shimanami and beyond: surf & turf

The sublime scenery of the Shimanami Kaido with an exploration of west Japan's unique landscapes

9 days / 8 nights ・ fall 2020

’20 October 21-29
’21 May 19-27

private tours avail – Mar to Jun, Sep to Nov recommended

$4,550 per person 

for groups of 6

see “Prices” below for more info

Available

max. capacity 12

fall foliage
17-25°C
63-77°F

Shimanami Kaido | Hiroshima | Miyajima | Tsuwano (Little Kyoto) | Imabari | Ehime Prefecture | Yamaguchi Prefecture | Shikoku region

about the trip

Step away from the organized chaos of the big cities and join us in a guided journey through the lesser-known pockets of west Japan.  

A unique region boasting historical significance and cultural importance, western Japan encompasses a broad swath of land towards the bottom end of Honshu, Japan’s main island. Home to cities like Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara, the area highlights colorful, sweeping panoramas that we believe are best viewed from a bicycle.

From the deep blue shades of the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan’s glistening open waters, this journey is a tale that begins on the southern coast in Hiroshima Prefecture, meandering past endless emerald rice fields, and carrying on effortlessly through the mountainous heartland before concluding on the northern coast in Shimane Prefecture.

Paired with the sublime scenery of the Shimanami Kaido, we’ve carefully selected destinations demonstrating a world of contrasts that come alive for an unforgettable trip. Immerse yourself in a cultural experience where traditional convention pairs harmoniously with contemporary sophistication. Wander through the distinctly red torii gates and unwind in the milky healing properties of Japan’s ubiquitous natural hot springs. Dive into the unfamiliar flavors of Japanese cuisine or sample fresh harvests from local farmers.

Click here to book your tour

Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge
Imabari Castle entrance
Imabari Castle

Bike Options

・1x bike included per person

Shimanami Kaido

Read about cycling the Shimanami Kaido

Western Japan

Read about cycling in west Japan

food highlights

Sushi train (kaiten zushi) in Japan
Yakitori grill

level and suitability

Level 2

This cycling tour is low to medium stress on your legs and stamina. The distance and elevation covered won’t raise red flags for the irregular cyclist but if you don’t exercise often, the rides might feel like a solid workout.

・Mostly flat roads and bike paths with a few technical segments
・Some rolling hills and a couple punchy climbs – up to 600 meters (2,000 feet) of elevation gain per day
・Between 30 to 80km (18 to 51 miles) a day
・Ride at a conversational pace that permits sightseeing for four to give hours per day of cycling
・Prefer to ride every day but don’t mind taking a few days off throughout the tour

cycling conditions

This bike tour takes place along asphalt and tarmac roads in good condition. There is very little technical riding. Whenever possible, we will ride on paved roads and bike paths; we  do our best to avoid busy, congested main roads. 

Cyclists are encouraged to ride and complete the full distance from point-to-point. A support vehicle follows the entire journey. Our itineraries are an approximation of our trips and at times, routes may change at the guide’s discretion to improve the trip experience. 

total cycling distance

about 230km

distance/day

about 45km

climbing/day

about 600m

The biking was tremendous, but adding the food and drinks is what makes it really special.
Beer to go on bus in Japan
Richard
Kunio Hirayama Museum
Kunio Hirayama Museum
Trying ramune
Shimanami Kaido
Shimanami Zosen shipyard
Imabari Shipyards
Akiyoshidai caves
Rooftop of Imabari Castle
Imabari Castle

trip highlights

Shimanami Kaido bike tour map

Shimanami Kaido (credit: Onomichi Sightseeing Information Center) 

Akiyoshidai National Park (credit: Mine City Tourism Information Center) 

itinerary

We’ll start our bike tour at the Alpha-One Hotel in Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture. We suggest that you arrive at least one day prior to the trip start to allow for greater flexibility and time-zone adjustments. 

