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Japan

Discovering a land of ancient and modern

There are few cultures, countries and people as unique and magical as Japan's. Here, stark contrasts come together and create a majestic, disciplined and beautiful destination that's truly best seen from a bicycle. Your mind's eye most likely goes to the bustling electricity of Tokyo or the solemn quiet of the rice paddies, but that's barely scratching the surface. We'll show you a completely different side of Japan, steeped in traditional arts, nature and history. We'll go deep into the hidden world of Buddhist pilgrims, ancient temples, and the Nara region—the cradle of Japanese civilization. It's here where the first Japanese Emperors established their capitals and where many of the country's oldest shrines, temples, tombs, stone monuments and archaeological excavations can be found. In between we'll enjoy the country's numerous natural hot springs for a truly traditional Japanese unwinding, and of course visit local markets for a deep dive into the undiscovered riches of Japanese cuisine. Sushi is only the beginning, as we'll taste matcha tea, sake and fish prepared so fresh, you'll never want it any other way. Discover this world of contrast where modern sophistication meets ancient cultures meets natural beauty.
From:
$7999 Per Person
Duration:
7 Days & 6 Nights
Rider Type: ?
3 - Active Non-riders Welcome
Hotel Style: ?
Explorer
Bike Included:
Trek Domane SL 5
From $7999 per person View All Details
Trip Wows
Bike through tea fields, visit temples and UNESCO World Heritage sites
Spend a night in a temple on the holiest mountain in Japan and experience a ritual morning meditation with Buddhist monks
Discover Nara, one of the oldest regions in Japan
Experience a traditional Japanese accommodation in Ryokan and enjoy a bath in a traditional hot spring Onsen
Learn how to make a traditional sushi and taste a Japanese rice wine sake
Watch the Experience
Japan is like no other destination. Beautiful scenery with green hills and tea plantations, together with small villages where time stops and countless shrines and temples make for an unforgettable experience every day. Japanese food is incredible and every meal is like a piece of art made with fresh ingredients. Dining in Japanese style and living in traditional Japanese lodging is a very unique experience. You'll never forget the zen ambiance of traditional ryokans, the magical atmosphere of the temples and smiling Japanese people who have an exceptional appreciation for their culture, food and life itself. This journey will introduce you to a unique way of life and if you enjoy it as much as I did, you'll want to come back.
-Ilona Kohlerova, Trip Designer

Dates & Prices

The earlier you book, the greater the rewards

We reward our guests with lower pricing and more dates to choose from the earlier you book. Rest assured, once you book, your price is guaranteed.
Guaranteed
to run
?
Sold Out/
Waitlist
?
Private/
Reserved
?
Limited
Availability
?

Single Occupancy from: +$2300
?
Group
Discounts
?
Apr 16  – Apr  22
$7999 / Person, Double Occupancy Book this date
May 7  – May  13
$7999 / Person, Double Occupancy Book this date
May 15  – May  21
$7999 / Person, Double Occupancy Book this date
May 23  – May  29
$7999 / Person, Double Occupancy Book this date
Don't see your ideal travel date?
Call us at (866) 464-8735 for custom date availability
Looking for a one of a kind, once in a lifetime experience?
Look no further. All you need to do is pick any open trip date, get your group together and we will do the rest. Private trip pricing is as follows:
  • 10+ Guests Price as advertised*
  • 8-9 Guests +$500 per person to trip price*
  • 6-7 Guests +$1,000 per person to trip price*
  • 4-5 Guests +$1,500 per person to trip price*
  • 2-3 Guests +$2,500 per person to trip price*
*Pricing, availability and guest minimums are all subject to change at any time. Certain dates have a minimum number of guests required, please contact us for details. Private pricing is not available on Ride Camp, Race, Special Edition or Cross Country style trips.

