Type of tour:Guided
Duration:8 Nights
Distance:32 Miles/day average
Dates: Nov 15, 2014. Apr 4, Nov 14, 2015 (minimum 4 participants)
Tour price:US$3750
Start city:Nagasaki, Japan
End city:Kumamoto, Japan
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Japanese Hot Springs
Kyushu's Hot Springs and Volcanoes

Tour Description: Guided

Located in the southern part of Japan, Kyushu is the third largest island and is known for being a hot spot of steaming springs. Our cycle through this mountainous and geothermic island will take us past volcanic calderas, steaming vents, feudal castles, green tea plantations, old growth forests and waterfalls.

We will partake in the Japanese tradition of bathing in hot springs. Onsens provide great opportunities to meet friendly locals and sooth muscles after some challenging rides.

Our ride starts in historic Nagasaki. We cross the Shimabara peninsula via the Mount Unzen volcano. A ferry across the Ariake sea brings us to Kumamoto prefecture. We will visit the city in a couple of days because now we are heading straight to Mount Aso volcano. In the quaint town of Kurokawa, arguably the most beautiful onsen town in Japan, we don yukata and stroll down the streets hopping from hot spring to hot spring.

We next head to the land of water and stone bridges, with stunning views of Mt Kuju (5876 ft/1791m) and stopping to admire the feudal architecture of Taketa. Turquoise water rushes down the Manainotaki waterfalls as we cycle into Takachiho Gorge with its stunning blue waters contrasting with the red and yellows of the trees in the autumn.

We skirt the rim of Mount Aso caldera, which has a circumference of around 75 miles/120 km, before descending down to Kumamoto, offering a chance to glimpse into modern city life and feudal Japan at its landmark Kumamoto Castle.

This 9-day tour rides from the lushness of onsens to the steaming caldera of Mt. Aso to modern Kumamoto and offers up numerous myths and legends of Kyushu along the way.

A note about weather: 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.

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