The Shimanami Kaido stretches between Ehime Prefecture and Hiroshima Prefecture, connecting six islands including Oshima, Hakatajima, Omishima, Ikuchishima, Innoshima and Mukojima. While the road is perfect for driving it has been an attractive cycling route as well, spanning almost 60 km from end to end. As a matter of fact, the Shimanami Kaido is the first bridge in Japan fully equipped with a bike route and offers a spectacular view of the Inland Sea and the surrounding islands, attracting cyclists from around the world. The Shimanami Kaido has been selected as one of the “seven best cycling roads in the world” by CNN’s travel website. It has also been given a star by the Michelin travel guide. The bridge offers easy access from Imabari City (Ehime Prefecture) to Oshima, Hakatajima and Omishima.
1. THE ROAD WHERE YOU CAN CROSS THE OCEAN BY BICYCLE
When you cross the bridge on your bike, it gives you an experience that is just a little bit different to riding on ordinary roads. On the Shimanami Kaido, exposed to salty winds from head to foot, you will be filled with joy, feeling liberated as you bike through the fantastic panorama. Here you can enjoy island hopping on your bike, an easier option than buying a ticket for a boat ride.
2. YOU CAN ENJOY THE BREATHTAKING SCENERY OF THE SETO INLAND SEA
The Seto Inland Sea is designated as a national park and highly regarded for its picturesque scenery. It is a privilege of cyclists to ride through this awesome view; an incomparable experience, especially when favored by good weather.
3. ANYBODY CAN ENJOY CYCLING THEIR OWN WAY
Along the 70 km-long cycling road, there are 14 terminals that offer bicycle rental. This means that the road is open to anyone who wants to enjoy bike riding, including tourists and amateurs, not to mention the hardcore cyclists. You can start and finish your ride wherever you want; you are even allowed to leave the bike you rented at your convenience.
4. YOU CAN ENJOY LOCAL FOOD
The Shimanami Kaido offers not only the pleasure of cycling or driving but delicious food from the Seto Inland Sea and its islands as well. There are restaurants that serve fresh seafood and local specialties, as well as shops where you can buy different kinds of citrus fruits, including lemon and Japanese mandarin.
5. THERE ARE MANY TOURIST SPOTS ALONG THE WAY
As you travel along the Shimanami Kaido, you will find a variety of sightseeing venues on each island, including shrines and temples, museums, observatories and cafes overlooking the Seto Inland Sea, among other attractions. You should not pass by these local attractions without stopping in.
Why not go for a fantastic bicycle ride on the Shimanami Kaido?
INFORMATION – SHIMANAMI KAIDO
Starting Point in Ehime is Imabari City
From Matsuyama Airport to Imabari Station
-Train: 35 minutes by JR Yosan Line Express
-Bus: 1.5 hours by limousine bus
From Okayama Station (Nozomi Shinkansen Stop)
-Train: 2.5 hours by JR Seto Ohashi Line & JR Yosan Line