Ascend a mountain where monks sought enlightenment and look down at the clouds covering an ancient landscape. Ride among ancient ruins and the birthplace of Japanese civilization. Breathe the salty air of the Sea of Japan at a floating fishing village. And when all the excitement of the day’s ride is over, savor a simple meal and sake under a traditional thatched roofed house.
This is Kyoto and Nara, the cultural and ancient capitals of Japan. The riding will challenge, the sites will amaze and
food guaranteed delectable. Join us on an incredible journey.
- Stay in deluxe ryokans in both Kyoto and Nara
- Finish a day's ride with a journey by jet boat to Ineno town, the `Venice of the East'
- See how Japanese dwelled for centuries in the mountain town of Miyama
- Sample sake at a local brewery in an old merchant town
- Visit the Yamazaki Suntory whiskey distillery
Riding days of approximately 70-100 km daily in rolling and or mountainous terrain with bigger climbs. Elevation gains of approximately 1,000 meters and above daily. Shorter riding days
Short 347 km Long 597 km
Short 6,245 m Long 9,631 m
Biggest Climbing Day
The Temple Daikakuji
The Mountain Village Miyama
Transfer to our ryokan in the north-west of Kyoto. Join for a short ride to loosen the legs and then refresh yourself in the thermal waters of the hot spring. Stay
Day 2 The Temple (56 or 94 km)
Ride to the 9th Century Daikaku Temple which was once the Emperor Saga’s detached palace. It holds the `Heart Sutra,’ and legend has it that it ended a sickness sweeping Japan during the Heian period. The ride includes two passes through the forested mountains of Kyoto.
Day 3 The Mountain Village (55 or 103 km)
Miyama is a traditional village of thatched roofed houses where the inhabitants continue today like their ancestors did for centuries. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, legend has it that the only way in from Kyoto was on trails where bears roamed. Our route loop takes in the rural area of northern Kyoto, without the bears. Lunch is locally made soba by an 'irori' indoor fireplace.
Day 4 The Venice of the East (66 or 103 km)
The ride will take us north on rural roads to Miyazu Bay. Here we will board a boat at `Amanohashidate,’ a three kilometre pine covered sandbar, to the fishing village of Ineno. Ineno is made up of funaya fisherman houses built over the ocean. Enjoy a locally brewed sake to finish the day.
Day 5 The Ancient Capital (61 or 95 km)
Nara was the capital of Japan during the 8th Century. Ride to Uji initually which was an ancient town that connected Kyoto and Nara via the Uji river. The route will take you over a pass and then down to the Nara valley through forests of bamboo. You will then ascend in to the hills along the Uji river and then up to the tea growing area of Wazuka. The area has been growing tea for 800 years when Japanese green tea first came in to existence. Before riding in to the ancient capital of Nara, you will pass through the Heijo Palace grounds which was the site of the ancient emperor's residence and government offices.
Day 6 The Castle Town (50 or 86 km)
Our route takes us through the castle town of Uda and then in to the mountains towards Mt Yuroi, the Matterhorn of Nara. You will finish at the 8th Century Hase Temple. The temple's golden Kannon Buddha statue is so revered that people pay money to touch and pray at its feet.
Day 7 The Pilgrimage (58 or 91 km)
You will ride part of the Omine Pilgrimage route and the ramp that leads up the ridge to the monastry on Mt Omine. The route became part of the practice for Shugendo Buddhist monks, an arduous journey where meditation and purification rituals had to be made along the way. Temples, shrines, steles and meditation points are sprinkled along the road. We will finish our own cycling pilgrimage in an old merchant town at a local sake distillery.
Day 8 Sayonara
Airport transfer after breakfast.
Please inquire with group size and accommodation preference.