In April 2017, we used 7-day standard Japan Rail Pass to do a rail and cycling tour of Japan. We did a day trip on the Day 1 to Kagoshima then 5-day trip covering Shimanami Kaido, Mt Fuji and Noto Peninsula, with the last day travelling to Osaka to catch our flight from Kansai Airport. This is our brief itinerary for 7 days with further posting for each route to follow.
We arrived at Japan from UK on 31st March and planned our cycling journey to start on 12th April. This year it had been fairly cold up until the beginning of April and it rained a lot during the first week of the month, pushing back cherry blossom season in many parts of Japan except Tokyo which seems to have its own metropolitan climate.
We were lucky as the weather during our cycling trip was good with not a drop of rain and we inadvertently followed cherry blossoms in full bloom as we travelled from Kagoshima to Noto, something you would normally expect when you plan a trip one week earlier.
Here is our brief itinerary for 7 days:
Day 1 Shin-yamaguchi – Shinkansen to Kagoshima chuo – ferry to Sakurajima – cycling around Sakurajima – ferry to Kagoshima chuo – Shinkansen to Shin-yamaguchi (stay at Yamaguchi)
Day 2 Shin-yamaguchi – Shinkansen to Shin-onomichi – cycle and ferry to Mukai shima – Shimanami Kaido cycling (stay at Innoshima island)
Day 3 Shimanami Kaido cycling – Imabari – Train to Okayama – Shinkansen to Shin-fuji (stay at Shin-fuji)
Day 4 Shinfuji – Mt Fuji cycling – Shinkansen to Tokyo – Shinkansen to Kanazawa (stay at Kanazawa)
Day 5 Kanazawa – train to Hakui – Noto peninsula cycling – train to Wakura Onsen (stay at Wakura Onsen)
Day 6 Wakura Onsen – Notojima cycing – train to Kanazawa – train and Shinkansen to Shin-yamaguchi (stay at Yamaguchi)
Day 7 Shin-yamaguchi – Shinkansen to Shin-osaka (stay at hotel near Kansai Airport)
As our base in Japan is in Yamaguchi (western tip of Honshu), we use Shin-yamaguchi station as our start point. You can easily adjust this itinerary to start from, say Fukuoka or Hiroshima or even Osaka or Kyoto (if you are using Japan Rail pass there is no extra cost involved) depending on the timetable and your preference.
You can see details of our trip under cycling diary posts to follow and there are more photos on our instagram and facebook page.