Marunouchi Bike and Run Entrance

Deep in the Heart of Japan:

Hikone By Bike

This Hikone Cycling Tour uncovers a beauty that cannot be found in Kyoto or other crowded places.

Riding through the small castle town of Hikone and its slightly remote suburbs, this cycling tour is more intimate and more connected to time and place than ever before. 7-hour Hikone guided cycling tour offers a balanced view of nature, history, and locals while riding along a 22-km bike path. You will be able to see It’s a great contrast to city life, a unique cultural experience comparable to other Japanese bicycle tours, and a great way to get some exercise. Here are just a few of the great spots you can explore on your trip.

Our first stop is the Sawayama Castle Ruins. As the name implies, Sawayama Castle is not the most exciting place to visit, as most of the castle was removed about 400 years ago to make way for the construction of Hikone Castle. But we kept pedaling through the bamboo grove and stopped in front of a simple building. According to our guide, this building is called a kyozo (sutra storehouse), which in Japanese Buddhist architecture is a place to store sutras and records of temple history.

tucked away from the hustle of Kyoto and the tourists, Hikone is a picturesque town known for its significance in Japanese history and the beautiful Hikone castle

The scenery changed as we continued along the Serigawa River toward Taga Town. Here, one can see the beautiful waterfront and the wild birds that hang out in the river. The most common winged creatures are the white herons and blue herons, which target small fish called ayu. Pedaling along, we passed a sake brewery and several rice paddies. There is no doubt that rice paddies produce delicious rice. That is what makes good sake!

Before getting on the cycle train, we had to deal with hunger, so we stopped at an old but famous soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurant. There I had tempura soba, which came with a shrimp tempura that was bigger than I had imagined. Very tasty!

All Aboard: A Ride for My Ride!

runners after Tokyo Marathon
runner with spectator

I don’t know what I was expecting from the cycle train, but what happened next was shocking. We got on a very local train operated by the Omi Railway. On weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., you could bring your bicycle on board for free. No wheeled bags or covers are needed!Most stations are unmanned. Just ride your bike to the station, pick up your ticket, and pay the fare at your destination. Although we only rode for 15 minutes, we liked the vintage and local atmosphere of the Omi Railway.

Tokyo Marathon volunteers
Tokyo Marathon volunteers

After getting off the train, we walked back to the store, passing through a part of town called Hikone Ginza. On our route back, we noticed that no matter where we were, we could see Hikone Castle, the symbol of Hikone, from anywhere in town. Since Hikone Castle is inaccessible by bicycle, we decided to visit the castle the next day for sure.

Tokyo Marathon aid station

Sights and Schedule

9:00 AM | Start at Strada Bicycles Hikone
9:30 AM | Sawayama Castle
10:30 AM | Castle Road and Old castle town
Ride to country side by Seri river
12:00PM | Taga Taisha Shrine and Lunch
2:00 PM | Board train from Taga Taisha-mae station to Hikone-Serikawa station 
3:00 PM | End at Strada Bicycles Hikone

runner giving interview


March 26, 2024 → November 30, 2024


Number of participants

Max 8 participants
Min 2 people

Tour fee

12,000 yen/person (tax included)
Included in the price


    • Trained and experienced guide (in English/Japanese)

Small group tour

 Lunch (Soba)

      Train ticket

Not included
Hotel pick-up and drop-off

Meeting place

Bike store Strada in front of Hikone Castle



  • Participants must be 16 years old and older.
  • Reservation up to 365 days in advance is possible.
  • If a tour already has 2 people booked, you can book it as an individual. Please check our current availability via “reservation”. If your requested date is unavailable, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.


  • If you cancel after 4pm on the day before the tour or ‘no show’ 100% of the tour fee
    If you cancel after 4pm, 2 days prior to the tour date 50% of the tour fee
    If you cancel before 4pm, 2 days prior to the tour date No cancellation fee


Please be sure to purchase appropriate travel insurance in advance.