The Setouchi Sea region of Japan is steeped in ancient and modern Japanese history. Some of the most unique aspects of Japanese culture and tradition live here, including the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage, the Shimanami Kaido, and the ancient Izumo Taisha Shrine.
Since time immemorial, this has been an area of immense historical and political importance. It is also home to the Japan’s historical naval bases, which led to the tragic dropping of the first atomic bomb. Rebuilt upon a vision for a peaceful future, cities like Onomichi and Matsuyama couple their historic machinami (or townscape) with progressive modern culture. The small islands that pepper the sea between Ehime and Hiroshima have become home to some of the most beautiful cafes and bicycle vistas in the world. We’ll explore many of these unique places by way of the Shimanami Kaido, Japan’s much-loved bike route!
Traverse islands on roads and bridges built just for cycling. Relax at a historical seaside onsen. Watch the sun descend behind the mountains in the distance. Experience the Shimanami Kaido, a bright blue path of bike lanes and bridges built across the islands of the Setouchi Sea. Explore the mountains of Ehime, and the famous shrine in the water at Miyajima. Enjoy exquisite meals prepared just for you. We cannot wait for you to soak in the beauty of this often unexplored region!
Cheryl and John
John and I loved our time with Bike Tour Japan. The guides, Rob, Michelle, and Michael were fun, full of information, history,geology and talents. They treated us to rides in beautiful cedar forests, vistas high above the countryside, and incredible food. Japan has many treasures in their culture and graciousness. Our trip couldn’t have been better. We went in December and it was delightful. dress warmly and you will love it. The ryokans were extraordinary and their breakfasts and dinners elaborate and bountiful. We hope to go again and would highly recommend this guide group. We have been on many bike trips and this scores the highest. Cheryl and John [Valleys and Volcanoes 2018]
Bike Tour Japan was truly an epic adventure. I’m beyond grateful for the experience and eternally thankful to Rob and Michael for organizing and leading such an amazing trip. The roads, valleys, mountains, towns, cities, country sides, and people of Japan are all so wonderful. And the food! So much great food! Oh and the convenience stores are awesome! You’ve never been to a good convenience store until you’ve been to Japan. You could live out of a Lawson or 7-Eleven!
If you have the chance to go, you better not miss out. I can’t wait to go back again someday soon. [The Japanese Alps 2017]
BikeTourJapan is an incredible tour company. Cycling is my passion and I travel all over the world to ride. Rob made Japan an amazing experience. His extensive knowledge of the local routes through the area made it so memorable. Rob’s key strength is the his Japanese fluency yet being an American, understanding of his client’s needs. Do not hesitate booking with BikeTourJapan! [Ashikaga Training Camp]
For me, when thinking about a bike trip, there are five features that contribute to how memorable and enjoyable the trip was: the routes, the hotels, the food, the bikes, and the guide. BTJ nailed each of these right on the head. [Bespoke Tour 2019]
BikeTourJapan brought my dream vacation into reality. Amazing rides matched with unforgettable scenery, endless photo opportunities. I got to experience beautiful countryside, amazing hot spring towns, friendly folks, great food, all one could ask for, and to be on a bike, the icing on the cake…..cant wait for my next trip, on a bike…..in Japan, thanks Robert !!!! [The Japanese Alps 2016] & [Bespoke Tour 2018]
Amazing trip through the North Alps, which feel like a mix of Congo, Alps and Hawaiian volcanoes. We only saw a handful of Westerners the entire week and ate beautiful Japanese meals, soaked in amazing Onsen each night and stayed in great Ryokans throughout. The rides were challenging and amazing. From steep climbs up the highest peaks to incredible 20-mile runs down through huge valleys. These guys put together a perfect journey that was challenging and also provided lots of options for beautiful hiking. We climbed the highest volcano in Japan and even got in a round of golf on a rainy day! [Bespoke Tour 2018]
Had an amazing 5 day bike trip with Rob and Michelle. Would highly recommend for bikers of all levels. [Bespoke Tour 2018]
Melanie and David
We have been on many cycling tours around the world and we can honestly say that this tour has been far more outstanding than any other tour we have been on in the past. Our tour guide was without question one of the most helpful, professional & friendly person one could ever meet !!!!! We highly recommend Bike Tour Japan! [Bespoke Tour 2019]
I’ve been on many great cycling vacations, but my experience with Bike Tour Japan was easily the best of all of them. Rob and Michael were incredible hosts: hugely knowledgeable about the area, top-notch hospitality, and best of all, really fun to be around. The bike routes were extraordinary; each and every day on the Ashikaga training camp felt as picturesque as a National Geographic documentary, and I rode a wonderful mixture of challenging mountains, valleys, and descents. [Ashikaga Training Camp 2018]
We had a very amazing bike vacation in the Northern Alps of Japan. The scenery, Ryokans, Onsen were very beautiful and enjoyable. Both Rob and Michael did an excellent job finding these nice places to stay after great riding every day. It was an excellent cultural, culinary trip thanks to two amazing people. Thank you Rob and Michael. [Tour of the North Alps 2017]