Listed below are our recommendations to help you plan your arrival to Onomichi:

Train
From Tokyo
・ Tokyo station to Fukuyama station:
Nozomi shinkansen (about 3 hours 40 minutes)
・ Fukuyama station to Onomichi station:
local train (about 20 minutes) 
Shinjuku station to Onomichi station: Etoile Seto overnight train (about 11 hours 10 minutes)
From Osaka
Umeda station or Osaka International (Itami) Airport (ITM) to Onomichi station: Bingo Liner (about 4 hours 35 minutes)

Flight
Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) to Hiroshima Airport (HIJ): Japan Airlines (JAL), All Nippon Airways (ANA) (about 1 hour 25 minutes)
Narita Airport (NRT) to Hiroshima Airport (HIJ): All Nippon Airways (ANA) (about 1 hour 40 minutes)
・ From airport to Onomichi station: Airport Limousine bus (about 50 minutes)

Please contact Samurai Sports if you need assistance with pre-tour options and transportation.

Welcome to Onomichi! Our exploration of Japan begins in Hiroshima Prefecture. The first day is all about shaking loose and getting your bearings. Throughout the course of the day, we’ll all check into our centrally-located hotel and get acquainted with each other.

In the evening, join us for an optional dinner at a local restaurant. Introduce yourselves and gorge on some local eats while we brief through the coming week. We’ll also answer any burning questions you might have and sing Kumbaya in Japanese – maybe.

We don’t recommend it, but some flight itineraries mean arriving late at night. No worries, just join us in the morning on Day 02!

・Alpha-One Hotel Onomichi
・Dinner (TBA; optional)

Ohayo! You’ll hear this every morning in Japan – and you’ll learn useful Japanese throughout your journey with us.

We’ll have an early-but-not-late start as we wrangle the crew together in the morning. All rental bikes will be ready with a personalized name tag (in Japanese!). Once we’ve completed fine-tuning saddles, pedals, and anything else, we’ll embark on an easy 30km ride to shake off the jetlag. 

Our first of two days on the Shimanami Kaido will involve a short ferry to Mukai-shima before we pedal towards Inno-shima, then Ikuchi-jima. On the way, we’ll make pit stops to indulge in local snacks, explore hidden paths, and admire the Setouchi Sea. 

We’ll check in at a ryokan (Japanese inn) for the night, complete with a traditional Japanese dinner. When you’re ready to feel the breeze on your bare skin, give the lemon onsen bath a try. When in Rome…!

・about 27km (17mi) | +364m (1,194ft)
・Ryokan

・Breakfast, Dinner (at ryokan)

Our third day will be spent completing the rest of the Shimanami Kaido for about 50km (31 miles) at an easy spin. From our ryokan at Ikuchi-jima, we’ll travel southbound via three small islands towards the city of Imabari in Ehime Prefecture. 

As we continue along the Shimanami Kaido’s unique blue bike lane, we’ll explore the little things that make each island special. Don’t be afraid to pause along the way and take pictures as we make our way! 

In Oshima, we’ll visit the Murakami Suigun Museum which highlights “the lords of the sea”, who were in control of the Seto Inland Sea during the Sengoku period (1467-1615). Before reaching our final destination for the day, we’ll cross the Kurushima Kaikyo Ohashi, the world’s longest suspension bridge. 

At Imabari, we’ll kick back at a dinner full of local fare and rest overnight at a hotel in the heart of the city. 

・about 44km (26mi) | +533m (1,749ft)
・Standard western-style business hotel

・Breakfast, Dinner (yakitori)

Day 04
After breakfast, we’ll take a meandering tour of Imabari Castle. Inside the castle, visitors can visit the museum displaying samurai warrior outfits and unique historical artifacts. The castle tower is also accessible for magnificent photo-worthy views of Imabari’s sprawling cityscape.

We’ll then purchase bento box lunches to eat aboard the highway express bus to Hiroshima (about 90 minutes to 2 hours). Upon our arrival in Hiroshima, we’ll board a train (about 60 minutes) to Miyajima-guchi,  check in to our hotel and enjoy some free time. To wrap up the evening, we’ll have dinner at a local oyster hut before retiring to our hotel for the night.

