JAPAN 2019 ITINERARY


Day 1

OSAKA TO ONOMICHI

25 MI / 900 FT

Upon your arrival into Osaka International Airport we will provide 1- scheduled transfer from Osaka to our arrival city, Onomichi. It is an easy 2-hour journey either by train or bus. Depending on your arrival time, we will either go for a short guided ride to loosen up the legs or we can take the famous Onomichi Temple Walk, up and down the many stairs behind the town, visiting 25 temples along the way.

Overnight: Onomichi U2 Cycle Hotel


Day 2

SHIMANAMI KAIDO

60 MI / 3200 FT

Today we ride the Shimanami Kaido. Known as the most scenic route in Japan, the 76-kilometer trek between Onomichi and Imabari is dotted with orange orchards, classic ryokans, and, of course, stunning views of the 7 islands and the Seto Sea. It’s also a great way to see the small-town Japan that tourists often miss. We will enjoy a local lunch during our supported ride today. We can take a scenic ferry ride back to Onomichi or for those intrepid souls, you will have the option to cycle back via a slightly different route over and through the islands, making for a long 100+ mile ride.

Overnight: Onomichi U2 Cycle Hotel


Day 3

ONOMICHI TO HIROSHIMA

53 MI / 3139 FT

We begin our ride from the U2 Hotel and leave behind the historic port, heading towards Hiroshima. Along the way we will pass through Higashihiroshima which is famous for making some of the finest sake in Japan. Our route takes us down ‘sake storehouse road’. The main street where the breweries are concentrated, characterized by the red chimneys and the white walls of the breweries-truly a picture postcard avenue.

We finish our journey in Hiroshima this afternoon, designated as a World Heritage Site in 1996, we will visit the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to gain a deeper understanding of the suffering caused by war and nuclear weapons and the true value of peace.

Overnight: Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel, Hiroshima


Day 4

HIROSHIMA TO KYUSHU ISLAND

79 MI / 7,220 FT

Board the high-speed Shinkansen train to Kurume, an inland city on Kyushu Island-just one-hour & thirty minutes

away. Upon arrival, we will begin cycling on tiny lanes into the rolling countryside on our way to Hita. Within 15 miles, we find ourselves deep into the heart of Yame’s green tea fields, a sea of gentle hills covered in tea trees as far as the eye can see. The remainder of our ride sees us passing through the Hoshino River valley, with plenty of opportunities to stop along the way to try the many varieties of green and white teas. This afternoon we will arrange for a visit to the famous Kyushu Hita Brewery-makers of Sapporo Black Label and Yebisu beers. We can take a brewery tour followed by a sampling of the libations.

Overnight: Hatago Kayausagi, Hita


Day 5

HITA TO ASO

53 MI / 6,833 FT

This morning heading south through the Ōita prefecture, known to many as the “Land of Abundance”. We will be traversing through the Kirishima Mountain Range, which is a volcanic belt of major peaks that runs vertically through the prefecture. Ōita has the largest number of hot springs in the entire country! Known for its quiet roads and scenic beauty, 60% of the Ōita prefecture is covered in dense forests.

Overnight: Sozankyo Ryokan, Kumamoto Prefecture


Day 6

MT ASO

42.9MI / 4,389FT

The Queens Stage of the trip, today we spend the entire day circling the Mt Aso volcano inside the Aso Kuju National Park. We climb up its grass covered slopes in the morning and pedal around the crater before descending back down into the verdant valley floor. With it’s almost constant flow of smoke that billows from its caldera, you will have the chance to pear into its nearly 20-mile wide opening. Thanks to the volcano’s activity, it’s arguably one of the most visually striking places in Japan. Its grey, jagged, crevasse-filled, rocky landscape is covered in a smattering of small black and grey rocks, looking like an artificially implanted moon landscape, or at the very least a high-end film backdrop set in some far-reaching corner of the universe.

Overnight: Sozankyo Ryokan, Kumamoto Prefecture


Day 7

MT ASO – YUFUIN (OITA)

37.3 MI / 4,020FT

Our last days journey has us cycling along Route 11, the scenic Yamanami Highway spanning two prefectures, Oita and Kumamoto. The road is considered one of the most scenic byways in Japan. We traverse through the National Park and the Kuju mountain range before finishing in Oita. The amazing route takes us from the Tadewara Marshlands, through the Chojabaru and Kuju Mountain Ranges with stunning views throughout the entire ride today. The grasslands sprawling beneath the towering mountains, the steaming surface of Mt Lo and Mt Mimata looming in the distance. We spend our last evening at a small family owned Ryokan, called Shimizu, their onsen bath is located inside an inviting cave.

Overnight: Shimizu-Ryokan, Yufuin


DAY 8

DEPARTURE

This morning, enjoy a short walk through the village of Yufuin before we embark on our last leg of our journey. We take a local train from Yufuin to Fukuoka before transferring onto a special train called the Yufuin no Mori, a classic European Classical Express train. If you're a lover of fine train journeys, this one will not disappoint. We will transfer at the Hakata Station directly to Osaka via the high-speed Shinkansen train.