These are our Handpicked Cycling Tours in Japan | 2019 + 2020

Authentic Guided Cycling Holidays

Cycling in Japan Through the Seasons

From delicate sakura cherry blossoms in springtime to the regal reds and golds painted across majestic mountainsides, Japan is an ever-changing landscape ready to impress in any season. Our trip schedule follows optimal weather for cycling (cool and dry) as it moves across the country and down the Japanese Alps. So, when you travel with BTJ on a group cycling adventure, you are in visiting those regions in the best possible weather.

So, what are the best times to visit Japan for a variety of cycling and non-snow outdoor activities? The answer to that question is SPRING (March to June) and FALL (September to December).

Bike Tour Japan Cycling Difficulty Levels

Our cycling tours are ranked on a scale of 1-5 from casual to high intensity. If you are uncertain about your ride level, just send us your strava profile or recent ride file, and we will find the perfect bike tour for you!

1 – Flat roads and bike paths. Cycling is just a means of getting between cultural activities, delicious meals, and magical ryokan experiences. Riders are comfortable with 3-4 hours of light activity on the bike per day.

2 – A conversational pace allows us to explore shrines, capture view points, and enjoy conversations over coffee. Riders are comfortable with 4-5 hours of light to moderate activity on the bike per day.

3 – The route is challenging at times but oh so rewarding. We will take on some epic climbs and descents, but still take time to enjoy cultural stops along the way. Riders are comfortable with 5-6 hours of moderate to strenuous activity on the bike per day.

4 – Riders are looking to push their limits up big climbs, pace-line on the flats, and challenge themselves on massive climbs. If you enjoy the thrill of completing tough century rides, this is your level. Riders are comfortable with 6-7 hours of strenuous cycling each day.

5 – Riders who chase epic routes and seek out big climbs. Pace-line on Japan’s most notorious roads for back-to-back days of cols, volcano summits, and rides of epic proportions. Riders are able to ride 7-8 hours of intense cycling each day.

Authentic Guided Cycling Holidays

Japan is home to some of the best road cycling on this planet. And the best thing is that many people don’t know that just yet. Just a few reasons biking in Japan is the ultimate cycling experience:

-Fantastic Roads. Japan’s dedication towards infrastructure is unmatched. From bike paths to car-free rural roads to uber-smooth mountain roads, this is truly a road cyclist’s dream.

-Friendliest Drivers on Planet Earth. Most people know that good manners are of extreme importance in modern Japanese society. Luckily for cyclists, this considerate and courteous behavior is just as important behind the wheel. Imagine a world where drivers always give cyclists the whole lane… welcome to Japan!

-Fresh, Seasonal Food. Our ryokan and restaurant partners have been hand-picked for their ability to create amazing meals with local ingredients. You will love the variety and creativity of each of the meals we’ll enjoy on tour.

-Onsen Hot Spring Baths. Mineral-rich hot springs are the watering holes that bring Japanese communities together. If you’ve never been to an onsen before, we’ll show you the ropes and the rituals!

These amazing ingredients allow us to create the best cycling tours in the world. We can’t wait to wow you with each and every moment on your adventure holiday.

Cycling Tours in Japan with Kids

Traveling by bike as a family is an amazing way to share quality time, learn about a new place, and create memories that will last a lifetime. If your little ninjas are above the age of 12, they may join our group trips when accompanied by at least one parent or guardian.

For riders younger than 12 years of age, please inquire about our bespoke trips and let us know what excites you and your little ones about riding in Japan. We are happy to give you more details about kid-friendly activities such as Edo Wonderland, Calligraphy Class, Fuji-Q, Gunma Insect World, and more. We can’t wait to share Japan with your peloton of young riders!

How to Pack for your Japan Cycling Holiday

Japan is a land of many climates and seasons. When planning for your Japan cycling holiday, the best way to make sure you’re ready for any weather is to bring layers that can be put on and taken off during the day as temperatures change.

For a complete guide to packing for your Japan cycling tour, check out our Comprehensive Packing Guide.

What Does Inaka Cycling in Japan Mean?

At Bike Tour Japan, it’s our passion to share the many things we love about cycling in the inaka. When literally translated, the characters 田舎 mean “ricefields and farmhouses”. In Japan, the idea of Inaka captures an image of a slow, intentional, and nostalgic time. Escape from everyday life, and enjoy this chance to ride your bicycle in our favorite destinations, filled with unique traditions, incredible nature, challenging terrain, and inspirational landscapes.

While Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nara, and the Noto Peninsula have an endless stream of blog articles and reference books, we strive to show our guests a totally different side of Japan. A side that is intimate, local, and often overlooked. Our experiences connect guests with the earth in a way that honors Japan’s Shinto traditions of worshiping spirits of nature. We invite you to join us off the beaten path to discover these magical and hidden places.

Bold Dates: Tour is Guaranteed-to-Run and accepting riders.

E-bikes available for all tours. Guests must indicate e-bike preference at time of booking.

Fall Colors

Tour of the Japanese Alps

(5/5 Difficulty) 8 Days | 7 Nights

2019: Sept 22-29

2020: Sept 24-Oct 1

Push your lungs and legs to their limits as we reach the most breathtaking views that Japan has to offer. Explore massive alpine lakes, iron red volcanoes of the North Alps, incredible volcanoes, and historic onsen towns. These are Honshu’s most challenging routes, packed into an epic cycling adventure.

