This tour connects the two former Japanese capitals Nara and Kyoto, with their traditional townscapes. In between, you can marvel at lush tea plantations and centuries-old Buddha statues. You can also see impressive temples and their unique features, including the humble stone Buddhas at Joruriji temple and the giant Buddha at Todaiji temple. You will get acquainted with many aspects of Japan. Some of them are green tea, sake brewing, and various manifestations of the Buddhist tradition. The tour also includes kaiseki cuisine, a typical Japanese dinner. Last but not least, you can enjoy the rural Japanese scenery while riding on minor roads with very little traffic. The Kyoto and Nara cycling tour offers various facets in the interplay between the urban sprawl within Kyoto and the serenity of remote areas in the countryside.
Japan is a very safe country, and the navigation is easy. It's great to have a self-guided biking tour.
We start our trip from our bike station cycle southbound through the traditional area of Hino. On the way, climb two hills of less than 300 m in elevation, although the second climb that takes us to the village of Sumiyama has some steep gradients. After that, cycle on quiet country roads through lush tea plantations and small towns.
There will be several ups and downs, but none of the climbs are too steep. Before arriving in Nara, make a slight detour to Joruriji temple, where you can marvel at several 1000-year-old stone Buddhas sculpted into boulders in the adjacent fields. From there, it is a short ride to Nara Park. Get ready to be moved by the unadorned beauty of the stone. Suddenly, you will find the Buddhas in front of the Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world with a history of more than 1200 years.
To get there, cycle through the park with its tame deers and visit this temple housing the enormous bronze Buddha statue of Japan, dating back to the 9th century. The hotel is near Nara Park. We will enjoy kaiseki dinner in the evening, a refined cooking style consisting of many small dishes. It is a real treat not only for your taste buds but for your eyes as well.
Accommodation: Hotel Wellness Asukaji or similar Meals:Kaiseki dinner
After breakfast, cycle back to Kyoto and visit several traditional areas on the way. You will leave the mountains behind you and cycle along the Kizu river on your way to Uji, which is associated with tea in Japan.
Cruise through the traditional townscape of Uji, where many temples, shrines, and tea shops stand side by side. You can try green tea in all its manifestations in drinks, desserts, ice cream, and noodles. Then continue along the Uji river to Fushimi and its many old sake breweries and warehouses.
You can visit the Gekkeikan Sake Museum, where you will become acquainted with the sake of production. This area has served as a backdrop in many films. The road back leads you to the famous Fushimi Inari shrine, where you can stroll through its thousands of red shrine gates.
After a short ride through a traditional neighborhood, arrive at Tofukuji Zen temple and cruise through its archaic temple precincts. From there, it is a short ride back to the starting point in Kyoto.
Meals: Breakfast (Hotel Wellness Asukaji or similar)
Price: JPY 319 per person(using rental touring bike)
Price: $439 per person (using rental e-bike)
The minimum number of persons required for the tour to run is 1.
The maximum number of persons in a tour is 10.
12-13 Yoshidaushinomiyacho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto 606-8302
2 days prior to the day of your trip: 40 % of tour price
1 day prior: 50 % of tour price
On the day, no-show: 100 % of tour price
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