Welcome to Japan! Your trip starts in Kyoto, where you'll meet your guides at 10:00 AM at Hotel Granvia. We'll board a one-hour shuttle to Uji, one of the oldest cities in the country, located on the banks of the Uji-gawa River and famous for matcha green tea production. Then we'll prepare for our first ride of the trip. Your guides will familiarize you with your Trek bike, including an informal fit session along with safety talks and expectations for the week. We'll enjoy a bite for lunch and finish with a matcha ice cream before we roll out. This first ride winds its way on beautiful roads through lush forest and rolling hills polka-dotted with tea terraces. We'll stop for a sip of a tea in Wazuka, a small town in the countryside famous for tea fields and many tea farms. Our destination is Nara, which will also be our home for next two nights. Don’t be surprised if you see deer roaming through the town, as they are practically domesticated and a common sight in Nara deer park. This evening we'll gather for a social hour and conclude with a Japanese traditional dinner at a local restaurant.

Today's Ride:

Uji to Nara
Approximately 25 miles with 2,400 feet of climbing

Hotel:

Noborioji Hotel 

Included Meals:

Lunch | Social Hour | Dinner

Good morning in Nara! This vibrant city was once the first permanent capital of Japan and to this day remains an important historical and cultural center for the country, with eight temples and a former palace of the empire. Today it's recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is truly one-of-a-kind. After a traditional Japanese breakfast of miso soup, rice, and grilled fish, we'll warm up our legs with the first climb of the day. We'll then descend on quiet, pleasant backroads through the countryside. We'll stop for a break at a small, local café for a cup of tea and Zenzai—a traditional Japanese sweet soup that consists of boiled azuki beans (red beans) and served with mochi (rice cake). On the way back we'll spot a few temples nestled throughout the rolling farmland. We'll return to our hotel with plenty of time to explore the historical center of Nara and taste sake at a local market before we head to our sushi making class where we'll roll traditional sushi then enjoy the delicious results!

Today's Ride:

Nara Loop
Approximately 42 miles with 4,200 feet of climbing

Hotel:

Noborioji Hotel 

Included Meals:

Breakfast | Lunch | Social Hour | Dinner

This morning we say goodbye to the town of Nara and its green tea backdrop to continue south on small roads surrounded by local farms, rice fields and tumulus. We will first make our way to Sakurai and Asuka, where we'll visit the oldest official temple in Japan with the oldest statue of Buddha as its signature symbol. We'll have a light lunch and treat ourselves to a favorite ice cream shop. Our ride then continues, and the hills start to increase until we arrive at the foot of Mt. Yoshino–our home for the next two nights. Mt. Yoshino is truly majestic, set high on a ridge with a collection of temples as its crown. We'll stay in a ryokan well-known for its beautiful 300-year old traditional Japanese garden, where you can relax or walk on trails against the backdrop of Kinpusenji Temple, the main temple of Mt. Yoshino. Or just put on your yukata and walk into one of the large indoor/outdoor public baths (Onsen) to soak your legs and relax. Tonight we'll dine together and enjoy a traditional multi-course meal featuring local fresh ingredients such as Yoshino arrowroots from the mountains and Japanese trout from the Yoshino river.

Today's Ride:

Nara to Yoshino
Approximately 47 miles with 6,200 feet of climbing

Hotel:

Chikurinin

Included Meals:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Good morning! Enjoy a Japanese breakfast in your cotton yukata against a mountain backdrop. Today we discover more of this gorgeous landscape, starting with a descent from Yoshino toward Mitarai Valley. We'll stop at a market on the way for a friendly visit with the locals and a sample of delicacies, including fried shiitake (Japanese mushroom) or freshly made mochi. Then we'll explore the village of Dorogawa, famous for its hot natural springs and well-preserved ancient architecture, and stroll around town where you can snap a picture on a typical red-painted bridge. We'll gather at a hidden restaurant of the region to learn all about soba (buckwheat) and practice our chopsticks skills. Then, we head back to Yoshino on winding forest roads for a little rest and relaxation. Dip your feet in the Onsen or stroll through the vibrant town. If you make it out, don’t miss a chance to visit the main temple flanked by an endless grove of cherry trees. We'll regroup for our dinner together at our ryokan.

