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Thread: Kii Peninsula suggestions

  1. #1
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    Default Kii Peninsula suggestions

    Looking to ride the Kii Peninsula, first time, over a 3 day trip in April. Dates still fluid at the moment, but I thought I'd start putting a route together and seeking suggestions.

    Start and finish at the Isewan Ferry terminal in Toba. Here's what I have so far. http://tinyurl.com/o6de7vn or the long URL.

    The route is based predominantly on highlighted roads in the Mapple, while steering clear of R425, which is supposed to be one of the three big awful roads in Japan (日本三大酷道路線) according to Wikipedia and the Japanese blogosphere.

    My next step is researching interesting and unusual sights, as well as cheap accommodation, nice onsens and good food.

    I know a few people on this forum have ridden through Kii, and I'm already referencing Guy's route on the GRGGRR thread.

    Look forward to any advice and suggestions.
    Last edited by rider2371; 14-02-15 at 09:38 PM. Reason: typo
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  2. #2
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    Sorry, not suggestion to give not having ridden there but this looks awesome. Probably doing myself a lot of ridding in April, considering going in that area and in Kyushu, clearly interested too about suggestions and keeping that road you've built in mind

  3. #3
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    I know some of the Kansai Riders have a lot of Wakayama experience... may want to ask them about roads and sights.

    Also, there are some good roads (check the Mapple) just north of the Kii Peninsula that you can hit if you come in or leave from the north instead of on the ferry. Just a thought, especially if you have 3 days.

    Finally, the Wakayama section of my multi-day route in the GRGGRR shows some other possibilities.

    Looking forward to your ride report!
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    IMO you're missing the best part of Kii with that route. When I rode there I enjoyed the west coast from the tip of the peninsula up to Wakayama city, largely deserted with long curving roads, very nice. Not much above Wakayama city. Good idea to avoid the beach road going up to Mie though. Mountain roads I took weren't that great either compared to Izu near where I am. As far as tourist spots I would avoid the waterfall, it's supposed to be the highest waterfall in Japan but it is an awfull place, speakers blaring about trinkets for sale and a bunch of rude Kansai tourists. I think the ryokan culture doesn't compare to Izu either but you can get a cheap room with nice food fairly easily.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kii Peninsula suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Something Wild View Post
    IMO you're missing the best part of Kii with that route. When I rode there I enjoyed the west coast from the tip of the peninsula up to Wakayama city, largely deserted with long curving roads, very nice. Not much above Wakayama city.
    No doubt the coast is fun, but I wouldn't say it's better than the Ryujin Skyline. You could manage to do the skyline and some of the west coast too, which is what I did the other time I went there, on Golden Week 2013.

    Rt. 169 inland is also a lot of fun.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    the Ryujin Skyline. Rt. 169 inland
    I'll be sure to check out those roads next time I'm lucky enought to get back to the Kii.

    The OP asked about grub, try to Kansai style oden, the soup is different, very good.

  7. #7
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    the Ryujin Skyline is very nice but watch out for cops especially on weekends. I really love the pizza at the Ryujin Cafe at the Ryujin Michinoeki near the Ryujin Onsen village. Koyasan at the end of the Ryujin skyline is really worth a stop for some sightseeing. the best thing is the cemetery. take a walk along the path the length of the cemetery.

    be sure to keep plenty of gas and be ready for road closure detours when riding inland on the kii!


  8. #8
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    Another vote for the Ryujin onsen village.

    Last edited by dmizer; 15-02-15 at 06:21 PM. Reason: direct link image

  9. #9
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    Awesome! Thanks guys! Please keep them suggestions coming.