・Standard western-style business hotel
・Breakfast, Dinner (oyster hut)

Day 05
We’ll spend most of the day sightseeing at Miyajima, the small island renown for its “floating” torii gate. Hop aboard the short ferry ride to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and wander the island amidst all of the deer and Japanese shop fronts. 

After visiting Itsukushima Shrine, we’ll take the ropeway (cable car) to the peak of Mt. Misen and marvel at the magnificent views from the observatory. We’ll descend by foot and swing by a local brewery to enjoy a cold one before taking the ferry and train back to Hiroshima. 

In the evening, we’ll walk over to a “meat bar” to indulge in a range of meat-based dishes and sampler plates to be shared.

・Standard western-style business hotel
・Lunch, Dinner (“meat bar”)

Breakfast is on your own today, but we recommend ambling into a local joint for a ‘morning set meal’ popular among the Japanese ‘salary man’ (white-collar business men). Save some space for lunch though – we’ll have one of Hiroshima’s specialty foods, the okonomiyaki, a kind of savory Japanese pancake. 

We’ll continue at a relaxed pace today and eventually convene to board a highway express bus to Yuda Onsen in Yamaguchi Prefecture. You’re welcome to take it easy for the rest of the day but make sure you work up an appetite for our sushi train dinner (conveyor belt sushi)! 

・Standard western-style business hotel
・Lunch, Dinner (sushi train)

We may have taken a short break from cycling, but it’s time to hop back on the saddle! Covering nearly 50 miles, we have a doozy of a ride planned for the day from Yuda Onsen to Hagi with a stop at Akiyoshidai national park.

Known as the largest karst plateau in Japan, the vast lands of Akiyoshidai are host to countless limestone pinnacles of various sizes. Once a coral reef, the contrast between the grasslands and the white limestone makes riding along the plateau seem like a journey through a different world. Time permitting, we’ll walk around and explore the limestone caves, which are among the longest in Japan.

We’ll continue the second leg of our journey towards Hagi in Shimane Prefecture. Significant for its role in the modernization of Japan, Hagi and the surrounding area were crucial in reforming the Samurai society during the Meiji Restoration. Time permitting, we’ll stop by the Hagi Reverberatory Furnace, a largely unsuccessful attempt by the local clan to conduct experiments in Western technology and reproduce foreign industrial processes. 

You’ll be hungry after today’s ride, so join us for dinner at a Japanese-style family restaurant. Complete with multiple colorful menus and all-you-can drink beverages bar, it’s a great option for sampling a wide variety of dishes without sticker shock.

・about 76km (47mi) | +1,091m (3,579ft)
・Standard western-style business hotel

・Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (optional)

As we begin to wind down our trip on our eighth day together, we’ll start with a brisk morning ride around Hagi’s castle town district. Venturing into areas we haven’t yet explored around town, we’ll also work on shaking off any soreness from yesterday’s big ride.

Today’s route will then continue on a gentle climb towards the north east as we make our way to Tsuwano. The path we take is part of an old highway that retains much of the original structure and scenery of bygone days in Japan. We’ll take a pit stop at Unrinji Temple, a uniquely cat-tastic temple known for its collection of carved wooden cat statues and various a-meow-zing cat paraphernalia. Before exiting northern Yamaguchi Prefecture, we’ll have lunch at a ‘michi-no-eki’ roadside station famous for tonkatsu, tomato-flavored soft cream, and fresh produce from the nearby farms and mountains.

Once arriving in Tsuwano, you have the option to participate in an optional sightseeing tour, including sake sampling at a local sake brewery, a trek through the beautiful vermillon torii gates of Taikodani Inari Shrine, and a relaxing walk through Tonomachi Street with its charming traditional Japanese shopfronts, samurai residences, and canals of colorful koi fish. Time permitting, a visit to Tsuwano Castle may also be part of the itinerary. 