Today's Ride:

Yoshino to Dorogawa
Approximately 50 miles with 7,500 feet of climbing

Hotel:

Chikurinin

Included Meals:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

After another leisurely, delicious Japanese breakfast, it's time to hop on the bike and head down the mountain. The first section of our ride is flat, along the Yoshino river leading into the town of Hashimoto. Here is a good opportunity to grab a snack and coffee at one of their ubiquitous convenience stores or at local café at Red Iron Bridge. After fueling up, we'll start the climb to Koyasan on a picturesque road through the forest. You can re-charge on a small downhill before climbing to the top of the sacred mountain where the views will be well worth the effort. Mt. Koya is the holiest mountain in Japan and it's where you can spend the night in a ‘shukubo’, or temple pilgrim lodging. This is our chance to discover Buddhist living at its most authentic. We'll be hosted by monks and served a traditional vegetarian dinner, or shōjin ryōri. The highlight of the evening is a walk through Okunoin, the largest cemetery in Japan, tucked away in a forest of ancient cedar trees and warmly lit by thousands of stone lanterns for a truly spiritual atmosphere.

Today's Ride:

Yoshino to Koyasan
Approximately 37 miles with 4,300 feet of climbing

Hotel:

Fudoin

Included Meals:

Breakfast | Dinner

Rise early today for a stroll through this picture-perfect town just as it's waking, or join choral chanting monks for their morning ceremony. Then, return to a sit down breakfast served in your room. After your meal, take the time to visit the bright orange 150-foot tall Konpon Daito Pagoda and surrounding memorial grounds, or relax in the temple’s Onsen before it's time hop back on our bikes. The road to descend from the mountain is butter-smooth and much wider than you'd expect. At the bottom, we'll board a scenic shuttle back to Kyoto, where our luxury, western-style hotel nestled at the edge of a bamboo forest awaits. Tonight at social hour, we'll toast to a week of new experiences, discovering a new culture and meeting new friends. Dinner will be an elegant celebration with a river view.

Today's Ride:

Downhill from Koyasan back to the valley
Approximately 25 miles with 1,800 feet of climbing

Hotel:

Suiran

Included Meals:

Breakfast | Lunch | Social Hour | Dinner

Enjoy a slow breakfast and final relaxing morning. We'll say our goodbyes over a final cup of Japanese tea before you depart on your next adventure.

Today's Activity:

Departure
Enjoy a relaxing morning

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Hotels

hotel image

Noborioji Hotel

Nara, Japan

Trek Travel hotels are part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World Located at the gateway to Nara park, Noborioji is an exclusive member of the world-famous Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, with only twelve rooms spread out on two floors and one gourmet on-site restaurant. It's a truly unique experience, with a western feel and Japanese attention to detail. The comfortable, modern rooms have large beds and the restaurant offers both Japanese and western-style meals.
hotel image

Chikurinin

Yoshino, Japan

Traditional beauty is mixed with Japanese spirit in this magical hotel and garden. The old and new come together to welcome you onto its specially-made Yoshino cedar wood floor. The guest rooms of the main building feature traditional beauty while the new annex has modern facilities. The cultivated garden, together with a spacious Onsen, is a perfect place to relax after your day on the bike.
hotel image

Fudoin

Koyasan, Japan

The Shukubo Fudoin is a Buddhist temple at the Koya Mountain and is located conveniently near the main street. Natural beauty offers a unique escape and total serenity, while morning meditation, Buddhist vegetarian cuisine and sutra reading promise to calm your nerves and bring you back to your center.
hotel image

Suiran

Kyoto, Japan

"Harmony" is the watchword of this secluded hotel, where rushing water, birds and an iconic bamboo grove provide the simple pleasure of total escape. Feel free to walk among the gardens, along a two-hundred year-old stone plinth or down by the adjacent Katsura River to Togetsukyo Bridge. Everything will be in balance. Everything will be perfect.

