What to expect
Explore the temples and hot springs of Kyushu, Japan’s undiscovered southern island on two wheels. Cycling from west to east across the forested green hills you’ll stop in at quiet villages to sample the delicious food and fascinating Buddhist traditions. Starting in the bustling city of Fukuoka and finishing in the spa town of Beppu, this route takes you on a unique journey combining culture, cuisine and nature.
The moderately graded cycling averages 55km per day on sealed secondary roads. You’ll encounter some gentle climbs through the centre of the island before reaching the sea for a final day of flatter riding close to the coast. The pace is relaxed and the air-conditioned support van is following at all times for backup. After taking in the panoramic views of Mount Futago and many ancient shrines along the route, a soak in an onsen hot spring in Beppu is your reward for completing this unforgettable coast to coast ride
This tour is an excellent choice for Spring and Autumn. Consider travelling in March and early April, which will give you a chance to see the sakura cherry blossoms which Japan is so famous for.
At a glance
- Cycle from coast to coast on Japan’s southernmost main island
- Stunning views of hills, rivers and coastlines
- Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines & the Kurehashi thatched roofed bridge
- Beautiful cycling over a mixture of flat terrain and rolling hills
Day 1 (Mon):
Arrive in Fukuoka
Arrive at your hotel in central Fukuoka, an easy 6 minute train ride from the airport. Spend some time looking around Kyushu’s largest city, then meet your guide for your welcome meeting and a traditional dinner with the group.
Day 2 (Tue):
Fukuoka via Dazifu to Hita
32 miles (51km)
A road transfer takes you out of the city to Dazaifu and a visit to the Kyushu National Museum. Then you’ll take to your bikes for a flat ride following the Chikugo River, passing Komzoyen-ji temple, famous for its Zen stone garden. Stay over night in the merchant town of Hita.
Day 3 (Wed):
Hita to Usa
40 miles (64km)
A gradual climb from Hita gets the day off to a brisk start, cycling over the Oishitoge Pass. The route is on a quiet road through the hills and countryside. You’re then rewarded with a long descent for the rest of the day taking you into Usa. Once there, you’ll visit the Usa Shrine, dating back 1,200 years and dedicated to the Hachiman warrior god. Don’t miss seeing the picturesque Kurehashi Bridge with its thatched roof.
Day 4 (Thu):
Usa to Kunisaki
35 miles (57km)
Skirt the flanks of 720m Mount Futago which dominates the Kunisaki Peninsula, stopping at the 11th century Tendai Temple, the oldest wooden structure in Kyushu. After lunch you reach the coast and cycle next to the beach until you reach the town of Kunisaki. Spend the evening in a traditional ryokan inn overlooking the sea.
Day 5 (Fri):
Kunisaki to Beppu
30 miles (49km)
The final day of cycling sees a mix of coastal riding with some inland stretches to stay on quiet roads. You’ll cross numerous rivers flowing down from Mount Futago on the way to Kitsuki, known for its well-preserved samurai district. Visit the small but perfectly formed Kitsuki Castle then finish the ride at Beppu, one of Japan’s best known hot spring resorts. Walk around the ‘Hells of Beppu’ - steaming sulphuric ponds and bubbling mud pools then return to your hotel for a soak in the onsen bath followed by dinner.
Day 6 (Sat):
Depart from Beppu
After breakfast, transfer to Oita Airport to take an internal flight to Tokyo or another international airport for your flight home. Or stay in Kyushu to see more of this lesser known island.
3* & 4* hotels and traditional inns
We use a mix of 3* & 4* hotels and traditional Japanese style ryokan inns of a very high standard, usually with onsen hot springs, giving you a very unique local experience.
- 3* & 4* hotels and traditional inns
- Full board
- Support vehicle
- Luggage transferred each day
Dates & Prices
Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance
- 5 nights accommodation in 3* & 4* hotels and traditional inns
- Full board
- Bike hire
- Service of a local English-speaking guide
- Support vehicle for assistance
- Airport drop off at the end of the tour
- Transfers during the tour
- Luggage transportation
- Snacks and drinks while riding
- Airport transfer on arrival
- Visas (if necessary)
- Drinks during meals
Bike Hire & Extras
Bike hire is included. Your choice of a hybrid or a road bike from a well-known manufacturer with a lightweight alloy frame and Shimano components. You're welcome to bring your own pedals or saddle (rail type) which your guide can help you to fit.
How to Get There
Fly to Fukuoka via Tokyo, Seoul or other Asian hub city
Fly from Oita to Tokyo, Kansai or other international airport
News, Reviews & FAQs
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
Will I have a local guide?
Yes, your guide will be English speaking and local. The local guide will be a highlight of your tour as they are experienced and will pass on their knowledge and passion for their country. They will show you the best places to eat, help you meet local people along the way and give you a real feel for the local culture.
Can I take a break from the cycling?
Yes, if you want to take a break, jump into the the air conditioned support vehicle that is always available.
What will the weather be like?
Spring and autumn are the best times to cycle in Kyushu when the weather is normally warm and dry. From late June onwards, days are hot and humid, but slightly cooler in the hills. Your guide will make sure the group takes plenty of breaks, and the support van will carry drinks. If you travel in late March or early April, you have a great chance of seeing the cherry blossoms.
Are credit cards widely accepted in Japan?
Most restaurants and shops in Japan still only accept cash, so remember to carry enough money with you. In bigger cities, more businesses now accept cards, but you will need to use cash in most places. ATMs in 7-11 stores and Post Offices accept foreign bank cards.
Is there a single supplement?
No, there is no extra charge for single travellers if you share a room with another same sex single guest. If you want your own room you can pay a supplement.
Can you arrange my flights?
Flights are not included with our tours. However, we are more than happy to offer advice on long haul and regional flights, based on our extensive experience of travel in Asia.