Find your ideal cycling holiday
Japan - North Onsen Explorer 1 (London Flight)
1st June 2019 - 15th June 2019 (15 days)
Japan, the hidden secret of the east continues to be a prime destination for cyclists. Stay in traditional inns called Ryokans with natural hot springs to relax in after your ride. A beautiful country with paddy fields, dramatic coastlines, fishing villages, mountains, volcanoes, Shinto shrines, Buddhist Temples, castles, amazingly healthy food and wonderful people. A modern country with one foot in the past.
Cycle around the northern tip of the island of Honshu, travel on the Shinkansen Bullet Train to the island of Hokkaido and ride the west coast to the capital Sapporo. Explore Tokyo.
A moving-on tour with English speaking guides and full backup. First class bikes are provided and maintained by the guides. All accommodation, breakfasts and most evening meals are provided.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Richard Dugdale
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel & Guesthouse
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Air
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
- Holiday Ref 03298
Saturday 1st June
Fly from London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda on British Airways flight BA007 departing at 1140.
Sunday 2nd June
Arrive Tokyo Haneda at 0710. Fly to Aomori on Japanese Airlines flight JL143 departing at 0955 and arriving in Aomori at 1115. Shuttle bus to Sukayu Onsen. Meet local guide at the Ryokan (Inn). Stay 1 night.
Monday 3rd June
Collect and set up hire bikes. Cycle to Yukisawa, passing Lake Towadako, 86km (1,000m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 4th June
Cycle to Fujisato passing Shirakami Sanchi forest. 64km (500m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 5th June
Cycle to Furofushi on the Kogane Peninsula. 90km (500m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Thursday 6th June
Cycle to Hirosaki around Mt Iwaki volcano to Hirosaki Castle. 86km (500m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Friday 7th June
Take bullet train under the sea of Japan to Hokkaido. Cycle to Matsumae. 56km (300m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Saturday 8th June
Cycle to Kenichi on an undulating coastal road, stopping at Esashi town, built around the herring industry. 104 km (600m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Sunday 9th June
Cycle to Motta along the rugged coastline and through tunnels. 84km (500m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Monday 10th June
Cycle to Goshiki, heading inland along Shibetsu River and paddy fields. Ride up Niseko Mountain area. 101km (1,000m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 11th June
Cycle to Yoichi. Travel through forest to Kucchan town. Lunch at Akaigawa and over mountain to hotel. 72km (800m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 12th June
End of cycling. Transfer to Yoichi station and take the train to Chitose airport. Fly to Tokyo Haneda on Japanese Airlines flight JL528 departing at 2100, arriving at 2240. Train to Grand Central Hotel. Stay 2 nights.
Thursday 13th June
Free day in Tokyo.
Friday 14th June
Free day in Tokyo. Take late evening train to Tokyo Haneda airport.
Saturday 15th June
Fly from Tokyo Haneda on British Airways flight BA4609 departing at 0155 arriving at London Heathrow at 0625.
Accommodation & Meals
Three nights in hotels and nine nights in Ryokans (traditional Japanese Inns) all 3-star rating, two people per room, ten breakfasts and nine evening meals. Lunches are not provided. Mid-morning snacks are provided on each cycling day.
All transport is provided whilst in Japan and to and from Tokyo Haneda airport. A support vehicle is provided which can carry a limited number of passengers plus bikes and baggage on cycling days. A local guide is also supplied.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is valid for at least 6 months at the end of the tour. A visa WILL NOT be required. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether or not they require a visa.
There are no compulsory health related requirements for EU residents. You should contact your doctor, or health practitioner, at least 3 months prior to travel to obtain any vaccinations and the latest advice to travellers. Japan is quite a safe, clean country but it is advised to visit the nhs website https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-east/japan to find which vaccinations are recommended.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £3,700 is based on a minimum number of 5 people taking part in the tour and is calculated at a rate of 143.445 JPY to £1 sterling (based on exchange rates published on Yahoo Finance on 30 October 2018; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3). If there are insufficient bookings by 23rd March 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid.
- Return flights London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda airport
- Train to and from airport to hotel in Tokyo
- Train from Yoichi to Chitose airport
- Flight from Chitose to Tokyo Haneda aiport
- 8 nights in Ryokans, sharing room, half-board
- 1 night in Ryokan, sharing room, bed & breakfast
- 1 night hotel, sharing room, half-board
- 2 nights hotel, sharing room, no meals
- Mid-morning snacks on cycling days
- Hire of road or hybrid cycle for the duration of the tour
- Full mechanical assistance for the cycles
- English speaking guide and support vehicle/luggage transfer
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from London Heathrow airport
- Meals in transit
- Drinks with evening meals
- Lunches during the day.
