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Japan Highlights: Cycling from Kyoto to Izumi (10 Days)

offered by supplier M20569 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 12 people
Destination(s): Japan  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Sightseeing  
Season: May
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 2100 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2100 US Dollar (USD)

A visit to Japan is pure indulgence for the senses, so come prepared to experience a rich history that dates back centuries and to soak up after a day of cycling in zenlike onsen spas; visit beautiful forests, mountains and sea coasts as well as futuristic architecture and transportation; sample delicious regional cuisine; meet polite and candid locals as well as lovers of Hello Kitty and karaoke.

Itinerary:
Day 1: Welcome to Kyoto!
You arrive in the course of the day at the hotel. Please note that your room may not be available until check-in time at 3 pm, however if you arrive early the hotel will keep your luggage secure if you want to do some exploration. Tonight’s dinner is not included. There are plenty of nice restaurants nearby to have your pick.

Day 2: 61 km. Kyoto – Nara.
Your Japan Highlights tour officially starts at 9 am in the lobby of the hotel: you will meet your guide and fellow Japan Bikers. Please be dressed in cycling gear and have your luggage (suitcase and daypack) ready for the van. After bike fitting it is a short ride to Fushimi Inari shrine with its picturesque rows of red tori gates. Early lunch and then we cycle to Nara. The road winds through green tea fields. In the afternoon we visit the Big Buddha in Todaiji – the biggest wooden structure in the world.

Day 3: 48 km. Nara – Onomichi - Omishima Island.
After breakfast we transfer to Onomichi. Onomichi marks the Honshu start of the famous Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road connecting Honshu and Shikoku Island. After lunch we set out on this dedicated cycling road. And dedicated means dedicated in Japan: purpose-made ramps with smooth grades lead us up to the bridges with their separate bike lanes offering splendid views of the surrounding islands and the Seto Inland Sea.

Day 4: 65 km. Omishima Island - Hiroshima.
We veer off the Shimanami Kaido to take a ferry to Okamura Island and the start of the Tobishima Kaido, another fantastic string of islands. In the afternoon we transfer to Hiroshima. Hiroshima (広島) is the principal city of the Chugoku Region and home to over a million inhabitants. When the first atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the city became known worldwide. The destructive power of the bomb was tremendous and obliterated nearly everything within a two kilometer radius. After the war, great efforts were taken to rebuild the city.

Day 5: Hiroshima – Yamaga.
A free morning in Hiroshima to visit the Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park and then another transfer to Hirayama Onsen in Yamaga.

Day 6: 75 km. Yamaga – Aso.
Warming up on the Yamaga-Kumamoto Cycling Road and then along Kikuchi River. We are on our way to Mount Aso, the world’s largest caldera, slowly climbing up to its rim. Crossing the rim of the vulcano crater we finally get a glimpse of the impressive Aso plain. Legend is that the outer crater was once a lake, but one day the god of the mountain kicked open the only break (through which rail and bus pass) emptying the water and leaving the plain fit for cultivation. An exhilarating downhill towards Akamizu drops us down on the plain. We stay at the foot of the Nakadake Volcano.

Day 7: 74 km. Aso – Kumamoto.
Crossing the plain we head back up the caldera rim on the same Rt 23. Next a smooth downhill and then navigating the fertile fields on the Kumamoto Plain. The city of Kumamoto is nearing quickly. The last stretch of yesterday’s Yamaga-Kumamoto Cycling Road leads us into the city with the proud Kumamoto castle set amid fragrant ancient camphor trees. The castle dates back to 1467 and is considered one of Japan’s top 3 castles (三名城 Sanmeijō) together with Osaka and Nagoya. Unfortunately the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquake has severely damaged the castle and it will be closed for repairs for several years to come.

Day 8: 59 km. Kumamoto – Hinagu Onsen.
A leisurely ride on the fertile Yatsushiro plain, crossing the big rivers of Kyushu. Soon we arrive in Hinagu Onsen. This hot spring dates approximately 600 years back. During the Edo era (17th-19 centuries), it was designated as a hot spring run by the Hosokawa domain of Kumamoto. This historic hot spring was even loved by the lord of the Yashiro Castle as well as the lord of Shimazu who temporarily resided in the area. Even today, there are many buildings here that continue to depict the days long past. From the Hinagu Onsen Jinja, a shrine where the god of the hot spring is enshrined, a sweeping view of the hot spring resort and the Shiranui Sea as well as the islands of Amakusa and Shimabara in the distance can be seen. Even today, there are many buildings here that continue to depict the days long past. Such as our ryokan from 1909 with its exquisite wooden interior.

Day 9: 80 km. Hinagu Onsen – Izumi.
We dance a tango with the little railroad and continue along the Shiranui Sea. Otachimisaki and Ashikita Beach merit a stop. As well as Minamata with its harrowing museum dedicated to the victims of the Minamata disease. Without noticing we arrive in Izumi, winter resting grounds for Siberian cranes and home to M20569. And the end point of our trip.

Day 10: Sayonara!
Then it is time for final goodbyes... after breakfast you don’t have to climb in the saddle any longer. Now you are freed from the chores of the road. Check-out before 10 am.

Supplemental Tour Information:
- Duration: 8 days/9 nights
- Level 2: There is one climb of around 800 m.
- Start: Kyoto Apa Hotel, a 5 min walk from JR Kyoto Station on JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line. From Osaka’s Kansai International Airport, take JR train “Haruka” (Ltd Exo) to JR Kyoto station (75 minutes). From Tokyo’s Narita Airport and Nagoya’s Centrair Airport, take JR Tokaido.
- End: Hotel Toko in Izumi, Kagoshima, a 5 min walk from Izumi Station. You fly in/out via Kagoshima Airport or you arrive at/leave from Izumi Station by shinkansen.

Highlights
- Soak in outdoor onsen hot springs
- Enjoy exquisite Japanese cuisine
- Feed the deer in Nara Park
- Ride the magnificent Shimanami Kaido Cycle Road
- Visit the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima

Onwards...
Explore the sultry city of Kagoshima and do some souvenir hunting. Set out to UNESCO world heritage Yakushima, a subtropical island 4 ferry hours south of Kagoshima. Yakushima makes for some great hiking or biking. Transfer to Kagoshima Airport. Head straight to Izumi shinkansen station to continue your travels.

Member discount:
10% discount for InfoHub customer. Request a free gift certificate.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- All accommodations
- All meals
- All visits
- All transfers
- Cycling guide
- Support vehicle with driver.

Optional:
- Bike rental: 220 USD
- Single supplement: 320 USD.

About This Supplier
Location: Japan
Joined InfoHub: Oct 2010

Ohayo! Yuko knows all about Japan’s hidden treasures. Born in Osaka, raised in Hokkaido and Kyushu, she studied Japanese Buddhism and traditional arts in Kyoto. Thomas is originally from Belgium. He has extensive bicycle touring experience in Europe and Asia. Our bike tour company is based in Izumi, Kagoshima, in the...

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