The Setouchi Shimanami Kaido connects Onomichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture with Imabari City in Ehime Prefecture. It is highly popular as a cycling route, and its name is also known throughout the country as a “sacred place for cyclists.”
What is the sacred place for cyclists “Setouchi Shimanami Kaido”
Let's run through the superb view!
The Setouchi Shimanami Kaido is the nickname of the Nishi-Seto Expressway. It is a bridge route that connects Onomichi City in Honshu, Hiroshima Prefecture, and Imabari City in Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku, with a total length of about 60 km (cycling road about 70 km).
There are six large islands in that section, and they are connected by bridges of different shapes, so it is also called the “Bridge Museum”. The biggest feature of the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido is that it is the only one in Japan that you can cross the strait and cross it on foot or by bicycle. It has also been selected as the “Seven Greatest Cycling Courses in the World” by CNN.
Not only is it famous as one of the best cycling courses in the world, cyclists come from all over the world. In addition, the international cycling competition “Cycling Shimanami,” was held on the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido with the Expressway in service closed to traffic, in November 2019.
The Shimanami Kaido cycling road has been designated by the country as a “National Cycle Route".
“Setouchi Shimanami Kaido” X Taiwan “Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)”
The “Setouchi Shimanami Kaido Cycling Course” and the “Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) Cycling Course” in Taiwan signed a sister bicycle path agreement in 2014. To commemorate this agreement the international cycling competition “Cycling Shimanami,” was held in the same year. Also, a sacred monument for cyclists was build in the Road Station Tatara Shimanami Park (Imabari City Omishima).
By doing all those exchanges, the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido Promotion Council and the Taiwan Cyclist Association hope that the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido will be loved by many people as a “sacred place for cyclists.”
Find every information about Shimanami Kaido on SHIMAP
Useful website with all info about Shimanami Kaido !
In addition to cycling information, information on tourist facilities along the line is compiled on SHIMAP.
[Featured column] What is
the Blue Line?
~ Safe even for the first time cycling ~
The Setouchi Shimanami Kaido has a blue line on the left side of the roadway that clearly indicates the recommended cycling route so that even beginners can easily cycle. You can enjoy cycling from JR Onomichi Station to JR Imabari Station without getting lost.
Let's go around various spots and enjoy Shimanami cycling to the fullest
Now, I'm leaving for Shimanami Cycling!
Here, we will go around each island in order starting from the Onomichi side of Hiroshima prefecture. There are plenty of spots you'll want to stop by, such as scenic spots and notable food and sweets information.
Scattered with movie locations
Mukaijima is across the Onomichi Channel and is connected to Onomichi City by the Shin-Onomichi Bridge, Onomichi Ohashi Bridge, and three ferry boats. Ferry crossing from Onomichi Station to Mukaijima is convenient, and somewhere make visitors feel nostalgic.
Citrus fruit trees and flowers are cultivated using the temperate climate, and orchid cultivation is particularly popular. There are also filming locations for movies directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, and many fans are visiting. Mt. Takami in the Seto Inland Sea National Park, where the lookout for the Murakami Suigun was located, and Mount Iwao, dotted with giant stone groups, are must-visit spots. Iwakojima Itsukushima Shrine, known as the location of the movie “Men's Yamato,” is also located in Mukaishima.
On your way to cycling, you will find “Tachibana Shokudo” a stylish cafeteria, and cafe, “USHIO CHOCOLATL” that sells exquisite chocolate made only from cacao beans and sugar, and cute bakery "Sourire" facing the yacht harbor on the Tachibana Coast.
The island of the Policemen Pirates of the Setonaikai Sea
Innoshima is an island where the Murakami Policement Pirates were based in the Middle Ages. This is why you can find here a castle type naval museum (Innoshima Suigun Castle), which is rare in the whole country.
Shirotakiyama is the island's viewpoint. There, you can find impressive stone of Buddhas of the 500 Rakan scattered around the approach and summit. Other popular spots are Innoshima Park, Innoshima Flower Center where you can relax comfortably in a lawn square surrounded by flowers, and the Ohamasaki Lighthouse and Lighthouse Memorial Innoshima Ohashi Memorial Park, which has a museum and a campsite
It is also the birthplace of Hassaku and Anseikan, species of citrus fruits. If you are a cyclist, it is also indispensable to visit Oyama Shrine, commonly known as the bicycle shrine.
“Shimanami Curry Rion” where you can taste exquisite Indian cuisine using seasonal ingredients from Shimanami, “Hassaku Ya” known for Hassaku Daifuku, “Nanohana” which is a cafe terrace that also serves as a resting place for cycling, etc. It is also packed with interesting dishes and sweets.
Popular gourmet foods and sweets too!
