Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Cycle Japan tour

Cycle Japan

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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
93%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: N/A
  • N/A
  • Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    13 days
    From: $ 5,580 $ 429 / day
    Checking price

    Overview

    Highlights

    • Off the beaten track cycling - Enjoy the landscapes, flavours and characters of rural Japan
    • Point-to-Point cycling - Uninterrupted ride for 8 days around the Noto Peninsula
    • Kyoto - Japan's historic capital, filled with temples and traditional tea houses
    • Tokyo- Explore the modern metropolis
    • Kanazawa - Visit the gardens of Kenrokuen, one of the most beautiful in Japan
    • The Noto Peninsula - Cycle amongst the stunning coastal landscapes of the Sea of Japan
    • Hot springs - Experience the country's famous onsens and soothe your cycling legs
    • Delicious local food - Enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine with locally sourced ingredients
    • Shirakawa-go - Visit World Heritage farmhouses and historic towns
    • Bullet Train - Ride the iconic Shinkansen bullet train to Tokyo

    Short Description

    From ancient Kyoto we ride along quiet roads on the Noto Peninsula into the highlands around Shirakawa-go historic village, taking us firmly off the beaten track. Along the way we will see one of the finest Japanese gardens in Kanazawa, stay in ryokan and enjoy varied mountain scenery and coastal paths. Bullet train to Tokyo where we end our journey.

    Noto Peninsula - Uninterrupted scenic ride for 8 days

    Delicious local food - Included traditional Japanese cuisine with locally sourced ingredients

    Kyoto and Tokyo - Experience the ancient and modern capitals

    Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
    Trip Type Small Group Tour
    See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
    Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
    Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
    Lodging Level Value - 3 star
    Flights & Transport N/A
    Start City Kyoto
    End City Tokyo

    Destinations

    Japan

    Cities & Attractions

    Kanazawa Kyoto Shirakawa Tokyo

    Activities

    Cycling Hiking Trekking

    Age Requirement

    14

    N/A
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    Itinerary

    Day 1 Join tour in historic Kyoto

    This incredible journey begins in the old Imperial capital of Kyoto, regarded by many as the country's loveliest city. Lying at the heart of Japanese culture and influence for over 1,000 years, Kyoto lay at the centre of events that helped to shape the destiny and history of this most fascinating of cultures. One of the only major cities to survive the extensive bombing of WWII, Kyoto can boast more than 2000 temples and shrines, many set in manicured landscaped gardens, making this captivating city the cradle of all things uniquely Japanese.

    Meals Provided : None

    Day 2 Kyoto sightseeing by bike. Including Ginkaku-ji and along The Philosopher's Path to the Nanzen-ji temple complex

    This incredible city can boast no fewer than 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites including 13 temples, three Shinto shrines and a 17th century castle. We will pick up our bikes and set out cycling to the Heian Jingu Shrine, before taking in the scenic Philosopher's Path, Eikando Temple and and the 15th Century Ginkaku-ji Temple. After lunch we will cycle south along the Kamo river to Tofukuji Temple's rock gardens and the 1001 statues of Kannon Bodhisattva (the goddess of mercy) located at the Sanjusangendo temple on the eastern edge of the city. This evening is free. Please note that there is no vehicle support for today's ride and we will be using simple local style bikes. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 17 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 60 metres).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 3 Morning train to Kanazawa. Bike tour of Kenroku-en Garden and the old teahouse district

    This morning we travel by train (2hrs+) to Kanazawa, a city that once rivalled Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo) in cultural importance. Once home to the powerful Maeda Clan, today it serves as the capital of the Ishikawa Prefecture and boasts the stunning setting of the Kenrokuen Gardens, considered to be one of Japan's most beautiful landscape gardens. This afternoon we will pick up our bikes and meet our guide, before heading off to visit the gardens. Taking nearly two centuries to complete and translating from their original Japanese as the 'Garden of the Six Sublimities', Kenrouken was begun by the Maedas in 1632 and covers over 11 hectares of land on the outskirts of Kanazawa Castle. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 8 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 60 metres), no support vehicle today.

