|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||38 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||May 17, Jun 28, Jul 5, Aug 30, 2015 (minimum 4 participants)|
|Start city:||Tokyo, Japan|
|End city:||Kyoto, Japan|
A visit to Japan will be filled with contradictions to the senses, so come prepared to experience a rich history that dates back centuries and see the latest modern trends in fashion and electronics; visit beautiful forests, mountains and sea coasts as well as futuristic architecture and transportation; meet polite and candid locals as well as lovers of Hello Kitty and karaoke.
Let the idiosyncrasies of Japan reveal themselves as our trip takes us from crowded urban Tokyo to rustic Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan.
We'll cycle along coastal roads where we will pass sand dunes, caves and fantastic rock formations, terraced rice paddies as well as ancient temples and shrines. After seeing the incredible blue green waters you might want to stop at a beach for a dip.
For the shopper in you we'll stop at Wajima, famous for its lacquer ware and morning market that specializes in fish. From Wajima we'll detour into the peninsula's interior to see Tokikuni Old House. As this is a long day of biking, 90 km, we'll head back to our magnificent inn where you can take in the views of the bay and relax. From Noto we'll ride around Notojima Island, where you'll have glimpses of snow-covered peaks of the Japanese Alps.
We'll stay in Japanese-style lodging and experience an authentic onsen, or hot spring, in one of Japan's more famous "Onsen Towns." Our journey will then take us to Kanazawa - city of castles and three of Japan's major gardens. After exploring the samurai and geisha areas of the city we'll head to the UNESCO site of Shirakawago, an area known for three-storey, nail-free "clasped hands" thatched roof houses located at the base of Mount Hakusan.
From there a visit to Takayama's old town will place you back in the Edo Period (1600-1868). We'll end our trip in Kyoto, an easy place for Western visitors to amble around the Geisha District of Gion, Ryugen-in Temple, Japan's most famous Zen rock garden, Nijo Castle, or Kiyomizu Temple.
Learn more about guided tours.
Day 1: Arrival in Tokyo
Arrive and stay at hotel near Tokyo Station.
Overnight in Tokyo.
Day 2: Tokyo – Takaoka - Togi (25 miles/40 km)
After breakfast we’ll head for the train station and take the bullet train to Takaoka and have lunch on board the train. After a short transport to the top of a pass, we’ll hop on the bikes for a downhill to a 10km flat bike path along the coast and maybe do a stretch along the beach.
En route we’ll have a short stop at the 2,000-year-old Keta Taisha Shrine and also check out Ganmon Caves. The last 20 kilometers of the ride will be undulating as we enter the Noto Peninsula. We drop down to Togi Town, where a hot spring awaits us at our hotel. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight in Togi.
Day 3: Togi - Wajima (37 miles/60 km)
Today we’ll ride the Sekinohana coast to Minazuki and have a filling lunch of Soba noodles. As we head towards the fishing port Wajima we’ll take the time to stop and look at the splendid rock formations.
Tonight we stay at a traditional Japanese Minshuku, where we sleep on futons and can bathe in a hot spring. We’ll enjoy some excellent local seafood at our lodging, where dinner is a communal affair and guests are expected to be on time. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight in Wajima.
Day 4: Wajima - Noto (50 miles/80 km)
Before leaving Wajima town we'll wander through the Asa-Ichi morning market, famous for lacquer ware and fish, for a quick look around before we start the longest cycling day of the trip.
Today we ride around the tip of Noto and will see the terraced rice fields of Senmaida, and for those interested, make a quick stop at Old Tokukuni house, a former feudal lord’s house. We pass Mitsuke Island before riding into Tsukumo Bay. Here we stay a night at a fantastic Japanese Ryokan (Inn) with hot springs inside caves and magnificent views of the bay. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight in Noto.
Day 5: Noto - Notojima Island - Wakura (43 miles/70 km)
Easy coast ride before we cross to Notojima Island where we spend the day riding around the island with the snow-covered peaks of the Japanese Alps as your background.
Upon arrival at Wakura, one of Japan's more famous Onsen towns, we’ll check into the wonderful Niji to Umi Inn, and give you plenty of time to relax in the baths that Wakura is famous for. Niji to Umi Inn. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight in Wakura.
