Thursday, January 31, 2013
The second part of the Shimanami Kaido. We're going to continue where we left off, and that is the Ikuchijima Island, the most interesting island compares to others.
I forgot to mention this before. Before crossing to Ikuchijima Island, make sure to stop by at the rest area and eat the Hakata Salt Soft Ice Cream. It's delicious and some people actually come far away to the island to eat the ice cream. There is also one in Hakatajima Island, but it was closed when I passed it (Hakata S.C. Park).
From this island, I was already half way down from reaching my goal. However, there was a must see temple on the other side of the island, so I took a side trip to that temple. That temple was called the Kosanji Temple.
The Kousanji Temple (耕三寺) was founded in 1936 by Koso Kousanji. He was the inventor, founder, and pioneering technician of steel pipe welding. After his mother passed away, he decided to fulfill his duty as a son. He later became a Buddhist Priest in 1935 out of gratitude for his deceased mother. It took 30 years to finish the temple. The whole complex covers around 50000 square meter.
Inside the complex, there are various structures being modeled from Japan's finest architectural monuments from Asuka, Nara, to Edo eras. There is also a full-scale replica of the Yomeimon gate of Nikko shrine. The temple is so unique and colorful, making it the only one of its kind.
There is also a stamp rally, where you collect all the five stamps scattered around the complex. You will get a special "price" if you managed to collect all of it. Don't expect too much of the price though.
Inside the complex and above the hill, there is a garden called "Miraishin no Oka" (Heights of Eternal Hope for the Future). It is a garden full of white marble designed by Kazuto Kuetani. The marble used in this garden was carried all the way from Carrara, Italy.
The Tower of the Light. The Miraishin no Oka won the first prize in the international competition "Marble Architectural Awards 2005".
Gorgeous view from the top. I stayed there and took a nap for a while. Lovely weather.
After that, I went ahead to the next bridge, the Ikuchibashi. The next island is called the Innoshima Island. There is not much you can see here. There is a pirate museum, but I decided not to go there because I didn't have much free time to spare (and the museum didn't look that interesting).
Well, there was really nothing interesting on the island, except this AWESOME dinosaur statue !
I spotted it on my way to the next bridge, and decided to take break around here.
The statue was quite big and it was located in the middle of nowhere.
Danbo must join the fun.
The next bridge, Innoshima Ohashi, is the last bridge.
This is the only bridge where you go under the bridge to go to the next island, Mukaishima. Mukaishima is a small island. Not much you can do here.
There is actually another bridge that connects the Mukaishima island and Onomichi. Unfortunately, there is no road for bicycle, so it is dangerous to cross it by bicycle. The other way to get to Onomichi is by taking a ferry. Head to the port and take a ferry from there.
I brought along a couple of oranges from local vendor. Ehime prefecture is well known as the leading producer of oranges in Japan. The orange here is cheap and really sweet.
And that is my friends, the end of my Shimanami Kaido trip. I spent the entire two months planning for this trip, practiced almost every day to make sure I am fit enough to do it. It was a very long journey, very tiring, but really worth it. A very rewarding experience.
And at the end of my journey, I rewarded myself with a bowl of tasty Onomichi ramen.
If you want to see the entire bicycle route, I have one in my runkeeper.
To read the Shimanami Kaido Part I, click here.