Japan

Cycle Japan

Biking
Take a mind-blowing cycling tour of historic, cultural, rural and modern Japan

Duration

11 days

Prices from

€3,580

⚡️ Only one seat left for this date.

2019

Sat, Sep 07

Tue, Sep 17

€3,580

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Overview

From world-class sushi to legendary geisha, enthralling Japan is the perfect destination to discover by bicycle. Our cycling adventure gives you a slowed down, up close look of this fascinating country and allows ample opportunity to meet locals and glimpse the unique culture of the Land of the R...

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This tour is operated by

Intrepid Travel

Itinerary

Day 1Kyoto
Konnichiwa! Welcome to Kyoto. Serving as Japan's capital and the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868, Kyoto is the spiritual centre of Zen Buddhism and one of the most historically important cities in Japan. Unlike many of its neighbours Kyoto escaped destruction during World War II and thousands of temples, shrines and other historically invaluable structures survive in the city today. This adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Afterwards, head out on an evening walk before choosing whether you want to join the group for an optional dinner or hit the streets solo. If you arrive early, Kyoto offers a myriad of options to explore. For a taste of Shogun life, head to the World Heritage-listed Nijo Castle, perhaps the best surviving example of castle palace architecture from Japan's feudal era. See how the Emperor lived at the Sento Imperial Palace within Kyoto Imperial Park, an attractive park in the centre of the city. Or for a quieter moment, you may wish to contemplate silently in one of the serene karesansui (Zen gardens) that dot the city. Ride distance – no included riding today
Day 2Kyoto
After breakfast and a safety talk by your leader, familiarise yourself with your bike and take a short test ride before cycling with the group west from our ryokan to the Katsura River, then north along a dedicated cycling path past traditional houses and community gardens to the ancient imperial resort of Arashiyama. Stop off for a coffee break in Arashiyama, well-known for its gorgeous bamboo forests. After a caffeine hit and a chance to soak up the peaceful atmosphere, ride on to Tenryuji Temple and Ryoanji Temple, with its famous white Zen rock garden. Pause here to contemplate the sound of one hand clapping and then move on to contemplate some lunch. Afterwards, cycle east across the north end of Kyoto and then onto the Path of Philosophy and the Higashiyama area before returning to our accommodation. The ride today will be gentle, with only slight elevation on the roads as we head into Arashiyama. We start with a 5 kilometre ride on a main road, then follow dedicated bicycle paths and secondary roads for the rest of the day. On arrival back into Kyoto, take an evening orientation tour of Kyoto's Gion district. Observe Geisha and Maiko (apprentice Geisha) from key spots in the city's old back streets and be tempted by some of the area's great local restaurants, perhaps doubling back to visit for dinner after the tour has ended. Kyoto’s streets are laid out in a convenient grid pattern, which is unusual for Japanese cities. In the 8th century, imperial city planners copied the grid layout of Chang’an (now Xian), the capital of the Tang Dynasty China. That’s not the only benefit we reap from the Tang Dynasty today – two well-known Tang engineers, Ma Jun and Zhang Heng, invented the mechanical gear system used by the bikes we ride around this easy-to- navigate city. Arigato Tang Dynasty! Ride distance: approx. 40kms/25 miles, undulating with approx. 230m/755ft of elevation gain.
Day 3Nara & Kyoto
The cycling route takes you through beautiful Japanese scenery on a dedicated riverside cycling path from the old capital of Kyoto to the even older capital of Nara. Here, you'll see the Giant Buddha housed in the largest wooden structure on the planet. This city is well known for its Todaiji Temple and its cute, free-roaming wild deer. Head south along the river for most of the day, stopping briefly at Nagarebashi Bridge, a 356-metre wooden bridge that is a popular film location for samurai dramas. Return by train to Kyoto. Ride distance: approx. 50kms/31 miles, mostly flat with approx. 240m/790ft of elevation gain..
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Trip title

Cycle Japan

Trip code

CJXC

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

From world-class sushi to legendary geisha, enthralling Japan is the perfect destination to discover by bicycle. Our cycling adventure gives you a slowed down, up close look of this fascinating country and allows ample opportunity to meet locals and glimpse the unique culture of the Land of the Risi...
Read more

Style

Original

Themes

Active Adventures,Cycling

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike option available),Support vehicle,Train

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are bot...
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Joining point

Heianbo Ryokan

Joining point description

Heianbo Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn with loads of atmosphere, a small Kyoto-style garden, Japanese-style tatami mat rooms with private facilities as well as a shared o-furo bath. It's conveniently located in a small backstreet a few minutes' walk from Kyoto Station, making it a great locati...
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Joining point instructions

On arrival in Kyoto, you need to make you own way to the Heianbo Ryokan - it is an eight-minute walk from the main train station. After you arrive in Kyoto Station, follow signs to the Shinkansen Central Exit. After you exit the Shinkansen (bullet train) area, you need to head to the north side of t...
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Finish point

Hotel Sunroute Asakusa

Finish point description

Asakusa Sunroute Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Tokyo. The hotel is within a 1-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Tawaramachi Station and Ueno Park is within 30 minutes walk. Rooms are equipped with an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning/heating, a refrigerator and a flat-screen TV. The hote...
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Finish point instructions

The best way to reach Narita or Haneda airports from Tokyo is via the train. The train to Narita will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes, whereas the train to Haneda will take around 1 hour. Please ask your tour leader or the hotel reception for more information and directions.

Alternate Finish point

For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.

Alternate Finish point description

Located an 8 minute walk from Ueno Train Station, Hotel Mystays Ueno East offers rooms with satellite TV, private ensuite, air-conditioning and free WiFi. From the hotel you can easily reach Ueno Park and Tokyo National Museum. Inaricho Subway Station is just 3 minutes on foot, and offers direct acc...
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Important information

Based on traveller feedback the itinerary for the Cycle Japan trip has changed for 2019, reducing from 14 days down to 11 days and no longer starts in/visits Osaka. 1. A single supplement is only available on selected nights of this tour, due to limited availability at local hotels and ryokans. A s...
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Group leader

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of t...
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Safety

We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the gro...
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Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specif...
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Why we love it

Cycling allows you to get closer to the real Japan – from bicycles to Pokemon, serene temples to the organised chaos of the big cities, this classic adventure has it all.

Is this trip right for you

This trip covers anywhere between 10 to 80km / 6-50 miles of cycling each day, so a reasonable level of fitness is required, although you’ll have plenty of rest breaks. Outside of the main cities a support vehicle will also be with you at all times, so if you get tired you can jump in. To complete ...
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Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or l...
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Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility i...
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Money matters

The official currency of Japan is Yen (JPY). Japan is predominantly a cash society and locals carry large amounts of cash for daily business. International credit cards can usually only be used at major department stores or large restaurants but cash from non-Japanese bank accounts can be withdra...
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What to take

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the tr...
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Climate and seasonal

Please be aware that when you are travelling during major national holidays in Japan (late Apr to early May) and peak season in Japan (Apr-May/Sep–Oct), fascinating and exciting times to travel in Japan, your group will almost definitely experience massive crowds at tourist attractions and public tr...
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A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use...
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Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representa...
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Responsible travel

As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing ...
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The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and...
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Accommodation notes

Please note that during busy times the group may be split between two different accommodations for the 1 night at Wakura Onsen. When this is the case to ensure your comfort and safety the leader will stay with one group and the driver will stay with the other. All accommodation at traditional Japan...
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Transport notes

While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling lo...
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Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When trav...
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Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and pr...
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Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important tha...
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Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights),ryoken (6 nights)
Cycle Japan