Cherry Blossom (SAKURA 桜) Course
For 2 weeks Japan’s cherry blossoms bloom, and this course highlights some of the best places to see and experience those blossoms in Kyushu with a special collaboration with Yamaguchi Prefecture. Get away from the crowds, and have your very own cherry blossom adventure.
After arriving in Yamaguchi we will meet up with the guide in the evening and the guide will brief you on the following 12 days of riding. We will have a welcome dinner at the hotel.
We start the adventure with a nice ride on a cycling road from the hotel to Akiyoshi Cave, home to an ancient water dragon. Heading north through forest paths, we reach a pit-stop by a coast highlighting the Sea of Japan. We reach our destination, Hagi, a samurai town where we will stay for the night.
For our second day of riding, we will head back to Yamaguchi City, following rivers that will take us through mountain paths. Once we go through the climbs, we will descend onto a road that has the beautiful Rurikoji Temple. From the temple we follow the Ichinosaka River, a beautiful river covered with Sakura, that runs through Yamaguchi City and merge onto the cycling road that hugs the larger Fushino River all the way to Shin-Yamaguchi where we will stay.
Today will be a cooldown day. We will ride the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Shin-Yamaguchi to Hakata and make our way to Hakata port where we will ride a ferry to a nearby island called Shikanoshima. We have a 10km loop around the island to ride and will end things at a cyclist café. Taking the ferry back to the city we will head to Tenjin, the center of Fukuoka City and have some free to explore the city before head to a Fukuoka-style dinner.
We start the day with another type of rail today. Our destination is Dazaifu, one of the biggest shrines in all of Kyushu. From Dazaifu, we head west toward Akitsuki, and small but scenic castle town name after the “Autumn Moon”. Heading further west and after a couple of climbs and following the Sakura by the rivers, we cross into Oita Prefecture, and into our first Oita Town, Hita.
From Hita we head south deeper into the mountains and cross into Kumamoto Prefecture where a large climb awaits us. We are aiming to get to Minami-oguni, the area which the Kurokawa Onsen (hot springs) are. Samurai from the Edo era of Japan (close to 400 years ago) frequented the Onsen of Kurokawa to relax and heal their bodies. Once we reach Kurokawa we will have the chance to experience the Onsen much as how the ancient samurai did. We will stay at a ryokan within the Kurokawa Onsen area.
After breakfast at our lodgings we set out for a full day’s ride with a scenic climb through the backroads of Mt. Aso and descend into the Kikuchi area, known for the purity of its waters via the Kikuchi River. During the Sakura season, Kikuchi is well know for the Sakura trees blooming along its river banks. From Kikuchi, we ride to our next destination of Ozu Town where we can freshen up a bit before we head to Kumamoto City via train and end our day.
Today will be the second time we ride the Shinkansen (bullet train). Our destination is Yatsushiro to the south. Once we arrive, we will ride down the coast and be treated with beautiful ocean views. We continue down the coast until we reach our final stop of the day, Minamata City where we will stay.
From Minamata we head eastward. Today we will come in contact with two Prefectures, Kagoshima and Miyazaki. We make our way through Isa Town in Kagoshima riding through the mountains and rivers. After riding through Isa, we cross into Miyazaki Prefecture and continue on the mountain path. We will reach our destination, Ebino where we end our day.
We head towards the next city, Kobayashi. Both Ebino and Kobayashi are know for their scenic Sakura locations, which we will be riding through. Kobayashi has an especially beautiful Sakura path. Once we pass through Kobayashi City, we begin the climb up to a healthy mountain and will reach our accommodation by a lake.
This day will be a cooldown day, descending from the mountain we climbed the day prior and arriving at the quaint town of Aya. Aya, is an ancient town with connections to the Jomon Era, which is one of Japan’s oldest eras. We have a relaxing day in this town and will have time to cooldown in Japan’s countryside.
For our last day, we will head to Miyazaki City, taking river paths and of course the backroads. Our first checkpoint will be a seaside park that hugs the oceans coast. Special windswept trees make up most of the park, making the path quite the beautiful sight. From the park, we head to Miyazaki Shrine, which is connected directly with Japan’s imperial bloodline. After our visit to our last shrine of our adventure we can retire to our accommodation and prepare for a night of festivities.
Please contact us if you would like a group or private tour.