JapanTravel Original: 12-day Kyoto – Noto Cycling – Tokyo Tour

12 days
Toyama, Noto, Ishikawa, Kyoto, Tokyo

Highlights

  • Explore the tranquility of Kyoto
  • Cycle through the beautiful spots along the Noto Peninsula coast in Ishikawa Prefecture
  • Be enthralled by the energy of Tokyo

Description

Cycle the stunning coast of Noto Peninsula, located in central Honshu. Walk the historic Kyoto and vibrant Tokyo. Allure, vigor, serenity - this tour makes a memorable experience. 

Details

Discover one of Japan's most picturesque coastal cycling routes -  Noto Peninsula, in Ishikawa Prefecture, located in central Honshu. Japan Travel offers you a choice of two different-grade tours geared towards the cycling enthusiast. The first one is aimed at experienced riders who cycle regularly, and the second one at casual cyclists looking to enjoy the unique experience of the bucolic Japanese countryside. 
In addition, you will also be visiting Kyoto, the old imperial capital of Japan, brimming with culture and tradition, as well as Tokyo - the nation's capital, famous for its vastness and vibrant energy. 


"Genki" Itinerary - for the experienced cyclists

Day 1: Arrival at Kansai International Airport (KIX), Kyoto
Upon your arrival at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, you will first meet with your tour leader and group, and then board the JR (Japan Railways) Haruka Express train bound for Kyoto. After checking into your hotel, the evening will be yours to explore the city of Kyoto at leisure. 
We recommend watching a geisha performance in the downtown Gion area of the city, strolling along its streets, checking out local bars and eateries and doing some shopping. 
Accommodation: Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto or similar class
Options: 

  • Smart phone SIMs (issued before departing KIX) 
  • 24-hr emergency phone support
  • Tour guide
  • Reservations for the geisha performance in Gion, Kyoto

Day 2: Kyoto
This day is dedicated to visiting some of Kyoto's best loved attractions. Our bilingual guide will help you explore sacred temples, hidden alleyways, otherworldly forest groves and delightful eateries. Kyoto is a true treasure house of art and architecture, and you will certainly not be leaving this ancient, former nation's capital without a handful of memories. 
Activities include visit to major sites: Fushimi Inari Shrine (the location of the movie Memoirs of a Geisha), Kiyomizu Temple (Kiyomizudera) and the Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji). Lunch is served at a well-known "kaiseki-ryori" Kyoto-style restaurant. 
Accommodation: Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto or similar class
Afternoon options:

  • Arashiyama side tour - a visit to a lush bamboo groove to the west of the city
  • Tea ceremony, cooking class

Day 3: Kyoto to Kanazawa
After breakfast, the group will gather for a bus transfer to Kanazawa. We will follow the coastal rout, making stops at several points along the way, including the crafts city of Echizen, where you can see knives, lacquerware, "tansu" chests and many other traditional products. Lunch will be in the historic Kaga. We will be reaching Kanazawa in the early afternoon. Upon checking into your hotel and freshening up, you will be able to explore Kenrokuen Garden, one of the three most famous gardens in Japan, Higashi Chaya old town, as well as Omicho Market where you can go for a stroll and shopping. 
Accommodation: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa or similar class
Option: Private tour guide


Day 4: Kanazawa to Togi - 73 km

After breakfast at the hotel,  we will be checking everyone's bicycles and gear to make sure you are fitted properly. We will set out along the coast of Togi, following both designated cycle routes and wending coastal roads. 
Highlights of the day include: Chirihama Nagisa Driveway - a 20 km ride on a hard-packed sand beach, lunch at a traditional roadhouse as we exit the beach, the Noto Kongo - a scenic lookout point
Elevation gains are modest and riding is an easy 73 km. 
Accommodation: Kogetsukan or similar class


Day 5: Togi to Wajima - 60 km

After breakfast at the hotel, we continue our way northwards, passing through fishing villages, countryside towns, and postcard-perfect scenery. Elevation gains pick up as we hit more rugged coast, after which we make our way inline, along country lanes, before re-emerging once again at the coastline. Lunch is at a roadhouse along the way. We arrive at Wajima in the late afternoon, and check into our accommodation. A well-earned bath at the wonderful traditional "onsen" hot spring is in order as well as dinner with your group. 
Accommodation: Notonosho