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Day 4 Cycling around the beautiful Noto Peninsula including the Chirihama Beach Road

    Our main bags will be sent on to Wakura Onsen today as, over the next four days we make do with smaller bags as we cycle north, following the coast on to the Noto Peninsula. The smaller bags are still transported in the support van, leaving you free to enjoy the rides. Our destination today is Chirihama Beach in Hakui, lying to the north of Kahoku. The eight kilometre beach is famous for its unique tightly compacted sand which, at a quarter of the size of normal sand, makes it firm enough to actually cycle on. Tonight we stay for the first time in typical Japanese style accommodation, furnished in the traditional way with futon mattresses on tatami-mat floors. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 60 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 220 metres).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 5 Cycle the coastal road to Wajima, stopping off at the Sojijiso-in temple

    Keeping the Sea of Japan on our left we continue following the coast north today, heading for the city of Wajima in the northern half of the Noto Peninsula. One of the most scenic coastal landscapes in Japan, the Noto Peninsula extends into the Sea of Japan for some 100 kilometres, providing us with a beautifully secluded journey north. We travel by way of the Ganmon National Park and stop off to visit the Sojiji Temple and Gardens, once one of the most important Zen Buddhist temples in Japan. Founded in 1321, it was the head temple of the Soto sect, before a great fire in 1898 saw its functions transferred to a sister temple in Yokohama. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 66 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 680 metres).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Day 6 Explore Wajima Market. Continue along the stunning coastal road to Suzu

    This morning we pay a visit to Wajima's famous Morning Market, one of the city's most famous attractions. Believed to date back over 1,000 years, it brings together vendors selling all manner of goods, from fresh fish and produce, to handicrafts and lacquerware, Wajima's most celebrated export. Renowned throughout Japan, Wajima lacquerware is famed for its durability, with each piece requiring the skills of several craftsmen and dozens of processes. Following our visit we then continue on our journey, heading towards the northeastern tip of the peninsula and the waters of Iida Bay. Tonight we sleep in a traditional Japanese ryokan guesthouse. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 47 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 690 metres).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 7 Cycle to Noto Ushitsu as we head down the eastern side of the peninsula

    We complete our ride around the Noto Peninsula today as we follow its eastern edge towards the town of Noto Ushitsu. The very remoteness of this landscape has been one of its most enduring features for centuries and much of this stunning peninsula has been granted a Quasi-National Park status. Tonight we sleep in a traditional Japanese ryokan guesthouse. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 49 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 690 metres).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 8 Cycle to Wakura Onsen where ancient, healing hot baths await our arrival

    The waters of Nanao Bay and the famous hot springs of Wakura Onsen beckon today. One of the oldest resort towns in Japan, legend has it that these hot springs were discovered over 1,200 years ago, when a local fisherman found a white heron curing its wounds in the steaming waters. Today its healing waters are said to cure everything from muscle aches and stiff joints, to chronic skin disease and frail children! The town is also famed for its seafood, with a number of its traditional inns serving up a mouthwatering choice of oysters, crabs, deep-water shrimps and abalones. The perfect cure for body and soul after our four days of cycling. Tonight we sleep in a traditional Japanese ryokan guesthouse. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 71 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 870 metres).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 9 We begin our journey inland as we head up to Shokawa Onsen

    This morning our journey turns inland as we leave Ishikawa Prefecture for neighbouring Toyama. As before, our large bags go on ahead and we will be using small bags for the next two nights, carried with us in our support vehicle. Our ride today includes the biggest hill of our entire trip, but also takes in a rural landscape of rice paddies and mountain peaks, finishing at the mountain village of Shogawa Onsen. 'Onsens' are dotted all across rural Japan, hot springs that were traditionally used as public bathing places, they make the most of Japan's active volcanic landscapes. There is a distinct etiquette to bathing, with cleanliness and social niceties being observed by participants, whilst rowdiness and tattoos are particularly frowned upon (tattoos in Japan have long been associated with criminal Yakuza gangs). Tonight we sleep in traditional ryokan accommodation with private en-suite facilities. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 71 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 860 metres).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 10 Our cycle journey concludes at beautiful Shirakawa-go, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses

    Today we head into the remote countryside of the Shogawa River Valley, where we will find a number of beautifully preserved gassho-zukuri farmhouses. With their steep thatched roofs, constructed to resemble the praying hands of Buddhist monks, some of these houses are over 250 years old. Developed over many generations and designed to withstand the heavy falls of snow that regularly envelope the region in winter, these roofs are constructed without nails and the large attics were traditionally used to cultivate silkworms. We plan to visit one of the traditional farmhouses. Our final destination today is the historic village of Shirakawa-go which, along with neighbouring Gokayama, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Please note that we will be cycling through several tunnels today. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 57 kilometres (total accumulated ascent 820 metres).

    Meals Provided : Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 11 Shinkansen bullet train to Tokyo

    Leaving Shirakawa-go and our bikes behind we travel first by bus (1hr30) back to Kanazawa. It is from here that we take the iconic Shinkansen bullet train (2hrs30) to Japan's capital city, Tokyo. Tokyo is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, home to more than 26 million people including the Japanese imperial family. The city holds a lot of history as well as modern shopping centres and the neon illuminated signs it's famous for. Half of the city was rebuilt after being destroyed in the war but there are still many historic temples and gardens that remain and await exploration. On arrival to Tokyo we have the chance to explore this fascinating city. No cycling today.

