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  • Alba Cid

Slow Japan: cycling along the coast of Wakayama

Some time ago, we talked about how to turn your travel into a wellness and self-care holiday. One of the ways to ensure that your travel time is of quality is to prioritize quality over quantity: making conscious choices and living the travel experience consciously and fully.

Japan hides unique and little-known gems close to the most emblematic (and sometimes crowded) places. Often, foreign travellers are unaware that there are places of great natural and cultural value very close to the most famous cities. Travel at your own pace and enjoy each stage of the journey to leave quality experiences during your trip.

cycling in wakayama
Photo provided by Wakayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Today we take you on a trip to a charming destination that maybe you’ve never heard about before: Wakayama. Come and experience a journey of gastronomic pleasure and a slow pace of life thanks to the use of a sustainable method of transport: the bicycle.

The coastline of Wakayama

Wakayama prefecture is located on the west side of the Kii Peninsula and has one of the most beautiful white beaches in Japan: Shirarahama Beach. Wakayama can be reached in just 1h30 from Kyoto and 1h from Osaka, making it an easily accessible place during your trip to Japan.

white beach of Wakayama
Photo provided by Wakayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

This region will take your breath away thanks to its combination of stunning mountains, white beaches and unique traditions. The famous Kumano Kodo -Japan's emblematic pilgrimage route- runs through Wakayama, and you can discover it in a unique way by bike, as there is a paved section that you can cycle along. Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of this ancestral place, forget the burdens of everyday life and renew your energy.

The combination of nature and culture is outstanding, as you discover emblematic temples while visiting unique natural sites. This is the case of the Nachi Falls, which stands next to the Kumano Nachi Taisha temple.

Another great reward for the effort of cycling is to reach the Holy Mountain: Koyasan. A world heritage site which is accessible via a hill climb route. When reaching the top, a solemn gate with a height of 25m (Daimon) waits for you at the main entrance. The scenery along the road is impressive in all areas, and there are options for all ages and fitness levels.

monks in wakayama
Photo provided by Wakayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Slow tourism and cycling in Japan

Slow tourism is the perfect combination of sustainability and self-care, as it benefits us as travellers and the environment we visit.

Discovering Japan in a leisurely way, cycling through a little-known region, is also a way to maintain your self-care routines during your holiday. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise in your free time. Combine this with the wellness of an onsen in Wakayama and the unique atmosphere of the ancestral trails.

Onsen in Wakayama
Photo provided by Wakayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

To escape and rest from the cycling, what better place than “Japan's Aegean Sea”? The white sand and ultramarine waters of Wakayama's Shirasaki Coast are the perfect setting for relaxation. 

This coastal region also offers unique culinary delights to enjoy in good company. Here you can savour dishes unique to the region such as "Mehari Sushi" and "Kaki no Ha Sushi". In fact, in Wakayama Prefecture is located Yuasa, a village known for being the birthplace of soy sauce in Japan. An ingredient that today is found in kitchens all over the world, and it’s a staple in Japanese cuisine. In addition, Wakayama is Japan's top producer of premium fruit, so if you are passionate about the freshness of Asian fruit, here you will find seasonal products at any time of the year.

fruits of wakayama
Photo provided by Wakayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

As for cycling, you will be in a particularly interesting area, as a network of cycle paths called "WAKAYAMA 800" is currently being built. 800km of perfectly signposted tracks, prepared and equipped for your comfort.

Explore the Cycling Kingdom of Wakayama

Travelling slower is a way to create moments with meaning and purpose. It allows us to fully enjoy the here and now, to connect to the destination, its people, and to share lasting experiences with our travel mates. In addition, travelling sustainably, opting for transport that has a positive impact on the environment and reducing our carbon footprint, makes us responsible travellers with the planet.

Ready to discover this region, which aspires to be "The Cycling Kingdom of Wakayama", during a healthy and unforgettable holiday of sustainable tourism?

Landscape in Wakayama
Photo provided by Wakayama Prefecture Tourism Federation


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