Start off in the beach resort of Shirahama and head deep into the Kii Mountain Range. Fuel up on fresh local produce at rest stops along the way and ride past some of the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route's key landmarks. Relax after a hard day in the saddle at the natural hot spring resort of Kawayu Onsen.
Take a ride deep into the mountains
Fuel up on local fare
Visit ancient spots of deep spiritual significance
Tips: Fly to Nanki-Shirahama airport to begin your exploration of Wakayama. Japan Airlines offers affordable domestic fares with the JAL Japan Explorer Pass. The easy-to-use English website makes booking flights very easy.
Access the Shirahama area from Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, or Tennoji on the Limited Express Kuroshio. The express train hugs the Wakayama west coast and takes around two and a half hours from Shin-Osaka. Regular flights depart from Tokyo's major airports to Nanki-Shirahama Airport, and a highway bus to the area leaves from various points in Tokyo and Yokohama.
Tips: Travelling with a bicycle is possible, although you will have to remove the front wheel and fit the whole bicycle into a bicycle bag. If traveling by train, reserve a seat at the front or back of a train carriage as there is generally more room in front or behind for storage.
There are a number of accommodation options in Shirahama from traditional ryokan hotels to luxury lodgings overlooking the ocean. Most hotels have hot spring onsen facilities and restaurants that serve local and seasonal fare. Relax and fill up on good food before you embark on the cycling course the next day.
Tips: If you are planning a trip in early May, mid-August or around the new year period, be sure to book well in advance as these are national holiday periods in Japan and hotels and transportation get booked very quickly.