What's Included

For us, the details matter most

Every moment of a Trek Travel bike trip has more than you could have ever dreamed. More romance. More scenery. More choice. It's the little additions to every Trek Travel cycling vacation that make it truly special. And that's how we help you create more memories.

bike

Trek Domane SL 5

Trek’s latest innovation has led to the best bike on the road—a light weight, stable and technologically advanced machine to make even the hardest roads seem easy. Ride confidently, comfortably and longer in the most beautiful destinations around the world. Learn More

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • 7 nights of accommodation at handpicked hotels
  • Two experienced guides to provide local knowledge, support, and camaraderie
  • Daily route support with both guides and our support van
  • Daily breakfast, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Two social hour of drinks and hors d'oeuvres
  • Ride a Trek Domane SL 5
  • Up to three daily route options on riding days
  • Snacks and drinks for each day's ride
  • Trek Travel Bontrager cycling jersey to keep
  • Trek Travel water bottles to keep
  • Each bike is equipped with a Garmin Edge 1030 GPS computer, flat pack, front and rear Bontrager Flare R lights, a Bontrager saddle and pedals (Shimano clipless road pedals, Shimano clipless mountain pedals, caged or flat pedals)
  • All gratuities for drivers, local experts and hospitality staff
  • All luggage transfers and transportation during your trip
  • A personalized photobook of your trip
  • Entrance fees for all activities, private tours and events

GEAR

  • Trek Domane SL 5 carbon road bike
  • Trek Travel Bontrager cycling jersey to keep
  • Trek Travel water bottles to keep
  • Shimano clipless road pedals, Shimano clipless mountain pedals, caged or flat pedals
  • Bontrager helmet and saddle
  • Bontrager front and rear Flare R lights and a flat pack
  • Garmin Edge 1030 GPS computer
  • Coupon valued up to $500 off a new Trek Bicycle. Your coupon will be delivered via email prior to your trip.
  • You may bring your own pedals and saddle on the trip. Your guides will install your gear on the first day during your bike fit.

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Gratuities for your Trek Travel guides are not included in your trip price. We recommend tipping 7.5-10% of your trip price for the guide team. Local currency is preferred and unless you want to tip separately, guides will divide tips amongst themselves. Please tip your guides at your discretion, based on their level of professionalism, guest care and service.
  • Airfare and transportation to and from the trip pick-up/drop-off locations
  • Lodging before and after the trip
  • Personal items purchased during the trip
  • Optional activities not scheduled by Trek Travel
  • On select trips some meals are not included. On these trips, Trek Travel invites you to explore the local cuisine at your leisure.

More Information

Rider Level: 3 - Active?

AVERAGE DAILY MILEAGE:
38 miles
TOTAL MILES:
226 miles
AVERAGE DAILY ELEVATION:
4,400 feet
TOTAL ELEVATION:
26,400 feet
TERRAIN: HILLY
The terrain is varied with rolling hills, mountainous areas and occasional steep climbs. Some days the hills are short and rolling while others include sustained climbing. Japan is best suited for our Type 3 Riders. Our Trek Travel guides can also easily accommodate Type 2 Riders, who seek less mileage or fewer uphills, with a boost in the van. Type 4+ Riders will enjoy the extra mileage the avid route options offer.
NON-RIDING ACTIVITIES:
On most Trek Travel trips, we offer non-riding options for riders who want to take the afternoon off, or travel companions who want to spend little or no time in the saddle. Some of these options may need to be scheduled before your trip–please contact one of our Trip Consultants for more information. Expenses and/or related transportation to these activities may not be included in the trip price. Some non-riding options on this trip are:
  • Temple visits
  • Sake tasting
  • Sushi cooking class
  • Relax in an Onsen
  • Walk in a Japanese garden
  • Spend the night at a temple and be a part of the monks' rituals

See itinerary for specific daily ride distances and elevation options. On all of our vacations, Trek Travel strives to find quiet, paved secondary roads or bike paths to experience a region; busy roads are avoided as much as possible. Our itineraries are an approximation of our trips. Trek Travel strives to offer every guest a vacation of a lifetime on every trip. At times routes, hotels, activities, etc. listed here may change at the discretion of the trip designer or guides to improve the trip experience.

