"Shimanami Kaido" is the famous bikeway and bridges across the Seto inland sea from Imabari city to Onomichi city in Japan......How far and how long does it take to do it? How to get the rental bikes? What is recommended place? What is the best plan for you?......Let me briefly describe to you helpful tips for cycling Shimanami Kaido.
※CYCLONOIE gives support to bike tourists in Shimanami Kaido by offering information. We hope we can be of any help to you planning the cycling in Shimanami.
✔Shimanami Kaido Cycling
the most famous bikeway in Japan, that consists of 6 islands and 6 bridges. Cycling organized path separated from the road, it makes your bike trip enjoyable and comfortable. The calm sea, wonderfully scenic islands and magnificent bridges attract visitors from all over the world.
Shimanami Kaido Cycling
"Here! Let's get start wonderful bicycle trip"
Bikes can be hired at Imabari or Onomichi. The rental bike service provides you with sporty bikes such as cross-bike, and you can return it at several bike stations along the path.
Bicycle paths along the highway
It's easy to climb up to the bridge
No maps, you don't need to worry about it. The "blue line" on the road, it lead you to the place where you want to go, just follow it. You can find it every recommended cycling route.
Just follow the "blue line"
This web page introduces useful tips based on frequently asked questions about Shimanami-Kaido cycling. We invite you to a comfortable island hopping cycling tour. Welcome to Shimanami-Kaido.
Q. How do I get to Shimanami Kaido?
A. You can easily reach the starting point of Imabari and Onomichi by JR train.
●When you can get on Shinkansen Line, please aim to reach "Okayama Station", and get on the JR limited Express "Shiokaze" there. .
●Some buses are also available from Hiroshima or Fukuyama.
●Shin-Onomichi, the station of Shinkansen line, is located a little far away from the starting point for cycling. The nearest station from Shimanami Kaido is JR Onomichi Station.
Q. How long does it take to cycling Shimanami Kaido?
A. It can be done in 1 day. However, it will be more enjoyable to spend more than 2 days.
2 days cycling in Shimanami Kaido
70~80km road trip. Actually, it is the distance from Imabari to Onomichi on the recommended route by bike. There are many ups and downs depending on the cycling route of each island, and it is necessary to climb up the slope at each bridge. Of course, the slope is designed to be gentle so that it is easier to go up, so let's lighten the gear and slowly climb..
Spend more than 2 days is the best, I think. Of course several people cycling fully in 1 day, but it may be a busy trip. Why do not you enjoy cycling and leisure without worrying about time, distance, speed....
Q. Which route is the best?
A. You can choose from 3 different difficulty routes.
We tried to plot the recommended route of each island in Shimanami Kaido, the tourist spots, restaurants etc. on Google Map as below. The red line shows the recommended route. This is the shortest and least up-down route. The oranges are also good route for cycling.
Shimanami Kaido Cycling Map >> Google Map
|― The route we recommend
The shortest way from Imabari to Onomichi
― Good route
If your schedule is not so tight, you can get to these routes
Guesthouses and accommodations where we recommend
Good places to visit etc.
● Stores and Restaurants
Good places to eat local food or buy something
※Click the lines and icons. You can get the details.
Many tourists start from Onomichi, considering the wind direction and the slope of the uphill slope, it might be a good idea to start from Imabari.
Please refer to another chapter about bout information of each islands.
Accommodations ・ Luggage Transfer
Q. Which accommodations are good for cyclists?
A. There are several "English OK" hotels and guesthouses.
Accommodations in Shimanami Kaido
You can find some really nice guesthouses and hostels in Shimanami Kaido. Especially GH in Imabari and Onomichi are useful for the starting and ending points of the trip. We made a list of recommended accommodations for cyclists in Shimanami Kaido as below.
|Imabari||GH Cyclonoie||It takes 1 min. from JR Imabari Station on foot. The staff are also cycling guides in Shimanami Kaido. You can get lots of cycling information. Bike storage room, community room and comfortable dormitory rooms (Mixed / Female) & private rooms. 2,500 yen~|
|Imabari||Imabari Kokusai Hotel||The landmark of Imabari. Extensive selection of recreational facilities, including restaurants and bars, banquet venues, outdoor baths and a pool, and a fitness gym. 8,000 yen~|
|Omishima||GH Ohana||New GH in Omishima. It is near Oyamazumi Shrine and located in the center of Shimanami Kaido. 1 F is organic cafe and shop, 2 F is guesthouse. Dormitory rooms 2,800 yen~|
|Ikuchijima||Setoda Private Hostel||This hostel is also located in the center of Shimanami Kaido. Many foreign tourists stay here because you can find this hostel in "Lonly Planet" guidebook. 3,000 yen~|
|Onomichi||Anago no Nedoko||One of the most famous GH in Onomichi shopping street. Historical building designed with old things is really impressive. Dormitory rooms (Mixed / Female) 2,500 yen~|
|Onomichi||GH Fuji Hostel||The famous GH in Onomichi. It takes 15 minutes on foot from JR Onomichi station. The staff is extremely friendly and forthcoming. Dormitory rooms (Mixed / Female) 2,500 yen~|
|Onomichi||Hotel Cycle||Fashionable hotel, shopping, restaurant and bar with a focus on cyclists. Check in on your bike and keep your bike in your room. Twin room 18,200 yen~|
If you want to send your luggage in same day. Please check the availability of Sagawa delivery service, it 's explained in the next question.
