Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour

Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour

Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour


From $2,250USD




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Mix locally sourced cuisine with adventurous biking in the mountains of Kyushu

Cycle through varied landscapes that show off the natural diversity of Aso-Kuju National Park.

Take on more challenging cycling in the dramatic landscapes near the island’s active crater.

Dine on farm-to-table food with the farmers who grew and prepared it.

Visit lovely Japanese mountain villages to meet the locals.

Welcome to Aso-Kuju National Park! Located in the center of Japan’s southwestern islands, this national park stretches from Kumamoto to Oita Prefecture and is the setting for the Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour. Aso-Kuju’s volcanic landscape, with its dynamic scenery and unique culture, is home to Japan’s largest active volcano, which sits proudly in the middle of a massive caldera.

This tour will introduce the lives of the people who have cultivated these harsh lands and carved out a way of living that coexists with the volcanoes. You’ll use E-bikes to breeze through the hills and mountains while enjoying the deep forests, the vast highlands, the majestic volcanoes, and the rustic villages of rural Japan. Meet the people who live here and connect across language barriers by putting your hands into the soil together. Learn of the deep wisdom of the “satoyama” culture, a culture of living in harmony with nature, reaping its blessings while protecting it for future generations. The farm-to-table cuisine you’ll enjoy is a direct reflection of this culture. This tour will be an adventure that goes far beyond simply enjoying the splendid nature of rural Japan. It will be a chance to delve deep into another way of life and connect with people you would have never met otherwise!

Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Aso

You will arrive at Kumamoto airport, and after a short introduction, you will board your transportation and head towards Aso. On the bus you will be briefed about the area and the upcoming days.

The first destination will be the ancient hot spring area of Tsuetate Onsen. This hot spring area has been nestled in this valley between Oita and Kumamoto for over a 1000 years. Before cars were invented, this hot spring area with its healing qualities used to be a haven for travelers to refresh and recuperate before crossing through the steep hills and valleys of the Aso area. There will be time to freshen up in the onsen before dinner.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Aso

Day 2 Explore Tsuetate Onsen and Rural Cycling

Today, together with a local guide, you will explore the rustic back streets of Tsuetate onsen that retain the post-war era feeling of the Showa period in Japanese history. At once, you can feel the volcanic presence with natural white steam rising all around the small town. Before leaving Tsuetate Onsen, you
will enjoy a steamy lunch made by cooking local ingredients using the volcanic steam that seeps out all around town.

Once recharged and ready to head out, you will saddle up the bikes. Leaving Tsuetate Onsen behind you, you will set out towards the Aso volcano and start the journey. This first day you will bike through the hilly areas on top of the north rim of the caldera. Here you will pass through forests and small villages scattered throughout the mountains of the Oguni area. This area has some of the oldest human fossils found around Aso, indicating that people have lived here for at least 30,000 years. Their lifestyle might have changed drastically, but through your cycling, you will see how it has developed.

Arrive at Manganji Onsen, the oldest settlement of what currently is known as Minamioguni Town. Tonight’s dinner will be had at a small local restaurant specializing in local cuisine.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Aso
23km, 2.5 hours, 210m elevation
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 Mountain Village Cycling & Farm-to-Table Experience

Today, you will keep exploring the rural landscapes and idyllic mountain villages as we head towards the north rim of the caldera’s highest point, the Senomoto Highlands. On the way, you will stop by the idyllic ”Gonbei Village,” a small campsite and B&B run by an older married couple. Here you will enjoy an interactive farm-to-table experience that will introduce an authentic Japanese lunch. Get past language barriers as you put your hands in the soil, harvest vegetables, cook, and enjoy a relaxing time in the atmospheric setting with your lovely hosts.

After enjoying a lovely time at Gonbei Village, you will keep climbing towards the vast grasslands that stretch out at Senomoto Highlands. As you reach the top, you will start to see the final goal, the majestic Aso volcano towering in the distance. From here on, you will cycle through the stunning grasslands of Aso that seem to flow like waves on a sea, reminding you that the landscapes once were shaped by the pyroclastic debris that flowed out from the volcano covering the lands. Finally, you begin your descent, going down inside the vast caldera. In contrast to many calderas around the world, the Aso caldera is a bustling and flourishing world where you can find everything from forests and rice fields to roads and railways.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Aso
45km, 4 hours, 480m elevation gain
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Full Day of Volcano Cycling

The highlight of the tour is just ahead! Get ready to see an active volcano up close. Today, you have a full day of intensive cycling on and off-road, uphill and downhill. You will leave the hotel in the morning and enjoy an early breakfast.

