Shimanami Kaido: Discover beauty from Hiroshima to Ehime while cycling through these Japanese islands


Widely considered one of the best cycling routes in the world, the easily accessible Shimanami Kaido offers stunning natural views, local delicacies and, of course, great exercise.

What to expect

The 70-km Shimanami Kaido connects the quaint city of Onomichi, in Hiroshima Prefecture, with Imabari, Ehime Prefecture. The route crosses six islands in the Seto Inland Sea on its journey from Japan’s main island to the smaller island region of Shikoku. For those who don’t want to cycle, the route is also open to walkers, and a 60-km toll road (about 5,000 yen one way) that diverges from the cycling route also makes the islands accessible by car.

Kurushima kaikyo bridge along the Shimanami Kaido

The cycling route is easy to follow thanks to a blue line painted on the ground for the entirety of the main route. Ramps leading up to the many bridges were built at a reasonable incline to accommodate bikes, but amateur cyclists will probably still find themselves huffing and puffing — so make sure to find a bike with proper gears when picking out a rental.

Renting a bike

Renting a bike does not require an advance reservation but making a reservation does improve your odds of getting a nicer bike, as this GaijinPot writer discovered. Although reservations can max out, especially on weekends, the rental system typically holds back a number of bikes for day-of renters.

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot Travel

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Widely considered one of the best cycling routes in the world

Widely??!!?? If that were true, wouldn't Googling the name reach lots of links of cycling magazines and blogs who've ridden it? A google search only finds blogs and the odd travel article from mainstream media like CNN, who can be easily convinced into producing an article provided you pay for flights, transport, accommodation, etc.

There will be lots of great cycling in Hiroshima and Shikoku, but my advice would be to go on Strava and see what local roadies ride. It is clear from Strava that locals do not repeatedly ride this route. 117 times from 114 people mean its tourists doing one-off rides only. Like many things in Japan, this is just the tourist association hyping up a chosen destination to spoonfeed the punters. There will be much better cycling in that area than this, let alone the rest of Japan.

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Wow . . . my family and I would like to visit Eihme, Shikoku as one of my grandfathers is from Eihme.

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