Bicyclist passing Japanese garden
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Bicycle off the beaten track Experience a night in a historic gessho house Wander the streets of ancient Kyoto Bike the coastline of the Sea of Japan Discover the flavorful Japanese cuisine

Kyoto Cycling Tour

Classic Inn to Inn 7 days Moderate  From $5450

Cycling Kyoto Japan and Beyond

You bicycle through the quiet, small rural villages with straw roofed Gessho houses, quiet places to spend a night in the traditional accommodations. Ride the rural landscapes, seek out sacred cultural landmarks, and discover a Japan that most people miss on this scenic cycling tour through the heart of Japan!

Make the most of your holiday to Japan with a cycling tour that takes you from the historic city streets of Kyoto to the heart of the coastal countryside, enjoying such a long Sea of Japan. Ride along picturesque rivers into the lush mountain ranges of Northeast Kyoto, where the green slopes are dotted with thatched farms and straw roofed houses. Explore the natural wonders of the famously scenic Amonahashidate sandbar, the beautiful rice terraces of Uchiura, and the historical castle town on the rugged coastline of the Wakasa Bay. As well, soak in the sacred sites of the Sanzen-in temple and participate in traditional mochi-making. All along your trip you will stay in premier accommodations and dine in delicious local restaurants. Spend you night well by grabbing the traditional Japanese cuisine with its unique taste of delicacy.

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Scheduled Dates
7 Oct 2024
21 Apr 2025
12 May 2025
6 Oct 2025
Première Inns $5450 per person

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bicyclists in rural Japankyoto street scenecyclists in front of traditional gessho housetraditional Japanese dinner presentationKinkakuji Temple Kyotolearning to make rice sweets

Japan bicycle tour day by day details  

Arrive in Kyoto
Arrival throughout the day. Group meeting and dinner at 18:00. During the welcome meeting the tour leader will do an introduction of the tour and destination providing useful information for the tour. After the briefing the guide will take the group on a short walk through the geisha district and a local dinner.
Relax: Freetime until dinner
Eat: Dinner
Sleep: Hotel Celestine Gion  

Kyoto - Kurama - Miyama
Today is the first day of cycling. After breakfast and checkout we will go to the bicycle station where we setup our bikes and start our journey through the countryside of Kyoto Prefecture. We will ride along the Kamo and Takano River as we leave the city of Kyoto behind us and enter the mountainous area to the Northeast of Kyoto to make our way to our first stop Kurama. Kurama is a small mountain village famous for the Kurama dera shrine. From here we will either hike or bike for a short while to reach the nearby village of Kibune. Famous for the Kifune shrine, Kibune is a charming and quaint village dotted with ryokans along a nice wooded mountain stream. We can enjoy a lunch here to rest and replenish our energy for the steep climb towards the rural township of Hanase via the Hanase Pass. We will pass through several remote rural villages where the roads see very little traffic and later ride along a river up to the Sari pass before reaching our final stop for the day - Miyama. Miyama is a modest hamlet with traditional thatched farmhouses of which most of them still have a residential function. There is also a small open air museum and some of the thatched houses are converted into pensions.
Ride: 41 mi / 66 km, Land: flat
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Kajikaso Inn  

Miyama - Ayabe
In the morning after breakfast we can try a fun traditional activity, pounding rice in a big wooden mortar with a mallet. The resulting mochi rice dough is a Japanese traditional delicacy. Once finished, we can either reward ourselves with freshly pounded mochi cake or save it as extra energy for later.

From Miyama we will cycle to the Tanba Kogen National Park Visitor Centre where we will have the opportunity to rest a little bit and enjoy the local refreshments whilst learning a bit about the national park. Then we continue to the Yura River and will follow the river until we reach the Ohno dam. For the sake of flood control the river widens below the dam, however it is considerably narrower past the dam. Further on we make a brief stop at the Konpira shrine and then continue via country roads to Ayabe onsen where we will stay for the night.
Ride: 28 mi / 45 km, Land: hilly
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Ayabe Onsen Niohan  

Cycling to Amanohashidate
Today we ride past the Suwa shrine back towards the Yura River. We'll make a stop for tea and then cross the river and continue to the Komyoji temple. We will cycle along the river until we reach Casa Oriente. The building itself has been built in Showa era over 90 years ago, but has since been refurbished and transformed into a charming cafe and restaurant, ideal for our lunch break. After lunch we will continue to Miyazu, famous for one of the three most valued places of scenic beauty in Japan - Amanohashidate.The 3.3 km long sandbar connects two sides of Miyazu Bay and is fully traversable.

