). The support van will always be close by in case we have any trouble. This all means that you can relax and focus on having a great time as you journey through spectacular scenery and historic towns, on this epic cycle tour through rural Japan.
5 nights/6 days
Day 1: Meet at Onomichi train station and ride out on the Shimanami Kaido. Cross 5 islands. Approximately 60kms of cycling. Stay on an island in the Seto Inland Sea.
Day 2: Cycle over the mountains to the city of Matsuyama. Approximately 60kms of cycling. Stay in the historic Dogo hot spring area. Walk through the small streets of Dogo and visit one of the temples of the 88-temple pilgrimage.
Day 3: Optional morning visit to Matsuyama castle. Cycle along the coast and over the mountains to the historic city of Ozu. Approximately 65kms of cycling.
Day 4: Cycle to Yawatahama port to catch the boat to Beppu. Cycle over Mt. Yufu and stay in the hot spring town of Yufuin. Approximately 45kms of cycling.
Day 5: Cycle along the Yamanami Highway, through the Aso Kuju National Park. Stay in Aso. Approximately 70kms.
Day 6: Cycle to the top of Mt Aso and walk to the Caldera (weather permitting). Cycle to the train station. Approximately 21 kms to the top.
Start of the tour
Finish in Aso
This is a new tour and we are looking for a group to try it for a reduced fee. Please get in touch for more information.