Explore the breathtaking natural scenery of the Noto Peninsula in this 7-day cycling tour, starting in the bustling cities of Kyoto and Kanazawa. Cycle along coastal routes with stunning vistas overlooking the seaside, sandy beaches, and rice fields as you make your way to the charming villages of Togi, Wajima, and Suzushi where you'll stay in traditional, family-run guesthouses. Finish your trip on Notojima Island and in the town of Ogi, stopping at Sojiji Temple and a traditional hot-spring onsen before returning to Kyoto.

Highlights

  • Cycle by stunning beaches, quaint villages, and charming port towns
  • Explore Kanazawa through Kenrokuen Garden and Omicho food market
  • Soak in a delightful and traditional onsen hot spring
  • Visit Sekinohana, a dynamic rock formation created by waves
  • Meander the small streets of the historic fishing village of Ogi

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Meet in Kyoto and travel to Kanazawa Kanazawa
Day 2 Cycle by Scenic Beaches From Kanazawa to Togi Shika
Day 3 Visit Sojiji Temple on the Way to Wajima Wajima
Day 4 Day trip from Wajima to Osawacho Wajima
Day 5 Cycle Through Terraced Rice Fields to Suzushi Suzu
Day 6 Suzushi to Notojima Island via the Town of Ogi Notojima
Day 7 Relax in Wakura Onsen - Return to Kyoto Kanazawa

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Kyoto and travel to Kanazawa

Beautiful Kyoto in Autumn
Beautiful Kyoto in Autumn

Welcome to Japan! Your first stop is central Kyoto, where you'll collect your road bike and other gear needed for your journey. Feel free to arrive one day earlier to take advantage of the beautiful cycling routes of Kyoto. The paths along the Kamogawa River are particularly beautiful and a favorite among local cyclists.

To start your cycling adventure of the Noto Peninsula, you'll first travel by train to the city of Kanazawa and explore its cultural treasures. Once the seat of the powerful Maeda Clan during the Edo Period, Kanazawa had a grand castle and grew to become a city of arts and crafts, rivaling Kyoto and Tokyo in its heyday. You can see amazing sights such as Kenrokuen Garden, preserved teahouses, and the Samurai districts. You can also visit the fascinating Omicho food market, a mecca for food lovers wanting to explore their palates.

Day 2: Cycle by Scenic Beaches From Kanazawa to Togi

Traditional Houses of Kanazawa, Japan
Traditional Houses of Kanazawa, Japan

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll travel by train to Houdatsu where today's ride begins. You'll cycle along the unique Chirihama Driveway, which travels on hard-packed beach sand for a portion of the path. On your journey, you'll pass beaches and follow country lanes past rice fields, charming rural villages, and rugged coastline.

Along the way, visit Keta Taisha Shrine, whose sacred power was regarded as having great national importance by the old central government. Nearby is Myojoji Temple, another historically significant spot. Just before arriving in Togi, you'll find particularly lovely coastal stretches with unique rock formations. Spend the night at a family-run Minshuku in Togi with delicious home-cooked meals, or at a local, western-style hotel.

Cycling Details:

  • Distance: 27.7 miles (44.5 km), although you can shorten your ride with the use of public transportation and/or taxis
  • Elevation gain: 1,017 feet (310 m) of ascent and 1,007 feet (309 m) of descent
  • Time required: 3-4 hours

Day 3: Visit Sojiji Temple on the Way to Wajima

Madoiwa Rock in Wajima, Japan
Madoiwa Rock in Wajima, Japan

Enjoy your morning and breakfast before starting today's cycle. You'll begin along scenic coastal lanes and pedal through small villages before leaving the seaside and passing through mountains.

Today's destination is Wajima, a charming port town that produces some of the finest lacquerware in Japan. En route, you can stop at the famous Sekinohana, a dynamic rock formation created by waves. Visit Sojiji Temple, one of the two head temples of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism.

Wajima Port is renowned for the quality of its fish, so you can enjoy a multi-course seafood dinner. After dinner, you'll head back to your accommodation, a charming traditional Minshuku. 