After arrival we will take the chairlift or cable car to Amanohasidate View Land and enjoy the view of this wonder of nature. If time permits we can go for a stroll on the sandbar before enjoying our dinner. We stay here at a ryokan in a historical wooden building with a traditional natural hot spring bath.
Ride: 36 mi / 57 km, Land: flat
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Seikiro Ryokan  

Amano Hashidate - Obama
Today we will cycle along the scenic coast towards Obama. We'll first cycle to Tango Yura where the Yura River enters the sea, then continue to the port town of Maizuru and past Kahara Park with a nice waterfall. Afterward we will continue to Uchiura bay, a beautiful bay with terraced rice fields that are considered one of the 100 most beautiful rice terraces in Japan. From Uchiura we will head out to the Aobayama herbal village on the foot of Mt Aoba in Takahara. The area is renowned for herb cultivation and is dotted by beautiful gardens with a path up the mountain, ideal for a short hike. We can enjoy a lunch or coffee at a local café. Those who favor a hands-on approach can participate in a workshop such as natural herb dying before we continue to Obama. Located on the Wakasa Bay, the historical castle town is considered one of the 100 most beautiful historical sights of Japan due to its well preserved traditional houses and its location on the wild rugged coastline.
Ride: 44 mi / 71 km, Land: flat
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Hotel Sekumiya  

Obama - Omi Maiko
In the morning we can go for a stroll in this town dubbed as “Nara by the Sea�?. The city is rich in history and visitor may enjoy the charm of old streets with well-preserved town houses.

In the late morning we will leave the beautiful coast of the Japanese Sea behind us and instead move to another coast, but this time not of a sea but of the biggest fresh water lake in Japan: The Biwa Lake. On our way we shall pass through charming rural areas with traditional farm houses as well as smaller local temples and shrines. We reach the lake at Maiko Takashima and take a small break to enjoy the fresh air and scenery, before coasting along the lake to Omi Maiko - a popular beach for Kyoto-ites in summer.
Ride: 34 mi / 54 km, Land: hilly
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Biwa Lake Otsuka  

Omi Maiko - Ohara - Kyoto
After breakfast we start cycling along the lake until we reach Wani station. From here we move more inland past the Modoriki Jinja shrine and Hachimangu shrine to Ohara, famous for the beautiful Sanzen-in temple. We will make a brief stop here to visit the beautiful scenic temple and enjoy our lunch. From here we will cycle way down along the Takano River and past the Sairin-Ji Temple until we reach the outskirts of Kyoto. We will continue to the Shimogamo shrine and then cycle through the north districts of the city from the east to the west side of Kyoto. We will pass by the Kyoto Imperial Palace and continue west to Arashiyama via the Nishijin textile district.
Ride: 30 mi / 48 km, Land: hilly
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Suiran  

Kyoto Check out
In the morning after breakfast you can enjoy the mountain backdrop of the Oi River from the classical garden at your accommodation or go for a stroll before checking out and either continuing your trip in Japan or make your way to the airport.
Travel: Shuttle to airport
Eat: Breakfast

Good Sleep

Our Kyoto Bike Tour trip includes a couple of nights in traditional, historic inns either minshuku or ryokan. These inns originated back in the era of when the emperors and their courts walked from palace to palace and these inns sprung up along the trails to accommodate the parties.

Arriving at a ryokan is an experience in itself. The hostess, okami , dressed in a kimono, comes to welcome the guests. Once you take your shoes off , put on the slippers made available at the entrance. An employee, still in a kimono, then comes to take over from the okami and accompany the customers to their room.

Japanese minshuku entrance

Good Eats

Always ranked in the top ten of cuisines worldwide, Japanese food is a delight both visually and for its taste. Dinners at the minshukus and ryokan on this tour are traditional Kaiseki Ryori, with many small dishes of vegetables, fish, meats and more.

A typical dinner could consist of: shiizakana (appetizers served with Japanese sake), mukouzuke (sashimi, slices of raw fish), kuchitori (a small appetizer), suimono (soup), nimono (simmered vegetables), kounomono (Japanese pickles), yakimono (grilled fish) and more.

typical Japanese dinner

Getting There

The Kyoto Cycling Tour meets and ends at Kyōto Station.

Guests should plan their train bookings to arrive in Kyoto before 15:00 (3 pm) on Day 1 of the tour and their departing flights after 10:00 (10 am) on Day 8. Guests can fly via Osaka (KIX), Nagoya (NGO) or Tokyo (NRT & HND), then catch the bullet train to Kyoto's main station.

Local Time: GMT+9


Documents Please

Passports are required for all guests. Visas maybe required depending on your nationality, check with the nearest Embassy of Japan.

Whatcha Gonna Get

  • Expert local bilingual guides
  • Entrance and activity fees
  • Handpicked lodges, ensuite rooms, double occupancy
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, snacks*
  • Dinners featuring fine local cuisine*
  • Unlimited drinking water**
  • Support van for baggage and lifts
  • Free use of bicycles

*as noted in itinerary
**during activity

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