Day 6: Wajima to Suzu - 68 km

Today is a long day, starting with a brief visit to the Wajima morning market, abundant with fresh local farm produce and seafood. Afterwards, retracing our steps, we move farther north for the big push to the top end of Noto Peninsula. Along the way, we stop to appreciate the beauty of the famed terraced rice fields. Lunch is a "bento" lunchbox at the half-way point. Scenery at the top of Noto suddenly changes from rugged hillsides to a gentler and easier ride down into Suzu. There are several spikes in elevation gain during the day, but overall it is a smooth and enjoyable ride. Upon reaching your accommodation and checking in, you can relax, take a bath and join your group for dinner and drinks. 
Accommodation: Notojiso or similar class 


Day 7: Suzu to Anamizu - 70 km

Heading out after breakfast, we will make our way outside Suzu, but not before cycling past Mitsukejima, also known as Battleship Rock, which rises 30 meters into the air. We also go past Koiji Beach, the site of many peculiar rock formations, called 'The Beach of Path to Love". Elevation gains are kept to a minimum today, as we proceed to Anamizu. Once there, after checking into our accommodation, another group dinner awaits. 
Accommodation: Hotel Castle Manai or similar class


Day 8: Anamizu to Wakura - 63 km

After breakfast, we set off for Wakura Onsen, a traditional Japanese hot spring in the sheltered Nanao Bay. This part of the coast is verdant farming land, offering glimpses of Nanao Bay throughout. We pass over the picturesque Twin Bridge suspension bridge and traverse Noto Island. Depending on time and interest, we make optional stops at Notojima Aquarium and Glass Art Museum. After reaching Wakura Onsen in the mid-afternoon, you are at leisure to either soak in the hot springs or take an additional short loop ride around the west side of Wakura. Upon checking into our accommodation, group dinner and drinks follow. 
Accommodation: Kagaya or similar class


Day 9: Wakura to Shogawa - 88 km

After breakfast, our day will start with a climb over a small hill range with an elevation gain of approximately 300 m. In addition, this is the longest leg of the trip. Our route takes us along the coast and various back roads, skirting the urban sprawl of Takaoka, and winding up in the beautiful Shogawa-kyo valley, where our accommodation is located. Along the way, you will see Amaharashi Beach, in Himi City, a famous viewing point for fog descending on the beach in the evenings. It makes for a magnificent view at any time of the day. Upon arrival and check in, you can enjoy an "onsen" hot spring bath and join your group for dinner and drinks. 
Accommodation: Yumetsuzuri or similar class


Day 10: Shogawa to Kanazawa (37 km), Tokyo

Today's half-day ride will take us through a low-hill range punctuated by rivers, forests, quaint farming communities and quiet roads. We subsequently descend into Kanazawa, near the station, have a late lunch and end up with a debriefing and equipment check. Afterwards, you depart for Tokyo via the "shinkansen" bullet train. Upon reaching Tokyo and checking into your hotel, you can either rest or set out to explore the nation capital's sites. 
Accommodation: Hotel Okura Tokyo or similar class
Options: 

  • Private tour guide
  • Gourmet dinner at signature restaurant

Days 11 & 12: Tokyo
Spend these two days getting to know Tokyo, officially the world’s largest metropolis and certainly the center of commerce and fashion in Japan. We combine the vibrancy of the shopping districts of Shibuya and Omotesando in the morning with the “shitamachi” old-world charm of the Asakusa district in the afternoon. Plenty of opportunities for souvenir shopping along the way. Lunch is offered with several choices of cuisine and location. Dinner is in the Akihabara area near the hotel.
Accommodation: Remm Akihabara or similar class

Optional Activities: Guided tour by bicycle (or minibus if raining) of Tokyo’s highlights:

  • Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, Shibuya crossing
  • Asakusa Temple, Tokyo Skytree, Ameyoko, Tsukiji Fish Market, and Hamarikyu Garden


Easy Itinerary - for the recreational cyclists


*Days 1, 2 and 3 - the same as Days 1, 2, and 3 in "Genki" Itinerary*

Day 4: Kanazawa to Wajima by bus, Wajima loop (34 km)
After breakfast, we have an early morning start and leave by bus bound for Wajima and its  local market. Upon an hour or so spent exploring the market, we have an early lunch and meet up at the staging point to fit up for the bicycles, helmets and the rest of the equipment.  Our first cycling takes us past rugged coastline - the beautiful Nishiho Kaigan, and forested farming hinterland, following mostly small country lanes. We frequently take rest and snack stops, as this is our first day. Upon arriving at our accommodation and checking in, you can enjoy a hot spring "onsen" bath, followed by a group dinner and drinks. We recommend an early night for the push through to Suzu the next day. 
Accommodation: Notonosho or similar class


