Kochi Self-guided Cycling 6 days

Kochi Self-guided Cycling 6 days

(subject to change until the booking has been finalized)

Day 1 – Arrive in Kochi – Explore

Welcome to Kochi. Today is an arrival day, and your first stop is central Kochi city, where you will collect your road bike and the gear needed for your cycling journey. After settling into your accommodation, you are free to explore the area on your own or enjoy our optional circular cycling route. Take time to explore Kochi castle and the local Hirome food market, or cycle to nearby Mt. Godai and Chikurin-ji Temple (Temple 31 along the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage circuit) and take in the grand views overlooking the surrounding area and coastline.
Kochi city is easily accessible from many domestic airports and major train stations in Japan. The closest airport is Kochi Ryoma airport, roughly 1 hour 20 minutes from Haneda airport in Tokyo or 40 minutes from Itami airport in Osaka. Alternatively, Kochi train station is about 3 hours 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka station or Hiroshima station using the JR Train Line.

Cycling details (optional cycling):
Distance: 15-20 km
Elevation gain: mostly flat, near sea level
Accommodation: Western Hotel or Japanese Inn
Dinner this evening will be at your leisure to explore the Hirome Food market or one of our recommended restaurants in the area.

Day 2 – Scenic Coastline and Temples, from Kochi to Susaki bay

After breakfast, your first ride of the trip starts from Kochi city. You will cycle southward to the Pacific coast, passing the picturesque Katsurahama beach. Further along, is Shoryu-ji Temple (Temple 36 on the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage) tucked into the hillside with a beautifully tranquil atmosphere.
You will next cycle the scenic Yokonami-Kuroshio line with its magnificent views of the Pacific coastline. Pass small fishing villages along the way through to the Susaki bay area, your destination for this evening.
The seaside fishing villages dotted throughout this region have a long history where fisherman chase skipjack tuna in the open sea, which features in much of the local cuisine. The sleepy villages have a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, and have become a designated ‘important cultural landscape’ of Japan.

Distance: 55 km
Elevation gain: 1,050 meters
Cycling time required: 4-5 hours
Note: For an easier day, a shorter 20km cycling option is available by using a local train transfer part way.
Accommodation: Ryokan (Travellers Inn)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 – Shikoku Karst Plateau to Yusuhara village

Today you will head into the mountains to begin cycling along the scenic Shikoku Karst Plateau, down to the rustic mountain village of Yusuhara. Here you can further explore Yusuhara’s cultural sights and relaxed rural community atmosphere.
A private vehicle transport will collect you from your inn this morning and take you up to the higher elevation of the Shikoku Karst Plateau line, with its sweeping grasslands and limestone hillsides. This route extends along gentle rolling mountains with smooth lanes and expansive panoramas of the surrounding Shikoku region. You will ride along mostly gradual descent, and flat and pleasant mountain back road towards central Yusuhara village. Along the ride, there are numerous areas for light exploring on foot, taking in the charms of rural mountain villages and landscapes.
In Yusuhara, take time to explore the nearby Mishima shrine, Miyuki wooden bridge, terraced rice fields and see several fascinating buildings designed by renowned modern Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
After a day of cycling and exploring, you will receive a warm welcome at your accommodation for this evening in Yusuhara.

Distance: 45 km
Elevation gain: 589 meters
Cycling time required: 3 – 4 hours
Accommodation: Japanese Onsen Hotel designed by Kengo Kuma
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 – Cycle along Shimanto River to Nakamura town

Today’s ride follows mostly flat, riverside country lanes along the pristine Shimanto River, the longest river in Shikoku at 196km. Far removed from urban areas and free of man-made dams, Shimanto River is also considered last remaining pure river of Japan. Here you will be able to experience another side of Kochi’s diverse landscape, with a thriving ecosystem that nurtures a way of life where humans and nature have co-existed in harmony for centuries.
To position you for the best cycling route today, you will be transported this morning by private vehicle to a remote Zen Temple along the Shimanto River where the cycling route begins.
Before cycling, you will experience a spiritual Zen meditation session in an atmospheric Soto Zen temple. Soto is one of the three major Zen sects in Japan, handed down by Dougen and characterized by the style of meditation, called ‘shikan-ta-za’ or ‘single-minded sitting’. You will meet a friendly, English-speaking Zen priest who trained at Eihei-ji temple, the main centre of the Soto sect. He will explain Dougen’s philosophy and lead you in a meditation session, followed by a chance to enjoy Japanese green tea and seasonal wagashi sweets.
Re-energized, you will then pedal along a flat route with scenic river and valley views, continuing for about 65km past hillside rice terraces, community woodlands, ‘sinking bridges’ and little country villages dotted along the way. You can stop off and make your own discoveries or visit small café’s and local eateries. The route continues through to Nakamura town and Shimanto city near the Pacific coast, your destination for this evening.
Nakamura town is situated along the river and is a former castle town where visitors can experience traces of its feudal past. The landscape and rivers around Nakamura town in Shimanto still closely resemble Kyoto’s, and the influence of Kyoto culture can be found in the town’s seasonal festivals, local dialect, and artistic sensibilities.

Distance: 65 km
Elevation gain: mostly flat
Cycling time required: 4 – 5 hours
Note: for more cycling, you can opt to forego this morning’s pre-arranged Zen meditation session, and start the cycle from further up to the Shimanto River through to Shimanto city, bringing the overall cycling distance to 85 km, along mostly flat country road.
Extended option cycling time required: 6-7 hours
Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan or Japanese Onsen Hotel (depending on availability)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 – Cape Ashizuri and Kongofuku-ji Temple 39 – Cycle to Nakamura

Make your way to Cape Ashizuri at Shikoku’s southernmost point, exploring its natural surroundings and cultural sights, before cycling along the scenic Tosa bay coastline back to Shimanto. A pre-arranged vehicle will transport you to Cape Ashizuri in the morning to begin today’s ride.
Your cycling route will take you along panoramic coastal bike lanes around Cape Ashizuri with time to visit one of Shikoku’s most remote Buddhist temples, Kongofuku-ji (Temple 39 of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage). Said to have been established in 822, Kongofuku-ji sits atop a cliff overlooking the Pacific. From here it is possible to see the curvature of the earth, and pilgrims would sail south to where paradise lay over that horizon.
Next, enjoy a scenic optional 10km detour along the pristine coast to view ancient rock formations. The panoramic views around Cape Ashizuri are magnificent. As you cycle onward, you can stop for lunch at one of the nearby cafes along the coast, and even enjoy an onsen hot spring foot bath.
Further along the route, you will pass through several sleepy seaside fishing villages and take in views of the remote Tosa bay coastline as you enjoy the ride back towards Nakamura town in Shimanto for your second night in the area. Dinner will be at your leisure to explore local restaurant options this evening.

Distance: 55 km
Elevation gain: 714 meters
Cycling time required: 4 – 5 hours
Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan or Japanese Onsen Hotel (depending on availability)
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 – Return to Kochi city and travel onward

After breakfast, wave goodbye to your hosts and make your way by train along the coastline returning to Kochi city.
You are free to explore more of Shimanto and the surrounding area this morning before taking the train to Kochi city, where your tour ends. In Kochi, you will be able to return your bike and other rental equipment, before traveling onward to your next destination.





















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