Day 6: Wakura - Kanazawa (37 miles/60 km)
We’ll start off the day with a short climb before heading down to the coast and riding a bike path to the garden city of Kanazawa. We’ll stay near centrally located Kanazawa train station, a futuristic marvel that integrates a traditional wooden temple gate with glass and steel.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided. Dinner will be Okonomiaki, a dish that is Japan’s version of a pizza.
Overnight in Kanazawa.
Day 7: Kanazawa (rest day)
Today you’ll have a free day to rest or to explore the many sites in one of Japan’s best preserved Edo-period cities. Step back in time with a walk through of the best of the remaining samurai districts in Japan, take a stroll through Kenroku garden and marvel at the ingenious way water is piped from many kilometers upstream to fill the streams and ponds before filling the castle moats, or visit Kanazawa Castle. Breakfast provided.
Overnight in Kanazawa.
Day 8: Kanazawa - Shirakawago (37 miles/60 km)
After the day of rest from the bikes we’ll head into the mountains for a few good climbs. Today will be a short riding day so we can spend the afternoon exploring Shirakawago, a World Heritage site famous for its Gassho Zukuris, nail-free "clasped hands" thatched roof houses.
We’ll spend the night at a 200-year-old Gassho Zukuri and eat traditional mountain food, again with other guests at one sitting. An after dinner dip at the local “onsen” is recommended. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight in Shirakawago.
Day 9: Shirakawago - Takayama (43 miles/70 km)
It will be an early start for the last day of riding. The route today takes us beside an impressive dam before a nicely graded road takes us over two nice passes.
We’ll spend the afternoon looking around Takayama’s old city where narrow lanes are lined with wooden buildings housing sake breweries and quaint boutiques. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight in Takayama.
Day 10: Takayama - Kyoto
This morning we’ll say goodbye to our bikes and jump on a morning train to Nagoya, where we’ll transfer to the bullet train for Kyoto. We’ll arrive early afternoon, giving you time to explore the various districts of Kyoto. We’ll have our farewell dinner together tonight. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight in Kyoto.
Day 11: Kyoto
Breakfast is provided and afterwards, the tour services end.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$30 a day for incidentals. Tipping is not customary in Japan. Guides accept tips on a voluntary basis.
The currency in Japan is the yen (¥) and is pronounced as ‘en’, with no ‘y’ sound. Though ATMs are everywhere in Japan, it is not always easy to use them as most only work with Japan-issued bank cards and credit cards. The exception is Japan’s post office ATMs, which accept cards that belong to the following international networks: Visa, Plus, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus American Express and Diners Club cards. In addition to postal ATMs, you will find a few international ATMs in big cities and at the major airports. International cards also work in Citibank Japan ATMs.
Please note that for your safety you are required to take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.
These are sample hotels and may vary by availability.
Single room availability:
A single room may be available locally on payment of a supplement but, as some of the Japanese-style hostels are quite small, this cannot be guaranteed. We therefore do not book single supplements in advance on this tour.
Day 1: Dormi Inn, Tokyo
Day 2: Togi Sea Side Villa, Togi
Day 3: Mangetsu Minshuku, Wajima
Day 4: Haykurakuso Ryokan, Noto
Day 5: Niji to Umi Inn, Wakura
Days 6 and 7: Dormi Inn, Kanazawa
Day 8: Moegomon, Shirakawago
Day 9: Spa Hotel Alpina, Takayama
Day 10: Mitsui Garden Hotel, Kyoto
Bikes available to rent (must be reserved in advance at time of booking):
The bikes will have FLAT pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and the necessary equipment to change the pedals.
If you plan to bring your own seat, please make sure it will be compatible with a universal seat post.
Helmets are NOT included with the bike rentals. For safety and hygiene purposes, we recommend that you bring your own helmet.
*You may bring your own bike if you wish. If you do, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, and that it is in good mechanical order.
The cycling around Noto Peninsula is moderately challenging with a few climbs. We ride 273 miles/440 km on quiet roads with amazing views.
The first few days riding are undulating, giving you ample time to warm up for the inclines towards the end of the trip, but averagely fit cyclists will have no problems.
