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Asia is one of the greatest places on the planet to explore on two wheels. Whether that’s navigating the vast temple complexes of Burma, crossing the roads that link Japan’s historic islands, touring the rural villages and shrines of Laos and Cambodia or just meandering alongside the Mekong. We’ve created some spectacular bike trips to help visitors experience this region in the best possible way. Here is our guide to cycling Hida Satoyama in Takayama.
DISTANCE: 22 km
DURATION: 2.5–3.5 hours
START/FINISH: Furukawa Station (17 minutes from Takayama Station)
WHEN TO GO: April–December
Cycling trips take us back to what makes travel so endlessly fascinating and rewarding: the surprises, the chance encounters and the ordinary, everyday details. The humble bicycle gives us the freedom to roam under our own steam, take diversions, stop to chat and generally enjoy the experience of being immersed in a country and culture different from our own.
The alpine town of Takayama lies on a plateau in central Japan, surrounded by the thickly forested peaks of the Hida Mountain Range. Known throughout the ages as a centre for crafts – particularly carpentry – Takayama’s woodworkers were drafted in to build many of the spectacular temples you’ll see in Kyoto. Their work can be glimpsed in everything from traditional craft shops to spectacularly carved festival floats.
Cycling the Hide Satoyama trail
One of the true delights of a visit to Takayama, however, is getting out of the town and into its glorious rural surroundings. The Hida Satoyama cycle tour whisks you through lush paddy fields and into the countryside, stopping off at natural hot springs, steeply pitched wooden farmhouses, orchards and farms.
Local charm in Hida Satoyama
With a local English speaking guide alongside you, you can delve into the history and culture of the region and chat to people you meet along the way. Whether they’re schoolchildren on their way home for lunch or elderly residents selling strawberries at the local farmers’ market.
No matter where you go in Hida Satoyama, everyone seems to know each other, and the atmosphere is never less than convivial, giving a welcome glimpse into rural Japanese communities.
Stop at a hilltop shrine and pause for a breather. Then cycle past wood-panelled sake breweries and streams filled with koi carp as you return through town.
Our Autumn Splendour Itinerary includes a half-day Hida Satoyama cycling experience. From £2,750 for 13 nights (exc. intl. flights). Call our Japan experts on 0117 244 3463 to find out more.
Want a longer trip in Japan?
The Shimanami Kaido is a purpose-built cycling route that spans six islands in the Seto Inland Sea. It offers gentle inclines, beautiful views and opportunities to depart from the prescribed route to explore these wonderful and little-visited islands. Call 0117 244 3463 to find out more.