Japan: Noto Peninsula Bike
The enigma of Japan will just begin to reveal itself to you in this dynamic combination of active and cultural experiences. You will begin in Kanazawa City, riding into the rustic region of the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan. You will play on beaches, walk in Yanagida Botanical Gardens, and listen to the Dragonfly Stream within forested park land. In another garden, you will listen to the resonance of a Buddhist bell. You can stop by the Rokugo farmhouse to have a revitalizing cup of tea. In early spring, you can ride through the sweet, soft fragrances of pink cherry or delicate plum blossoms. In a Samurai house, you may stop to watch a single drop of water make circle upon circles as goldfish swim beneath the surface of a pond. At the end of spring a hundred thousand irises bloom to create a surreal atmosphere. In the fall, orange, red, autumnal colours burst with intensity that will startle and amaze you. Whenever you choose to visit this beautiful area, the flourishing of traditional Japanese culture in this amazing, stilling place will leave you pleased. You will cycle to Wakura Spa, have an option to explore Notojima Island, see the market in Wajima, all the while following quiet coastline roads around this fabulously scenic peninsula. You will stay in beautiful traditional Ryokan hotels, bathe in onsens (hot springs) and eat the highest quality meals Japan has to offer. Finally, you will visit the UNESCO site of Shirakawago, an area known for three-storey, nail-free “clasped hands” thatched roof houses of exceptional beauty. The cycling is moderately challenging with a few climbs. Guided trips included abundant vehicle support to help ensure your happiness and safety.
Meet in Kanazawa at noon. Afternoon will be spent getting bikes prepared and exploring Kanazawa – city of castles and three of Japan’s major gardens.
Hakuchoro Hotel, Kanazawa
Day 2: 65km
Ride coastal roads with highlights including the Uchinada Dunes, the Keta Taisha Shrine, and the Myojoji Temple. Stop in the town of Ganmon to see a translucent cave mouth and 60 meter deep cave. Fantastic rock formations and optional boat trip to see Togi rocks. Swim in incredible blue green waters, considered as one of the top 50 beaches in Japan.
Togi Seaside Villa, Togi
Day 3: 65km
Cycling along coastal roads to Wajima, or optional 10 km hike to explore the parks of Hegurajima Island. Special points included the Dragonfly stream, 1000 irises in spring, and the Sojiji Temple. Stay at a traditional Minsuku where you will be served fresh local vegatables and fish. The Minsuku is a traditional bed and breakfast style accommodation that utilizes shared bathrooms. If you are not comfortable with shared bath rooms, an upgrade to Ryokan lodging is available for $145 per person.
Minshuku, Wajima; or upgrade to Wajima Onsen Yashio Ryokan, Wajima
Day 4: 80km
Morning exploration of Wajima City, followed by 80km of cycling to Noto. Special points: Lacquerware known as Wajima-nuri, a morning market on Asaichi-dori Avenue, “Kiriko” (tall festival lanterns), Senmaida (1000 terraced rice paddies), sea views at Cape Rokko. Rest in a beautiful Ryokan hotel with hot springs
Hyakurakuso Ryokan, Noto
Day 5: 60 or 110km
Noto to Wakura Onsen. The full ride is 110km, but with recommended transfer it is 60km of beautiful quiet coastal roads, the last 30 around Noto Island. Take a bath at the wonderful Wakura Onsen, in one of Japan’s more famous “Onsen Towns”.
Lodging: Niji to Umi Inn, www.nijitoumi.jp, Wakura Onsen
Day 6: 75km
Wakura to Takaoka, along more beautiful coast before turning inland.
Hotel New Otani, Takaoka, www.newotani.co.jp/en/takaoka/index.html?GRP
Day 7: 65km
Takaoka to Shirakawa-Go. Follow a bike path along the Oyabe River to the base of the mountains, and stop to check out Zuisen-ji Temple. After lunch, ride in to the mountains! Then stay in a 150 years old Gasho Zukuri Thatched roof house and dine on traditional mountain food.
Magoemon Old House
Day 8: 70km
Shirakawa-Go to Takayama City, for a final night in one of Japan’s castle towns. It is good to explore here, to see latticed bay windows and linked eaves of merchants' houses in Sanmachi Suji; to visit the temples and shrines of Higashiyama; and to see the reproduction of Hida's traditional mountain farming villages of sloped-roof houses at Hida Folk Village.
Spa Hotel Alpina, Hida-Takayama, www.spa-hotel-alpina.com
Day 9: Farewell
Finish after breakfast. Transfers available to the train station at Takayama City Centre.
Japan is an interesting but culturally very different place. Food, rooms, even the side of the road: everything is different: You will sleep on futons on tatami floor mats. You will eat beautiful raw fish sushi with rice for breakfast. You may choose to bathe in onsens (communal baths). Please refer to Freewheeling’s introductory documents in order not to be surprised by some of the social graces that will be expected of you.
|Start:||Kanazawa noon day one. Easy transfers from Tokyo, Osaka, or Nagoya on Shinkansen train.|
|Finish:||Takayama, 09:00 day nine. Train connections to Tokyo, Osaka, or Nagoya are readily available.|
|Guided Cost:||$4845 (per person, includes 8 nights, 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners, guide and van support, maps/route notes, luggage handling, taxes|
|Self-Guided Cost:||Not yet available.|
|Single Occupancy:||$945. Very limited availability; please ask well ahead of time.|
|Bicycle Rental:||Hybrid: $220|
|2014 Guided Dates:||May 11-19; Aug 31-Sep 8. Add your own dates (learn more)|
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.