Eight nights; eight days of relaxed cycling, hiking and cultural experiences. Dramatic coasts and friendly mountains complemented with historically significant sites.
“Every day I think about the sights, the sounds, and the sweet smells of rural Japan…one of the greatest trips – I will always remember it.” – Mary Ann G.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Walk in Yanagida Botanical Gardens, and listen to the Dragonfly Stream within forested park land.
- The rustic region of the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan
- Traditional Japanese culture
- UNESCO site of Shirakawago
Requiring moderate fitness levels, these cover terrain with hills and valleys, and tend to include distances of 50-80km (30-50mi.)/day cycling, or 3-6 hours of walking per day. Most Freewheeling Adventures fall into this category, and are suitable for most ability levels.
This is a rich cultural experience that will be most appreciated by relaxed riders interested in a varied experience. There are some hills, and relaxed riders will be assisted with van support on longer climbs. The lodging includes a ryokan (B&B) with shared bathrooms one night. This is a genuine Japanese experience, but an upgrade is available for those not comfortable with it. Group size is limited to eight.
- DAY 1: Introductions
- DAY 2: ~65 km
- DAY 3: ~65 km
- DAY 4: ~80 km
- DAY 5: ~60 km or ~110 km
- DAY 6: ~75 km
- DAY 7: ~65 km
- DAY 8: ~70 km
- DAY 9: Farewells
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Kanazawa, Hakuchoro Hotel, 16:00, day one. Kanazawa is easy to access from Tokyo, Osaka, or Nagoya on Shinkansen train.
Finish: Takayama, 09:00 day nine. Train connections to Tokyo, Osaka, or Nagoya are readily available.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Afternoon meeting at your first hotel for introductions and bike fittings. Enjoy a stroll through Kanazawa – city of castles and three of Japan’s major gardens – before a delicious dinner. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)
Hakuchoro Hotel, Kanazawa
Ride coastal roads with highlights including the Uchinada Dunes, the Keta Taisha Shrine, and the Myojoji Temple. Stop in the town of Ganmon to see a translucent cave mouth and 60 meter deep cave. Fantastic rock formations and optional boat trip to see Togi rocks. Swim in incredible blue green waters, considered as one of the top 50 beaches in Japan. BLD
Togi Seaside Villa, Togi
Cycling along coastal roads to Wajima, or optional 10 km hike to explore the parks of Hegurajima Island. Special points included the Dragonfly stream, 1000 irises in spring, and the Sojiji Temple. Stay at a traditional ryokan where you will be served fresh local vegetables and fish. BLD
Morning exploration of Wajima City, followed by 80km of cycling to Noto. Special points: Lacquerware known as Wajima-nuri, a morning market on Asaichi-dori Avenue, “Kiriko” (tall festival lanterns), Senmaida (1000 terraced rice paddies), sea views at Cape Rokko. Rest in a beautiful Ryokan hotel with hot springs.BLD
Hyakurakuso Ryokan, Noto
~60km or ~110km
Noto to Wakura Onsen. The full ride is 110km, but with recommended transfer it is 60km of beautiful quiet coastal roads, the last 30 around Noto Island. Take a bath at the wonderful Wakura Onsen, in one of Japan’s more famous “Onsen Towns”. BLD
Niji to Umi Inn, Wakura Onsen
Wakura to Takaoka, along more beautiful coast before turning inland. BLD
Hotel New Otani, Takaoka
Takaoka to Shirakawa-Go. Follow a bike path along the Oyabe River to the base of the mountains, and stop to check out Zuisen-ji Temple. After lunch, ride in to the mountains! Then stay in a 150 years old Gasho Zukuri Thatched roof house and dine on traditional mountain food. BLD
Magoemon Old House
Shirakawa-Go to Takayama City, for a final night in one of Japan’s castle towns. It is good to explore here, to see latticed bay windows and linked eaves of merchants’ houses in Sanmachi Suji; to visit the temples and shrines of Higashiyama; and to see the reproduction of Hida’s traditional mountain farming villages of sloped-roof houses at Hida Folk Village. BLD
Spa Hotel Alpina, Hida-Takayama
Finish after breakfast. Transfers available to the train station at Takayama City Centre. B
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE COST OF YOUR TRIP?
Guided: C 6695 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 8 nights, 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners, guide and van support, maps, route instructions, luggage handling, taxes
Does not include bike rentals & single supplement charges (pricing can be found in next booking step), airfare to/from tour, and guide(s) gratuities.
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
2022 Guided dates:
- Apr 17-25
- May 15-23
- Oct 23-31
2023 Guided dates:
- May 14-22
- Oct 22-30
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Interested in custom or private departures?
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
The enigma of Japan will just begin to reveal itself to you in this dynamic combination of active and cultural experiences. You will begin in Kanazawa City, riding into the rustic region of the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan. You will play on beaches, walk in Yanagida Botanical Gardens, and listen to the Dragonfly Stream within forested park land. In another garden, you will listen to the resonance of a Buddhist bell. You can stop by the Rokugo farmhouse to have a revitalizing cup of tea. In early spring, you can ride through the sweet, soft fragrances of pink cherry or delicate plum blossoms. In a Samurai house, you may stop to watch a single drop of water make circle upon circles as goldfish swim beneath the surface of a pond. At the end of spring a hundred thousand irises bloom to create a surreal atmosphere. In the fall, orange, red, autumnal colours burst with intensity that will startle and amaze you. Whenever you choose to visit this beautiful area, the flourishing of traditional Japanese culture in this amazing, stilling place will leave you pleased. You will cycle to Wakura Spa, have an option to explore Notojima Island, see the market in Wajima, all the while following quiet coastline roads around this fabulously scenic peninsula. You will stay in beautiful traditional Ryokan hotels, bathe in onsens (hot springs) and eat the highest quality meals Japan has to offer. Finally, you will visit the UNESCO site of Shirakawago, an area known for three-storey, nail-free “clasped hands” thatched roof houses of exceptional beauty. The cycling is moderately challenging with a few climbs. Guided trips included abundant vehicle support to help ensure your happiness and safety.
NOTE: Japan is an interesting but culturally very different place. Food, rooms, even the side of the road: everything is different: You will sleep on futons on tatami floor mats. You will eat beautiful raw fish sushi with rice for breakfast. You may choose to bathe in onsens (communal baths). Please refer to Freewheeling’s introductory documents in order not to be surprised by some of the social graces that will be expected of you.