The “Aki Sea Tobishima Kaido” is named after comparing the islands in the Seto Inland Sea to stepping stones that cross the garden. We recommend drop-by areas such as the Mitarai district of Shimokamagari Island, which flourished as a port of call for Korean envoys and Sankin-kotai daimyo, and the Mitarai district of Osakishimojima, where traditional buildings remain.
What is the “Akinada Tobishima Kaido”?
Ocean Road connects the islands of stepping stones with a connecting bridge
The “Akinada Tobishima Kaido” connects Shimokamagari Island, located southeast of Kure, to Okamurajima Island in Imabari, Ehime prefecture with seven bridges. It is a connecting bridge route that gives the image of stepping stones (flying stones) where the islands cross the garden. The Akinada Bridge connecting Honshu and Shimokamagarijima is paid, but all other bridges are free, so it’s best to drive around the islands! If you spend a total of 1,000 yen or more at designated facilities in the Akinada Tobishima Kaido area, you can exchange it for a pass ticket for the Akinada Bridge (when using the Akinada Bridge in cash).
The Sanose district (Shimokamagari Island) where you can feel history and culture
A port that flourished as a sea checkpoint
The highlights of Shimokamagari Island are gathered in the Sanose district located in the eastern part of the island. This is one of the two sea checkpoints in the Seto Inland Sea along with Tomonoura (Fukuyama City). It is the place where the headquarters where daimyo and court nobles stayed. Even now, there are many historical sites, such as the “Sanose Ohonjin Art Center,” “Shotoen,” and “Gobansho Ruins,” which are reminiscent of those days. There are other cultural facilities such as the “Ranjimakaku Museum” and a tea room, so it is a recommended area for walking around. Cottage Kajigahama, an accommodation facility adjacent to the beach, is popular with tourists because you can experience old-fashioned living using charcoal and firewood.
The Mitarai district (Osakishimojima) flourished as a port town for tides and winds
Selected as an “Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings”
The Mitarai area flourished as a natural port in the Edo period, and its bustle continued until the Showa period. Buildings from the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras still remain today, and the townscape feels as if you have traveled back in time. Chisako Hato, high lanterns, and pillars connecting ships still exist as they were at that time. First, stop by the Shiomachi Kan, which has a map of the Mitarai area and brochures, and then take a walk. From the “Hill Park where you can see the history” set up on a hill overlooking the town, you can see the islands scattered in the Seto Inland Sea. Osakishimojima is a quaint island modeled after the fictional island “Shiojima,” which is the setting of the movie “Letter to Momo,” released in 2012. (In Heisei 6, the townscape of the Mitarai district was selected as an “Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings” by the Cultural Property Protection Law.)
How to enjoy Kamikamagarijima, Teshima, and Okamurajima (Ehime prefecture)
Relax, relax, and experience the charm of the island
At “Kenmin no Hama” located in the southeast of Kamikamagari Island, you can enjoy swimming and marine sports such as sea kayaking. Unusual experiences such as “making moshio” using ancient earthenware are possible on the premises. “Moshio ice cream” and “moshio noodles” that use the specialty algae salt are popular. Teshima, where untouched nature remains intact, creates a calm atmosphere. Known as a fishing town, the cutlass fish that has been caught by one line has good freshness and few scratches, so it is attracting attention as a “Teshima’s cutlass fish” brand. The port of Okamurajima in Ehime prefecture is known as Shiomachi Port, and it is said that Kobo Daishi and Sugawara no Michizane stopped by when they went to China. From the Nagatani Observatory at the southern end, you can see the islands of the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido, such as Omishima and Oshima.
How to enjoy and access to Kure
Let's take a walk around the town that flourished as a military port
Here are some must-see spots and recommended foods in Kure, which is known as a town related to the Navy. At the Kure Maritime Museum (Yamato Museum), you will be greeted by a huge 1/10 scale model of the battleship Yamato. Real materials such as Zero type fighter jets and human torpedoes are exhibited to convey the misery of war and the importance of peace. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kure Museum (Tetsu no Kujira Museum) is a museum that exhibits real giant submarines on land. Beds and periscopes are recreated in the hall, and you can experience life on a real submarine. In addition, you can enjoy naval menus with original arrangements based on recipes from the old navy in various parts of the town. We recommend the “Kurekai curry,” which reproduces the curry eaten on ships belonging to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kure Base.
Go around the Tobishima Kaido by bicycle
A course that is easy for beginners to run
Cycling is one way to enjoy the Aki Sea and Tobishima Kaido. The distance from the starting point on the Honshu side of Akinada Bridge to Okamura Island in Ehime prefecture is about 30 km by the shortest route. This section is maintained as a cycling road. Because of the terrain with few ups and downs, it is reputed that it is easy for beginners to run. In addition, since there is little traffic and few traffic lights, you can enjoy comfortable cycling while enjoying the beauty of the archipelago of Setouchi and the sea breeze.