This itinerary starts from Kyoto – we’ll transfer to the city of Hikone in Shiga Prefecture, which sits on the eastern shore of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake. From here, we’ll cycle to Mihama, in Fukuwi Prefecture and then north along the Sea of Japan with overnight stays in Echizen, Tojinbo, Kaga, and finishing in Kanazawa. You’ll pass castles, temples, shrines, dramatic coastlines and superb small roads around lovely lakes. You’ll stay at charming ryokans and enjoy welcoming onsens and delicious cuisine. That’s Japan in a nutshell.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences
  • Hotel properties unique and distinctive including traditional ryokans
  • A ride you will never forget: each of the rides will be memorable through lush valleys and along the coast on quiet roads
  • Food that is superb –if you’ve never been to Japan, you are in for an experience like no other
  • Cannondale Quick model hybrid bikes (our fleet)
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises

Location

Hikone

Hikone, Shiga, Japan

Day 1

Mihama

Mihama, Fukui, Japan

Day 2

Echizen

Echizen, Fukui, Japan

Day 3

Tojinbo

Tojinbo, 64-1 Mikunichō Antō, Sakai, Fukui, Japan

Day 4

Kaga

Kaga, Ishikawa, Japan

Day 5 + 6

Kanazawa

Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

Day 7

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of Great Explorations guide(s)
Support vehicle
7 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners
All special events, private tours, guest experts and entrance fees
Detailed maps, route suggestions and water bottle
All transportation from rendezvous to drop-off, including van support
All baggage transportation
Welcome and final night wine receptions
All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service

Not Included

Bike rental

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2024

Available as a private trip to book

2025

Available as a private trip to book

Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

4-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

8 days / 7 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Hikone / Kanazawa

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate +
40-70 km daily
Van Supported

TERRAIN

Rolling with some short steep climbs

COST

Land Cost:
US $4,250* (pp based on DBL)

Single Supplement:
US $1,065

*Supplement if less than 8 pax:
4-5 pax: US $800 pp.
6-7 pax: US $400 pp.

Bike Rental:
Cannondale Quick model Hybrid- US $280
E-bike (Giant Escape RX-E+) rentals available on request– US$560

Race bikes available on request– US$560

Optional Pre-trip Extension in Tokyo:
US $595 pp 2D/2N – includes 1/2 day with local guide
Single Supplement: $150

US $795 pp 3D/3N – includes 1/2 day walking tour with local guide and 1/2 day cycling or 1/2 day walking tour on 2nd day
Single Supplement: $200

Optional Post-trip Extension in Kyoto:
US $595 pp 2D/2N – includes 1/2 day with local guide
Single Supplement: $150

US $795 pp 3D/3N – includes 1/2 day walking tour with local guide and 1/2 day cycling or 1/2 day walking tour on 2nd day
Single Supplement: $200

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

We will meet in Kyoto at the Granbell Hotel on the morning of Day 1 and transfer to Hikone by fast train to begin cycling.


1

Day 1

Hikone to Mihama

Situated on the eastern shores of Lake Biwa, this city is famous for its castle, one of only five castles in Japan designated as national treasures.  We’ll meet at 10 a.m. at the train station and set off cycling along the shores of Lake Biwa. Ride Distance: up to 48 km; 650 m gain or 74 km; 580 m gain.

2

Day 2

Mihama 5 Lakes Ride

This will be a favourite day of riding as we ride quiet lakeside paths around 5 beautiful lakes. We’ll enjoy lunch along the way and then a sake tasting at day’s end before a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. Ride Distance: up to 42 km; 525 m.

3

Day 3

Mihama to Echizen

Riding north along the coast, towards the Tateishi Cape Lighthouse, you’ll pass beaches and fishing ports; lunch will feature sea-food caught fresh. Arrive to Echizen, a city known for its traditional crafts of forging blades, lacquerware, wooden chests and washi paper. Thanks to its favorable geographical position and the availability of raw materials in the area, Echizen attracted many merchants and artisans during the feudal period. Explore on foot the district of Teramchi, constructed 400 years ago with 20 temples and modeled after the streets of Kyoto and. We will enjoy dinner at Shikura, a fine dining establishment with superb cuisine. Ride Distance: up to 65 km; 890 m gain.

4

Day 4

Echizen to Tojinbo

Today we will ride further north along a dramatic stretch of coastline. We’ll reach atmospheric Tojinbo and famous red Oshima Bridge  and Torii gate linking the mainland to a small island filled with shrines and walking trails.  Dinner will be at Ootoku, an upscale and hip sea-food restaurant. Ride Distance: up to 65 km; 1050 m gain.

5

Day 5

Tojinbo to Kaga

Ride north along Lake Kitagata on a dedicated cycling path  and then along the Daishoji river to Kaga. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurants in Kaga. For the afternoon, consider another great ride that heads into the nearby hills. Or visit the Kutaniyaki Art Museum and local cafes and galleries. Ride Distance: 30 km; 265 m (morning) & 33 km; 680 m (afternoon option).

6

Day 6

Kaga Loop

This is a favourite ride, stopping at the exquisite Natadera Temple to visit. We’ll have lunch at a superb Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant and then visit the renowned wood turner Yasushi Sataki in his studio. Ride Distance: up to 55 km; 890 m.

7

Day 7

Kaga to Kanazawa

Leaving Kaga, we’ll ride to Tsurugi and into Kanazawa, one of the most fascinating cities in Japan. We will arrive in time for lunch at a unique Japanese/French bistro. Afterwards, we visit Kanazawa Castle, which was built in the 1580s, after the defeat of the Peasant’s Kingdom, Japan’s only Buddhist fiefdom. For our final night celebrations, we will walk through the samurai district and enjoy dinner at an acclaimed restaurant. Ride Distance: 30 km; 315 m gain loop or 71 km; 830 m.

8

Day 8

Departure Day

For those that wish to visit Kenrokuen Garden you can do so OYO after breakfast. Begun in the 17th century, these gardens are celebrated for its classic landscape designs incorporating ponds and streams. You can definitely spend 1-2 hours here!

You can depart at your leisure; the hotel will arrange taxis to Kanazawa station – the Shinkansen train gets you to Tokyo in 2h30 or you can reach Kyoto in 2h19.

If you are doing the Extension to Kyoto, you might want to plan to arrive after lunch, as check-in time is typically 3 p.m.

Hotel Suigekka, Wakasa Mikata

Suigekka is located in Wakasa Mikata, which is in the middle of the Japanese archipelago facing the Sea of Japan.


Hotel Jukoan, Echizen

Traditional Japanese inn with restaurant. The Echizen Pottery Village is directly across the street.


Kyukamura, Echizen-Mikuni

Located a short stroll from Tojinbo Cliffs with a magnificent view of the Sea of Japan, there are large indoor and outdoor onsens.


Hoshino Kai Kaga, Kaga

Set in a tranquil building on a leafy commercial street, this modern hot spring hotel boasts a restaurant, tea-room, library and serene gardens, and hot spring pools.


Hyatt Centric, Kanazawa

This 4-star hotel is the best in Kanazawa and conveniently located next to the train station and approximately 2km from the teahouses in the Higashi Chaya District. Guest rooms are large and the breakfast is excellent. There's an elegant restaurant and roof-top bar.