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Cycling Japan Kyoto to the Coast

7 Days & 6 Nights
  • Self-guided cycling from the ancient city of Kyoto to the coast at Wakayama
  • Explore the UNESCO temples and birthplace of Japanese culture, Nara
  • Ride to the hilltop town of Yoshino and soak in hot ‘Onsen’ springs
  • Spend the night in a traditional temple lodge on Mount Koya
  • Sample bowls of noodles and fresh sushi in Kyoto's Nishiki food market
Ride from the imperial city of Kyoto, to the coastline of Wakayama on this self-guided cycling tour of Japan; discover a land where both the ancient and modern exist in harmony. Regarded as the cultural capital of Japan, the former Emperor’s residence of Kyoto makes for easy exploration by bike. Cycle to Kyoto’s northern bamboo forests, visiting the 14th century Tenryuji Temple. Roll alongside the Kamo River, into the heart of Kyoto, stopping for matcha tea and sweet treats at riverside cafes. Later in the evening, take in the elaborate and dramatic dance performances at Kyoto’s Kubuki theatre. Ride south to the UNESCO listed temples and ancient sights of Nara, birthplace of Japanese civilization and pedal deep into rural Japan, to the town of Yoshino on the slopes of Mount Yoshino. Cycle up Mount Koya, and spend the evening in traditional temple lodging where you can enjoy soaking in an Onsen (hot spring baths). A final ride east, ends at the fine sandy beaches of Wakayama, the perfect way to round off your bike tour of Japan with an afternoon of rest and relaxation.
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What To Expect

For regular cyclists, this self-guided tour is graded moderate with rides are between 30 and 70km. Navigate your own cycling adventure through Japan’s ancient cities, between temples, up into rural hill towns and through the rolling countryside. Spend each night in traditional Japanese inns and lodges where you can relax in hot springs and discover famous Japanese dishes, such as sushi, tofu and bowls of noodles. Ending at the coast, you can easily add on extra nights to enjoy a few days on the beach or extend your stay to explore the nearby, cosmopolitan city of Osaka.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Cycling | A more specialist category of cycling holiday for road cyclists, A classic point to point cycling holiday, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Avid Adventurers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Foodie Adventures
  • Luxury & Unique Stays
  • Wildlife

Featured in our collections:

  • New
  • Classic

Grade & Terrain

The tour is self-guided. For the duration of the tour, you will receive a navigation unit and access to a comprehensive navigation app and information pack. The unit is a simple device which clearly shows the route to follow and is best used in conjunction with the navigation app.  The app includes route information, directions, local tips on where to eat and where your accommodation is located. You must download the app onto your phone before arriving. If you do not wish to use your own device for navigation, you can also rent an ipad, pre-loaded with the navigation app.

This route heads through cities, towns, deep into the countryside and up to hillside and mountain towns. You should always be mindful and aware of other route users at all times, especially when cycling through the cities. Kyoto and Nara are very busy environments but are amongst the most cycle-friendly cities in Japan so please take you time and pay attention to the advice on your navigation app.

Should you require assistance, local 24/7 telephone support will also be available throughout your trip.

Accommodation Information

During this trip, you will stay in 3* hotels and traditional Ryokans. Ryokans are traditional Japanese Inns (usually family run), with simple furnishings of a matted floor, low futon beds and sliding paper doors. They are very well known for their warm and friendly hospitality. You will also spend the night in a Shukubo, traditional temple lodging complete with Onsen (hot spring baths).

Depending on the time of year you are travelling, you may be accommodated in a hotel or inn of equal standard, within the surrounding area. Examples of some of the typical hotels and inns used on this tour are listed below.

Single Rooms & Solo Cyclists

If you are travelling with friends or family but prefer single rooms this is possible subject to availability and a supplementary payment. Unfortunately, this tour is not available to solo cyclists.

Meals

All breakfasts and 2 dinners are included. Typically, most hotel breakfasts offer Japanese and European style breakfasts and usually consist of fresh fruits, juices, bread, eggs, rice, tofu and miso soup. There is always a plentiful supply of tea and coffee.

Included dinners are traditional to the region and are made with local, seasonal produce. Typical dishes usually comprise of tofu, vegetables, miso soup, fish, meats and pickled vegetables. During your stay at the temple lodge, the temple only serves vegetarian food.

Lunches and 4 dinners are not included. To help you choose, there are plenty of suggestions of where to dine in your navigation app, including help with translations!

Should you have any special dietary requirements please let us know. We try to accommodate all requirements where possible.

Included
  • 4 Nights in 3* hotels, 1 night in a Ryokan and 1 night in a Shukubo (temple lodge)
  • 6 Breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • Baggage transfer
  • Bike rental (including a GPS unit, handlebar bag, complimentary Japan cycling jersey)
  • Information pack
  • Access to route information on a smartphone app
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
Excluded
  • Travel to Kyoto / from Wakayama
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (please note we require your insurance details to confirm your trip)
Extras
  • Additional nights along the route
  • Upgrade to e-bike hire

When To Go

You can start your cycling adventure  on any day from January through to December. Private guided or group guided departures can also be arranged. If you would prefer this option please please contact the office.

Getting to the Start

For general travel planning, we recommend the helpful site http://www.rome2rio.com

The easiest way to reach Kyoto is from the nearby airport of Osaka, which has extensive, international connections across the globe. Osaka Airport connects with Kyoto by bus or train (approx. 60mins journey time).

Tokyo Airport is also within easy reach of Kyoto. The rapid and efficient bullet train connects the two cities in a little over 3 hours.

We would suggest checking flight www.skyscanner.net as a starting point for flight schedules and prices to Japan and HyperDia for local and national rail services across Japan.

Getting from the End

Onward travel from Wakayama is very easy. The city and airport of Osaka is only a 90 minute train journey. In Osaka, you can change for services through to Tokyo. Again please check HyperDia for rail information.

Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight stay. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, sunscreen, water and personal snacks. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as padded shorts/long tights.

Equipment

On this tour a 21-speed light aluminium frame Cannondale hybrid bike with disc brakes is included in the trip cost. You can upgrade to a Cannondale Synapse Carbon Ultegra SE crossroad bike (with wider tyres than a standard road bike). Each bike comes with a handlebar bag for your personal possessions and a water bottle.  Helmets are included, although we recommend bringing your own as it's likely to be a better fit.

If you would prefer to bring your own bicycle please ensure it is thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate road or hybrid bike. If you do intend to bring your own bike, please do let us know at the time of booking as extra transfer arrangements may be required for any large bike cases/boxes.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care. Prior to departure, you must provide us with your travel insurance details.

How fit do I need to be?
What happens if I cant cycle?
How far in advance do I need to book?
When is the best time of year?
Luggage and Baggage
I need extra hotel nights in Kyoto, Wakayama or Osaka.

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Kyoto Day 2 Kyoto Loop Ride 20 miles / 32 km Day 3 Cycle to Nara 30.5 miles / 49 km Day 4 Cycle to Yoshino 39.5 miles / 63 km Day 5 Kyasan (via Mount Koya) 31 miles / 50 km Day 6 Cycle to the Wakayama Coast 38 miles / 61 km Day 7 Onward Travel

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