- Meals after last cycling day
- Entry fees at any attractions
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
- Single occupancy supplement (£200, subject to availability)
A deposit of £1,200 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £2,500 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 23rd March 2019.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 23rd March 2019
From 23rd March 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
The tour starts by heading towards the coast in northern Honshu through deep gorges and by Towadako Lake formed in a caldera created by a volcano in ancient times. We continue over small mountain passes and through the ancient Siebold Forest, home to black bears, before reaching the coast . Along the coast we pass Mt Iwaki, a stratovolcano, and eventually finish alongside Hirosaki Castle. A train is now used to travel under the sea to Hokkaido where we continue along the west coast through ancient owns and fishing villages. Several tunnels are encountered and Matsumae Castle and temples are seen and visited on the journey. The final day heads inland passing through the small farming town of Rankoshi over the Niseko Mountain area and through beautiful forests to Kucchan Town. Upon arrival in our destination of Yoichi a visit to the whisky distillery is a highlight with samples available.
Rides & Rest Days
The first nine days are spent cycling in the north of Honshu and the south of Hokkaido before flying south to Tokyo to end the tour with two days of sightseeing. There will be no obligation for participants to keep together in one large group whilst on the road. You will be free to ride at your own pace and to stop where you wish for photographs etc. We will regroup at defined intervals and for roadside snacks provided by our guides, mid-morning and afternoon, as required. Our guide and backup driver speak excellent English and will be on hand to help at lunch times and will be available to help with translation and provide information and advice, as necessary. They will carry our bags and arrange our accommodation and evening meals.
Accommodation & Meals
Ryokans have natural hot spring baths (Onsens). The evening meals usually take the form of splendid banquets. Fish plays a substantial part of the meal with other meats, egg and lots of vegetables. Vegetarians can be accommodated but choices will be limited. Anyone with special dietary requirements must make a note on the Booking Form.
Fly London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda followed by an internal flight to Aomori and a shuttle bus to Sukayu Onsen, the start of the cycling. At the end of the cycling, bus to the rail station for the train to Chitose airport and a flight to Tokyo Haneda airport, followed by a train to the hotel in Tokyo. After two days sightseeing in Tokyo train to Tokyo Haneda airport for the flight to London Heathrow.
The maximum group size will be 15 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
June should see the average temperature around 20 degrees centigrade with 7 hours of sunshine. There could be an average of three days with rain, especially on high ground, so you must bring waterproof clothing, sunscreen and sun glasses. When cycing, shorts and a shirt should be sufficient on most days but you should bring long tights or leg warmers plus extra tops to keep warm - the rain can be cold. A cape, helmet cover, long fingered gloves and overshoes are also an advantage in poor weather. Evenings are usually quite warm but a fleece, or similar, should be taken. Helmets are compulsory on this tour, as requested by our local guide.
Whilst in the Ryokan a Yukata is always provided for your visit to the Onsen, which can be worn all evening in the Ryokan, so evening wear taken can be minimal.
Cycles & Equipment
Hybrid and road cycles are provided as part of the tour along with bar bags and seatpost bags respectively for carrying spares, food, cameras and spare clothing. You are requested to bring your own helmet but our guide can provide a limited number given prior notice. Lights are provided on the bikes and should be used at all times, especially since we will travel through several tunnels. The bikes will be maintained during the tour. Clients must indicate their choice and size of bike well before the tour commences and are welcome to bring their own saddles and pedals if preferred.
Maps & Guides
Maps are not essential but if required can be bought from any online map shop. We are travelling in north Honshu and south Hokkaido. Maps and instructions are provided each day by our guide along with fully loaded Garmins with the route for the day.
Travel Insurance & Advice
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.
Electricity: Japan uses 110v 50Hz supply and this is OK for charging phones, Garmins, cameras etc. The sockets are the two flat pin American type.
Currency: Japan uses the YEN (JPY), which is currently around 150 YEN to £1 (GBP). You are advised to buy some before you get there, although you can buy this at the airport or use an ATM to draw cash out. We would recommend taking £200 worth of currency. If you have any small amounts left at the end of your holiday the Tour Manager may be able to buy this off you.
Security: Japan is quite a safe country and normal security measures should be taken.
Japan is 8 hrs ahead of the UK at this time of year.