Japan, International

Japan – Nagano Highlands to the Sea Bike Tour

DURATION

10 Days

PRICE

$7,740

LEVEL

BADV_AbilityLevel_IconsIntermediate

DAILY DISTANCE

40-70 miles (or less)

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Cycling (bikes included), Wineries. Teahouses. Hot baths/springs. Gondola ride.

INCLUDED MEALS

All breakfasts. One lunch and one dinner are on your own.

Discover and explore what we ultimately strive for in a cycling vacation–which is to simply “Pedal Happy”.

Come explore the beauty and culture of Japan on a bicycle without getting “Lost in Translation.” Both pre-tour and post-tour lodging is included!

While the language and cultural barriers may feel extreme at times, Japan is generally regarded as a clean, safe place to travel with the people described as hard-working, friendly, and polite. The list of things that Japan is justifiably famous for is a long one: Hot springs, historical shrines, colorful monks, beautiful national parks, mountain vistas, castles, wildlife, teahouses, world-class cuisine, powder skiing, ninjas, geishas, emperors, samurais, classical artwork, terraced farming, modern art and film (anime and manga), gardens and landscaping (from bonsai to cherry blossoms), architectural traditions, and of course, technology!

Our tour starts about 150 miles northwest of Tokyo with four days of cycling in the highlands of Nagano prefecture, host of the 1998 Winter Olympics and home to the highest mountain ranges in the country. Cycle through dramatic natural beauty in Joshin’etsu Kogen and Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Parks, relaxing in hot springs and sampling local culture at tea houses in ancient villages along the way. On the sixth day of the tour, we transfer to the historic city of Kanazawa – a UNESCO “City of Crafts and Folk Art” – on the west coast for a taste of life by the sea. Similar to Kyoto, but less crowded, culture enthusiasts flock to this region renowned for its geisha and samurai districts, stroll gardens, traditional architecture, contemporary art, and seafood cuisine. Spend two days cycling the coastline running from the beaches along the Sea of Japan to the rugged Noto Peninsula.

PEDAL HAPPY: If you are an Intermediate level rider we recommend doing this tour on an E-bike. Advanced riders will prefer riding a standard road bike.

Day 01

Arrive in Tokyo and check-in at our pre-tour hotel (lodging is included).

Meals

– On your own

Lodging

Marunouchi Hotel or Nohga Hotel Ueno Tokyo

Once you arrive at Tokyo Narita airport you will take the train to Tokyo and check in under your name at our pre-tour hotel. This pre-tour lodging is included in your tour price, but any meals are on your own. Enjoy a good night’s rest and our guide will meet you here early in the morning!

Day 02

Take a bullet train to Iiyama. Ride to a historical shrine and enjoy a traditional hot springs hotel.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Ryokan Sakaya

Distance

27 miles

Elevation

+3,750 ft / -2,910 ft

Meet your Bicycle Adventures guide in the lobby of our pre-tour hotel to board a morning bullet train to Iiyama. Upon arrival in Iiyama, Nagano, we will set up our bikes and start riding from Iiyama station (around 10am). First, we’ll head to the historical monk shrine “Kosuge jinja” to bless the tour. After visiting the shrine, we’ll have a picnic lunch at a park on the way. The ride is followed by a welcome dinner at a local restaurant in Nozawaonsen – a charming hot spring village. Enjoy the next two nights in Nozawaonsen at Ryokan Sakaya, a hot spring inn that has been in business for 18 generations!

Day 03

Enjoy a gondola ride (with your bike) into the Uenotaira Highlands and cycle “Joshin’etsu Kogen” National Park.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Ryokan Sakaya

Distance

53 miles

Elevation

+5,062 ft / -7,162 ft

After breakfast, pedal from the hotel to Nagasaka gondola station. Take a gondola ride with your bike up to the cool subalpine Uenotaira Highlands (above 5400ft). Cycle through forests of Japanese beech trees while enjoying birdsongs and the fresh mountain air. Enjoy the beautiful nature of “Joshin’etsu Kogen National Park as well as great views from Shibu-Toge mountain pass (elev.7125’). Head downhill to town and finish at a local brewery to toast a great ride before we shuttle back to Ryokan Sakaya for another night.

Day 04

Ride a quiet road over a pass and down to the Sea of Japan, enjoying a gelato and an historic castle on the way.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Lotte Arai Resort

Distance

66 miles

Elevation

+6,745 ft / -6,175 ft

Ride from our hotel in Nozawaonsen down to the riverside before beginning the climb to Sekida Pass. Enjoy wondrous views of the forests and surrounding landscape as you pedal up this low-traffic road. An ice cream treat from a local gelato shop awaits you in Joetsu – a coastal port city. Take another rest and enjoy a coffee at Takada Castle, from the Edo period – famous for its cherry blossoms. Pedal on to the coast of the Sea of Japan before heading back inland to finish near Myoko. Lodging will be at the Lotte Arai Resort with dinner at a Japanese tavern.