This trip is along tarmac roads in good condition and there is no technical riding. The trip is fully supported; an air-conditioned bus follows us for the entire journey, so exhausted riders can skip the tougher sections if they wish.
This trip is not too arduous, and so riders with less experience are more than welcome although the fitter you are the more you will enjoy it.
Nearest airport: Tokyo, Japan
Nearest airport: Kyoto, Japan
Nearest train station: Kyoto, Japan
This tour begins in Tokyo and ends in Kyoto. International flights to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. If you need help or advice arranging flights please contact us.
All nationalities require a valid passport and up to 62 countries have reciprocal visa exemption arrangements allowing nationals from those countries to enter Japan without a visa. Depending on the country, you are allowed to stay in Japan for a certain period of time, which can range from 90 days to six months.
Japan has a diverse climate. There are four seasons: from April to June is spring. The rainy season is from middle of June to the middle of July. July through end of September can be hot and humid temperatures in the big cities can go as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit/35 degrees Celsius.
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
SpiceRoads endeavors to offer high-quality, educational, and adventure-filled itineraries that highlight and focus on the diversity of landscapes found in Asia and its people. As a specialized "niche" bicycle tour operator since 2000, we provide the most authentic, unique and exciting adventures in Asia.
The SpiceRoads family began back in the mid 1990s, when Hamish Keith was creating, operating and leading ground breaking cycle tours throughout Thailand and in emerging destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar for well known companies such as Exodus Travels and World Expeditions and his own company the Wild Planet.
In 2000 Hamish decided to concentrate on what he loved doing the most and he established SpiceRoads as a specialist cycle tour operator in the region he knew best - Southeast Asia. The “niche” was to promote bicycle group tours directly to clients all around the world via the internet. Hamish set the standard for all subsequent SpiceRoads tours by offering a high quality tour - from customer service, to bicycles, to well researched routes to the guides we use – at a good value.
In 2002, when Hamish left to pursue other opportunities in the travel industry, Struan Robertson came on board, and with his skills in management, IT and of course cycling, the company has grown to encompass other Asian countries. During the years of growth what hasn't changed is the spirit of SpiceRoads, which is to offer professional, international standard cycle tours and services to independent travellers and cycle enthusiast looking to discover Asia by bicycle.
Our well-planned eye-opening cycling tours provide an active immersion into local cultures, languages, scenery and, of course, the most delicious of foods. By combining legendary service and rare opportunities for cultural experiences, our travel philosophy continues to excite, enthuse, and positively impact every guest. Take a look at our guestbook if you don't believe us!
SpiceRoads' staff and all of our professionally licensed multi-lingual tour guides are passionate about creating the best possible experiences, with fun, creativity, and total dedication to satisfaction.
We're always peddling towards making your tour perfect so you can See Asia by Bicycle!
(Involuntary) On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions.
(Voluntary) If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the following formula:
For all tours (except short Thailand tours 4 days or less, see below):
Number of days prior to trip start
Cancellation fee per person
50% of tour price
70% of tour price
**Administration fees include bank fees and exchange rate losses.
Exceptions to this policy cannot be made for any reason, including weather or personal emergencies. Please note:
We strongly advise that clients have full personal travel insurance that covers for the refund of monies paid in case either party cancels the tour for any reason.
We regret that we cannot be held responsible for incidental/consequential costs or expenses you may incur as a result of any changes or cancellations. No compensation is payable for minor changes.
Any damages/injuries incurred that are attributable to your own actions, acts of some other party unconnected with the contract services or where the damage/injury results from events/circumstances which our outside our control and could not be reasonably foreseen.
For damages where SpiceRoads is responsible, our liability is strictly limited to twice the total price of the tour. In booking a tour with SpiceRoads you, the client, are agreeing to these terms and you accept this limit on our liability. This limit allows us to keep the prices of our tours as low as possible.
You must be in possession of a valid passport and all the visas and permits required for your tour. This includes any medical certificates that are required. The client accepts full responsibility for obtaining any and all such documentation. Every client is encouraged to contact the consulate/embassy for the countries they are traveling in respectively to receive the latest and most current information about their immigration / transit policies.
