Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido
Shimanami Kaido was the main reason why I went to Shikoku. A few months ago, I had an urge to experience something different, something unique, something challenging during this year. I finally decided to take a journey biking along the Shimanami Kaido.

So what is this Shimanami Kaido ? Shimanami Kaido ( しまなみ海道 ) is an expressway which links the main islands of Honshu and Shikoku through a series of bridges and 6 islands ( Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima and Oshima ). The best part about it is that you can travel the Shimanami Kaido by bicycle. Cycling is a very popular way of experiencing the Shimanami Kaido. The bicycle route is well maintained, and there are lots of sign pointing you to the right direction so you don't need to worry about getting lost.

The beginner normal bicycle route is about 70 kilometers long. With a little bit of push, you can travel the route within 8 hours. Along the route, there are plenty of places you can visit such as temples and museums. I ended up cycling up to 100 km long. It was quite tough, but a very rewarding experience.

Usually people starts from Onomichi ( Honshu ) to Imabari ( Shikoku ), but I decided to go the other way around from Imabari to Onomichi. Click here to see the route that I took.

Due to the amount of photos, I will split the post into two.


Shimanami Kaido
You can bring your own bike or you can rent a bike. The bike rental costs 500 yen per day, plus a 1000 yen deposit which is refundable ONLY if you return the bike to the SAME station. There are lots of bike terminal where you can drop off your bicycle along the way so there is no need to make the round trip, unless you want to.

Shimanami Kaido
I stayed at Itoyama Sunrise. The only hotel available at the start the cycling terminal. Nice hotel and you can rent a bike from there. Make sure you reserve one in advance.

Shimanami Kaido
There is no other restaurant or convenient store around here, so you're stuck with the food from hotel's restaurant. Fortunately, the food was quite delicious.

Shimanami Kaido
Planning my trip. While you here, make sure to purchase a discount coupon for the bridge toll fees. With the discount coupon you only need to pay half price for the toll fees. If you cycling all the way from Imabari to Onomochi, the total fees without discount is 500 yen.

Shimanami Kaido
Managed to get a cross bike + free rental helmet.

Shimanami Kaido
69.9 km to go !

Shimanami Kaido
You will see the first bridge, Kurushimakaikyo Bridge, almost immediately. This bridge is the longest bridge among the others. All the bridges, except one at Onomichi side, have a separate cycle / walk lane from the road. There is no need to worry getting hit by the car from behind.

Shimanami Kaido
Gorgeous view from the bridge.

Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido
The second bridge, Hakata-Oshima Bridge.

Shimanami Kaido
The entrance to the bridge toll.

Shimanami Kaido
The box on the left is where you put the toll fee. There is nobody guarding the place. It is really up to you whether you want to pay it or not.

Shimanami Kaido
Each bridge has different fee. This bridge here costs 50 yen.

Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido
Taking a break. There are couple of convenient store, rest stops and vending machines along the way so you don't need to worry about food and drinks. However, to be safe, make sure you bring a few of them.

Shimanami Kaido
Spectacular view. Check if the weather is nice before you come here. Try to avoid holiday season as well.

Shimanami Kaido
Made friends with few cyclers on the third bridge, Omishima Bridge.

Shimanami Kaido
Spotted the fourth bridge, Tatara Bridge.

Shimanami Kaido
Grabbed lunch before continuing the journey.

Ooyamazumi Jinja - Shimanami Kaido
I start diverting away from the normal path after the third bridge. I went away to Ooyamazumi Jinja, a small lovely shrine on the Oomishima Island.

Ooyamazumi Jinja - Shimanami Kaido

Ooyamazumi Jinja - Shimanami Kaido

Ooyamazumi Jinja - Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido
After the shrine, I went back to cross the fourth bridge.

Shimanami Kaido
The next island, Ikuchijima Island, has the most attractions compare to the other islands. However, that needs to wait till next time. See you on the next post. :)

Part 2 is here.

4 comments:

ABTC said...

nice blog
thanks for sharing

NyNy said...

The area looks beautiful and your pictures are lovely!


By the way, I have my own blog which focuses on Asian culture and entertainment such as video games and I wonder if it is possible for you to view it and tell me what you think please: http://nynyonlinex.wordpress.com

Nina Wan said...

Very informative! Is it safe to travel solo? I always love cycling while travel overseas.

dans said...

@Nina yes, it is safe. I've friends who always travel solo and haven't encountered any problem so far. However, it is always recommended to have a few safety precautions just in case you have problem.

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