This island is one of the leading citrus producers in the whole country. In particular, it is said that lemons have been cultivated since the Meiji period, as well as in recent years, “eco-lemons,” which reduce the amount of pesticides used and can be eaten with the skin.
It is also characterized by the scent of history and culture, such as the Hirayama Ikuo Art Museum, the Kosanji Museum, and the Island Art Museum dotted with outdoor sculptures.
The Setoda Sunset Beach, where you can enjoy the beautiful sunset of the Seto Inland Sea, and the Tatara Bridge, which has an impressive view of birds spreading their wings, are especially must-sees.
Octopus dishes, in which locally caught octopus are made into tempura or mixed and cooked, are proud gourmets. In addition, “Dolce”, which serves gelato made with locally made fruits and ingredients, and “Bicycle Cafe & Bar Shiotachi-tei”, which is a cafe bar using an old private house, also repairs by bicycle mechanics, etc. ”. “Okatetsu Shop”'s croquettes in the Shiomachi shopping street and roast chicken from “Tamaki Shop” are delicious. “Shimagokoro SETODA,” which is popular for sweets made with local lemons, and a small inn dedicated to cyclists “Link” There are also many cyclists gathering in such places as well.
There are many must-see spots
Omishima is the largest island in the Geiyo Islands and has been called the “Island of God” and “The Island of National Treasures” because it has Oyamazumi Shrine, which has many national treasures.
Around the Tatara Observatory at the foot of Tatara Ohashi, there is the Murakami Mishima Memorial Hall and the Tatara Campsite. There is also the Road Station Tatar Shimanami Park which is a cycling Terminal and where you can find a shop of local specialties.
There is also a cycling road on the island, and you can enjoy it in various ways, such as the tour facility to the “Hakata Salt Factory”, the “Tokoro Museum Omishima”, which is an art museum of contemporary sculpture, and hot springs. “Incense” is popular for pizza baked in a brick pot, “Limone” which sells liqueur and citrus juice made from island lemons that you want to buy as souvenirs, and cafes where you can drink authentic coffee of commitment” Also check out the “Omishima Coffee Roastery”.
Enjoy the tide of the island !
Hakata Island has been known as the “salt island” where salt production has been carried out since ancient times. It is located almost in the center of the Geiyo Islands, and the shipping and shipbuilding industries are also thriving.
In addition, there are famous places where can be find navy remains, as well as Kitaura Hachiman Shrine, Furusato Historical Park, Niwatorikojima.
The “Marine Oasis Hakata”, which is equipped with souvenir shop and restaurants, situated in the “Road Station” Hakata S.C Park, and you can find there as well sports facilities like tennis court. It is a base for tourism and sports.
“Kaisan Park” where you can see the rich nature and beauty of the archipelago, and “Funaori Seto,” where the tidal current flows like a river, is a scenic point on Hakatajima Island.
In addition, there are also “Dolphin Farm Shimanami,” which is Japan's largest interacting facility where you can interact with dolphins and whales.
There is also around Miyakubo Seto, which is the home of the famous japanese pirate, Nojima Murakami, a spot where you can ride the tide with a boat.
If you enjoy gourmet food, “Patisserie T's Café Tamaya” where you can enjoy a slow island time with sweets created with salt from Hakata, while looking at the sea. Lastly, we recommend you to go to the popular restaurant “Hakata no Shio Ramen Sanwa" to try their salt ramen !
Enjoy the spectacular view of the Seto Inland Sea!
The gateway to the Shikoku side of the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido, Oshima, which is connected to Imabari by the Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge,
It is a “pirate-related island” that used to be home to the Noshima Village pirates. From the exhibits at the Murakami Suigun Museum and the naval races held in the summer, you can learn about the activities of Murakami pirates who were based in the Seto Inland Sea.
The fishing industry is also thriving, and fresh seafood is delicious.
It is also famous as a production area of high-grade granite Oshima stone. One of the features is that there are many viewpoints where you can overlook the Seto Inland Sea, such as Mt. Kiro Observation Park and Mount Flounder Observation Park.
It is also fun to experience whirlpools on the Kurushima Strait Rapid Current. Boat are based on the “Road Station” Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan. At Yoshiumi Rose Park, beautiful roses bloom from the fresh green season to early winter.
“Shokudo Mitsubachi” where you can enjoy gentle dishes from specialities of the Seto Inland Sea spreads out in front of you. “Ishi No Cafe”, a healing cafe made of timber with impressive Oshima stone and grain. The bakery Paysan who make organic bread using homemade natural yeast is very popular. An old private house cafe “Miyakuboshima no Dining” in a calm and relaxing space, and “Sunrise Itoyama-style restaurant” where you can taste dishes from local production for local consumption It's recommended.
Shimanami Kaido Cycling Map
The Shimanami Kaido Cycling Path Promotion Council provides not only cycling, but also gourmet, food, accommodation, and access information (JR, airplane, boat, bus).
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