2
Introductory to Moderate
Activities
  • 8 days cycling
Accommodation
  • 8 nights western hotel or traditional Japanese Inn (ryokan)
Meals
  • 8 Dinners
  • 8 Breakfasts

9 Days$6495NZD

Trip Code: JSC

Trip highlights


  • Cycle on the islands and bridges of the famous Shimanami Kaido and explore the mystical islands of the inland sea
  • Explore stunning Shikoku island, it’s beautiful coastline, emerald green river valleys and ancient temples and shrines
  • Soak in spectacular onsens (natural hot springs)
  • Stay in a mixture of traditional, modern and unique Japanese Ryokan (Inns)
  • Savour diverse and unique Japanese cuisine
  • Experience exquisite hospitality and local knowledge in the company of our own Adventure South guide, Will Turner

Discover the enchanting allure of Shikoku Island, nestled in Southern Japan, swiftly gaining acclaim as a premier cycling haven in Asia. Revered for its iconic 88-temple pilgrimage and boasting Japan's earliest hot-spring spa, Shikoku is a treasure trove of lush forests, meandering river valleys, and breathtaking coastlines, where echoes of history and culture resonate at every bend.

Embark on an unforgettable cycling holiday departing from Onomichi, where the renowned Shimanami Kaido ocean road beckons, weaving across colossal bridges that unite picturesque islands. Arrive onto Shikoku Island after crossing the impressive 4km Kurushima suspension bridge. Traverse scenic mountain paths to reach Uchiko, a serene haven offering cultural immersions, a visit to a washi paper factory, kimono fitting and sake tasting.

We venture into the tranquil heartland of Shikoku, tracing the southwest coast to Uwajima before a scenic train ride fast tracks us to the Pacific Ocean, leading to the rugged beauty of Kure Bay. Our final destination is Kochi, after a mesmerising coastal ride dotted with ancient shrines and temples, and a memorable farewell dinner. The tour concludes with a journey back to Matsuyama, punctuated by a walk to a stunning gorge.

Expert local guides, historic towns and villages, ancient temples, and Shinto shrines are all part of the package, as well as wonderful Japanese cuisine crafted from the finest local ingredients. You’ll have ample opportunity to immerse yourself in the delightful tapestry of local life, while enjoying some of the finest cycling that Japan has to offer.


In the afternoon, we’ll meet our guides and fellow guests at 4pm in our hotel in Onomichi, near to the railway station. After a tour briefing and bike setup we’ll explore the fascinating Onomichi city, famous for its Temple Walk where narrow alley ways and lanes connect 25 temples built into the hill-side. Later we head out for an evening meal where we get to know each other and sample some great local food. Cycling Distance: Nil

Meals:  D

After breakfast we jump onto our bikes and cycle right from our accommodation. A very short ferry ride gets us to the start of the Shimanami Kaido. Today is a stunning cycle on one of the best cycling routes in the world! We explore the islands, jumping off the beaten path and visit a local shrine to pay our respects and wish for a safe journey ahead. We finish up the days cycle at our beautiful accommodation in the small town of Setoda. You will have time to explore the town and relax in the hotel's spa, before we get back together for a delicious dinner. Cycling Distance: up to 45km/250m elevation gain

Meals:  B,D

Another day of fantastic cycling as we complete the Shimanami Kaido route. Another day of fantastic cycling as we complete the Shimanami Kaido route. Today, we get off the beaten track to explore some of the islands in depth. We visit one of the oldest and most prestigious shrines in the region, known for its incredible ancient camphor trees. We then ride over Kurushima bridge, a spectacular 4km suspension bridge which takes us onto Shikoku Island. Here we have lunch and take a short drive to Matsuyama city, where we stay in Dogo, home to the oldest hot spring spa in Japan. Cycling Distance: up to 55km/400m elevation gain

Meals:  B,D

We start today with a short drive from Matsuyama into the mountains. Cycling on beautiful rural roads, we stop in at one of Shikoku’s most beautiful temples. After exploring the temple, we get on our bikes and cycle to a small village alongside an emerald, green river where we’ll have lunch. From here, we follow the river on a beautiful ride through quintessential Shikoku countryside. Uchiko is a beautiful town in a lovely setting. Here we stay in a selection of traditional houses within the historic district that have been refurbished into modern Japanese-style accommodation. Here you can feel at home away from home, enjoying the great local atmosphere and exploring this beautiful area. Cycling Distance: up to 60km/400m elevation gain

