Type of Experience: Outdoor Activities
Duration: 8 hours
Price Includes: Guide, Transport, Lunch, Boat ride, Bicycle hire, Basic insurance
See the best views of the scenic Seto Inland Sea on the Shimanami Kaido in an experience CCN Travel calls “One of the world’s most incredible bike routes.” It is a cycling route famous among biking enthusiasts all over the world.
Your tour starts at Sunrise Itoyama, at the foot of the Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge. You can rent bicycles there before you start your tour around the inland sea. You’ll cycle across the Kurushima Straits Bridge, which connects the island of Oshima to Shikoku. Standing tall with six towers and four anchorages, it consists of three successive suspension bridges and is the world’s longest suspension bridge structure. It spans the Kurushima Strait, which you can see with its rapid tidal currents that form fascinating whirlpools on the surface between the islands. You’ll get to see the racing currents of Kurushima Strait up close via a fast boat.
Next, you’ll get to visit Hakata Island, located between Oshima and Omishima. It is particularly picturesque in the spring, with over a thousand cherry trees dotting the landscape on the west side. Climb the observation tower to view the sea of pink flowers against the blue waves—a truly unforgettable site.
After visiting Hakata Island, you’ll get to enjoy a seafood lunch before making your way to Oyamazumi Shrine. Located on the island of Omishima, Oyamazumi Shrine is a must-see for visitors fascinated with samurai history and armor. It was once one of the most important shrines for samurai and features various armor and weaponry—80% of which are registered as National Treasures.
The last destination for the day is Tatara Bridge, located at Hiroshima and Ehime, before returning to Matsuyama. This bridge crosses the Seto Inland Sea and is part of the Nisheto Expressway (Shimanami Kaido). Originally planned as a suspension bridge, it was eventually changed to a cable-stayed bridge in 1989.
How long does it take to cycle the Shimanami Kaido?
You can bike the entire Shimanami Kaido in about four hours if you are an experienced cyclist. However, if you want to go at a leisurely pace to enjoy the scenic view and stop at some local tourist spots along the way, it will take approximately 10 hours.