    Rough plan is to leave Tokyo before dawn of April 29 and aim to get off the Isewan Ferry around 10am. On the way back, I'll need to be at Toba ferry dock around 4pm on May 1 to finish the day in a hotel near the start point of the Twisty Butt in Kanagawa. This means I'll only have 3 days / 2 nights within the Kii, so will need to prioritize based on your suggestions and my own research. But I have a feeling I won't have time to explore any roads/areas north of R166-R370-R24 west-east line.
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  10. #10
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    In Toba, I highly recommend stopping for a meal of some kind. The fish is amazing. The famous Ise ebi is worth the stop alone. But the town is one of Japan's largest pearl producing areas which means the oysters are also delicious. Last time I was there it was June, and raw oysters were on the menu. After a conversation about why they were available (apparently male oysters don't have an issue with the red tide toxins?) and seeing other people eating them, I had some myself. Great stuff.

    The restaurant was 海女小屋鳥羽はまなみ here: https://goo.gl/maps/m29xa

    I also rode the entire length of 425 and loved it, at least until it started to get dark, then it was a terrifying chore. It was certainly a time consuming road. It took me about 3 hours longer than I'd anticipated to get to Ryujin from Owase. There was one place where 425 was closed because of a land slide, but the locals told me it had finally been cleared that day and told me to just ride around the gate.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rider2371 View Post
    Looking to ride the Kii Peninsula, first time, over a 3 day trip in April. Dates still fluid at the moment, but I thought I'd start putting a route together and seeking suggestions.

    Start and finish at the Isewan Ferry terminal in Toba. Here's what I have so far. http://tinyurl.com/o6de7vn or the long URL.

    The route is based predominantly on highlighted roads in the Mapple, while steering clear of R425, which is supposed to be one of the three big awful roads in Japan (日本三大酷道路線) according to Wikipedia and the Japanese blogosphere.

    My next step is researching interesting and unusual sights, as well as cheap accommodation, nice onsens and good food.

    I know a few people on this forum have ridden through Kii, and I'm already referencing Guy's route on the GRGGRR thread.

    Look forward to any advice and suggestions.
    A few km after you leave the ferry in Toba is the Ise-Shima skyline which you are riding parallel to. It's 650Y for bikes but well worth it.

    On your return to Toba between Owase to Kiinagashima route 42 is (or was) a choke point of heavy traffic. You may wish to use the expressway if behind time at that point.

  12. #12
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    Default Kansai Mapple P.2, P.5

    If you're planning to go down to the southern tip of Wakayama, I recommend the following. I've pink highlighted the route on the attached maps.

    Kansai Mapple P.2. Head north on 371. Branch right onto 38 which soon becomes 43. Stay on this single track tarmac road as you climb and climb, twisty after twisty and continue on to...

    ...P.5. At T-junction turn left on to 45 which then becomes 44, and eventually continue down and down till you meet main road 168 which conveniently has an onsen and restaurant. If you turn left on 168, you'll soon come to Kawayu onsen campsite, a favourite of us Kansai riders. You can have an open air onsen in the river itself.

    The entire route is about 85kms long, there are no villages or shops on the way and you should fill up before you get on to 38 and of course take lots of water.

    I've done this route in both directions on a road bike, and it's a bloody wonderful road.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1627.jpg   IMG_1629.jpg  
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  13. #13
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    This is precisely the high quality suggestions and feedback I was hoping for. Thanks a lot guys, please keep it coming.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by alban View Post
    Sorry, not suggestion to give not having ridden there but this looks awesome. Probably doing myself a lot of ridding in April, considering going in that area and in Kyushu, clearly interested too about suggestions and keeping that road you've built in mind
    No worries Alban. You're welcome to join if the dates work for you ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    I know some of the Kansai Riders have a lot of Wakayama experience... may want to ask them about roads and sights.

    Also, there are some good roads (check the Mapple) just north of the Kii Peninsula that you can hit if you come in or leave from the north instead of on the ferry. Just a thought, especially if you have 3 days.

    Finally, the Wakayama section of my multi-day route in the GRGGRR shows some other possibilities.