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Day 12 Enjoy Tokyo from our base in the historic Asakusa district a stone's throw from Sensoji temple

    Today is left free for you to explore, wander and shop at leisure or take an optional guided tour of Tokyo. Your Tour Leader will be on hand to assist and give guidance today. A typical itinerary would be to visit the Asakusa Sensoji-temple followed by a river cruise to the the Hama-rikyu gardens, Meiji shrine and finally the Shinjuku Government Building for great views over Tokyo. It is also possible to rent a bike locally and explore - your Tour Leader will be able to provide details. Optional cycling today.

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Day 13 Tour ends Tokyo

    The tour ends this morning after breakfast in Tokyo.

    Meals Provided : Breakfast

    Availability

    Checking price
    Price From $ 5,580
    Price Per Day: $ 429 per day
    Check Availability
    Checking price
    Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
    Oct-13-2019Oct-25-2019$ 5,690Yes10 Spaces Left Reserve
    May-10-2020May-22-2020$ 5,670Yes14 Spaces Left Reserve
    Oct-11-2020Oct-23-2020$ 5,580Yes14 Spaces Left Reserve

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    Stride Featured in

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    30 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

    93%
    4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
    Excellent 24
    Great 3
    Average 1
    Disappointing 1
    Terrible 1
    Value
    4.6
    Guide
    4.6
    Activities
    4.6
    Lodging
    4.5
    Transportation
    4.6
    Meals
    4.5

    Cycle Japan

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    Company Reviews

    Trip of a lifetime seeing the Arctic in a week

    5.0
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    Value5.0
    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging4.0
    Transportation5.0
    Meals5.0
    I travelled as a solo traveller and was relieved to find that about half the boat was also solo travellers. It was a great adventure - on a ferry board for a week with the most amazing panoramic views around us every day. We were regularly out on smaller boats to see the bird cliffs up close, or to go onto land to walk around. We saw lots of amazing wildlife including walrus, blue whales, beluga whales, endless species of birds, and of course Polar Bears! The week went by too quickly. It was a great mix of wildlife and landscapes. Each day there was a different guide giving a presentation of everything from the biology of a polar bear, to the fauna found in the arctic circle. You could join in for as little or as much as you wanted. Definitely recommended.
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    Super good tour guide, but the itinerary was rushed

    5.0
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    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
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    Junk on Halong Bay, Homestay in Mekong Delta. Hoi An Our tour guide, Long, was excellent and did a super job of mixing history and political context with what we were seeing. He went out of his way to add to the tour, actually taking us to favorite restaurant on his night off. The children loved him and we enjoyed his professionalism and his personal narrative of Vietnam. I felt that the itinerary was very rushed for a family tour. I understand the non family tour is longer and actually that would have been better for the family too. In particular a very busy day in Hue followed a mostly sleepless night on the train. We could have done with more time in Hue, or different activities. Hue was a bad day as the kite making was dull, crowded, and hot, then we didn't get to fly kites as we had not made them. In the end we had little time at the Citadel as we had to transfer into a small bus to navigate the streets.
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    Excellent

    5.0
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    Value5.0
    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging4.0
    Transportation4.0
    Meals4.0
    Mohammed was excellent!

    Enjoy the trip

    5.0
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    Value5.0
    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging5.0
    Transportation5.0
    Meals5.0
    The highlight of this trip was seeing Machu Picchu, which I loved it.

    Great Tour Leader will come back in 2017

    5.0
    Details
    Value5.0
    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging5.0
    Transportation5.0
    Meals5.0
    A great tour leader - friendly, personable, approachable, knowledgeable of the local area, sights and people. We plan to come back and cycle with Andrew again in 2017.
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    Pleasant surprise experience

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    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging5.0
    Transportation4.0
    Meals5.0
    It is hard to say because each outing was a pleasant surprise. The best experience was a workshop on feltmaking in Kazbegi town Georgia) where, as a group, we made the felt from scratch and created our own design. A great opportunity to discover a local craft. It is also an excellent example how this diverse group got along like a house on fire. In Armenia my fqvourite outing was the walk along the Garni river gorge with a local guide. The scenery was breathtaking.
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    Details

    Guides

    Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide, Driver(s)

    Age Notes

    Min. Age: 14

    Trip ID#:

    explore_new-CJA

    Meals Included:

    • Breakfast : 12
    • Dinner : 7
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