|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||45 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Nov 9, 2014. Mar 29, Nov 8, 2015 (minimum 4 participants)|
|Start city:||Kagoshima, Japan|
|End city:||Nagasaki, Japan|
A visit to south Japan’s Kyushu Island is a pure indulgence for the senses, so come prepared to experience a rich history that dates back centuries and to soak up after a day of cycling in zenlike onsen spas; visit beautiful forests, mountains and sea coasts as well as futuristic architecture and transportation; sample delicious regional cuisine and meet warmhearted and candid Kyushuites.
Let the idiosyncrasies of Japan reveal themselves as our trip takes us from the sultry city of Kagoshima to historic Nagasaki. We'll cycle along coastal roads where we will pass tiny harbors and fantastic rock formations, terraced rice paddies and palm trees as well as ancient temples and shrines.
We set out from Kagoshima at the foot of Mount Sakurajima volcano, which we tour on our first riding day. Magnificent views on Mt Sakurajima also colour our second day, together with a scenic climb up to Kirishima Jingu shrine. In Izumi we flush down the hearty farmer’s meal with shochu, southern Kyushu’s typical sweet potato brew.
Next we discover where those old Christians have been hiding on Amakusa island. After seeing the incredible blue green waters there you might want to stop at a beach for a dip. The tour ends in Madame Butterfly's Nagasaki. We have timed the tours to try and catch the cherry blossoms in the spring and the colourful leaves in the fall.
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.
Learn more about guided tours.
Day 1 - Arrival at Kagoshima
Arrive at Kagoshima via the airport from Tokyo, Osaka, Shanghai, Taipei or Seoul, or by train from Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka. The train station is located 300 m away from our accommodation. If you arrive early, we suggest visiting Iso Garden where the Shimazu lords and their guests enjoyed sitting by the crooked creek, and composing haiku in the past.
Overnight in Kagoshima.
Day 2: Kagoshima – Mt Sakurajima (25 miles/40 km)
Your guide will meet you in the lobby in the morning for a 9 am departure. We'll have a short transfer to the port and take a ferry across Kinko Bay to Mt. Sakurajima. Here we'll meet our bikes and set off on our tour! Sakurajima is one of the most active volcanoes in Japan with major eruptions in 1914 and 1947. It still spews ash and often has a steam cloud near the top.
Sakurajima used to be an island but lava flows of the 1914 eruption plugged the channel with lava, joining Sakurajima to the mainland of Kyushu. We'll ride to our hotel where you can enjoy views of the sea from your room or the onsen! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Overnight in Mt Sakurajima.
Day 3: Mt Sakurajima – Kirishima (47 miles/75 km)
Backed by the towering volcano we cycle north along Kinko Bay. Looking over our shoulder Sakurajima grows smaller. Then we wave goodbye to head inland and uphill. We visit Kirishima Jingu, a Shinto shrine known for its red highlights which seem to permeate the place. For those kilometre addicted there is an optional ride to the Ebino Kogen highlands with active Shimoendake volcano. The others get to soak in the onsen already. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Overnight in Kirishima.
Day 4: Kirishima - Izumi (43 miles/70 km)
You won't see the sea today, it is an inland ride. After the descent from Kirishima the road continues up and down until we reach Maruike pond with its beautiful flower garden. For a while we ride along Sendai river. The cherry blossoms at Tadamoto park are truly spectacular. Then we climb up Uwaba highlands and see the green waves of Tanaka's tea. Time for a cup! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Overnight in Izumi.
Day 5: Izumi – Kawaura (59 miles/95 km)
A spectacular downhill leads us to Izumi where we visit the samurai neighbourhood and the Crane Park museum as Izumi is also known for winter home of Siberian Cranes. A stretch of coastal road and Kuranoseto Bridge brings us to Nagashima. Along the sea we further enjoy the tranquility of Japan's small islands. People fish or farm here, main crop is sweet potato. To kill the long winter evenings the islanders have developed a unique art of making giant statues out of straw, cans or styrofoam. Try to spot as many as you can!
We catch a ferry enjoying the beautiful views as Nagashima shrinks and Amakusa grows bigger. The setting sun accompanies us on our last winds before we reach our hot bath for the night. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Overnight in Kawaura.
Day 6: Kawaura - Nagasaki (50 miles/80 km)
Amakusa is famed for its hidden Christians. In the early 17th century the rulers began their crackdown on Christianity. Many Christian converts were thrown into the boiling Unzen Hell, forcing them to escape to Amakusa. Amakusa proved an excellent hiding place and their descendants still live here until this day. From Kawaura to Tomioka, we ride on the Amakusa Sunset Line scenic road.
We take our time to visit Sakitsu's fine church and spot some bottlenose dolphins. You'll find yourself wanting to slow down even more to take in the marvellous sights, but we try to make it to our 3 o'clock ferry. We cross the Amakusa-nada Sea and soon our wheels are back on Kyushu's mainland soil. One last task on the list: a 10 km ride across the Nagasaki peninsula. Then the city of Nagasaki appears, basking in its bay. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Overnight in Nagasaki.
Day 7: Nagasaki departure
After breakfast it is time for goodbyes, not in the least to our saddles. Some travel on and go to the train station or the airport, while others may decide to stay a day longer to explore Nagasaki. Chinatown, Dejima and Glover Garden are all worth a visit. The Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum show a darker page of Nagasaki's rich history. Sayonara!
Meals included: breakfast
**You can also extend your visit to Kyushu with the tour company's 9-day Kyushu's Hot Springs and Volcanoes tour.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$30 a day for incidentals. Tipping is not customary in Japan. Guides receive and accept tips on a voluntary basis.
Please note that for your safety you are required to take out travel insurance that will cover you for a biking tour.
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.
Accommodations on this tour include hotels and Japanese-style hostels.
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.
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Day 1: Hotel Urbic, Kagoshima
Day 2: Sakurajima Hotel, Mt. Sakurajima
Day 3: Kirishima Onsen, Kirishima
Day 4: Farmstay at Tanaka san, Izumi
Day 5: Amuri Onsen, Kawaura
Day 6: Chisun Grand, Nagasaki
Bike available to be rented (reserved in advance at time of booking) include:
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 that it is in good mechanical order.
The cycling around Kyushu is moderately challenging with a few climbs. We ride 230 miles/360 km in five cycling days on quiet roads with amazing views. There is the possibility for 93 miles/150 km extra, but averagely fit cyclists will have no problems.
This trip is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. 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.
This trip is 99% 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
Tour start and end
Nearest airport: Tokyo, Osaka, or Fukuoka airports
Nearest train station: Kumamoto (train available from Tokyo to Kumamoto)
International and domestic flights to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times.
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.