Begin cycling from the 2000-year-old Aso shrine. Today you will make full use of the e-bikes as you ride an uphill course that will take you through forests and pasturelands until you reach the rocky and otherworldly areas around the volcano. Now heading downhill, feel the speed of the bicycles as you breeze through stunning landscapes while stopping along the way to explore points of interest, such as a restricted lava tunnel. You will keep riding all the way to the hotel, where to celebrate your last evening together, the group will enjoy dinner and drinks at an izakaya (Japanese pub) in the atmospheric Uchinomaki Onsen area.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Aso
50km, 5.5 hours, 750m elevation gain
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Transfer to Kumamoto Airport and Departure

On the final day, you’ll have a relaxing morning before departing to the airport and saying your goodbyes.

Overnight Location

Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour Price and Dates

This guided e-biking tour of Kyushu is run as a private custom tour for your group and the price per person depends on any additions, alterations, or changes to the accommodation or itinerary.

Prices below are per person.

  • Guided groups of 2-7: $2,250USD per person
  • Guided groups of 8: $2,525USD per person
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Accommodation on the Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour

This tour is based in traditional onsen hotels. “Onsen” means “hot spring” and these hotels are based around natural hot springs.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
Rooms are double occupancy. You can pay a supplement to have a private room in a hotel where possible. Solo travellers may be required to pay a supplement.

Komeya Bessou

This onsen hotel offers Japanese-style rooms with ensuite bathrooms and several areas to bathe.

Shizu no Yado

This family-run inn is located in a rustic mountain village. It’s known for its hospitality and relaxing hot springs.

Night 3-4


This hotel is polished and sophisticated, and it offers a bar, nice restaurant, and open-air onsen.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour?


4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 4 dinners are included.


Accommodations for 4 nights are included.

Transportation during the Tour

All personal and luggage transfers required by the itinerary are included. This includes pickup from the airport and departure transfers.

Also Included

  • Snacks and refreshments
  • English-speaking guide
  • Basic equipment (bikes, helmets, gloves)

Not included

  • Visas if required
  • Personal gear
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals
  • Alcoholic drinks with meals
  • Anything not mentioned as included

Optional Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the tour
  • Single occupancy upgrades where available

Frequenty Asked Questions about Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour

How hard is the Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour?

We rate this tour as a 3/5. The biking can be made much easier with the use of an e-bike, which is offered to riders. You should still be comfortable biking in varied terrain for up to 4 hours at a time.

Do I need a visa to travel to Japan?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

When is the best time to travel to Japan for this tour?

The best time to visit for this tour is either April and May or September when the weather is most comfortable for biking.

Are meals included on the Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour?

Yes, each major meal is included during your time on the tour, as well as snacks and refreshments along the way.

Can I bathe in the onsen?

Yes! Onsen are an important part of the local culture in this part of Japan. Please note that bathing in the onsen is done nude, and your towels cannot touch the water. If you are uncomfortable with public nude bathing, you can ask about private onsen rentals.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have health and medical insurance to join this trip. Get your travel insurance.

How do I get to Kumamoto to start this tour?

Fly into the Aso Kumamoto Airport (KMJ), where you will be met by your guide and driven to the start of the hotel.

Is the Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour in English?

Yes, the guides are English-speaking.

Where does the Rural Kyushu Bike & Gourmet Tour end?

The tour ends in Kumamoto, where you will be dropped off at the airport.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Japan?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Japan?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.


All tours on 10Adventures are operated by highly vetted local tour operators and guides.

Having local tour operators and guides means you get a more authentic experience, and your booking creates jobs in the local communities you visit.

Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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From $2,250USD




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Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 3/5. The biking can be made much easier with the use of an e-bike, which is offered to riders. You should still be comfortable biking in varied terrain for up to 4 hours at a time.

Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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