Japanese Temple, Mountain Forest and Food Tour

  • Photo Friendly
  • 6 Days Riding Plus Add On Tours
  • 8-14 People

Bike Tour Adventures in Japan

Our cycling tours in Japan offer dynamic road, gravel, fat tyre and even snow riding bike tours. Bike from one town to another in fully escorted small groups led by English speaking guides. Our tours have a riding component and an optional non-riding touring component. Our optional short tours are offered in conjunction with your biking tour.
 
Our flagship 6 day riding tour from Nikko to Nasau is our favourite but we can also arrange a 10 day onsen hopping bike tour or a longer 12 day nature and rural Japan tour in the north of Japan’s main island Honshu. Want to combine riding with hiking? There is also 7 day bike and hike tour following the famous Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail. All our tours offer a different aspect of Japan for you to discover. Each tour is carefully planned using different and interesting themes (temples, culture, food, nature, pilgrimages, onsens and so on). You will be biking on roads and trails less traveled and through wonderful scenery whilst experiencing traditional Japanese culture and food along the way. All tours are fully supported with luggage transfers, mechanical support and backup vans. Ask us for more details.
 
The cycling tours will be led by Japan based Tetsuya and our optional non riding tours will be led by Adelaide based Bill. Bill has lived and worked in Japan for a number of years and can navigate you around the intricacies of Japanese travel, food and culture. Three themed tours are offered: history and culture to Kyoto and Nara; hiking the Nakasendo or Kumado Kodo trails; or a Tokyo and Mt Fuji Tour (or a tour combing all three themes). These tours are between 4 and 7 days (depending on which tour) and minimum numbers apply. Contact us for more information.

Facts

Where: Nikko to Nasu

When: May 2020 and Oct 2020

Duration: 6 days and 5 nights

Best for: Gravel bikes but the route can be modified for road bikes and e bikes

Riding level: Moderate. Cycling 40-75 km/day.

Start: Tokyo, then travel to Nikko by train

In this foodie’s bike tour, you will experience some of the wide variety of great food that Japan has to offer. You will visit historic towns and stay at long-established hotels and ryokans (traditional inns), most of which have been welcoming guests for generations.

Tokyo is an astounding city. It is big, clean, safe, energetic, electric, quirky and fascinating. Although much of Tokyo was destroyed towards the end of the second world war, there is still many examples of a rich history dating back many centuries that we can explore.

Tokyo has many world class museums that cover just about every topic you can think of (even a cup noodle museum) in a creative, quirky or traditional format. Tokyo and Japan has a world class public transport system and who doesn’t want to ride on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train)?

Trip Itinerary

Tokyo city at night, Japan
Day 1
Tokyo to Nikko
Meet at a Tokyo hotel at 10 am (hotel to be confirmed) for travel to Nikko (about 2-3 hrs).

After checking into your room and coordinating the bikes and equipment, the afternoon is yours to wonder around the temples and shrines of Nikko or come with us on a walk around this beautiful area. The World Heritage shrines and temples in Nikko are possibly the most stunning in Japan and the mountain forest setting make a trip to Nikko very memorable.

The Toshogu shrine is the spiritual resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1867). The hotel is located in Nikko National Park adjacent to these World Heritage sites.

In the evening we will meet for dinner and discuss the riding days ahead.
Day 1
Kegon Waterfall in Nikko, Japan
Day 2
Nikko to Bato (Cycle 75km)
Our first ride will be along an ancient Samurai road called the Nikko Road Cedar Path. This is the pilgrimage route to the temples and shrines of Nikko which was used by the Samurai. The shrines and icons that you will see along the way will recreate an atmosphere of the ancient religious pilgrimages to Nikko. This path is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest tree-lined road.

After the Cedar Path, you will be passing through rural villages at the base of the mountains which run parallel to the Kinu River. Your guide will take you via the small farming paths and tranquil forest roads that only a local would know. Enjoy a slow, relaxing ride through this landscape of traditional Japanese rural communities before reaching Bato.

