Region Overviews: Japan Travel Guide: Overview
From bubbling hot springs and white-sand beaches to ornate temples and metropolitan chaos, Japan is a land of almost mythic beauty and diversity.
Japan's dramatic coast. Perfected over eons and just waiting to be discovered by bike. On scenic rides, explore the Noto Peninsula's "hidden shore," lined with fishing villages, terraced rice fields and rocky limestone formations. Exquisite Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines that stand the test of time, all waiting to be explored.
THIS ITINERARY: 8 days, 7 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Premiere Hotels
Start Tokyo / End Kyoto
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Cycle the Noto Peninsula's coast past plunging cliffs, coves and fishing villages | A world of serenity awaits at our classic ryokan accommodations | Don a yukata (robe) and savor a traditional kaiseki-style dinner | Spin past the famous Shiroyone Senmaida, a cliff blanketed with a mosaic of terraced rice paddies | Delight in a taiko drumming performance.
Serenity, hot-spring baths, futons and tradition await at this beautiful inn by the sea. (spa)
Discover the old-world countryside of Notojima (or Noto Island) and bike the island's forested hills and quiet country roads | Relax in stunning onsen, open-air hot tubs, or indulge in a traditional shiatsu massage | Partake in a traditional tea ceremony (or chaji) | Learn the steps of this highly stylized ritual, a highlight of our cultural adventure | Ride along Toyama Bay and skirt the base of the Japanese Alps | Gorgeous panoramic views abound as you bike across the majestic Shinminato Bridge | Luxuriate seaside at a resort long considered one of the finest in Japan.
Experience Japanese elegance at this spectacular waterfront retreat, complete with inspiring views and sea breezes.
Bike to Yatsuo, one of the best preserved historical villages in Japan | Visit hilltop Kinbyōzan Zuisen-ji, a picturesque Buddhist temple renowned for its Zen garden | Stay in historic Kanazawa, a beguiling city dotted with castles.
Modern luxury and artistry of design abound at this riverside inn nestled in the Northern Alps. (spa)
Explore Kenroku-en, a stunning Japanese garden with bridges, ponds and waterfalls | Stroll Kanazawa's vibrant Omicho Market and witness a mind-boggling assortment of freshly caught seafood | Spin out of Kyoto to the reed-lined shore of Lake Biwa, where abundant birdlife thrives | Pedal past small towns, stretches of forest and popular beaches | Walk under countless torii, or Japanese gates, on a climb up to famed Fushimi Inari-Taisha, a popular Shinto temple that dates back to AD 711 | From the summit of iconic Inari hill, soak up unobstructed views of the surrounding landscape and Kyoto below.
Fusuma panels, paper lanterns and lacquerware are among the artisanal elements at this refined property in the well-preserved Higashiyama District. (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Even at five-star Western-style hotels in Japan, the local preference for ordered austere aesthetics is prioritized. This means simple rooms with fewer amenities than one might find at a typical Backroads Premiere Hotel and an emphasis on tranquility and refined onsen (Japanese-style spas).
A typical Japanese meal is comprised of several small plates with a range of vegetables, meat and seafood, with a focus on seafood. It is not common in Japanese restaurants to make substitutions and in most cases restaurants do not offer additional choices beyond their set menus. You'll find that Japanese cuisine is not well-suited to celiac or vegetarian diets.
In order to access the scenic and culturally significant biking routes and points of interest on this trip, strategic shuttles are incorporated into our itinerary. Most will be limited to an hour or so at a time, but on some days you can expect to spend a bit more time in the shuttle—though always to reach a worthwhile destination!