Explore the Setouchi Region of Japan by E-Bike

 

 

Cycle through Japan’s Setouchi region which includes the beautiful island of Shikoku on an exclusive pedal-assisted e-bike tour. Ride through the incredibly diverse and scenic landscapes with rarely a busy road in sight. Enjoy compact ride days with the assistance of your e-bike, allowing you to enjoy the daily destinations, food, hot spring baths and legendary hospitality of Japan to the fullest!

EARLY RIDER PRIZE: Be in the first 4 to book a departure and get 5% OFF the tour price*
*Not applicable with private, family, or self-guided tours, other discounts, trip credit, or special offers

 

Highlights

6

Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • 1

    We’ll gather at 9:30 am at the outdoor dining area of the Green Hill Hotel in Onomichi, just a short walk from the train station. After a briefing about our trip, we’ll get set up with our e-bikes and stash our luggage in the van. Then, we’ll hop on a ferry over the harbor and kick off our adventure.

    Once we leave the city behind, we’ll enjoy some fantastic riding through fields and countryside. Passing through a bamboo forest on a quiet road, we’ll reach the water’s edge of the first of many islands we’ll visit. Today marks the start of the Shimanami Kaido, a cycling route spanning seven islands over the next two days, with more in the distance.

    Before lunch, we’ll tackle a few hills, but with the help of our e-bikes, they’ll be a breeze. Lunch will be Udon Tempura, a classic midday meal. Finally, we’ll arrive at Setoda, a small town on Ikuchi Island, where our cozy traditional Japanese inn awaits.

  • 2

    After a hearty breakfast, we kick off today’s ride tackling a big hill, where the e-bikes show their strength, offering us a panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea. We’ll pedal through citrus orchards, a major agricultural feature here.

    Today’s journey takes us across five islands, traveling on dedicated bike paths integrated into massive span bridges. We’ll take scenic routes on each island, enjoying views of the water and inland landscapes. The final bridge offers the most breathtaking views.

    Our ride concludes in Imabari, where we load the e-bikes onto the van and catch a rapid train to the lively city of Matsuyama. Enjoy the pleasant train ride with snacks and drinks as we zip through the scenery.

    As the day winds down and you’ve freshened up, you can take a taxi or tram to visit Matsuyama Castle before we gather for dinner. Tonight, we’ll indulge in traditional Japanese cuisine and sample Japan’s famous drink – sake. You’ll taste a variety of sakes, from dry to sweet, and learn about its significance in Japanese culture. By the end of the evening, you’ll be a sake connoisseur, ready to pair it with your meals!

     

     

  • 3

    Early in the morning, we’ll hop on another rapid train to get to the starting point of our next e-bike ride. What begins as an ordinary ride turns into a delightful journey as we leave town behind for quiet roads alongside a river. Moss-covered walls line the hillsides, adding to the charm. As we wind through the valley, you’ll find yourself enjoying the e-bike experience, especially as we climb through the hills.

    Our destination is the small town of Yusuhara, home to a boutique hotel designed by the renowned architect, Kengo Kuma. You’ll find Kuma’s work scattered throughout the town, from another Onsen Retreat property to a bridge over a nearby stream, and his most significant contribution, the public library. This afternoon, you’ll have time to explore these sites and wander the charming streets of Yusuhara. Don’t miss the chance to soak in the Onsen—it’s a must-do experience here.

  • 4

    In the morning, we’ll take a quick train ride to start our next e-bike adventure. It starts off simple but becomes wonderful as we leave town for peaceful roads along a river. Mossy walls line the hills, making the ride even more special. Riding through the valley, you’ll enjoy the e-bike journey, especially as we climb through the hills.

    Our goal is Yusuhara, a small town with a boutique hotel designed by famous architect Kengo Kuma. Kuma’s work can be seen all around town, from another Onsen Retreat property to a bridge over a stream, and his most famous, the public library. You’ll have time to explore these spots and stroll around Yusuhara’s lovely streets this afternoon. And don’t forget to relax in the Onsen—it’s a must-do here.

  • 5

    With a place like this, you won’t want to rush, so we start the day with a relaxed breakfast and more time for Onsen soaking. We set off late morning for our e-bike tour. The first part takes us along a quiet road by cliffs, with the deep blue ocean below and waves crashing against rocks. We then ride along a ridge with stunning views that might fill up your camera. The ride is enjoyable, with ups and downs all the way to our lunch spot back on the main island.

    After lunch, we visit the Blue Dragon Temple, which is temple number 36 on the 88 Temple Pilgrimage Route. It’s a must-see, and you might even meet some pilgrims there.

    The ride to Kochi city is enjoyable and passes quickly. We’ll ride along the coast, through a deserted bamboo forest, and then climb a hill with views over the city. Kochi is lively with plenty of food options, bars, and nightlife—a great change after a few nights in the countryside.

  • 6

    This morning, we take a short 45-minute car ride out of the city into the hills. Once on our bikes, we’ll start with a relatively flat and winding 10km ride along the river. Then, we tackle a big 20km hill climb, but don’t worry—the e-bike’s pedal-assist power makes it doable for everyone. If it’s a clear day, the views from the top are breathtaking, and we might even catch a glimpse of Mt. Ishizuchi, the island’s tallest mountain. After that, get ready for a long downhill ride into the stunning Iya Valley. You’ll know when we’ve reached the valley because the water of the Iya River is a mesmerizing aqua color, thanks to the limestone in the surrounding hills and the light-colored silt in the riverbed.

    Following the winding road along the river, we’ll have plenty of opportunities for pictures. Eventually, we’ll arrive at a large, comfortable Onsen Retreat-style property where we can enjoy a delicious meal and a relaxing soak.

  • 7

    Today, we take our time in the valley. At 9 am, we check out and enjoy an early lunch before hopping on our e-bikes for the final 30km ride. It’s a fantastic 30km journey along a quiet road that twists and turns along the river and valley contours. Even on a regular bike, you wouldn’t need to pedal much here. As we leave the valley, there’s a nice steep hill, but don’t worry—the e-bike will make it easy. We’ll reach the small town of Awa Ikeda, where we’ve arranged an Onsen for you to shower, pack up, and then catch a train to one of Kyoto’s many wonderful destinations. Happy travels!

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

Booking Policy

  • 6 nights in comfortable accommodation selected for high standards & local flavor
  • 6x Breakfasts, 7x Lunches, 5x Dinners
  • Healthy snacks & water during cycling
  • Expert local guide
  • Quality well-serviced bikes and helmet for riding
  • Grasshopper souvenir jersey and water bottle that are yours to keep
  • Comfortable van for support and transfers
  • All tickets and entry costs included in the itinerary

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Discover Asia with our multi-day cycling adventures, suitable for riders of any skill level. Count on our quality bikes, knowledgeable guides, and excellent support for an incredible experience.

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