Bato is a very old town and is where gold was first mined in Japan. We will stay at a riverside onsen ryokan.
Day 2
Day 3
Bato to Nasu (Cycle 70km)
After leaving Bato, we will traverse some hilly areas via small paths that run through terraced rice paddies. We will then ride through Ungan-ji, one of the most tranquil villages in Japan. Ungan-ji is a zen sect temple famous for its vermillion-lacquered bridge and majestic gate at the end of a long flight of stone steps.

From Ungan-ji we will continue to pass through quaint mountain villages. Today’s lunch is at a farmer’s table restaurant featuring fresh homegrown vegetables. After lunch the route takes us via a beautiful bamboo forest and natural spring on to the Nasu highlands. The Nasu Highlands are a vast resort area incorporating Mount Nasu national park. Our final destination of the day will be the award winning Nasu Kohgen craft beer brewery. You can quench your thirst with 5 different types of craft beer including their famous “Vintage Beer”.

Accommodation will be in a long-established ryokan in Nasu Onsen (boasting a history of over 1,300 years). The finest sulphurous onsen water will soothe all tired cycling muscles. The dinner features Nasu wagyu beef sukiyaki which is only available in Nasu.
Day 3
Day 4
Around Nasu (Cycle 40km)
Today is a day for exploring Nasu, Japan’s northern gourmet and biking resort! Nasu has established itself as a royal resort since aristocrats built summerhouses and ranches here about 100 years ago. Even the Emperor has a summerhouse here (called “Goyotei”). Feeding the rich and famous has resulted in Nasu having some of the finest food producers in Japan.

The day starts at our ryokan and travels to Nasu Yuzen Shrine and Sessho-seki (where the legend of the nine-tailed fox originates) before climbing Mt Nasu. This is a mountain of unique old-growth broad-leaved forest. This forest is glorious in any season, enjoy the fresh green of spring, the canopy canopy of cool summer green, and through the red and golden leaves of autumn. Enjoy the climb as the landscape changes with altitude. Your climb will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic view and an exhilarating downhill ride.

Today’s lunch is country-style sticky rice and/or udon with miso based soup served at a traditional small restaurant. Gourmet biking continues after lunch with a stop at a cosy bakery in the forest and on to a dairy farm for super decadent ice-cream! Your dinner for the day is grilled seafood and fresh-water fish served the traditional style of “Robata-yaki”.

Enjoy a marriage of fresh seafood with superb local sake!
Day 4
Day 5
Nasu to Shirakawa (Cycle 60km)
From our hotel in Nasu we will ride down through the foothills to the rice growing plains. After cycling through quiet farming villages and stopping off at cultural sites along the way, we will have a lunch of fresh vegetables at a local farmer’s house.

An afternoon bike ride along pleasant riverside roads is followed by the highlight of the day, a visit to a traditional Japanese garden where we participate in a Matcha tea ceremony. The final destination of the day is Shirakawa, an ancient castle town which is still alive with the Samurai spirit. We will explore Shirakawa-Komine Castle and enjoy the view over the town.

We will stay at a modern hotel and celebrate our last dinner with an excellent grilled beef “yakiniku” meal featuring famous Yonezawa beef.
Day 5
Tokyo, Japan
Day 6
Tour completion and travel back to Tokyo

After having breakfast, walk to the Shin-Shirakawa shinkansen station and travel on to Tokyo or your next destination.
Day 6

Upcoming International Tours

The Great South African Sardine Run

July 10th – 18th 2020

Japanese Temple, Mountain Forest & Food Tour

October 27th – November 2nd 2020

Upcoming Tours

january, 2021

All Australian tours are “on demand” tours but look for our specials on our blog page.

Have any questions?

Feel free to reach out and we're happy to answer any questions you may have.

  • Support van to carry gear and provide mechanical support
  • 5 nights accommodation on a twin share basis
  • 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners (lunch is not included except on Day 3)
  • Fresh vegetable lunch at farmer’s house on Day 3
  • Tour guide
  • Bike mounted GPS navigation system with pre-installed tour routes
  • Snacks, fruit and water during ride
  • Insurance for the ride
  • Souvenir Camelbak water bottle

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