Moderate
Difficulty level
Cycling
Activity (Bike)

Japan: Noto Peninsula Bike Tour

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.

 

ROUTE EXPECTATIONS:

Click here to learn about our difficulty rating system.

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.


Daily Distance:

  • 1: Introductions.
  • 2: ~65km.
  • 3: ~65km.
  • 4: ~80km.
  • 5: ~60km or ~110km.
  • 6: ~75km.
  • 7: ~65km.
  • 8: ~70km.
  • 9: Farewells.

(Click image to enlarge)

 
Not sure about difficulties, and support level? Check out our What to Expect page!
 

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.

Meal inclusions: Listed for guided trips only, please see dates & pricing section for accurate inclusions per support level.


Please contact us to arrange alternate meeting and departure plans, if necessary.


1

DAY 1:

Introductions.

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.

Meal Inclusions: Dinner.

Hakuchoro Hotel, Kanazawa.
2

DAY 2:

~65km.

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Togi Seaside Villa, Togi.
3

DAY 3:

~65km.

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Mangetsu Ryokan, or, Shinbashi Ryokan, Wajima
Upgrade to Wajima Onsen Yashio Ryokan, Wajima ($145pp).
4

DAY 4:

~80km.

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Hyakurakuso Ryokan, Noto.
5

DAY 5:

~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”.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Niji to Umi Inn, Wakura Onsen.
6

DAY 6:

~75km.

Wakura to Takaoka, along more beautiful coast before turning inland.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Hotel New Otani, Takaoka.
7

DAY 7:

~65km.

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Magoemon Old House.
8

DAY 8:

~70km.

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.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Spa Hotel Alpina, Hida-Takayama.
9

DAY 9:

Farewells.

Finish after breakfast. Transfers available to the train station at Takayama City Centre.

Meal Inclusions: Breakfast.

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.



SELECT A DATE BELOW TO RESERVE, OR START A NEW DATE

2024 / 2025 DATES:

Travel to Noto Peninsula has been temporarily suspended due to an earthquake in the area. Our thoughts go out to all affected. We will resume this tour as soon as we’re able to, likely with some changes. Please consider the Hiroshima and Islands of the Seto Sea Bike Tour instead.

Interested in custom or private departures?


PRICING

Guided: C 6995 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 8 nights, 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners, guide and van support, maps, route instructions, luggage handling, hybrid bicycle rental, taxes.

Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.


Single Occupancy: 1195


Bike Rentals:

Hybrid-Fitness: Included

Upgrade to Road: 200

Upgrade to E-bike: 300


All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.



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, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. 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.

PLEASE NOTE: Trip Cancellation Insurance is highly recommended. If this is not provided by your credit card or elsewhere, please let us know and we can provide recommendations.

BEST TIMES

The best time to enjoy this tour is mid-May and late-October.

  • Spring daytimes warm up to 12 to 25 °C (55 to 77 °F) by mid May.
  • Summers are hot and humid. Mid June to mid August, is normally 15 to 30 °C (60 to 85 °F).
  • Autumn, late August to mid October, daytimes 10 to 25 °C range (50 to 77 °F).

GET TO THE START

Most visitors to Japan fly into the Narita International Airport (originally known as New Tokyo International Airport). The primary airport serving Tokyo, Narita International Airport is 57.5 km east of Tokyo Station, and 7 km east-south east of Narita Station. After arriving at the airport, there are a number of convenient transfer options, including rail, bus and taxi.

Most of the main cities are connected by Shinkansen, the high-speed bullet train system operated by Japan Railways (JR). Trains are readily available to transfer between Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, and the Kanazawa station where you will meet your guide. A new Shinkansen is scheduled to travel from Tokyo to Kanazawa station in 2.5 hours.


BEFORE AND AFTER

Visiting Japan

Comprised of an archipelago of volcanic islands, Japan is a large and extremely varied country, occupying roughly the same latitudinal zones as the eastern seaboard of the United States. Thankfully, the island nation is easily travelled by an extensive rail system.

Kyoto, located in the Kansai region of Japan, is the country's seventh largest city, with a population of 1.4 million people. Steeped in history, Kyoto is home to roughly one quarter of Japan's national treasures, countless shrines and temples, and seventeen sites recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Kyoto is dedicated to preserving Japan's oldest traditions, yet it is also a dynamic, contemporary city. Modern conveniences are readily available, making Kyoto a perfect destination for visitors looking to explore Japan's past without sacrificing the comforts of today.

We recommend the following accommodations in Kyoto for before or after your tour; please let us know if we can assist with reservations:

Tokyo – the most populous city in the world deserves a trip in its own right. The urban sprawl that defines this megalopolis can be daunting, however focusing in on a few neighborhoods, especially leafy Nakameguro, trendy Shimokitazawa, and the museum district of Roppongi will keep you from becoming overwhelmed. Despite its size, Tokyo persists as one of the most livable cities in the world.

We recommend the following accommodations in Tokyo for before or after your tour; please let us know if we can assist with reservations:


MORE READING

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.