Day 5: Wajima to Suzu - 44 km

Upon breakfast, we set off northeast towards Suzu. Along the way, we cycle past the terraced fields of Shiroyone Senmaida  known as "One thousand rice fields". Leaving the coast, we cut across the top of Noto Peninsula to get to Suzu, passing through lush nature. Lunch will be a "bento" lunchbox, from the support van, about half-way of today's course. Although we will have several climbs throughout the day, this is generally an easy ride. After arriving at our accommodation and checking in, we wrap up our day with a bath, group dinner and drinks. 
Accommodation: Notojiso or similar class


Day 6: Suzu Loop - 39 km

Some say the best part of Noto is the top end, and today we enjoy traversing the northeastern loop, taking a small country road through to the northern coast, then following the coastline back to Suzu. Along the way, we pass Yamabushiyama, where there is an observation deck for the group to take in sights of the Sea of Japan. Returning to Suzu, we take a break, a bath, then meet for group dinner and drinks.
Accommodation: Notojiso or similar class


Day 7: Suzu to Anamizu - 60 km

The daily itinerary is equivalent to Day 7 in the "Genki" Itinerary, however with less distance is covered. 
Accommodation: Hotel Castle Manai or similar class


Day 8: Anamizu to Wakura - 41 km

The daily itinerary is equivalent to Day 8 in the "Genki" Itinerary, however with less distance covered. 
Accommodation: Kagaya or similar class


Day 9: Wakura to Takaoka - 54 km

This day takes us on the only challenging climb of this leg of our cycling route as the elevation rises to above 200 m along the one-quarter mark. Subsequently, we follow the coast, passing by Amaharashi Beach in Himi City, Toyama Prefecture, where fog descending on the beach makes for a magnificent view. We continue into the city of Takaoka and our accommodation. Here the riding portion of the tour ends, we have a debriefing and the equipment check. Upon hotel check in, it is time for a breather, hotel baths, and afterwards a final group dinner and drinks. 
Accommodation: New Otani Takaoka or similar class


Day 10: Takaoka, Tokyo

Prior to heading for Tokyo, we spend a day in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture. You can visit the Takaoka Kojo Park and  Zuiryuji Temple - both Takaoka's most famous attractions, and also Kanayamachi old town, untouched by modern times, where you can find a film museum, quaint craft shops and cafes. Lunch is arranged at a traditional restaurant in the area. In the early afternoon, the bullet train from Shin-Takaoka station takes you to Tokyo, where you will transfer to and check into your Tokyo-based accommodation. 
Accommodation : Remm Akihabara or similar class
Option: Private guided tour in Takaoka


*Days 11 & 12  - the same as Days 11 & 12 in the "Genki" Itinerary*

Important information

Minimum number of participants required for either tour to run is 7.
Maximum number of participants per either tour is 16. 

Shorter versions of this tour are available as a 7-day Noto Cycling Tour and 4-day Noto Cycling Tour, respectively. 

This tour includes:

  • All accommodation and meals
  • Bikes and cycling gear: helmets (optionally you can bring your own), spares
  • Tour leader assistant
  • Backup van and bilingual driver/assistant
  • First aid
  • Smart phones and SIMs
  • Walkie-talkies where needed
  • Some (limited) cash and credit 
  • 24/7 bilingual call center support in case of emergency

The tour does NOT include:

  • Transportation to/from starting and ending points of either tour
  • Activities stated as "Options" in either tour itinerary: these may cost extra and usually need to be arranged prior to departure. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to take up any of these activities and/or need additional services

* Although these tours include some limited 3rd party property and injury insurance, we encourage our customers to arrange private travel insurance for the duration of the tour


Other important information:

Noto Peninsula Cycling - Clothing & Seasons

  • Clothing requirements vary by season. Keep in mind that Japan's weather can change quickly and dramatic temperature fluctuations are especially common in the mountains
  • Helmets (which we provide) are compulsory on our tours, and so are sturdy cycling or sports shoes
  • We also recommend padded pants since our road bikes have firm seats

Meeting point

The meeting point for the tour participants will be at Kansai International Airport. Details regarding the meeting point and the tour itself will be sent to all participants via email several days prior to departure. 

Organised by Japan Travel KK