Exploring Japan on by bicycle is a great way to see areas missed by many standard tours. Away from the busy cities, there are miles of countryside to be enjoyed; tree-lined lakes, rice paddies and rugged coastline make up a rich tapestry of ever-changing scenery. In May, the Azaleas and rhododendrons are in bloom turning formal gardens into a wonderful riot of colour.
Cycling is also a great way to meet local people, exchange greetings and to get an insight into the culture and traditions. Learn a few words of Japanese and your efforts will be rewarded with polite bows and smiles. If you are feeling a little saddle sore, take a soak in the hot springs to ease the muscles or hop on to the bullet train to go at a slightly faster pace!