Japan Autumn Colour & Private Tour Specialist
Beautiful Japan is not just a cherry blossom. October & November, Autumn Colour is breathtaking. Akio will create your perfect holiday plan with you.
Your guide is Akio Matsui. Akio was born in Yokohama in 1974 and has called Sydney his home since 1995. Akio has travelled extensively throughout the world and is proud of his flexible attitude towards situations which arise during or in the planning of tours. He is respectful of everyone, no matter their background. He loves sport and keeping physically and mentally fit. He is a keen soccer and tennis player. He is also deeply interested in the visual arts and music and is constantly on the look out for interesting creative situations.
Akio’s foremost hope is that his customers “fall in love with Japan”. He loves his home country, its cuisine and gastronomy. Its delicious sake. Its hot spring “onsen” culture. He wants to show his customers Japan’s natural beauty and exciting urban culture. Its traditions, and its dynamic, ever-changing contemporary life. Akio hopes you will join him.
Shimanami Kaido Cycling Tour
6 days (Bike: 3 days)
120 km (~40km per day)
Tour Operator Redleaf Tours Japan
“Shimanami Kaido” is known as the Mecca of Japanese Cycling. It stretches over seven suspension bridges which link beautiful islands sprinkling the Inland Sea of Japan. It links the island of Shikoku with the mainland of Honshu.
On day one of the tour we will transfer from Haneda or Kansai International Airport to Matsuyama City in Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. From there we move to what is said to be Japan’s oldest hot springs, Dogo Onsen. We will take of the mineral waters, rest, and prepare ourselves for the following day’s cycling.
The shortest course is just 70 kilometres and this is what most international visitors undertake - but it misses so much of the beauty of these islands. On Akio’s Tours Japan you will spend three full days exploring the islands over a 100-120 kilometre course, with options to expand this length. On the hill climbs customers are welcome to alight from their bikes and take the climb slowly. We want you to travel at your own pace without worry.
The highlights of the tour are the spectacular approaches to the suspension bridges and the amazing views from the bridges themselves. The flat courses around the coastlines of the islands through the small fishing villages are most pleasant. We will pass many lemon and orange groves. We visit the Japanese artist, Hirayama Ikuo’s Museum of Art. He painted many famous scenes of the Silk Road. We drop by a famous croquette store in an old shopping mall, and enjoy a lunch at a cheap, delicious fish restaurant. We stay at a traditional Japanese Inn in front of the Oyamazumi Shrine. And drop-by a seaside public hot spring. The cuisine in the Japanese inns is centred around the delicious locally caught fish. The hot bath and delicious food prepares us for the next day of cycling.
After arriving at our goal, the small port city of Onomichi, we will take the ropeway up to Senko-ji Temple. We stay at a Japanese hotel with spectacular views over the city from its public bath.
The following day after strolling the old streets of Onomichi, we will move to the beautiful city of Kurashiki. Kurashiki is a wealthy port city of the Edo Period, and this wealth is now expressed in the beautifully preserved ancient streets, a well regarded Art Gallery, and excellent shopping which includes pottery. Enjoy strolling the streets of Kurashiki, dropping by a few shops or cafes along the way.
The following day is a free day in Kurashiki for those customers continuing on to Naoshima and the Setouchi Art Island Tour. You will spend an additional night in Kurashiki.
Customers who are leaving the tour here will be lead to Okayama Train Station where connections can be made to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto or other cities by bullet train, and to airports for return flights. Akio will assist with the purchase of these train tickets.
Lake Biwa, Kyoto and the Inland Sea
12 days (Bike: 6 days)
350 km (~58km per day)
Custom Bike & Hike Tour
Some hills, On-road
Tour Operator Redleaf Tours Japan
Ride around Lake Biwa, explore Kyoto on foot and cycle Shimanami Kaido
This tour is customisable but a suggested itinerary includes the following:
2 days circumnavigating Japan's largest lake, Lake Biwa (150 km). This is on on quiet country or local roads, or a separated bike path along busier roads.
This is followed by 3 days on a guided walking tour in Kyoto with Akio's personal recommendations and/or the sights the group chooses to visit.
The final stage is a 4 day loop ride around the Inland sea - including the famous Shinamani Kaido Cycling Road, the Mecca of Japanese cycling. It stretches over seven suspension bridges which link beautiful islands sprinkling the Inland Sea of Japan. It links the island of Shikoku with the mainland of Honshu.
- Hikone Castle
- Hot springs baths and onsen
- Traditional Ryokans (Japanese inns)
- Kyoto's temples
- Shinamani Kaido Cycling Road