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Cycle Japan - Shimanami Kaido and the Inland Sea

Japan - Trip code CJH Cycling
Days 12
Price from Call us
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Discover Japan's Inland Sea on two wheels along the quiet roads of Awaji and Shikoku Islands with rewarding views of impressive mountain peaks and equally beautiful seascapes. Explore some of Japan's most beautiful gardens, see its most impressive castle and delve into the history of Hiroshima.

  • Shikoku and Awajima Islands - Point to point, off the beaten track cycle journey through rural Japan
  • Kyoto - Japan's historic capital, filled with a remarkable collection of World Heritage sites
  • Cherry Blossom - April departures planned to coincide with the cherry blossom season
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  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 11

    Dinner: 4

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide

    Driver(s)

  • Transport

    Bus

    Bicycle

    Ferry

    Train

  • i

    Accommodation

  • i

    Cycling grade:

    Moderate To Challenging

  • i

    Group Size:

    10 - 16

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Trip information

Country information

Japan

Climate

Japan's climate is mostly temperate, with five distinct seasons. Summer is from June to September with temperatures reaching 30°c, although it can vary from warm to very hot. after mid-July. July and August can be humid. Spring and Autumn are mild throughout Japan. Winter, October to April, is cold with snowfall. The main rainy season is June. Japan can be prone to short, tropical cyclones in August to October. October November although cooler is a great time to see the Autumn colours.

Time difference to GMT

+9

Plugs

2 Pin Flat

Religion

Buddhism, Christian and Shinto

Language

Japanese

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Kyoto - Arashiyama boat trip GBP 8
Kyoto - Arashiyama Wild Monkey Park GBP 3

Clothing

Clothing
When cycling: quick drying cycle tops, padded cycle shorts, lightweight wind and water proof jacket and warmer breathable layers where local conditions require.
General: Pack essentially for hot or mild weather depending on the time of the year. Please note that each accommodation provides yukatas (pyjamas), soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels, tooth brushes, and often disposable razors as well.

Footwear

If you are not bringing cycle shoes then try to bring stiff-soled shoes as these are better for cycling - transmitting your energy into the pedals more efficiently. This becomes more relevant and recommended the more demanding the grade and distances to cover.
Comfortable shoes, trainers, sandals or flip flops are useful when not on the bike.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

We recommend you bring a daypack (big enough to carry what you need for a few days) and one main piece of luggage (total allowance: 44lb/20kg) which will be transported between hotels while you cycle. We will forward the main pieces of luggage on day 3 to the hotel in Takamatsu, and you will see it again on day 4 when we arrive at the hotel. Again we will forward the main luggage on day 10 to the hotel in Osaka, and you will see it again on day 11 when we arrive at the hotel.

Equipment

On all Explore cycle holidays we strongly recommend you bring along and wear your cycle helmet. It is a legal requirement in Japan to wear a helmet that meets current safety criteria. In case of an accident resulting in personal injury, certain insurance policies are invalidated in cases where a helmet was not being worn.

Cycle glasses to protect against dust, pollen and the sun, padded cycle gloves and a water bottle or water delivery system (e.g. camelback or platypus) are also useful. You may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. If a handle bar bag or pannier is not provided (check bike details) then you may like to bring a small rucksack to wear while cycling. There is no vehicle support on day 2 so you would need to cycle with your rucksack or put your bag in the small basket on the front of the bikes. Other items to consider bringing are a sunhat and sun cream, torch, earplugs and insect repellent. Please carry some or all of your cycling equipment e.g. helmet as part of your hand luggage.

Tipping

Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a leader that's done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It's a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we'd recommend between £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
Local crew
Tipping is a not a part of everyday life in Japan and is therefore entirely voluntary. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour. Accordingly you should allow £5 per person

Japan

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£8
Dinner price
£15-20
Beer price
£4
Water price
£1.00 - 2.00
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Yen.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
It is preferable to take money in Yen or traveller's cheques.
Where To Exchange
Most major towns - your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
All post offices have international ATMs. Some other ATMs do not accept Western bank/credit cards. Your tour leader will advise you locally.
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants and stores.
Travellers Cheques
It should be noted that outside of the major cities it is difficult to change traveller's cheques. Where available it takes 30-45 minutes, the best places to exchange them is at the airport on arrival.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Bicycle, Ferry, Train

Accommodation notes

Comfortable - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service. The accommodation we use on this tour doesn't have bars, gardens or swimming pools. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Japan: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Japan

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory. We recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, infectious hepatitis and polio. The use or possession of Vicks inhalers and some other common prescription and over-the-counter medicines (e.g. for allergies and sinus problems or even certain mild painkillers, such as those containing certain levels of codeine) are banned under Japan's strictly enforced anti-stimulant drugs law. Customs officials may not be sympathetic if you claim ignorance about these medicines. If in any doubt about customs procedures for such items, you should check with the nearest Japanese Embassy before visiting Japan. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Cycling information
General cycling information
On this tour we cycle approximately 540 km over eight days (an average of 67 km per day). We travel mainly on quiet country roads and along some cycle paths (15%). We will encounter more traffic in the urban areas. The terrain is generally undulating. A support vehicle (with room for two passengers) accompanies the rides throughout the tour and carries the luggage, except for the city bike tour in Kyoto. We have graded the route as moderate to challenging.
Bike included
16 gear Orbea Avan, Cinelli Experience 105/11S road bike with flat handle bars or similar. Simple local bike in Kyoto.
Bike information
Your included bike is a 16 gear Orbea Avan, Cinelli Experience 105/11S road bike fitted with flat handle bars or equivalent and will be the correct frame size for your height. If you prefer an 8 gear Orbea hybrid bike please request at time of booking. A water bottle holder is included as well as the facility to fit your own pedals or saddle if you wish to bring them. A support vehicle (with room for two passengers) carries our luggage and accompanies the rides throughout the tour except on day 2. We provide spare parts and take care of the day to day maintenance. A simple local style bike is provided in Kyoto. All you need to bring is your own helmet.
Cycling grade
ModerateToChallenging
Additional Information

Why book this trip

Unlike many other operators, we include the hire of your bike in the overall cost of the holiday: you don't need to bring your own or pay extra to hire one locally. We also provide a support vehicle, spare parts and take care of day to day bike maintenance. All you need bring is your own helmet.

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change

Reviews

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