Noto/Kanazawa/Kyoto – moderate

This tour offers an excellent blend of cultural and historical attractions and natural beauty. We spend the first half of the tour in the Noto Peninsula that juts out into the Sea of Japan offering wild and picturesque scenery. En route, we visit Wajima, a world-famous center of traditional Japanese lacquerware production. We explore Kanazawa, the castle city that still maintains rows of historical houses and inherits traditional handicrafts. We spend the second half of the tour heading inland from Wakasa Bay, bicycling through quiet forests and farm villages until we reach Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital. Accommodation is varied from casual inns to elegant Japanese-style inns (Ryokans). Some inns only have shared baths and do not have private bath/showers in guest rooms. This itinerary is ideal for guests extending stay in Tokyo before the tour or Kyoto after.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 : Mitsukejima Island (50km)

Meet at the Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) or Tokyo City Air Terminal (TCAT) in the morning and fly to Noto (approx. 1-hour flight). Our warmup ride starts right out of the airport on a quiet road that gradually descends towards the Noto Peninsula's eastern coast. We then ride along the coast past fishing villages enjoying views of indented bays dotted with small islands. We retreat in a comfortable casual inn that offers a magnificent view of the battle ship-shaped Mitsukejima Island. (Dinner included)

Day 2 : Wajima (70km)

We continue along the Noto Peninsula's coastline. In the morning, we head towards Cape Rokugozaki, which is the tip of the peninsula. On the cliff sticking out over the sea, we can enjoy a 180-degree grand panoramic view from Sado Island to Tateyama Alps on clear days. Before arriving at our inn, we pass by Senmaida (one thousand terraced rice paddies). Many layers of tiny rice paddies on the steep slopes offer a unique scene. Today we stay at an elegant Japanese-style inn (ryokan) with a natural hot spring bath (onsen). You can soak yourself in hot spring water and relax – a great way to end a day of bicycling. (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 3 : Notokongo (70km)

We spend the morning exploring the idyllic town of Wajima and see its famous morning market. Wajima is renowned as a center of traditional lacquerware with a history of more than 1000 years. We stop by a local workshop and paint our lacquerware using a traditional painting technique called "makie." In the afternoon, we ride along the coast of Notokongo amid rugged scenery created by a cliff and fierce waves. We stay at a Japanese-style hot spring resort hotel. (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 4 : Kanazawa (18km)

Following a short ride on cycle paths plus a transfer by train, we arrive in Kanazawa in the late morning. Kanazawa has prospered for some 300 years since the feudal lord Maeda Toshiie built a castle here in the late 16th century. The city has not suffered from any war devastation or big natural disaster up to now. Therefore, you can see many winding paths and streets lined with latticed doors and earthen walls, reminiscent of old Japan. We visit the stunning Kenrokuen Garden, one of the three most famous gardens in Japan. The remainder of the afternoon is your free time – enjoy exploring a district of old geisha quarters, former samurai mansions, or the city’s vibrant food market. We stay at a western-style hotel conveniently located in the center city. (Breakfast included)

Day 5 : Obama (42km)

Today we transfer by train to Obama in the morning (takes about 3 hours). Situated in the inner inlet of Wakasa Bay, Obama flourished as a port connecting Japan to Korea and China in the old days. It used to have strong ties to the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara. We visit Myotsuji Temple to see a stunning garden, the main hall, and the three-story pagoda designated as national treasures. Then, we bike through idyllic rice paddies, along Wakasa Bay, and onto narrow alleys in Obama's old town quarters. (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 6 : Miyama (72km)

Leaving Obama, we ride along the quiet coastline of Wakasa Bay and eventually head inland. After pedaling along a gentle river, we ride over the hill and take a lunch break. Our afternoon ride starts with a relaxing 10km ride on a flat terrain, giving us enough time to digest our lunch and prepare for a 9km climb. You can ride at your own pace, enjoying the fresh air of forests and the sound of water streams. We eventually cycle down Miyama, which consists of clusters of picturesque hamlets with traditional kayabukiyane (thatched roof) farmhouses. Kayabukiyane houses nestled in peaceful mountains are the perfect example of what the Japanese countryside used to look like in the old days. We stay at a Japanese-style inn.  (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 7 : Kyoto (72km)

We bike past Kitayama Mountains and approach Kyoto from the north through dense forests on quiet mountain roads. It involves some steep climbs but also downhills with spectacular views of deep valleys. We reach the Hozugawa River that winds through steep mountain canyons. After the last brief but challenging climb, we descend to Sagano, located at Kyoto city's western edge. The area offers plenty of attractions to stop by, including small alleys with traditional shops and temples, as well as Arashiyama, one of the best scenic spots in Kyoto. We then ride to our hotel conveniently located in the city center. (Breakfast included)

Day 8 : Kyoto (no ride)

An ancient capital for 1,100 years, Kyoto is a living museum full of history and culture and a must-see destination in Japan. We spend the morning touring some of the city’s historical sites registered with UNESCO as World Cultural Heritage Sites, including Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle, and Kiyomizu-dera temple. The afternoon is your free time – the city has so much to offer, so you will never feel that you have had enough time in this city! (Breakfast included)

Day 9 : Departure

Following breakfast, we say goodbye. Our guide will escort you to the Kyoto train station, where you can catch a limousine bus to the Kansai International Airport or a bullet train for the next destination. If you wish to extend your stay in Kyoto, please ask for room availability when you make a reservation. (Breakfast included)