Meals:  B,D

We have some great optional activities for you to choose from today including some excellent ride options, a visit and hands on experience at a Japanese washi paper factory and a Kimono fitting experience. These activities have been selected to provide a deeper appreciation of Japanese culture and offer some very unique experiences. Whether you choose to relax and unwind or partake in one or more of the optional activities, we guarantee you'll have a great day. In the evening we will re-group for a sake tasting and enjoy an evening meal at a local ‘Izakaya’ – a Japanese style pub. Cycling Distance: up to 45km/300m elevation gain

Meals:  B,D

After a short drive south to the town of Uwa, our Shikoku journey continues as we make our way to the port town of Uwajima. Today's ride is challenging but very rewarding with incredible views of the Uwa sea and surrounding mountains, adorned with terraced orange orchards. The scenery here is some of the best in Shikoku and with very few foreign tourists visiting, you’ll be sure to get a few surprised smiles from the locals! Cycling Distance: up to 58km/800m elevation gain

Meals:  B,D

We start the day with a scenic train journey that’s takes us from Uwajima to the beautiful Shimanto river in Kochi prefecture. The ‘Yodo line’ covers around 75km of gorgeous Shikoku scenery, crossing over dramatic bridges, through river valleys, passing by rice fields and stopping in at some adorably retro local train stations. We alight the train at Kubokawa, where we meet our support van and jump on the bikes for an afternoon of cycling along one of Japan’s most beautiful rivers, the mighty Shimanto. We finish the day in a beautiful setting with a soak in a natural hot spring and another wonderful meal. Cycling Distance: up to 45km/400m elevation gain

Meals:  B,D

Our final ride of the tour is a great one. Pacific coast cycling at its best as we make our way north towards Kochi city. Today's ride is a challenging one with a few climbs and a real adventure, with a mixture of coastal shrines, a beautiful temple and an old forgotten highway. Our goal, Kochi city, where we’ll check-in to our riverside hotel and hit the town for a fantastic meal and, if you feel like, a sake bar to finish off a truly epic day. Cycling Distance: up to 63km/800m elevation gain

Meals:  B,D

Today, we drive to Matsuyama, stopping enroute at a stunning gorge for a short walk and lunch. We will arrive in Matsuyama around 4pm, where you can be dropped at the train station (city centre), airport or ferry terminal depending on your onward travel. Cycling Distance: Nil

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts, 8 delicious traditional dinners using fresh local ingredients
  • 8 nights in a variety of premium hotels and traditional high quality Japanese ryokan, based on twin or double share
  • 2-3 local guides depending on group size
  • Private vehicle transport and full mechanical support
  • Scenic train ride
  • Tasty and nutritious drinks, snacks and treats to keep you fuelled for the ride
  • Printed maps and GPX files for each day

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary (allow around 1500 Yen for lunch per day)
  • All beverages
  • Cycle and helmet hire
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own drink bottle or hydration system)
  • Optional activities, site-seeing and entry fees listed in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Additional transport required due to any emergency situation
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips

About Your Leader

Meet Will Turner, our seasoned Adventure South NZ guide who leads New Zealand trips in the summer and shifts gears to guide tours in Japan during the NZ winter. In 2020, Will, alongside Tamie, ventured back to Japan. Leveraging their background in regional tourism development, they launched their own cycling company. With extensive global cycling experience and deep-rooted local knowledge, they craft meticulously planned, bespoke itineraries for small groups, infused with a sense of adventure. During your time in Japan, Tamie and Will ensure your every need is met, offering profound insights into local culture and curating a once-in-a-lifetime exploration of their beloved country.


Accommodation


Bike information


Grading

Introductory to Moderate  
2

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude, the number of pass crossings and the length of the trip. The Shikoku Island Cycle is graded introductory to moderate. We cycle at a leisurely pace that allows us to explore shrines, capture viewpoints and enjoy conversations. Perfect for a recreational level cyclist who is comfortable with 4-5 hours/50-60 kms of cycling per day. There are some hills that can be challenging but we avoid the big mountain climbs. The tour is fully supported and if at any stage you feel like having a rest from cycling you will be able to ride in the support vehicle.


Departure dates


Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$6495NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Hybrid Bike RentalNZD$350
  • eBikeNZD$495
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureNZD$595
  • Carbon Road BikeNZD$750
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Shikoku Islands & Bridges Cycle trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


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