Tonight, we’ll stay at a traditional Japanese inn. After a celebratory dinner, enjoy a private Iwami Kagura dance performance accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments. Sit back and witness this once-a-year traditional dance specific to Shimane Prefecture performed as a means of demonstrating gratitude for the autumn harvest. Let the night flow, you deserve it!

・about 52km (32mi) | +775m (2,543ft)
・Ryokan

・Breakfast, Lunch, Celebration Dinner

Ohayo! If you’re an early riser, you just might be able to witness ‘unkai’ or a ‘sea of clouds’, a cloud formation that creates a lofty, mystical skyscape resembling soft waves. We’ll convene at a reasonable 10AM and roll out to Hihara, then Masuda on the same historic highway route. On the way, we’ll connect to and ride along the Takatsu River, which has been selected as one of Japan’s clearest bodies of fresh water. During the summer, the river is a popular recreation area for leisure swimming, and fishing (mainly ayu or Japanese sweetfish).

After a brief rest stop at Hihara Kawabe, we’ll continue up the Takatsu River as we amble towards the Mascos Hotel. At the hotel, you’ll have the opportunity to freshen up at the hot spring onsen. Then, join us for a farewell celebration at the hotel’s restaurant complete with a variety of dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Cheers to completing a cycling tour of Western Japan – and to new friends!

・about 32km (20mi) | +268m (879ft)
・Breakfast, Farewell Celebration (heavy hors d’oeuvres) 

We’ll conclude our bike tour at the Mascos Hotel in Masuda, Shimane Prefecture. From here, guests are free to continue their travels or make the journey home. Please do not schedule departing transportation prior to 5:00PM.

Listed below are our recommendations for after the conclusion of the bike tour: 

Highway Bus
・ Masuda to Kobe, Osaka (Umeda station): Tsuwano Express overnight bus (about 8 hours)
・Masuda to Hiroshima: various highway buses (about 3 hours)

Train
・ Masuda to Shin Yamaguchi: Super Oki (about 1 hour 25 minutes) 
・ Shin Yamaguchi to Shinosaka: Nozomi shinkansen (about 2 hours 5 minutes) 

Flight
Masuda to Hagi Iwami Airport (IWJ): Airport Limousine Bus (about 20 minutes)
Hagi Iwami Airport (IWJ) to Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND): All Nippon Airways (about 1 hour 45 minutes)

Please contact Samurai Sports if you need assistance with post-tour options and transportation.

Hiroshima Airport (HIJ)

Transit from Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, or Kansai Airport

Iwami Airport (IWJ)

Transit to Tokyo Haneda Airport or Osaka International (Itami) Airport

Say Hello

Alpha-One Hotel
Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture

See “Before the Tour” for guidance

Say Goodbye

Mascos Hotel
Masuda, Shimane Prefecture

See “After the Tour” for guidance

more information

For all cycling tours, accommodation is a mix of contemporary and traditional lodging. All of our trips are priced per person, double occupancy. If you wish to have your own room, you will be charged a single supplement fee.

Most of our hotel stays are western-style ‘business hotels’, which are clean, no-frills single- or double-occupancy accommodations with full bathrooms. The rooms have a bed, desk, television, and refrigerator; they are efficiently designed to maximize a Japan-sized space. WiFi and some amenities are usually included and many have on-site laundry facilities. Most hotels will also have a “daiyokujyou” or a large communal bath – these are typically not hot springs because the water comes from a faucet and is not naturally sourced with high mineral content.

No trip to Japan is complete without an overnight stay at a traditional ryokan (Japanese inns)! Staying at a ryokan is one of the best ways to soak in the experience of Japan’s “ometenashi” spirit, indulge in local dishes, and support family businesses. The ryokan aesthetic is simple yet purposeful, room designs will vary greatly but have everything you need. Depending on the ryokan, you may not have a private bathroom and will bathe in the communal hot spring. You’ll almost always sleep on a futon and you should never wear shoes when setting foot into a room. 

Please note that at times, the accommodation listed may change at the discretion of the trip guides and/or Samurai Sports to improve the trip experience.

