Heart & Mind of Japan, Mt. Koya ~ Kyoto

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Min Age : 13+
Max People : 16
Tour Details

This cycling tour takes us from Wakayama to Kyoto by way of Nara, visiting four World Heritage Sites along the way. The course is generally flat, and carefully designed to maximize use of cycling-only paths.

This makes it relatively easy for beginners to complete. It provides a superb opportunity to enjoy Japan’s unspoiled mountain woodland scenery while also visiting world-renowned historic monuments and buildings.

We devote a full day each to our visits in the Koya Mountains, Nara and Kyoto. This itinerary enables you to explore at your leisure those sites of old Japan that interest you.

Arrival and Departure / Upon arrival

The first tour day is the day of arrival at the first hotel, and is included in the package tour. We begin cycling from the following day.

There is no specific deadline time for your arrival, but please be aware that we will specify the times and places of the welcome briefing and bike delivery our Final Tour Details.
In general, it is advisable to arrive at the hotel around 4:00-5:00 p.m.

End of the tour

Our services end after breakfast on the last day of the tour. Please be aware that luggage transportation is not included on any additional nights before or after the tour.

Price Includes

  • 7 nights Hotel accommodations with breakfast
  • 2 dinners (1st and the last nights)
  • Luggage transfer, and a support van
  • WiFi / Maps / GPS data

Price Excludes

  • Transportation from/to start and goal points
  • Lunches
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages with dinners
  • Entrance fees for historical buildings/sites

Rental bikes

  • 17,000 yen (3x8-gear cross bicycle with a pannier bag )
What to Expect

Route: Wakayama – Nara – Kyoto
Tour Style: Self-guided, supported by van & nbsp;
Tour four UNESCO World Heritage sites as follows.

  • Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the "Kii" Mountain Range - UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara - UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area - UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) - UNESCO World Heritage sites

Day 1 Arrive in Wakayama

Individual arrival. Wakayama is a castle town. The 8th Tokugawa Shogun was chosen from the Tokugawa family in Wakayama. If you arrive early, you will have time to visit Wakayama Castle.
Meet at a hotel in Wakayama at 17:00 for riders’ meeting(briefing) followed by welcome dinner.
We explain traffic rules in Japan, cycling routes, accommodations, and other important information.

The following will be provided:
1, Detailed maps 2,Traffic safety guideline 3,Rental bike (if you rent a bike) 4, Accommodation list 5,GPS (locator, not navigation) 6, Luggage transfer tugs

Accommodation: Western style hotel
Meal: Dinner at a local restaurant
Accommodation: Hotel Granvia Wakayama

Day 2Wakayama - Hashimoto (Length: 51.7km, Vertical up 181 m, Down 125 m)

This is fruit-growing country. We start the cycling tour with scenic cycling on the bike path along the Kinokawa River. You’ll enjoy seeing the beautiful flowering fruit trees and watching the harvest along the route.

Route Profile
Length: 51.7km, Vertical up 181 m, Down 125 m This stage is almost flat, and mainly uses bike paths. Enjoy taking side roads to visit local farms and taste the various fruits grown along the Kinokawa river.

Accommodation: Route-inn Hashimoto
Meal: Breakfast,

Day 3Koyasan (15km by bike plus train/hiking)

For over 1,200 years, Koyasan has flourished as an active monastic center, and is one of Japan’s most sacred sites. After biking to Kudoyama, known for its history as a samurai town, you’ll take the train to Koyasan, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Option: You may want to hike the Choishinmichi, a scenic forest hiking path.

Route Profile
15km by bike plus train/hiking)
Less than 8 km cycling takes you to the samurai village of Kudoyama. From there, train service provides access to the Koya Mountains to visit Okunoin, the spiritual heart of the sacred Koya Mountains. Hiking the pilgrimage trails takes about 5 to 6 hours. No support van will be available from Kudoyama to Okunoin.

Accommodation: Route-inn Hashimoto
Meal: Breakfast,

Day 4Koyasan - Nara (60km, uphill 530m)

We veer away from the Kinokawa cycling road to cycle into Nara, passing the ancient capital of ASUKA, where many ancient monuments and tombs from 1,300 years ago lie.

Route Profile
Length: 60.3 km, Vertical up 529 m, Down 534 m
This stage is the most difficult part of this cycling tour. You’ll see traditional houses and beautiful terraced rice fields along the route. A support van will always be nearby to give you a lift if you need it.

Accommodation: Hotel Ikoi
Meal: Breakfast,

Day 5Nara (Length: 49.6 km, Vertical up 176 m, Down 191 m)

Established in the year 710, Nara was Japan’s first permanent capital. Visit Horyuji Temple, the oldest wooden building in the world, Todaiji temple, the largest temple housing a giant Buddha statue, and Kasuga-Taisha, the most celebrated shrine in Japan. Or simply enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of Naramachi, a merchant district built around the 15th century. You may choose to follow the model route we provide, which covers most of the must-see sites, or plan your ride according to your interests.

Route Profile
Length: 49.6 km, Vertical up 176 m, Down 191 m
If you follow the model route plan, this stage is almost flat. It covers most must-see-places. No support van services will be available, except emergencies.

Accommodation: Hotel Ikoi
Meal: Breakfast,

Day 6 Nara to Kyoto (Length: 62.2 km, Vertical up 72 m, Down 91 m)

Cycling out of Nara, we head for Kyoto. After about 10 km cycling in the city, we’ll enter the Yawata Kizu Cycling road, one of the Top 10 cycling roads in Japan, which leads directly to Arashiyama, Kyoto, an area famed for its beautiful bamboo groves, and scenic Togetsukyo bridge.

Route Profile
Length: 62.2 km, Vertical up 72 m, Down 91 m
After about 10 km of city cycling, you’ll come to the Yawata Kizu Cycling Road. It is almost flat, and you’ll enjoy yourself on this traffic-free bike path. After arriving at Arashiyama, be sure to visit the tranquil bamboo grove to quietly celebrate reaching the goal of your journey.

Accommodation: Japaning Hotel Liv Rozankaku
Meal: Breakfast,

Day 7 Kyoto (Length: 49.6 km, Vertical up 176 m, Down 191 m)

Cycling is the best way to enjoy Kyoto, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. This is an ancient, yet very busy and modern city with many travellers from all over the world. The roads are always congested, which makes cycling a superb option. Leaving behind the long bus and taxi queues, our tour comfortably hops from place to place. Like Nara, we provide you with a model route for cycling, but you may want to cycle around Kyoto based on your own interests or whims.

Route Profile
Length: 49.6 km, Vertical up 176 m, Down 191 m
Roads in Kyoto are always congested with cars, which makes cycling the smarter, more enjoyable option compared to public transport. We provide you with a model route for cycling.

Accommodation: Japaning Hotel Liv Rozankaku
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 Kyoto

Departure after breakfast.
You are asked to return a rental bike after breakfast. (It is possible to return a bike a night before.)

Wakayama –Nara-Kyoto: Route Profile
Total distance covered: 289 km (including model routes in Nara and Kyoto)
Total vertical uphill: 1,140 m (including model routes in Nara and Kyoto)
Terrain: 100 % asphalt
Option to switch to ordinary sightseeing on days 3, 5, and 6.
On the whole, this tour offers rather easy cycling with the exception of Day 4, which includes some short but steep slopes. But our support van is never far away, and is always there to give you a lift any time you need a break from the bike. The support van also provides water and snacks during the rides on days 2, 4 and 6.