Q. How to send my luggage?
A. Same-day luggage transfer service is available between certain accommodations.
Needless to say, it's hard to ride with a heavy backpack. "Sagawa Hands-free cycling service", the same-day luggage transfer service are available between several accommodations.
|Onomichi Kokusai Hotel||Takemuraya||Anago no Nedoko|
|Onomichi Daiichi Hotel||Nishiyama||HTS Guest house|
|Onomichi Royal Hotel||Miyako Ryokan||Sakanokaze, Moons Café|
|Greenhill Hotel||Yoro Onsen||ONOMICHI U2|
|Ryokan Urashima||Onomichi Kounoya|
|Sato Ryokan||Otaya Hotel|
|Senkoji Sanso||GH Fuji Hostel|
1. Check the list of available accommodations.
2. Write down the document, pay the charge and leave your luggage at the hostel you staying.
3. Shimanami Kiado Cycling♪
4. Get your luggage at another hostel (It will arrive until 19pm).
Normal transport service is also available, but it takes more than 1 day to arrive. If you'd like to send your luggage by Sagawa Hands-free cycling service, please contact the accommodation where you will stay for inquiries.
✔Let's stay in CYCLONOIE [PR]
The local cycling guide staff provide recommendations and tips of Shimanami Kaido to you before you departure, if you stay in our guesthouse CYCLONOIE. And tourists who have just done Shimanami biking also provide fresh imformation to you!
Q. Can Bikes be hired?
A. Yes. Public rental bike service is cheap and convenient.
3 kinds of rental bike services are available, Shimanami Rental Bike (public), GIANT stores and Red Bicycles Onomichi. The "Public" have 13 bike-stations along the path, bikes can be dropped off in each islands (except for e-bikes).
【Map of the rental bike terminals and stores >> Google Map】
|●Shimanami Rental Cycle Terminal
※Click the icons. You can get the details.
1. Shimanami Rental Bike [public]
Cross-bikes with a helmet are available in same rental fee 1,000 yen/day. And deposit is 1,000 yen/day (Totally 2,000 yen). The deposit will be returned if bicycle will be returned to the same terminal. Electric bikes or tandem bikes can be hired in Sunrise Itoyama, the central rental bike terminal in Imabari, but these bikes can't be dropped-off on another terminals.
The terminals, [open] 7am~9am [close] 17pm~19pm, that depend on the terminals. "Imabari city office" terminal is open late, untill 22 pm.
2. GIANT stores
GIANT stores are in JR Imabari station and Onomichi U2. They provide you with the latest model roadbikes for Shimanami Kaido cycling. Make a reservation on the phone before arrival, and aluminium roadbike can be hired, 5,000 yen/day. In the case of you want return the bike at another GIANT store, you need to pay 3,000 yen in addition (just for roadbikes, not for cross bike).
|GIANT store Onomichi
5-11, nishi-gosyo cho, Onomichi city〈in ONOMICHI U2〉
|GIANT store Imabari
1-729-8, Kita-horai cho, Imabari city〈in JR Imabari sta.〉
Closed: every Tues.
3. Red Bicycles Onomichi
The local bike shop "THE RED BICYCLES ONOMICHI" provide you with rental entry-level aluminium roadbike. The rental cost is 6,000 yen for 2 days. These service include a helmet, tire repair tools kits, a headlight and a bike lock. Of course the shop is only in Onomichi, you must get back to Onomichi. > http://2shimanami.com/english/ .
|THE RED BICYCLES ONOMICHI
1-10-5, tsuchido, Onomichi city
Closed: every Wed. & Thur.
Attractions of each islands
Q. What is the tourist attractions of Shimanami Kaido?
A. Calm sea, wonderfully scenic islands and magnificent bridges......and......
Let's get going! from JR Imabari Station
Guests in Guesthouse CYCLONOIE!
