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Cycling across the ocean along the Shimanami Kaido Expressway

1night,2Days Departure from Local Area(Onomichi)

Japan can be divided into the four areas (islands) of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. There are three roads that connect Honshu and Shikoku. The road that runs from Onomichi in Honshu to Imabari in Shikoku is often called the "Shimanami Kaido Expressway". The "Shimanami Kaido Expressway", which connects Onomichi and Imabari with six bridges spanning about eighty kilometers in total, is a unique road in that it can be crossed by bicycle over the ocean. If you like bicycling, you will be sure to enjoy an exhilarating trip across this road while looking at the beautiful view of the ocean and islands. 

  • 1night,2days

Shimanami Kaido Expressway


Hiroshima -- <30 mins. by Sanyo Shinkansen> -- Mihara -- <5 mins. by JR Sanyo Main Line> -- Itozaki -- <10 mins. by JR Sanyo Main Line> -- Onomichi -- <by bicycle> -- Mukaishima -- Innoshima -- Ikuchijima -- Omishima -- Hakatajima -- Oshima -- Imabari

*The times required with public transportation are approximate.

Shimanami Kaido Expressway

The Shimanami Kaido Expressway, which passes over the islands that float on the Seto Inland Sea, is famous among cyclists around the world. Experienced cyclists can cross it in about four hours, but pottering while enjoying the scenery and stopping by tourist spots is the recommended way to go. Even beginners can easily have a bicycle trip over the sea if they have a whole day to spend.


The starting point of the Shimanami Kaido Expressway in Honshu is Onomichi. It is a scenic town that appears in various media such as movies and literature. A temple known as Senko-ji Temple is a symbolic spot of the town and Senko-ji-koen Park is famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms that bloom in the spring. There are also many shops that offer bicycle maintenance and rentals for cycling along the Shimanami Kaido Expressway.

Innoshima Suigun Castle

A castle-shaped museum built in 1983. It has many displays and materials that show the history of the Murakami Suigun naval force, which was active from the mid-fourteenth century to around the sixteenth century.


It has developed into an island of art and creation as it is the birthplace of Ikuo Hirayama, a representative painter of Japan.

Kosan-ji Temple

A temple that began undergoing construction on Ikuchijima Island in 1936. It is lined with sacred halls and pagodas modeled after ancient Japanese structures such as Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Byodo-in Hoo-do Temple.

Oyamazumi-jinja Shrine

Located on Omishima Island, it is one of the most popular tourist spots on the Shimanami Kaido Expressway. The main gate, which was rebuilt in 2010, is made entirely of cypress and stands 12 meters tall.

Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge

As soon as you cross this bridge, you are finally in Shikoku. You can slowly relax here as there are also hot springs in Imabari.

Imabari Cuisine

Originally intended for the restaurant staff about forty years ago, fried pork and egg over rice eventually ended up on the menu. Every restaurant serves it quickly due to the temperament of the people of Imabari, who call themselves "impatient and do not like to wait long to be served". This hearty and delicious dish is definitely an Imabari favorite. Other local specialties include the sea bream cutlet burger and sea bream broth ramen, which are made with the famous sea bream from the Kurushima Strait.


1st Day

Shimanami Kaido Expressway


Imabari -- Oshima -- Hakatajima -- Omishima -- Ikuchijima -- Innoshima -- Mukaishima -- Onomichi -- <10 mins. by JR Sanyo Main Line> -- Itozaki -- <5 mins. by JR Sanyo Main Line> -- Mihara -- <30 mins. by Sanyo Shinkansen> -- Hiroshima

Make a slight change in roads on your second day and see another view of the Shimanami Kaido Expressway. Enjoy some pottering while stopping by interesting tourist spots.

Yoshiumi Rose Park

3,500 beautiful roses of 400 different species from around the world are cultivated here for you to enjoy from mid-May to December. Goods related to roses, local products, and various gifts are available at the "Rose Kan" nearby.

Kitaura Hachiman-jinja Shrine

Built in 673, it is said to be the oldest shrine on Hakatajima Island. The "Hachimansen" Japanese ship model, which is said to have been dedicated in 1830, is a valuable object in learning about Suigun culture. It is filled with attractions such as the natural "Turtle Stone" of longevity and finding romance, and the small theater that was built in 1850.

Niwatorikojima Island

An uninhabited island about 100 meters south off the coast of Hakatajima Island. Legend has it that you will find happiness if you hear during the New Year the voice of the golden cockerel that is said to live on this island.

Citrus Park Setoda

Japan's first citrus-themed park. On the premises are a display garden presenting citrus fruits of the world, the Fragrance Hall, the Citrus Pavilion, and more to be enjoyed throughout the year.

Hilly roads

Onomichi, which is surrounded by the ocean and mountains and has urban areas in its narrow flatlands, has atmospheric stone-paved hills that are called "Sakanomachi" (hilly towns) all over the place.

Onomichi Cuisine

The batter of Onomichi-style okonomiyakis is thick and fluffy. You might want to try looking for an okonomiyaki shop that suits you as the broth and ingredients vary from shop to shop. Onomichi ramen noodles are served in rich soy sauce broth flavored with chicken and pork bone. Broth of small fish from the Seto Inland Sea is added as a secret ingredient.


2nd Day