Averages and totals are calculated from our "Today’s Ride" options.

Travel Details

How to Get There

FLY INTO:
Kansai International Airport (KIX)
MEETING TIME:
10:00 AM
MEETING LOCATION:
Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan

Say Farewell

FLY OUT OF:
Kansai International Airport (KIX)
DEPARTING TIME:
10:00 AM
DEPARTING LOCATION:
Suiran Hotel, Kyoto, Japan

Arriving

We suggest that you arrive at least one day prior to the trip start, which will enable you to adjust to the time zone and minimize the risk of missing the trip start due to flight-related delays.

We recommend you fly into Kansai International Airport. There are various ways to get from Kansai Airport Station to Kyoto Station, but the easiest and fastest option is taking "terminal-to-terminal" Haruka Express Train, operated by JR West and takes approximately 80 minutes. There are about 30 round trips between Kansai Airport and Kyoto. You can use the JR West Timetable and Fare Finder on www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/timetable/ to find a train time that suits your schedule. Please contact a Trip Consultant if you need assistance with flights or trains.

Your Trek Travel guides will meet you at 10:00 AM at Hotel Granvia. We'll board a one hour shuttle to Uji, one of the oldest cities in Japan, located on the banks of the Uji-gawa River and famous for matcha green tea production. Here, we'll prepare for our first ride of the trip. Your guides will familiarize you with your Trek bike, including an informal fit session along with safety talks and expectations for the week. If you will be late for the pick-up or are going to miss it altogether, please inform your guides. You will receive an email a week before the trip start with their names and contact details. If you cannot reach them, please call our first hotel, Noborioji Hotel (+81 0120 995 546) and leave a message with your expected arrival

View our pre hotel recommendations

Leaving

You will say farewell to your guides at 10:00 AM at the Suiran hotel in Kyoto. The hotel is very close to the town center and walkable to all the famous sights in the area. If you fly out of the Kansai Internatiol Airport, please do not schedule departing trains or flights prior to 5:00 PM.

View our post hotel recommendations

Planning For Your Trip

Packing and Weather

Spring and autumn have mild temperatures and little rainfall, hence it is the best time for bike trips in Japan. However, it can be a sunny and bright one day and occasionally cold and wet the next, so please make sure to bring layers and rain gear to ensure a comfortable riding experience. Temperatures can vary between 60s in the morning and 80s in the afternoon. Packing List

Before and After Your Trip

before

Before & After: Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It remains the cultural center of Japan and is also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining which consists of multiple courses of precise dishes, and geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district. You'll also see the iconic golden temple of Kinkakuji, encircled by a reflecting pool and beautifully manicured gardens. Despite its well-preserved heritage, Kyoto effortlessly embraces the future, with modern buildings, a high concentration of universities and a thriving technology industry. It’s Japan's cultural treasure house. We recommend the following accommodations for your pre and post-trip hotel.

Why Trek Travel

Our Bikes

Our unrivaled selection of Trek Bikes sets the bar for quality and comfort. From the all-new, ultra smooth Trek Domane SL 7, to the new Trek Electric-Assist XM700+ and the comfortable Trek 7.6 FX Hybrid, to our numerous upgrade options, you deserve the best ride on your vacation.

Our Guides

Our guides are trained to make your trip magical. They aren't just experts in riding; they're trained in delivering uncompromising service in ways you won't believe. We know that it's the unexpected surprises that make a trip magical. That's why our guides pride themselves on anticipating your needs before you ask.

Your Day. You Decide.

Our vacations are built to deliver the ultimate in flexibility, from extreme relaxers to hard-core roadies. You pick your mileage, itinerary and experiences. We take care of the rest.

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