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Tour of The North Alps

(3/5 Difficulty) 8 Days | 7 Nights

2019: Oct 13-20

2020: Oct 25-Nov 1

This route is one of our staff favorites! A week of incredible adventures among breathtaking mountains, lakes, and shrines. Each day, we’ll explore traditional Japanese customs, epic routes, unbelievable meals, and spectacular views. Uncover surprising and beautiful gems, nestled deep in the Japanese countryside throughout this week-long tour.

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Tour of the Setouchi Sea

(2/5 Difficulty) 8 Days | 7 Nights

2019: Oct 23-30 | Nov 25-Dec 2 | Dec 3-10

2020: Dec 1-8

Explore the incredible Shimanami Kaido, and ride on bridge paths built just for cycling. At the end of the day, enjoy a freshly-made ryokan meal, relax at a seaside onsen, and watch the sun descend behind the mountains in the distance.  

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Ashikaga Training Camp

(4/5 Difficulty) 8 Days | 7 Nights

2019: Nov 3-10 (Ride with a Pro: Lori Nedescu!)

2020: Nov 3-10

Who said base miles have to be boring? Explore the best roads of Japan while immersing yourself in traditional countryside culture. These are the beautiful roads where the country’s pros and Olympic hopefuls train.

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Tour of Japan’s Valleys & Volcanoes

(2/5 Difficulty) 7 Days | 6 Nights

2019: Nov 16-22

2020: Nov 12-18

Immerse yourself in the incredible serenity of the Japanese countryside. Understand the revered and sacred customs. Enjoy incredible 20-course kaiseki feasts at our beautiful ryokans. Soak in the volcano-powered hot spring onsens. Surprises await around every single corner. Join us for a Japan cycling trip to remember.

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Omakase Expedition

(3-4/5 Difficulty) 8 Days | 7 Nights

In Japanese, the phrase omakase means “I’ll leave it up to you”. When you walk into a traditional Japanese restaurant and order omakase style, you are entrusting the chef to put together an innovative and surprising meal based on the freshest ingredients and their own inspiration. On our omakase tours, we ask you–our guest–to leave it to us to show you an amazing time. No itinerary, no set routes; just epic riding and unforgettable experiences.

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SPRING BLOSSOMS

Tour of the Setouchi Sea

(2/5 Difficulty) 8 Days | 7 Nights

2020: Mar 22-29

Explore the incredible Shimanami Kaido, and ride on bridge paths built just for cycling. At the end of the day, enjoy a freshly-made ryokan meal, relax at a seaside onsen, and watch the sun descend behind the mountains in the distance.  

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Tour of The North Alps

(3/5 Difficulty) 8 Days | 7 Nights

2020 Cherry Blossoms: Apr 9-16 | Apr 19-26

2020 Best Weather: May 11-18 | May 21-28

This trip itinerary is one of our staff favorites! A week of adventures among breathtaking mountains, lakes, and shrines. Hanami season means we’ll see beautiful flowers in bloom all throughout the mountains of the North Alps. Uncover surprising and beautiful places, including world-famous flower parks, throughout the countryside. 

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Tour of Japan’s Blooming Flower Parks

(2/3 Difficulty) 7 Days | 6 Nights

2020 Blossoms: Apr 29-May 5

Immerse yourself in the best of Japan’s flower parks and natural flora. Explore the vast Tone Valley and the unique towns connected by beautiful bike paths. We’ll visit Japan’s largest display of wisteria, as well as fields of rhododendrons, roses, irises, and more. Chase the blooming flowers of Japan during hanami season while experiencing all the cultural traditions of the inaka.

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SUMMER SPLENDOR

Tour of the Japanese Alps

(5/5 Difficulty) 8 Days | 7 Nights

2020: June 1-8

Push your lungs and legs to their limits as we reach the most breathtaking views that Japan has to offer. Explore massive alpine lakes, iron red volcanoes of the North Alps, incredible volcanoes, and historic onsen towns.

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Tokyo 2020 | Ride on olympic training grounds

(Difficulty 3-5/5) 5 Days | 4 Nights

2020: July 17-21 (pre-Olympics)

One week before the Olympics’ opening ceremony, we will take off on an epic ride through the heartland of Japan. Come explore our favorite roads, where we often run into Japan’s professional cyclists. We will be sure to stop at our favorite sights, shrines, eats, and onsens on this incredible cycling tour of discovery.

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Tokyo 2020 | Base Camp & Bespoke tours

(1-5/5 Difficulty) 3 – 12 Days

2020: July 12-Aug 16

Join us at one of our exclusive ryokan partners in Gunma, Tochigi, and Nagano for incredible cycling for all rider levels. Explore the routes that Japan’s Olympic Cycling Team train on. Escape the heat and congestion of Tokyo by taking a direct train to the countryside. Venture deep into the heart of Japan for some of the best riding this country has to offer.

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Want to travel with your own peloton? Let us build you the most unforgettable Olympic cycling experience. Contact us with your dream vacation in mind and we will help make it come to life, or talk to one of our Trip Designers for our recommendations based on your travel preferences.

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Plan an adventure with your group, on your schedule.

We have limited availability for bespoke trips, guided or self-guided, for groups of all sizes. Travel dates around the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Summer Olympics are booking quickly. Reach out to us with your travel preferences and group size to connect with a Trip Designer, who will build the perfect experience for your crew!