Day 05

Pedal through rural beauty in Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Lotte Arai Resort

Distance

49 miles

Elevation

+4,849 ft / -5,341 ft

Start riding from the hotel again today. We’re already in Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park and will pay a visit to the Myoko-Kogen visitor center to learn about the local nature and culture. Pedal though the beautiful rural scenery of the Shin’etsu region, featuring rice fields, an enormous lake and Mt. Iizuna, home to a legendary “tengu,” or spirit. On the way, visit a “Kominka” – an old Japanese-style house – and see the life of the area’s ancient people. Sample gelato made with local vegetables (yes – vegetables!). Enjoy lunch at a popular Italian restaurant and finish at St. Cousair, a local winery on a beautiful hilltop. From there, we shuttle back to Lotte Arai for another night and have dinner in the hotel.

Day 06

Transfer to Kanazawa and explore this UNESCO cultural city famous for samurais, geishas, Kenrouken Garden and seafood.

Meals

– Breakfast

Lodging

Hyatt Centric Kanazawa

Transfer Day. Today we travel to Kanazawa, recognized for it rich history as a “City of Crafts and Folk Art” by UNESCO. Often compared to Kyoto (though significantly smaller than the ancient capital), Kanazawa is renowned for its impeccable geisha and samurai districts, the iconic Kenrokuen stroll garden, and its wonderful cuisine – including some of Japan’s highest-quality seafood. Kanazawa’s most famous attraction is Kenrokuen Garden. The garden is beautiful year-round, and especially magical (though crowded) in spring for cherry blossom season and again in the fall for autumn leaves. The beautifully-preserved Higashi Chaya District is the city’s most famous traditional teahouse and geisha district. Join us for a meditation when we arrive, or explore Kanazawa’s wonders on your own with a well-earned rest at Hyatt Centric Kanazawa. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.

Day 07

Ride the beautiful sea coast to a winery on a hill and visit a Japanese temple on the way back.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Hotel Route Inn or Hotel Koshuen

Distance

41 miles (or more)

Elevation

+2190 ft / -2129 ft (or more)

After breakfast we will take a short shuttle to start riding on the coast of the Sea of Japan. A bike trail beside the shoreline to the north provides comfortable cycling access to many nice viewpoints and cultural port towns on the way. The peninsula’s shores are defined by dramatic rock formations and cliffs punctuated by sandy beaches. After lunch at a local restaurant, we continue riding to Heidee Winery on a hill overlooking the Sea of Japan and raise a glass before we shuttle to Wajima, stopping at the beautiful Japanese temple “Sojiji” on the way. Stay two nights at Hotel Route Inn or Hotel Koshuen in Wajima City.

Day 08

Cycle the coastline of the Noto Peninsula to photo-worthy “Mitsukejima” – a fortress-like rock island capped with lush greenery.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Hotel Route Inn or Hotel Koshuen

Distance

45 miles

Elevation

+2,569 ft / -2,572 ft

Our last ride starts in Wajima, rounding the north part of the Noto Peninsula, ending in Suzu. Ride along the water taking in spectacular views of rice terraces overlooking the Sea of Japan. Pedal to “Mitsukejima” rock island – a fortress-like limestone pillar off the coast topped with lush greenery. Celebrate a wonderful week with dinner back in Wajima and spend another night exploring Wajima City.

Day 09

Transfer back to Tokyo to explore the city and enjoy a final night of Japanese luxury and style.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyo

In the morning we transfer from Wajima to Komatsu (~2hrs) to catch a train or plane back to Tokyo, arriving around midday. The rest of the day is yours to explore Tokyo. Spend your last night of the tour in Japanese luxury and style at Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyo!

Day 10

Have breakfast at the hotel before heading to Tokyo Airport for your flight home.

Meals

– Breakfast

Breakfast is included at the hotel this morning before you head to the airport for your flight home. Airport transfer is not included.

Dates
Guaranteed
This means that the tour will definitely depart as scheduled and not be canceled.
Price
Availability
Dates
2024 Single Supplement
Price
$2,090
Dates
Sep 21, 2024
Guaranteed
This means that the tour will definitely depart as scheduled and not be canceled.
Price
$7,740
Availability
Open
Dates
Oct 19, 2024
Guaranteed
This means that the tour will definitely depart as scheduled and not be canceled.
Price
$7,740
Availability
Open

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