Cycling across the ocean on the Shimanami Kaido (40km)
A day trip on the Shimanami Kaido with a local guide, to enjoy life on Japan's small islands by bicycle.
The Shimanami Kaido: paradise for cyclists
The Shimanami Kaido is a road that connects the main island of Honshu to Shikoku, from the city of Onomichi to Imabari, passing through 6 small islands. This road is known to be a cyclist's paradise. Indeed, the 70 km long route can be completed entirely by bicycle thanks to the numerous cycle paths. Surrounded by the Seto Inland Sea, the route passes through beautiful scenery and offers a glimpse of rural life on the Japanese islands.
Bridges over the sea, and villages where time passes slowly
The Shimanami Kaido is first of all known for the impressive bridges that span the small islands and the Seto Inland Sea, and which of course are accessible to cyclists. From one end to the next, there are 7 large bridges, 6 suspension bridges, and 1 hinged arch bridge, all miracles of engineering. But after being battered by the salty winds over the inlets, people enjoy returning to the small island roads, whether along a beach, through a village, or between fields of lemon trees. The islands are also dotted with cafes, museums and viewpoints, which are ideal places to take a break and recharge your batteries.
Culture and history of the Seto Inland Sea
Culture and history are also very much present along Shimanami Kaido. You can visit temples and shrines , and learn all about the pirates of the Seto Inland Sea during the medieval period at the Murakami Kaizoku Museum, who were not necessarily villains, rather members of samurai-like clans seeking to protect islands and control the seas.When you see the whirlpools formed in the water by the rapid currents under the bridge of the Kurushima Strait, however, it's easy to believe you're in a Japanese version of Pirates of the Caribbean.
A guided tour so that you don't miss anything and enjoy the Shimanami Kaido in one day
To make sure you don't miss out on any of the delights of the Shimanami Kaido, we suggest that you spend the day with a local guide who knows the islands like the back of their hand and will be able to show you the most beautiful corners. Ranging from 20 to 40 km, the routes are accessible to all, whatever your level of cycling, and are targeted to take you directly to the most interesting places on the 6 islands.
They also offer a wide variety of transport options: by bike of course, but also by bus and boat. A well thought-out concentration of the pleasures of the Shimanami Kaido in a single day.
You will be met at the Onomichi or Mihara station, then embark with your guide on a boat to one of the islands, and at the end of the day you can take the boat back to one of these towns or choose to continue your journey on the Shimanami Kaido, if that is your plan.
Route 40km, 9.5h
Leave from JR Mihara Station, South Exit at 8:20 pm.
You will then embark for the port of Setoda on the Ikuchijima island. You will travel along the southern part of the Shimanami Kaido, crossing Omishima, Hakata and Oshima islands, finally arriving in Shikoku at the cycling terminal "Itoyama" at the southern end of the Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge. From there, you can catch a bus ("Shimanami Liner") back to Fukuyama in Hiroshima prefecture, arriving around 6 pm or 6:30 pm. If you have a JR pass, you can also use the Shinkansen to go back to Hiroshima. It takes about 30 min. Or the guide can take you to JR Imabari Station, to give the bicycles back there and catch a train to your next destination in Shikoku.
Additional costs: Bike rental: 2,000 yen (+1,100 yen deposit) (electric assist bike: 2,500 yen), boat from Mihara to Setoda: 840 yen, bus from Umashima to Fukuyama: 2,500 yen, meals.
Please note that some bike rental companies require a deposit for the rental of the bikes, which will be returned to you upon returning the bike.
Up to 7 days before: 0%
Between 7 days before and 5:00 p.m. the previous day: 50%
After 5:00 p.m. the previous day and same day: 100%
Cycling across the ocean on the Shimanami Kaido (17 km)