Japan Bike Tour
A Land of Contrast
The wonderful riddle of contemporary Japan is how whole-heartedly it has embraced all things modern—all the while retaining the customs of times past. This is truly a land of contrasts: from the bright lights and chaos of Tokyo to the elegance and history of UNESCO-protected Kyoto. As cyclists, we have sought out the most serene and picturesque pockets. On the Noto Peninsula, epic rides feature country roads and fishing villages. Elsewhere, we’ll soak in mountain hot springs, visit centuries-old temples, experience the time-honoured tea ceremony, and marvel at meticulously tended gardens.
We use premium hotels that are unique expressions of the region. Often they’ve had a previous life as a monastery or a castle, but in every case they offer an exceptionally comfortable stay.
These are stylish 4-star properties that offer a casual and comfortable stay. Often without a 24-hour concierge or room service, they tend to be smaller family-run hotels that are perfect for the region.
“I can’t say I really ‘work out,’ but I’m in good shape and am relatively active.”
“I enjoy a good walk or ride, and feel comfortable while on the move.”
“I get moving at least once a week, and don’t mind a little sweat.”
“I get moving a few times per week and enjoy some exertion.”
“I want to feel invigorated each day and going hard is how I like to do that.”
The right number of like-minded travellers to make new friends.
Your dates. Your group. Our expertly-designed itinerary.
Tailored to your interests, a bespoke travel experience.
Combines the hallmarks of any B&R itinerary (excellent hotels and beautiful routes) with the freedom of pacing each day exactly the way you like.
Our friends on the ground are there to set you up with insider access and expert tips—then disappear when you’d prefer to be on your own.
Our B&R guides are with you throughout, anticipating needs, translating languages, providing advice and—above all—facilitating fun.
8 Days / 7 Nights
Converted from USD based on the latest exchange rate. Final amount and payment will be in USD. Final conversion rate is determined by your bank.
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This departure is either sold out or almost fully booked but with deposit we will request additional rooms from our hotels where possible.
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Day by Day
Discover the heart of the rustic Noto Peninsula and its rugged coastlines, rice paddies, and endless farmland. Dinner will be on a menu made from fresh, local ingredients with a “strict” dress code requiring your traditional yukata (kimono).
Visit the asaichi, or morning market, in the centre of Wajima to find anything from lacquerware and sake to fresh fish and vegetables. Ride along the scenic coast to Sojiji Temple for an introduction to Japanese Zen Buddhism.
Explore the quiet coastal road and spectacular ocean views of the east before visiting the small town of Suzu for lunch. Take an afternoon ride south past Lida Bay to the water-side Ryokan of Hyakurakuso.
Ride back in time through sleepy fishing villages and past lush forests. Stop for a local lunch and head to the hot spring town of Wakura Onsen to indulge in a taste of Japan’s signature suki yaki with famous Noto Gyu (beef) as the highlight.
Drive through the awakening streets of Nanao to the island of Noto. Circumnavigating the island, pass through parkland and fishing communities, stopping along the way to watch for dolphins before a simple yet delicious lunch.
Drive south to explore Kanazawa, and the sublime Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s greatest gardens. Call in at a nearby private tea house to hear the charming Mrs. Nishida share her love of the tea ceremony.
Bike through the winding mountains before exploring an amazing Buddhist temple. Walk up the marvelous 3 km gorge below Yamanaka or relax in the onsen with a shiatsu massage. Enjoy a sake tasting with a 13th generation sake brewer.
After breakfast, transfer to Kyoto and say farewells. Kyoto easily demands a stay of several nights with its temples, shrines and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Notonosho Ryokan, Wajima
Notonosho, our lodging just outside of town, is a 20-room inn and its atmosphere is a great representation of the Japanese aesthetic. Rooms are spacious and all feature tatami mat floors and futon beds. The inn boasts of having the most alkaline water in Japan, and a long soak in the tub will leave your skin feeling silky-smooth. View hotel website »
Hyakurakuso Ryokan, Noto
Overlooking Tsukumo Bay on the Noto Peninsula, this modern ryokan takes full advantage of its location with tranquil and relaxing salt water baths and a stunning restaurant that perfectly complements this tucked away gem. View hotel website »
Tadaya Ryokan, Wakura Onsen
Set in the hot spring town of Wakura Onsen, Tadaya perches over the Sea of Japan and attracts Japanese from all over the country to bathe in its famous hot springs. Tadaya's spacious bathhouse features indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, and even individual ceramic bathing pots which overlook the sea! After a soak, enjoy a beautiful sunset from the window of your spacious room.
Kayotei Ryokan, Yamanaka
A traditional family-owned inn of 10 rooms, the exquisite Kayotei sets the standard for Japanese Ryokans. The inn is set amidst a natural forest preserved in its original state and the hospitality is warm, charming, and unobtrusive. A study in Japanese minimalism, the elegant hot spring overlooks the forest and provides the perfect place for meditation. View hotel website »
The daily distances range from 25-50+ km (16-31 mi.) with longer options on several days. Most rides have several climbs of 2-4 km, some gradual and some steep, but the B&R van will be there should you need a little boost. The routes have very little traffi c as we often travel on roads not frequented by the local population. Road quality is excellent. Of our trips outside Europe, this one offers some of the purest and most beautiful biking.
You can't enjoy a great biking trip without a really great bike. On this trip you'll be riding customized Cannondales; there are three models to choose from to ensure you'll have the perfect bike. We also equip you with handlebar bag, helmet and water bottle.
- All hotel accommodation
- All breakfasts, seven lunches and six dinners, including wine, beer and sake
- Services of B&R guide(s) and support vehicle
- All special events, private tours, guest experts and entrance fees
- Use of a road or hybrid bicycle, with helmet
- All transportation from rendezvous to drop-off, including van support, bus transfers and internal flights
- All baggage transportation
- Detailed maps, route suggestions and water bottle
- All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service including internal flight(s)
At Your Service
We take pride in choosing guides who are not only exceptional travelling companions, but who’ll go far beyond the call of duty to ensure an unforgettable experience.
"The biking was great but the Japanese cultural experience was even better. The Ryokans, the meals, and the special events such as paper making, saki tasting, etc were really an excellent introduction to the culture of Japan.”
— Gary Coughlan,
Japan Biking, 2013
Notes from the Road
More stories from our blogREAD THE SLOW ROAD
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