Cycling Details:

  • Distance: 31.3 miles (50.3 km), although you can shorten your ride with the use of public transportation and/or taxis
  • Elevation gain: 1,341 feet (409 m) of ascent and 1,345 feet (410 m) of descent
  • Time required: 3.5-4.5 hours

Day 4: Day trip from Wajima to Osawacho

Beautiful Coastline in Japan
Beautiful Coastline in Japan

Today you'll enjoy a day trip to the small port town of Osawacho, which is just about 9 miles (15 km) west of Wajima along the coast. Osawacho's charming houses line the beach and are surrounded by traditional bamboo fencing called ‘magaki’. Magaki protects the houses against winds from the ocean, making this is a unique feature of this picturesque village.

Today’s ride involves a fairly challenging climb, but the spectacular ocean views are your reward. After strolling around Osawacho and enjoying the local's quiet way of life, you can head back along the same road to Wajima. Another option is to turn today’s ride into a circular route and continue from Osawacho through the mountains and returning to Wajima along the road you travelled yesterday.

Cycling Details:

  • Distance: 20.3 miles (34.2 km), although you can shorten your ride with the use of public transportation and/or taxis
  • Elevation gain: 2,011 feet (613 m) of ascent and descent (slightly more if returning via the mountain route)
  • Time required: 2.5-3 hours

Day 5: Cycle Through Terraced Rice Fields to Suzushi

Shiroyone Senmaida at Sunset
Shiroyone Senmaida at Sunset

Today's ride follows a lovely coastal road to Shiroyone Senmaida, a hillside of two thousand terraced rice fields overlooking the Sea of Japan. You'll pedal along a flat route with scenic views, continuing for about 19 miles (30 km) past the old houses of Tokikunike and sea salt farms.

After some hilly ascents and descents, the route transitions into peaceful mountain scenery all the way to Suzushi, which is set on the other side of the Noto Peninsula. Suzushi has a delightful atmosphere and is famous for its landmark Mitsukejima Rock. For your accommodation, you can stay at a Ryokan (a travelers inn) or a Minshuku (a traditional family-run guesthouse).

Cycling Details:

  • Distance: 38.4 miles (61.8 km), although you can shorten your ride with the use of public transportation and/or taxis
  • Elevation gain: 2,250 feet (686 m) of ascent and 2,267 feet (691 m) of descent
  • Time required: 4.5-5.5 hours

Day 6: Suzushi to Notojima Island via the Town of Ogi

World Heritage Village in Ogi
World Heritage Village in Ogi

After breakfast, prepare for your longest cycle of the trip. Today you'll ride on the Noto Peninsula, from Suzushi to Notojima Island in Nanao Bay. A half-hour taxi ride from Suzushi will first bring you to Ogi fishing village, which is filled with old fishermen's houses on quaint streets. This is a perfect area for gentle exploring on foot, taking in the charm of early 20th-century Japan.

When you have finished strolling through Ogi, you can begin your ride along a mostly flat and pleasant coastal road towards Notojima Island. After cycling along the coast for 31 miles (50 km), you'll reach Anamizu railway station where you can board a train for the brief ride to Nishigishi. From Nishigishi, cycle over the bridge to reach Notojima Island where you'll receive a warm welcome at a final family-run guesthouse.

Cycling Details:

  • Distance: 40.7 miles (65.5 km), although you can shorten your ride with the use of public transportation and/or taxis
  • Elevation gain: 2,221 feet (677 m) of ascent and 2,250 feet (686 m) of descent
  • Time required: 4.5-5.5 hours

Day 7: Relax in Wakura Onsen - Return to Kyoto

Traditional Japanese Onsen
Traditional Japanese Onsen

After breakfast, wave goodbye to your hosts and cycle your final leg of the tour to Wakura Onsen. Wakura Onsen is a famous hot-spring resort on Nanao Bay and has 1,200 years of history. The town is dominated by large hotels and a whole range of ryokan, a traditional inn in Japan.

You are free to explore Wakura before taking a train to Kyoto, where your tour ends. In Kyoto, you can return your bike and other rental equipment, or opt to spend the night and enjoy the city's cycling paths.

Cycling Details:

  • Distance: 7.8 miles (12.5 km)
  • Elevation gain: 682 feet (208 m) of ascent and 719 feet (219 m) of descent
  • Time required: 1 hour