Itineraries

The south coast course

Ocean, River, Natural monuments, Michi-no-Eki (rest stop stations), Flowers

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This course takes you along Wakayama's southern coastline. Make stops along the way at the Kushimoto Kaichu Koen Center marine park, Cape Shionomisaki, and two rest stop stations. Pedal across Kushimoto Bridge to the small island of Oshima, and head back to the mainland to ride past the impressive natural monuments of Hashigui-iwa Rock and Ichimai-iwa Monolith.

Ocean

Scenic views and marine education

View the ocean as you ride the coastal paths and find out more about what lies beneath the waves at the Kushimoto Kaichu Koen Center marine park.

Kushimoto Kaichu Koen Center

River

Emerald green and crystal clear

Ride through the town of Koza and follow the path of the Kozagawa River. Stop for a riverside picnic, or paddle in the clear water.

Kozagawa River

Natural Monuments

Striking sculptures of natural art

Ride past the jagged Hashigui-iwa Rock monuments standing out at sea; admire the Ichimai-iwa Monolith looming over the Kozagawa River; spot the fish in the pockmarked pools of Takinohai Waterfall.

Hashigui-iwa Rock

Michi-no-Eki (rest stop stations)

Rest up in places of natural beauty

Take a break at the two rest stops along the route. Enjoy local food in the restaurants and take in the surrounding scenery.

Flowers

A brand new cherry blossom

Look out for Kumano Sakura, the first new variety of cherry blossom to be discovered for 100 years.

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.

Rental Cycle Info & Tips
There are three rental cycle shops in the Susami area. The closest shop for train travellers is Sunset Susami, around 500 meters from Susami Station. The other two are located along the coast at the rest stop stations of Michi-no-Eki Inbootan Land Susami and Michi-no-Eki Susami. There are nine Cycle Stations dotted in the surrounding area, where bicycle pumps and tools are available. Some of the Cycle Stations have restroom facilities. Research the location of Cycle Stations in Wakayama. Be aware that rental bicycles need to be returned to the store they were originally rented from. Check the rental time period with store staff and adapt your itinerary accordingly.

1 JR Susami Station

Susami Station is located around 25 kilometres down the coast on the Kisei Main Line from the beach resort of Shirahama. Begin your ride from Susami to explore Wakayama's southern tip.

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8.5 km ~

2 Bush De Coffee

Follow the road as it winds down the coast and through the mountains. Stop for refreshment in this modern coffee shop overlooking the ocean. The café is an ideal spot for a morning coffee—it opens at 11:00—or for a leisurely lunch.

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5 km ~

3 Michi-no-Eki Susami

The road continues to hug the coast as you ride down to this oceanside rest stop station. The facility has a large restaurant, a shop selling local produce, restroom facilities, and the only aquarium in Japan specialising in crabs and shrimps.

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18 km ~

4 Kushimoto Kaichu Koen Center

This marine park has a large aquarium housing a wide range of marine life from vibrantly coloured coral reef fish, sharks, rays, and a tank of sea turtles. Head to the Underwater Observation Tower to view fish in their natural habitat, and ride the glass-bottomed sightseeing boat further out into the ocean. The coral communities in the Kushimoto waters are registered under the Ramsar Convention.

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8 km ~

5 Cape Shionomisaki

After exploring the sea around Kushimoto, ride further down the coast to the southernmost point in Honshu—Japan's largest island. Climb up to magnificent views of the ocean at the top of the 120-year-old lighthouse, relax on the large lawn, and enjoy a bowl of rice topped with the highly regarded Kindai Maguro tuna sashimi.

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7 km ~

6 Kushimoto Bridge

From the cape area, cycle across the Kushimoto Bridge with its distinctive loop to the small islet of Kii-Oshima. Stop off at Pan to Cafe nagi. The bakery and café's extensive menu of pizza slices, bread and cakes use homemade wheat, local fruits and vegetables, and water from Kushimoto.

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7 km ~

7 Hashigui-iwa Rock

Ride back over the Kushimoto Bridge and follow the coastal road. Pedal through the town of Kushimoto to this stretch of otherworldly rocks set out at sea. The jagged and pointy formation appears like a bridge and is a popular spot for taking photographs.

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8 Kaki-gori

Much more than just "shaved ice" as it is commonly translated, Kaki-gori is the quintessential Japanese summer dessert. Made from high-quality ice, the texture is smooth, almost creamy. The dessert can be customised with syrups, and, depending on the store, fresh fruit.

5 km ~

9 Kozagawa River

Around five kilometres further up the coast from Hashigui-iwa Rock is the town of Koza. The Kozagawa River that runs through the town and deeper into the mountains is known for its emerald green, crystal clear water. In summer, head down to the water's edge and cool off in the river. Don't forget your towel.

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15 km ~

10 Takinohai

Follow Route 43 into the mountains to reach Takinohai—a waterfall and bedrock river channel. Jagged and pockmarked with numerous potholes, it makes for an impressive sight. The water is so clear that fish are visible in the fast flowing water.

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15 km ~

11 Ichimai-iwa Monolith

Ride the winding mountain paths back down towards Route 371, and continue along this larger road to discover the Ichimai-iwa Monolith. Sitting beside the Kozagawa River, this hulking rock is 100 meters high. The locals refer to it as Japan's Uluru.

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12 Michi-no-Eki Ichimai-iwa

Park your bike at the Michi-no-Eki rest stop station at the site of the monolith. The facility has a restaurant serving local food and a small shop selling local specialities.

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14 km ~

13 Wabuka Station

The final leg of the course runs back down to the coast through winding roads and small villages. Your final destination is Wabuka Station on the Kisei Main Line, around 45 kilometres away from Shirahama Station.

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The deep mountain course

Local food, Mountain roads, Spiritual, Onsen

Kitayama Course

Gorge, Rafting, Mountain Roads, Onsen, Flowers

Explore local Wakayama course

Local food, Coast, Spiritual, Stone Staircases, Flowers

The highlights of Shirahama course

Natural monuments, Wildlife Park, Food, Sunset

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