Each trip with Taste of Japan combines a cycling journey with a culinary experience. From learning to navigate the ubiquitous Japanese chain restaurants to sampling regional cuisine and savoring seasonal harvests, we’re proud of the smorgasbord of flavors that make each bike tour so unique. 

From the dark blue ocean dotted with frothy waves to the windy coastlines making you wish for a tailwind, or the rice fields that stretch lazily for miles, Japanese cuisine showcases the bountiful harvests that can be had from the island’s natural landscapes. Whether you have a hankering for fresh seafood catches, feel like eating clean with locally sourced vegetables, or just want to chow on less artisan frou frou meals, we’ve got you covered. 

We also understand that everyone’s palates differ and that due to the nature of cycling tours, we also spend a lot of time together. If you’re feeling adventurous, have a specific meal you’re after, or just want something different, we regularly let you choose your meal option (usually dinner). Optional meals mean you can choose to eat with us – or not. At optional meals, guests are expected to pay for their own orders as a typical restaurant customer. These are not prix fixe meals, you are not bound to a limited menu, and we’re happy to make recommendations!

Dietary restrictions can be difficult to accommodate regularly or consistently in Japan, where knowledge and awareness in the food and beverage industry about specific dietary restrictions is less common. It is imperative that you let us know in advance if you have food allergies and/or have strict dietary restrictions. Food preferences will be catered to the best extent possible. 

Taste of Japan Bike Tours encourages group bookings of four or more. For smaller groups and/or personalized itineraries, please complete our booking request form.

Shimanami and Beyond: Surf & Turf 

4-5 guests
$6,070 per person (double occupancy) 
approx. $674/day

6-7 guests 
$4,550 per person (double occupancy)
approx. $505/day

8-9 guests 
$3,780 per person (double occupancy)
approx. $420/day

10 or more guests 
$3,320 per person (double occupancy)
approx. $369/day

Everyone is invited to our cycling tours and in fact, non-riders are also welcome. Just because you don’t ride, doesn’t mean you can’t join us! Please inquire in advance regarding member(s) of your party that won’t require a bike. 

Our cycling tours are not about high intensity nor endurance training. To maximize your cycling experience, you should at a minimum, know how to ride a bike and be comfortable on the saddle for at least two hours a day. 

For reference, all of our cycling tours are ranked on a scale of 1  to 3. These levels are meant to demonstrate the difficulty of a tour and serve to indicate the types of fitness and skill you should possess to enjoy the trip. 

Level 1
・Mostly flat roads and bike paths
・Shorter climbs and small hills – no more than 400 meters (1,300 feet) of elevation gain per day
・Between 30 to 60km (18 to 37 miles) a day
・Ride at a leisurely pace for two to three hours per day, allowing you to enjoy the views and take breaks when you want to
・Like to ride, but don’t need to ride every day

Level 2
・Mostly flat roads and bike paths with a few technical segments
・Some rolling hills and a couple punchy climbs – up to 600 meters (2,000 feet) of elevation gain per day
・Between 30 to 80km (18 to 51 miles) a day
・Ride at a conversational pace that permits sightseeing for four to give hours per day of cycling
・Prefer to ride every day but don’t mind taking a few days off throughout the tour

Level 3
・Flat roads, bike paths, technical segments, and some challenges
・Climbs big and small paired with speedy descents sprinkled throughout the days – up to 700 meters (2,300 feet) of elevation gain a day
・Between 40 to 100km (25 to 62 miles) a day
・Ride at a moderate pace requiring physical endurance for up to six hours a day
・Prefer to ride every day but with alternating difficulties, distances, and destinations for balance 

Support Vehicle (SAG van) 
Our cycling tours are always accompanied with a support vehicle. If for any reason, you aren’t feeling up to par for the day’s ride or just need to take an extended water break, you can jump in the temperature-controlled SAG van until we reach our destination – or until you’re ready again.

Uncertain about your ride level? Send us an email with your Strava link and/or a written summary of your rides in the past three months. 