SpiceRoads does not accept responsibility if your documentation is not in order. Information provided by the company about these matters and other related items (clothing, baggage, climate etc.) is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
For all tours (except short Thailand tours 4 days or less, see below):
SpiceRoads insists that all clients must take out good travel insurance before joining one of our tours. There are inherent risks involved in cycling and mountain biking and we will not be liable for your medical expenses or evacuation in case of an accident.
This insurance must include adequate coverage for any personal accident, medical expenses, injury, death and repatriation. Insurance should also provide coverage for cancellations or curtailment of the holiday. Clients should also ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for any dangerous or unusual activities that might be included in their tour.
If you join the tour without adequate insurance you may be disallowed from continuing on the tour without the right of refund. Clients are solely responsible for arranging their own insurance and they should ensure that they are covered for the full duration of their tour. Your tour leader will ask for copies of your insurance before allowing you to join the tour. This protects both you and us.
In case of an accident, please consult with your tour leader or contact our reservation staff at +66(0) 89 895 5680 (24 hour hot line).
Upon signing up for a tour you must agree to accept the authority of the tour leader who is the representative of the company. The tour leader should be regarded as the same as a “ship’s captain” or an airline’s “Pilot.”
At all times the authority of your tour leader will be final when concerning matters likely to endanger your own health or safety or in regard to behavior or ill health that is causing or is likely to cause danger, distress or disturbance to the group and the well-being of the tour. Failure to abide by the authority of the tour leader could result in legal proceedings and the immediate termination of your participation in the tour without recourse.
In such circumstances we reserve the right to terminate all travel arrangements without liability on the part of the company. You must always comply with the local law, customs and drug regulations of the country/ies you are visiting. Failure to do so may lead to you being ordered to leave the tour without recourse to any refund or any legal claim against the company. In the case of ill health the company and its operators can make those arrangements that it sees fit and recover all monies paid from the client. The person who signs the booking form (which incorporates these conditions) warrants that he/she does so, with full authority on behalf of all those whose names appear thereon, and confirms thereby that all such persons accept and are fully aware of these conditions.
No refund will be given for non-utilized services, however if we are able to obtain a refund ourselves for these services we will endeavor to pass these on to the client less reasonable administration charges.
SpiceRoads pledges never to increase the tour price except under exceptional circumstances for those that have previously book the tour. Circumstances of this policy include: government action or legislation that directs the company to increase prices, exceptional and unfavorable changes in exchange rates that exceed a 20% fluctuation or currency devaluation.
Clients will be notified of any price increase at least 4 weeks before departure.
We will not accept any liability for any delay in your outward or inward flight/s, whether the cancellation or delay is caused by the weather, airline rescheduling, industrial action or mechanical failure. We will give no refunds or compensation for lost time and services from the itinerary.
Should you have a complaint while on tour, you must notify your guide, or the local operator, at the earliest opportunity, so that they can do what they can to immediately rectify it. Failure to do so will result in the limiting of a client's ability to claim compensation. If the problem is not brought to our attention we have no opportunity to rectify it. Any complaints should be sent to us in writing, or by email, not more than 28 days after the tour ends.
Complaints related to booking, inquires, billing, sales or operations should be directed to the Sales and Marketing Manager and/or the General Manager.
If there is anything else you need to know or want to hear in order to put your mind at rest, please do not hesitate to contact us.
SpiceRoads is not liable for any bodily injury or property damage as a result of (but not limited to): physical exertion for which a guest is not prepared; forces of nature; travel by plane, train, auto, boat or other conveyance, or by bicycle, horseback, foot or other form of active or adventure travel; consumption of alcoholic beverages; civil unrest; terrorism; breakdown of equipment; high altitude; lack of or limited access to medical attention in remote locations; and the adequacy of medical attention once provided.
SpiceRoads is also not liable for: expenses (e.g., meals, transportation or hotel costs) that are not specified as included in the trip cost but may be required to get to or from a trip start or end point.
SpiceRoads reserves the right to make route and hotel modifications as necessary to improve the trip quality or to accommodate the comfort and well-being of guests. Guests grant SpiceRoads express permission to take photographs or make film records of its trips for promotional and commercial use, as well as approve such use by third parties with whom SpiceRoads may engage in joint marketing, without financial remuneration.
To view our liability release form click here. You will be asked to sign this form before you start your tour.