    Looking forward to your ride report!
    Good points Guy. Thanks. I've picked up a few ideas from your route already.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Something Wild View Post
    IMO you're missing the best part of Kii with that route. When I rode there I enjoyed the west coast from the tip of the peninsula up to Wakayama city, largely deserted with long curving roads, very nice. Not much above Wakayama city. Good idea to avoid the beach road going up to Mie though. Mountain roads I took weren't that great either compared to Izu near where I am. As far as tourist spots I would avoid the waterfall, it's supposed to be the highest waterfall in Japan but it is an awfull place, speakers blaring about trinkets for sale and a bunch of rude Kansai tourists. I think the ryokan culture doesn't compare to Izu either but you can get a cheap room with nice food fairly easily.
    Quote Originally Posted by Something Wild View Post
    The OP asked about grub, try to Kansai style oden, the soup is different, very good.
    Thanks for the feedback. I definitely don't want to get stuck in tourist traps.

    Also, good point about Kansai Oden. Haven't had it in 15 years. A refresh is long due ;)

    Btw, which waterfall did you refer to exactly?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by haildamage View Post
    the Ryujin Skyline is very nice but watch out for cops especially on weekends. I really love the pizza at the Ryujin Cafe at the Ryujin Michinoeki near the Ryujin Onsen village.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    No doubt the coast is fun, but I wouldn't say it's better than the Ryujin Skyline. You could manage to do the skyline and some of the west coast too, which is what I did the other time I went there, on Golden Week 2013.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmizer View Post
    Another vote for the Ryujin onsen village.
    Awesome! That's a few mentions of Ryujin skyline/area. Glad it's already on my route.

    Quote Originally Posted by haildamage View Post
    Koyasan at the end of the Ryujin skyline is really worth a stop for some sightseeing. the best thing is the cemetery. take a walk along the path the length of the cemetery.
    haildamage, Koyasan is at the north end of the Ryujin Skyline right? I'll stop by for some sight seeing if time permits.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren View Post
    A few km after you leave the ferry in Toba is the Ise-Shima skyline which you are riding parallel to. It's 650Y for bikes but well worth it.
    Yeah, initially I thought I'd skip it but I'm reconsidering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warren View Post
    On your return to Toba between Owase to Kiinagashima route 42 is (or was) a choke point of heavy traffic. You may wish to use the expressway if behind time at that point.
    Good point. My 2012 Mapple didn't show any expressway linking those two points, but Google does. Even better is that the segment between Owase and Kii Nagashima is toll free.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayapaso View Post
    If you're planning to go down to the southern tip of Wakayama, I recommend the following. I've pink highlighted the route on the attached maps.

    Kansai Mapple P.2. Head north on 371. Branch right onto 38 which soon becomes 43. Stay on this single track tarmac road as you climb and climb, twisty after twisty and continue on to...

    ...P.5. At T-junction turn left on to 45 which then becomes 44, and eventually continue down and down till you meet main road 168 which conveniently has an onsen and restaurant. If you turn left on 168, you'll soon come to Kawayu onsen campsite, a favourite of us Kansai riders. You can have an open air onsen in the river itself.

    The entire route is about 85kms long, there are no villages or shops on the way and you should fill up before you get on to 38 and of course take lots of water.

    I've done this route in both directions on a road bike, and it's a bloody wonderful road.
    Good stuff! It seems my route will take me on those roads you mentioned (371-38-43-45-44-168).

    I haven't decided if I'm riding my route clockwise or counterclockwise, but would you recommend your highlighted route northbound or southbound?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rider2371 View Post
    Koyasan is at the north end of the Ryujin Skyline right? I'll stop by for some sight seeing if time permits.
    Yes, and you should budget some time for sight seeing if at all possible. I was too rushed to spend any time there and regret it. It was spectacular as I rode through.

    Koya-Ryujin skyline

    By the way, I'm tentatively planning to spend some time in the Kii before heading to Izu for the TB. Perhaps we could hook up for at least a day of riding in the Kii before heading to Odawara.

  20. #20
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    You're route goes right by there (route 311), but just in case you didn't already know, check out 楯ケ崎.

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