View the bikes offered on Taste of Japan Bike Tours

To reserve your spot on any of our Taste of Japan Bike Tours, please complete our booking request form. We’ll respond to you within 1 to 2 business days to complete your reservation. 

Guests who make a reservation more than 60 days prior to the tour must pay a $1,000 deposit per person, due at the time of booking. The deposit will be applied to your total balance and your outstanding balance (final payment) must be paid in full at least 60 days prior to the tour. Tours starting in 60 days or less require the full balance of the trip price at the time of booking. 

More than 90 days to tour
$1,000 deposit per person due at the time of booking
Each guest receives a $200 early bird discount
Outstanding balance (final payment) must be paid in full 60 days prior to tour
Guests will receive a final payment reminder via email

More than 60 days to tour
$1,000 deposit per person due at the time of booking
Outstanding balance (final payment) must be paid in full 60 days prior to tour

Guests will receive a final payment reminder via email

Less than 60 days to tour
Full payment due at the time of booking

Penalties
If final payment is not received 60 days prior to tour, you will incur a late fee of $200 per person.
If final payment is not received 30 days prior to tour, your reservation will be cancelled with no refunds or travel credit. 

Payment Methods
All prices are listed in USD. Your transaction will be indicated on your credit card statement as Taste of Japan – Samurai Sports. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and JCB credit cards via Square. Convenience store payments and personal check are not accepted. Wire transfer is acceptable – please discuss with a team member. 

Pricing
All prices listed on Taste of Japan Bike Tours are in US dollars per guest. Our prices include taxes, service fees, gratuity, and online transaction fees. Fees incurred by wire transfers must be borne by the payer. 

Solo travelers and guests who wish to have their own room may be required to pay a single supplement fee, an amount which varies by bike tour. The exact cost can be found on each tour page. 

Guests who arrive late, depart early, or for any reason cannot join the entire duration of the bike tour will not receive price adjustments, credit, or refunds. 

Taste of  Japan Bike Tours offers discounted prices for early booking (more than 90 days prior to tour) and for groups of more than six riders on the same bike tour.

We know that life happens. If you have to cancel or reschedule your bike tour, please note that Taste of Japan Bike Tours implements the following fee schedules for group tour and private tours bookings. 

Group Tours Cancellation Fees
More than 60 days to tour
50% of deposit

31-60 days to tour
50% of tour price

0-30 Days to tour
100% of tour price 

Private Tours Cancellation Fees
More than 60 days to tour
100% of deposit

0-60 days to tour
100% of tour price 

All refunds processed will be less transaction fees (about 4% for online transactions and bank-dependent for wire transfers).

If the safety of our guests, team members, and partners appear compromised, Taste of Japan Bike Tours reserves the right to cancel any bike tour at our discretion. Taste of Japan Bike Tours is not responsible for any losses incurred for non-refundable travel costs. 

Guests who cancel more than 60 days prior to departure may request full travel credit instead of a partial refund. Travel credit requests must be made in writing at the same time guests announce their intention to cancel a tour. 

In the event of cancellation (whether by the guest or by Taste of Japan Bike Tours), all guests will receive full travel credit that can be applied to any bike tour that begins within 500 days from the last day of your cancelled bike tour. Travel credit can be transferred once to another individual. Travel credit can be applied to a tour one time; once applied, no refunds will be issued. 

Taste of Japan Bike Tours take into account the many hours spent by our team members and partners who painstakingly plan your bike tour. We believe the cancellation policy above is a fair representation of costs incurred well before our guests’ arrivals.

Is airfare included? Will someone meet me at the airport? Are airport transfers included?
No, neither airfare nor airport transfers are included. Guests are expected to navigate themselves from the airport to the meeting spot on their own. Taste of Japan Bike Tours will recommended routes to the meeting spot with detailed meeting instructions in communications leading up to the tour start date. 

Our bike tours convene at a centrally located meeting point to accommodate for our guests who often arrive in Japan from all around the world on separate flights. Meeting points vary by tour and are chosen based on accessibility, guest convenience, and travel logistics. 

