Cycling guide around Wazuka and Kansai

Hello everyone welcomes to our cycling guide of Wazuka, we’ll provide you with essential information about the best cycling routes, whether you’re an avid cyclist seeking a challenging ride or traveler looking for a tranquil escape.

Wazuka Tea Field Exploration:

Exploring Wazuka covers approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) with an elevation gain of 430 meters. Allow 3-4 hours for this route, including stops. You will cycle through the city, enjoying views of the different fields while being close to the tea bushes. On the map, you will find the locations of various temples, shrines, restaurants, sightseeing viewpoints, and the Obubu tea farm.

For Beginners, To fully enjoy Wazuka, where there are numerous hills to navigate, I recommend renting an electric bicycle at Wazuka Café or at the Tourist information center. If you bring your own bicycle, I suggest taking cycle route 5, which is the main road in Wazuka. It offers a more manageable terrain with elevation grades no steeper than 5%. When returning to the station, the western hills provide a relatively easier cycling experience, especially if tackled towards the end of the ride.

For Amateur Cyclists, cycling the route in reverse can be an enjoyable option if you’re up for a steeper challenge. Western Wazuka offers enticing hill climbs starting from Kizugawa. Additionally, consider cycling to the Harayama fields. To reach this area, you’ll need to ascend 90 meters over a 900-meter slope, with gradients ranging from 9% to 13.5%. Your efforts will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Wazuka.


While cycling in Japan, including Wazuka, prioritizing safety is essential. It’s crucial to always abide by the local traffic regulations. While most roads are suitable for cycling, it’s impossible to cycle on the highway toll road and exercise caution on National roads. Despite the high traffic volume on the national road, the residents are accustomed to sharing the road with cyclists. On the narrow village roads, I advise to keep to the left side of the road and remain vigilant, especially at corners and intersections. The village road are usually made for a one way passage. Utilizing the road’s mirrors to check for approaching vehicles is also a prudent practice. For those without a bicycle, it’s possible to rent one at the Wazuka Tourist Center or an electric bicycle at Wazuka Café and the Tourist Information Center. Both locations are marked on the map.


The best cycling seasons are spring (early March to May) and autumn (end of September to November). In spring, you can enjoy the Sakura tree blooms for a few weeks if your timing is right, while in autumn, you can relish the colorful leaves. Thanks to the cooler weather and stunning seasonal foliage, long-distance cycling is the best. Summer, on the other hand, it is very hot and humid in Japan. For example, in August this year, the temperature ranged from 30 to 35°C, with a heat index of over 40°C. While it’s still possible to cycle, I would recommend avoiding cycling between 11 am and 2 pm. Winter is too cold in this region, and there can even be some snow in the area.

Photo by George Guttridge-Smith

Regarding Tea Fields:

Please show respect for the tea fields, as they are private property and the source of income for local farmers. Do not enter the fields without permission, as tea plantations are privately owned. Refrain from touching the plants without the farmers’ consent and respect their privacy. Do not take close-up photos of tea farmers without their permission.

Where to buy food and supplies.

Wazuka has one Lawson convenience store and two smaller supermarkets. Lawson provides a diverse selection of outdoor dining options, including protein bars, affordable 2-liter bottles of water, juice, and more, all easily accessible. The two supermarkets, on the other hand, primarily cater to home cooking needs rather than offering ready-to-eat meals, they still can be an option if in need of supplies.

Where to eat and drink for a break

There are a few cafés and restaurants in Wazuka. Dan Dan Café and Wazuka Café offer some nice meals and drinks. Also, there are some local restaurants in Wazuka. If you plan to eat at one of them, I suggest looking it up on the internet or calling for a reservation. They are not open every day and most of them close in the afternoon. If you love sweets, there are 2 wagashi makers in town. I certify that they are delicious!

For Those Seeking a Real Challenge around Wazuka, I Have Several Options:

Cycling the Mount Jubbu Roads:

This 24-kilometer loop, starting and finishing at Wazuka Lawson, presents a considerable challenge with an elevation gain of almost 700 meters. The steepest part of the road is at the beginning, and at the top of the mountain, you can enjoy Kontaji Temple or Shrine (金胎寺). It’s a rewarding climb for avid cyclists.

Heading to Dosenbo:

This route is a personal favorite and offers a 30-kilometer loop starting from the intersection of Road 5 and 163, with an elevation gain of more than 750 meters. It provides an excellent cycling road with stunning views of tea fields, the towns of Kamo and Wazuka. At the peak, you’ll reach a plateau-village called Dosenbo. On the way down, you’ll follow a river through a beautiful forest. The only drawback is the limited amenities at the top, so ensure you bring enough food and water.

Exploring the Western Hills of Wazuka:

This route allows you to explore the western hills of Wazuka. The uphill portion offers a beautiful view of Wazuka, and if you cycle there in spring at the right time, you can enjoy the Sakura trees in bloom overlooking the town. The road will eventually bring you into the Yamashiro Forest Park.

For Cyclists Looking for Longer Routes:

Osaka to Wazuka:

This relatively easy, flat 70-kilometer ride is the ideal way to cycle from Osaka to Wazuka, following the region’s river system. Most of the roads are designated for pedestrians or cyclists, so you’ll encounter minimal traffic or stops. It’s a fantastic way to explore Kansai.

Wazuka to Lake Biwa via Shigaraki:

This ride takes you through the beautiful natural landscapes of Wazuka and the historical town of Shigaraki, ending at Lake Biwa. You can savor the charms of Wazuka and then explore Shigaraki, famous for its centuries-old pottery production.

Alternative Route for Shigaraki or the Wazuka Loop: This route allows you to enjoy both Wazuka and Shigaraki, starting and finishing in Wazuka. You can explore the roads that encircle Shigaraki.

Wazuka to Ise (or Nagoya):

This challenging ride takes you through Iga and across the two mountain chains that separate Wazuka from Nagoya Bay. After descending from the second mountain in the city of Tsu, you can either head to Ise, an important city known for its shrines and temples, or go north towards Nagoya, one of Japan’s major cities.

I hope this guide helps you regarding cycling in Wazuka and around Kansai.

Julien, Intern 157

Posted in Adventures In Tea!, Uncategorized, Wazuka.

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