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The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

For a break from the usual sights of Japan, the Shimanami Kaido offers visitors a great chance to see some of the natural beauty of some of Japan’s many islands and seaside towns. The Shimanami Kaido is a 60-kilometer toll road that connects six islands. You could drive the 60 kilometers in a car, but the road has become popular with cyclists thanks to its dedicated bike path.

The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido
  • The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

    The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

    The various islands have a lot of things you’ll want to pull over for, so the first thing you’ll need to do is rent a bike. There are two main options for bike rentals. First, you could opt for the regular rentals run by Shimanami Kaido. It costs only about 1,000 yen to rent a regular bike for the day and 1,000 yen for the deposit; they also have tandem bikes and electric bikes available. There are many rental spots along the road, so you can drop the bike off at any of them, but you won’t get your deposit back unless you return it to where you got it from. The other option is the Giant rental spots; they have much nicer bikes, but they are a bit more expensive. There are two Giant rental stations, one at Imabari Station and one at Onomichi Station. Rentals range from 4,000 yen to 13,000 yen per day.

    The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

    The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

    After you get a bike, you’ll have a lot to see. Between Hakata Island and Oshima, Funaoriseto Strait is a nice place to take in a view of the whirlpools in the waters below. Habu Port on Innoshima Island is a great detour for anyone wanting a more rural view of Japan. This port town has a variety of local restaurants and shops, but it’ll probably be pretty sleepy. There are several parks and temples, but it’s not exactly a tourist destination.

    The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

    The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

    Tsuruhime Park is a small park on Omishima Island. It’s dedicated to a young samurai princess of the same name who lost her family, inherited her father’s title, and led troops into battle to successfully drive out invaders. When her fiance was killed in battle, she’s said to have killed herself by drowning. Her armor is on display just a few minutes down the road at Oyamazumi Shrine.

    The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

    The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

    There are lots of amazing places to explore on your trip, and one article can’t describe them all. There are many small fishing villages, like Yoshiumi, that are sure to have amazing places to eat. There are bigger cities, like Onomichi City, with all the comforts of any major Japanese city. The best way to enjoy the islands along the road is just to stop and explore. The road is fun all on its own, but the real adventures are waiting for you off the bike path.

    The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

    The Islands of the Shimanami Kaido

    Normally, small tolls have to be paid to cross the bridges on the Shimanami Kaido of about 500 yen per bridge, or 5,000 yen for the whole journey. Luckily, the fees have been waived for cyclists until the end of March 2019, as a way to promote tourism in the area.

    Seto Inland Sea Shimanami Kaido
    Address
    Hiroshima Prefecture Onomichi City - Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture
    Phone
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