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1 Person
6 day
Hidden Japan Travel
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  • Spend 6 days cycling in search of authentic Japan in Shikoku, the country's smallest major island. Start off by traversing the scenic expressway of Shimanami Kaido and cross tens of miles each day witnessing the clash of nature, tradition, and modernity in Japanese cities, villages, sacred places, and unspoiled wilderness. Join a tour laced with traditional cuisine, quality lodging, and, of course, great cycling under the supervision of your expert local guide.

    • Meet your guide at Onomichi Station in the morning. Your guided adventure starts with cycling over the world-famous Shimanami Kaido—a 37-mile expressway open for bikes connecting the biggest Japanese island of Honshu to the smallest of the main four islands—Shikoku. You’ll cover 5 islands and bridges, relish the scenic landscapes, and experience the culture of the Seto Inland Sea. Lodging on Day 1 is a Japanese hotel in a stunning location nestled by the shoreline.

      Meals: Lunch and dinner
      Cycling: 70 km / 43 miles
      Elevation: 600 m / 1,970 ft

      Shimanami Bridge, part of Shimanami Kaido, crossed during the Shikoku cycling trip.
    • Finish the Shimanami Kaido route by cycling over the last two bridges. Your group will then head down the coast to the historic city of Matsuyama, the capital of the prefecture of Ehime. Cycle through the city, you’ll be able to view an impressive 17th-century Japanese castle. Continue cycling towards your hotel in the Dogo area. Wander about the Dogo Onsen area famous for its traditional hot springs. Try a local rice dish tai meshi for dinner and finish the meal with a glass of local sake. After dinner, you’ll have ample time to explore some of the city on your own.
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Cycling: 63 km / 39 miles
      Elevation: 590 m / 1,935 ft

      Dogo, part of the city of Matsayuma seen at night during the Shikoku cycling trip.
    • Your cycling on Day 3 starts along the streets of Matsuyama, before heading out of the city and climbing up the mountains following stunning roads surrounded by unspoiled nature. Follow your guide and cycle along a meandering river before you reach a remote gorge—inside of which is a hot spring hotel where you will stay for the night!
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Cycling: 66 km / 41 miles
      Elevation: 810 m / 2,660 ft

      Cycling on the road through a beautiful forest-like park where trees make a green ceiling above them
    • Start your day with an optional morning walk inside the spectacular Nakatsu Gorge. Later, your group will cycle out of the mountains following one of Japan’s most celebrated rivers. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can go for impromptu wild swimming to cool off! Reach the city of Kochi and visit a famous street food market offering fresh seafood before heading to your accommodation.
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Cycling: 56 km / 35 miles
      Elevation: 210 m / 690 ft

      People dresses in traditional kimono posing for a photo before tea ceremony
    • Leave the city and make your way into the forested Iya Valley. You will first have to face a challenging climb and later get rewarded with views of beautiful landscapes with gorges, crystal-clear rivers, and traditional thatch-roofed houses. Cycling down the valley, you’ll be surrounded by terraced rice fields. Stop pedaling and walk across the famous vine bridges before heading. Continue cycling through the valley and reach your accommodation—a traditional Japanese inn with a funicular railway connecting it with a riverside hot spring.
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Cycling: 84 km / 52 miles
      Elevation: 1,515 m / 4,970 ft

      Beautiful landscapes of the Iya Valley seen during the cycling trip on Shikoku, Japan.
    • Day 6 begins with cycling out of the Iya Valley following the beautiful Yoshino River. After a final climb, you will arrive at the celebrated Konpira Shrine. After exploring the shrine, celebrate your achievements with your guide and fellow travelers. You will later board a train to your airport and say goodbye to Japan or continue touring on your own.
      Meals: Breakfast and lunch
      Cycling: 58 km / 36 miles
      Elevation: 715 m / 2,345 ft

      A statue in the Konpira shrine, visited during the cycling trip on the Japanese island of Shikoku.
    • What you get on this adventure:

        • An experienced English-speaking cycling guide with extensive local knowledge of the area
        • 6 days of fully-supported cycling
        • Support van and luggage transfers
        • Accommodations
        • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
        • Helmet and bike rental
        • Bike maintenance if needed
        • Transportation during the adventure

      What’s not included:

        • Air transfers
        • Transportation to the meeting point
        • Transportation from the final point to your airport
        • Accommodation before and after the tour
        • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
    • For this multi-day guided tour, you need to have a very good level of fitness. You can expect 50-85 km (30-50 miles) of cycling per day, often in steep terrain, for 6 consecutive days. Keep in mind that you will take numerous breaks during each day and that your guide will monitor your technique and make the necessary adjustments if there ever occurs a need for one.

      Regarding climbing and elevation gains, there are days with no climbing at all and days when it is mostly flat. There are a few climbs with the steepest gradient being 13%. The average gradient of the climbs is 5-7%.

    • For this tour, you need to have a solid cycling experience, which means that it isn’t beginner friendly. This doesn’t mean that you need to be a pro, but previous experience with full-day cycling and cycling in moderately steep terrain is necessary.

    • Here’s what you’ll need for your daily outings:

        • Comfortable riding or athletic clothing, preferably moisture wicking or synthetic material
        • Sneakers or sport shoes
        • Breathable outside layer or jacket
        • Sunglasses
        • Plenty of water, water bottle or hydration bladder
        • Daypack with snacks
        • Biking gloves are optional but recommended
        • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)

      Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season—layers are best. Make sure to also bring some comfy clothes for evenings and free time.

    • The cost of this tour covers the cost of rental bikes and helmets—your guide uses Giant, Specialized, and Marin bikes.

      If you’d prefer to rent an e-bike, you can add it to your booking at an additional cost. Keep in mind that these options are subject to availability. You can choose between aluminum frame bikes and tier 2 carbon frame bikes.

      In case you have your own bike, let us know the make, model and year of the bike and we will connect you with your guide to discuss your options. Keep in mind that you will have to transport the bike and assemble it in time before the tour begins.

    • Your first night will be spent in a typical Japanese hotel by the shoreline and all subsequent nights in a combination of more traditional hot springs hotels and inns and modern business hotels in Kochi and Matsayuma. You will stay in double rooms, but the single-room option (subject to availability) is available for an additional fee.

    • Group sizes and prices:

        • The group for this tour consists of up to 6 people and one guide.
        • It takes a minimum of 3 people for this tour to operate.
        • The cost is per person and does not decrease as the group grows.

      Cycling in Shikoku can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.

      Min. age requirements:

        • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.

      If your group has riders under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

    • Onomichi, the starting point of the tour, is 30 minutes from Fukuyama, 90 minutes from Hiroshima, and 70 minutes from Okayama. To get to Onomichi, most people fly into Tokyo International Airport. From there, you can either take a shuttle or a train to Onomichi, or take a flight to the Hiroshima Airport. From there you can hop on a bus in the direction of Fukuyama and transfer to the “Flower Liner” bus at the Takasaka bus stop to reach Onomichi Station.

      You will meet with your guide at Onomichi Station on Day 1.

    • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

      We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures on the island of Shikoku, please visit Japan Travel

      Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

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