Explore the Setouchi Region of Japan by E-Bike



Cycle through Japan’s Setouchi region which includes the beautiful island of Shikoku on an exclusive pedal-assisted e-bike tour. Ride through the incredibly diverse and scenic landscapes with rarely a busy road in sight. Enjoy compact ride days with the assistance of your e-bike, allowing you to enjoy the daily destinations, food, hot spring baths and legendary hospitality of Japan to the fullest!

EARLY RIDER PRIZE: Be in the first 4 to book a departure and get 5% OFF the tour price*
*Not applicable with private, family, or self-guided tours, other discounts, trip credit, or special offers



  • Cycle the Shimanami Kaido route over the Seto Inland Sea

  • Visit a sacred temple along the famous pilgrimage trail

  • Bathe in centuries-old hot springs

  • Take in stunning ocean views & breathtaking ridgetop routes

  • Enjoy a morning making traditional washi paper in the small town of Yusuhara

  • Ride the deep rural valleys of Ehime & Kochi

Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Day 1

    We meet in Onomichi at the outdoor dining area of the Green Hill Hotel at 9:30am, just steps away from the train station. Here we have a briefing on the trip ahead and then get fitted up with the e-bikes. Luggage is stashed in the van and we then head out of town on a ferry over the harbor.

    The great riding starts immediately as we exit the built-up areas in favor of fields and countryside. Passing through a bamboo forest on a deserted road, we pop out at the waterline of the first island of many. Today we start the Shimanami Kaido, a cycling route that crosses seven islands over the next two days with many more off in the distance.

    We encounter some hills before lunch, but these are a pleasure to ride with the power boost of the e-bikes. Lunch is Udon Tempura, a staple daytime meal. We roll into a small town on Ikuchi Island called Setoda where our modest, traditional style Japanese Inn awaits.

  • Day 2

    After a leisurely and generous-sized breakfast, we start out on today’s ride. We have a nice big hill to power over, and this is where the e-bikes really shine, for a panoramic view out over the Seto Inland Sea. We’ll also pass through the citrus orchards that are the agricultural mainstay here. 

    Today we will cross five different islands and in between we will be elevated above the sea on dedicated bike paths integrated into the massive span bridges. On each island, we take the scenic route, sometimes along the water, sometimes inland to catch some more of those views. The last bridge is our longest and the views from here are just breathtaking. 

    This last stretch brings us into a town called Imabari, where we rack the e-bikes on the van and board a rapid train that takes us around to the vibrant city of Matsuyama. The train in Japan really is a pleasant experience with snacks and drinks to enjoy as the scenery flies by. 

    As the day comes to a close and you’ve had time for a shower, feel free to grab a taxi/tram to reach the Matsuyama castle before we make our way to tonight’s dinner for some traditional Japanese fare. While the food is important, the highlight will be tastings of Japan’s most famous drink – sake. You’ll be trying a number of sakes, from dry to sweet and in between. Your guide will tell you about sake’s unique place in Japanese history and after tonight you’ll know what you want to order with all your meals! 

  • Day 3

    Early in the morning, we will take another rapid train to reach the staging point of our next e-bike ride. A ride that starts out looking a bit ordinary, becomes a really enjoyable day on the bike as the town gives way to quiet roads following a river, with moss-covered walls that hold back the hillside. After lots of weaving along the contours of the valley, we have some really nice winding roads up through the hills at which point you’ll fall in love with e-bike touring and likely be planning a new purchase back home. 

    Our route takes us to the small town of Yusuhara where a boutique hotel awaits, designed by award-winning architect, Kengo Kuma. Actually the work of Mr. Kuma is scattered all over town, from another Onsen Retreat property to a bridge over the nearby stream and his most significant contribution, the public library. You will have time this afternoon to explore these sites and to enjoy wandering the laneways of this lovely little town. A soak in the Onsen is highly recommended here. 

  • Day 4

    A slightly earlier breakfast is needed today to fit in a full day of activity. We start out by visiting Rogier. Dutchman, Rogier Uitenboogaart has been in Japan for decades and become a master of Washi Paper, an ancient art, producing incredibly durable paper from a plant grown in this area. He and his family host morning workshops on request and Grasshopper has been doing these since we started operating tours in Japan. You will get to make the paper yourself and then craft it into an item to take home with you.

    We will have lunch in town, then an afternoon e-bike ride awaits to take us to our next location. The ride is another highly enjoyable route passing through lush green valleys and hills with rivers bubbling and churning away below. There is some sustained climbing that the e-bikes will power through and then a thrilling descent where we catch our first glimpses of the Pacific Ocean. We spend this evening in an Onsen Retreat property, high up on a headland looking out over the ocean with on outdoor Onsen and an exquisite meal to close out a fantastic day.

  • Day 5

    With a place like this, you will be in no hurry to leave, so we take a leisurely breakfast, have time for more Onsen soaking and then head off late morning. The first part of our e-bike touring today is on a deserted road that skirts cliffs while the deep blue ocean swirls below along with the sound of waves crashing against rocky outcrops. A short ride beyond the cliffs takes us to yet another enjoyable section, high along a ridge on a peninsula, with views that may just exhaust your camera. The gradient along here is very enjoyable, with ups and downs all the way along the peninsula that takes us to a lunch spot back on the main island.

    Well-fed, we go on to visit temple number 36 on the 88 Temple Pilgrimage Route. This is the Blue Dragon Temple and it’s in our must-see list. There are often pilgrimage walkers there at the same time, so you can get an understanding of what it is all about.

    The ride from here up to Kochi city is a fun one that passes surprisingly quickly. Some more flat coast riding, then through a deserted bamboo forest before summiting a hill with views over the city. Kochi is a fun place to be after a few nights in the countryside. There is a good variety of food on offer along with plenty of bars and nightlife.

  • Day 6

    This morning we head out by car for a short 45 minute drive out of the city and into the hills. Once we are on the bikes, we have a relatively flat and winding 10km following the river, then we go for a big, 20km hill climb, but again the e-bike’s pedal-assist power makes this achievable by all. On a clear day the views from up top are stunning and we might even see Mt. Ishizuchi, the tallest mountain on the island. Then a long descent awaits you, into the Iya Valley. You will know when you have reached the valley, because the water of the Iya River is an amazing aqua color, owing to its origins in the limestone of the surrounding hills and the river bed that is also stone and light-colored silt.

    After riding along the tight, winding road following the river with plenty of picture opportunities, we arrive at a large, comfortable Onsen Retreat style property where we can enjoy a great meal and a soak.

  • Day 7

    We linger in the valley today. At 9 am, it’s time for us to check out and have an early lunch before straddling our e-bikes to ride the last 30km.  And what a great 30km it is, along a quiet road that winds furiously as it follows the course of the river and contours of the valley, even on a regular bike you wouldn’t be doing much pedaling here. As we leave the valley, there is a nice steep hill to get over and one that will remind you of the benefits of the e-bike you are riding. You’ll roll into the small town of Awa Ikeda where we have arranged for an Onsen for you to shower, re-pack and then board a train for one of the many great travel destinations on Kyoto . Happy travels! 

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

Booking Policy

  • 6 nights in comfortable accommodation selected for high standards & local flavor
  • 6x Breakfasts, 7x Lunches, 5x Dinners
  • Healthy snacks & water during cycling
  • Expert local guide
  • Quality well-serviced bikes and helmet for riding
  • Grasshopper souvenir jersey and water bottle that are yours to keep
  • Comfortable van for support and transfers
  • All tickets and entry costs included in the itinerary

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