Rob has built a cycling adventure which is truly authentic; riding on quiet, scenic roadways, challenging climbs, bountiful vistas and staying at unique country ryokans. Really gives you a feel for the pulse of the region. The support is great, the attention to detail is superb, and most of all his enthusiasm and joy comes through in every step. [Bespoke Tour 2019]
James & Tallulah
Fast, professional, thorough and completely bespoke. Additionally, a thorough knowledge of bike touring in Japan coupled with native English language abilities make for a really easy group to deal with. Recommend [Tour of the North Alps 2016]
The biking-ryokan-onsen combination is fantastic, loved it! Both you guys were great company, and we enjoyed the cultural exchange dinner conversations. Learnt a lot more about Japan in this short trip than from other Jap holidays. The planning and organisation were professional, your eloquence with the language was impressive, and our bikes were a joy to ride. Hope to come again on another ride with BTJ in future! [Bespoke Tour 2018]
Rob and Michael, I was just looking back over my photos of the Japan tour last year, great memories! Amazing riding, food and culture!! I can’t wait to go back! You guys made it so easy too! I will be booking again, and hopefully have a few friends on board as well. Thanks again for making the trip so amazing! [The Japanese Alps 2017]
We spent a fantastic weekend with our friends Rob and Michelle riding around the beautiful hills of Gunma this November. We both needed a break from working life in Tokyo and our trip with Bike Tour Japan proved to be a very welcome one.
Their planning of the trip was meticulous – Rob told me before how he enjoys the challenge of planning the perfect trip and now I really believe him! They had custom bikes ready for us, took care of planning all our routes, had a number of delicious meal options each day (both Japanese and alternatives), and gave us options each day so we could choose our adventure based on how we felt in the moment.
All of their planning allowed us to enjoy two days of carefree riding, without any of the stress we would have experienced had we attempted the trip by ourselves. In particular, they even organised for a bike with an detachable electric motor for my girlfriend who could use it on steeper climbs (but didn’t need to in the end as she kicked all our butts without it!)
We are both novice riders and for anyone like ourselves thinking of going on a trip, I can’t recommend Bike Tour Japan enough. We enjoyed it so much that we are both buying our first road bikes and dreaming of our next trips around Japan. Thank you Rob and Michelle for everything! [Bespoke Tour 2018]
Bike Tour Japan was a fantastic experience for me and the group I rode with. Riding in Japan is incredible, and it’s mountains are gorgeous but what really sets my trip aside from something I could have done myself was the excellent route selection, local knowledge, and help navigating traditional japanese culture along the way.
All the Japanese countryside is gorgeous but not all of it is great for bike riding. Thanks to Rob’s experience from living and riding here we always had excellent routes planned, with the best places to stop and take pictures known, the best mid ride lunch stops.
Michaels experience living in Japan immersing himself in Japanese culture was also hugely helpful during our trip. He was hugely helpful being fluent in Japanese at all our locations , and I would urge anyone interested to talk to him about Japanese culture.
If you want to have great supported rides, in the gorgeous Japanese countryside guided by two great people, and enjoy some Japanese culture and the company and great knowledge of the area from two people have spent significant time there and lived in the country at a price far below what any competitor offers bike tour japan is for you. [The Japanese Alps 2017]
The tour and a vacation of a lifetime. Robert and company were the perfect hosts and organizers taking us to places and situations in the Japanese culture we would never been able to access ourselves. Riding the Japanese Alps at peak fall colors dazzled my retinas and burned into my brain an experience I will never forget. [Tour of the North Alps 2017]
Bike Tour Japan was OUTSTANDING. The riding was incredible with beautiful Fall colors, quiet back roads and challenging climbs. The countryside is gorgeous and Rob knows how to end every day at the perfect ryokan with onsen baths and delicious food! Can’t wait to do another tour in 2018! [Tour of the North Alps 2017]
My husband and I have just returned from a most wonderful bike trip with Bike Tour Japan guides, Rob, Michele and Michael. We were fortunate to be there when the maples and their red, golds and oranges were on fire with color. Just beautiful!! We visited hidden magical shrines tucked away in the forest. After interesting and sometimes challenging rides we soaked in fabulous hot spring-fed baths and tucked ourselves into cozy futon beds on tatami mats in the lovely ryokans. Meals were a real adventure too as we sampled every imaginable and artistically displayed culinary delight the Japanese are famous for. We just so appreciate how professional and fun our guides were. We had a blast, lots of laughs and great camaraderie. We highly recommend this trip. [Valleys and Volcanoes 2018]