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

offered by supplier M20569 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 14 people
Destination(s): Japan  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Sightseeing  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 2200 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2200 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.

5: Hiroshima - Nagasaki
In the morning a short train ride brings us to Miyajima, one of the top 3 beautiful sights in Japan. It is most famous for its giant torii gate, which at high tide seems to float on the water. While officially named Itsukushima, the island is more commonly referred to as Miyajima, Japanese for "shrine island". This is because the island is so closely related to its key shrine, Itsukushima Shrine. Like the torii gate, the shrine's main buildings are built over water.
After lunch another transfer to Nagasaki. Due to its proximity to China and Korea, Nagasaki always opened one eye to the world. After the Portuguese and Dutch established a trading post in Nagasaki, it became known as a cosmopolitan port brimming with exotic curiosities from the Western World. Chinatown, Dejima and Glover Garden are all worth a visit. The Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum show a darker page of Nagasaki's rich history.

6 - 75km or sightseeing: Nagasaki
Today’s loop around the Nagasaki peninsula is optional: either ride or take the day off to visit Nagasaki’s sights.

7 - 55km: Nagasaki - Obama Onsen
On the way from our hotel we spot the Megane 'Glasses' bridge. Thereafter we hit the pedals and immediately start the climb out of Nagasaki Bay. We have to cross Nagasaki peninsula. And we’re doing that in style on the old postal road. Next is an exhilarating downhill to Tachibana Bay. We ride up and down along the bay on quiet roads, with magnificent views of Mount Unzen volcano ahead. In the late 19th century, Unzen was a favourite summer resort for European and American residents of Nagasaki, Shanghai, HongKong and Manila. We’re approaching Obama when we see steam billowing from the hot springs. Obama Onsen was the last station before the climb up Unzen.

8 - 80km: Obama Onsen - Amuri Onsen
We leave Kyushu's mainland soil and cross the Amakusa-nada Sea to the island of Amakusa. Amakusa is famed for its hidden Christians. In the early 17th century the rulers began their crackdown on Christianity. Many Christian converts were thrown into the boiling Unzen Hell, forcing them to escape to Amakusa. Amakusa proved an excellent hiding place and their descendants still live here to this day. From the ferry in Oniike we head inland to cut across the island to Kawaura. The setting sun accompanies us on our last winds before we reach our hot bath for the night.

9 - 80km: Amuri Onsen - Izumi
On our last day it is all ups and downs, mainly along the coast. But first cutting across the Ushibuka peninsula on Rt 266, the main road on the island with an excellent sidewalk for riding. At the road station at the Ushibuka ferry terminal you can see the catch of the day while admiring the swinging Haiya Bridge designed by Renzo Piano.We catch a ferry enjoying the beautiful views as Amakusa shrinks and Nagashima grows bigger, arriving in Kuranomoto. People fish or farm here, the main crops are potato and sweet potato. To kill the long winter evenings the islanders have developed a unique art of making giant statues out of straw, cans or styrofoam. Try to spot as many as you can ! A glorious ribbon of coastal road and Kuranoseto Bridge brings us back to the mainland. Just before the bridge the road station offers an ideal seafood lunch stop. The delights continue until we hit Izumi plain for the last stretch home. Izumi features a samurai neighbourhood and is also the winter home of Siberian cranes.

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 10am.

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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