What sort of bike will I ride? Can I bring my own bike? 
The price of all Taste of Japan Bike Tours includes the use of one rental bike per person. Guests may select between a road bike (with drop handles) or a hybrid bike (with flat bar handles). For images and details, please refer to “Bike Options” under our Resources page

What does “double occupancy” mean? What is a “single supplement” fee? 
Our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. If you’re joining as a solo traveler, you will be charged a single supplement fee. Similarly, solo travelers who wish to have their own room will be charged a single supplement fee. The single supplement fee varies by bike tour. 

Solo travelers who do not mind sharing a room with another solo traveler of the same gender should inquire in advance. If there is another solo traveler willing to share a room, the single supplement fee is waived for both guests. 

Is there a maximum number of guests on a single Taste of Japan bike tour?
Yes, we cap our trips at 12 guests. This allows us to ensure each guest (cyclist or not) the personal attention and support they deserve throughout the journey. 

Can non-cyclists join Taste of Japan Bike Tours? What will non-riders do? 
Taste of Japan Bike Tours welcome those who do not or cannot ride. All of our tours are priced per person, double occupancy, whether you ride or not. Due to limited seating, guests should inquire in advance regarding space availability for non-riders.

During cycling portions, non-riders will travel from one destination to the next in the sag van. All Taste of Japan Bike Tours sag vans are properly licensed to carry passengers. With the exception of the cycling portions throughout a trip, all guests will participate in the same activities, visit the same sights, and feast on the same meals. 

Can children join? Is there an age requirement?
Group tours with Taste of Japan Bike Tours are designed for adults 18 and older. All guests must be 18 years old by the first day of all group tours. 

We welcome families and guests under the age of 18 on private tours. Private tours allow us to create and coordinate the best possible arrangements for a safe bike tour with our younger guests.

What about inclement weather? 
All Taste of Japan Bike Tours ride as scheduled, rain or shine. However, exceptions may be made in certain circumstances, i.e. due to heavy rains, strong winds, and severe weather. In order to remain on schedule, our bike tour guides will guide you to your destination(s) using public transport for no additional cost.

Is gratuity included? Who do I tip? 
Gratuity for drivers, tour guides, and hospitality staff is included. Note that in Japan, tipping of service staff (including taxi drivers, hotel staff, restaurant workers) is not customary and may not be accepted. If you believe the Taste of Japan Bike Tours team has gone above and beyond, please tip our guides at your discretion. For information about weather in Japan, please refer to our Resources page.

Should I enroll in trip protection and/or travel insurance? 
Yes. Please refer to “Personal Insurance Coverage” under our Resources page.

Do I have to read and sign a release waiver?
Yes, to participate in Taste of Japan Bike Tours, all participants whether cycling or not are required to read and sign a release waiver.

Will I have to carry my own luggage on tour? 
It depends. On ride days, all luggage will be transported by our team. On days without cycling, guests may pack their luggage onto the support van. While we do our best to accommodate all guests’ luggage, depending on the amount of luggage, guests may need to hand carry their own luggage. Our team members will assist guests whenever possible to ensure a smooth, stress-free trip. 

How much should I put aside for incidentals? What personal expenses should I anticipate? Do I need cash or is my credit/debit card ok? 
Please refer to “Incidentals and Daily Expenses” under our Resources page.

What will the weather in Japan be like? What temperatures should I expect? 
Please refer to “Weather in Japan” under our Resources page.

What should I wear? What should I bring? 
Please refer to “Packing List” under our Resources page.

Will I be able to do laundry?
Please refer to “Packing List” under our Resources page.

What about accident insurance and medical coverage? What if I get hurt? 
Please refer to “Insurance” under  our Resources page.

Shimanami was so much more than I ever imagined and that was just the beginning...it was a perfect combination of cycling, scenery (ocean & mountains), food, sight-seeing, food, shopping and fun!
Enjoying a snack on the Shimanami Kaido
Keri
Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park
Rurikoji Temple overlooking Yuda Onsen

inquiries