Through the isolated mountains and secluded islands of the inland sea, you will get a glimpse of a more traditional Japan. From the mountainside hamlets, castles and ancient temples, experience a place where the Japan's modernization did not penetrate.
These are big climbing days. From the deep valleys you will be climbing over the mountain passes down to the coast. You will then ride along the cluster of islets which connect Shikoku to the mainland of Honshu.
This is one of our favorites. Get ready for a trip of a lifetime.
- Cycle Japan's inland sea from Shikoku to Honshu across the largest bridge system in the world
- Bathe in Japan's oldest hot spring that dates back over 1,000 years
- Ride through Edo period villages and see Matsumoto Castle
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 available.
455 or 718 km
Biggest Climbing Day
Arrive Takamatsu Airport and transfer to hotel. Takamatsu is the capital of Shikoku and known as the ‘Gateway to the island.’ After the bike fitting, walk around Ritsurin Garden, one of the most famous gardens in Japan.
Day 2 The Hidden Valley (53 or 99 km)
We start with a 20 km vehicle transfer out of Takamatsu. You will ride an ancient mountain road to the preserved merchant town of Wakimachi. The streets are lined with traditional Edo period townhouses. Our destination for the day is one of Japan’s three Hidden Valleys. Iya is home to dramatic mountain scenery, traditional thatched roof homes, and historic vine bridges.
Day 3 Kochi (53 or 93 km)
We continue along the remote Iya Valley. It is said that it was a hiding place for the samurai of the Heike clan fleeing the civil wars of the 12th Century. We will be cycling to Kochi. The city is home to one of Japan’s original castles of Kochi Jo, which used to be the seat of the Yamauchi Lords and the residences of the samurai that served them. Tonight we stay in a city hotel.
Day 4 The Town above the Clouds (63 or 109 km)
Cycle the `Yokonami Line,’ where there are spectacular ocean views. We then start ascending through tea plantations in to the mountains. Our destination is Yusuhara, known as the ‘Town above the Clouds.’ Stay in a hotel designed by a renowned Japanese architect. Walk to the hot spring over the wooden bridge seemingly suspended in the air.
Day 5 The Castle Town (73 or 102 km)
We will be riding to the castle town of Uwajima on the western coast of Shikoku. There is also the 'Taga Ginga' which is an ancient Shinto fertility shrine.
Day 6 The Fishing Village (82 or 94 km)
Our route hugs the western coastline where you will be riding through groves of mandarin orchards. Our destination is Yawatahama, a local town by the ocean. Spend the rest of the day exploring on arrival. Visit the Miyagawa sweet shop and try the traditional cakes.
Day 7 The Ancient Spring (65 or 98 km)
You will cycle through the historic town of Uchiko which prospered for 200 years in wax production. The town is made up of traditional merchant houses still being used today. Today's destination is Matsuyama and Dogo Onsen, the oldest hot spring in Japan. It has a history dating back over a thousand years. Immerse yourself in these ancient spring waters.
Day 8 Japan's Inland Sea (66 or 123 km)
Today you will ride the Shimanami Kaido, via bridges that connect the six islands from the mainland of Honshu to Shikoku. Japan’s inland sea has been likened to the Greek Islands with its olive terraces, craggy coastlines and lemon groves. The destination is Onomichi and a bicycle hotel that was converted from an old ship's warehouse. Celebrate our last night over a delicious dinner.
Day 9 Return Transfer
Farewell and transfer after breakfast.
Please inquire for a custom trip with your group size and preferred trip dates.