Let's get going to Shimanami Kaido from our guesthouse CYCLONOIE. It's very easy to get rental bike ato JR Imabari station, and it takes 1min on foot from our guesthouse to the rental bike terminal.
１．Oshima "Across the sea by bike"
― : Good route for begginers
― : Second choices
The southwest coastline in Oshima island is absolutely flat and the landscape is really good (from Kurushima-Kaikyo bridge to Rose park) .
Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge
Tidal Current-Kurushima Strait
The first bridge "Kurushima-kaikyo bridge", connects Imabari to Oshima island, it's the longest (4km) bridge in Shimanami Kaido. Bikeway completely separated from the highway, from the bridge you can see the wonderful views of the small islands. Running over the sea......
The main business of Oshima island is Granite stones for buildings or gravestones. The stones made in Oshima island call "Oshima-ishi" which is really expensive stones, and they have been used to architecture of "the National Diet Building" in Tokyo.
Q. Any good place to visit in Oshima?
"Mt. Kiro Observatory Park (Kirosantenbo Park)" is one of the places you should visit to see the majestic landscape. You can look over a wonderful view from that viewing platform. However the altitude at the top of the mountain is about 300m and you have to bike up the 3km way.
Mt. Kiro Observatory Park
|Mt. Kiro Observatory Park||Google Map >||TripAdvisor >|
Q. Any good restaurants or cafe to visit in Oshima?
And we would like to introduce you to a bakery and a restaurant we recommend in Oshima island.
Bakery and cafe "Paysan"
The local bakery "Paysan", is one of the most popular stores for cyclist among Shimanami Kaido, but it opens only 2 days a week, on Friday and Sunday. It's kind of hard to find the place, but I recommend the bakery! Why don't you visit there and try the food if you have an opportunity?
Seafood BBQ at "Noshima-suigun"
The restaurant "Noshima-suigun" maneged by fishermen's cooperative in Oshima. The seafood BBQ are prepared using choice local ingredients at the restaurant, you can eat only here.
|Paysan||11am - 17pm||Mon. - Thurs.||Google Map >|
|Noshima-suigun||11am - 16pm||Mon.||Google Map >|
2. Hakatajima "Island of salt and beatiful beach"
― : Main route
― : Island explore
Hakatajima island explore
The main cycling route in Hakatajima is just 3km, which is only part of this island. So we recommend that you bike around this island. That is less than 20km and nearly flat. You can see some beautiful scenery and feel the peace of rural island life.
Q. Any good restaurants or cafe to visit in Hakatajima?
We would like to introduce you to a special cafe in Hakatajima island.
Patisserie T's cafe "Tamaya"
"Patisserie T's cafe Tamaya" is a stylish cafe in Hakatajima island. When opening the door of the cafe, colorful cakes lining up in the showcase welcomes you. And what a wonderful sparkling ocean view is! At the special seat near the window, eat a cake pastry chef Mr.Kunisada baked and a cup of aromatic coffee♪ The lunch such as clock mush, pizza and curry...are also delicious.
|Patisserie T's cafe Tamaya||10am - 19pm||Sun.||Google Map >|
Q. Any good place to visit in Hakatajima?
One of the reasons why we want to recommend you to go around Hakatajima islands is because the ocean and beach is so beautiful....
Beautiful "Okiura beach"
A quiet beachfront "Okiura Beach" located just a little extended from the outer circumference route. It is a natural sandy beach with a feeling of openness, a place where you can forget time while watching the calm ocean. > Google Map
Hakata SC Park
Making salt was the main industry of Hakatajima. You can try to eat salt ice cream at "Hakata SC Park". It's really good for the rest of cycling, especially hot day in summer time. > Google Map
3. Omishima "Holy Island"
― : Main route
― : Island explore
Across the "Omishima bridge", connected with Hakatajima and Omishima, it's the oldest bridge in Shimanami Kaido. This bridges also has a bikeway separated from the car way, and we can overlook the beautiful sea and islands from on the bridge.
This island is the most biggest island in Shimanami Kaido, the route around it is about 45 km. There are some museums, restaurants, cafe and great view spots. Stay here.....You would love this island. Our recommendation are shown below. .
Tatara bridge and funny bike stands
Another bridge in Omishima "Tatara Bridge",we across it to next island Ikuchijima, it is one of the most beautiful bridges in Shimanami Kaido. A lot of cyclists take a break at "Tatara Shimanami Park" at the foot of the bridge. You might find funny cycle stands here?!
2000 - 3000 year-old camphor tree
Omishima island is also know as "island of Gods" because great "Oyamazumi Shirine" is located here from long time ago. There are 2000 - 3000 year-old camphor trees in precincts of the shrine. This Shrine was once one of the most important shrines in Japan as Gods of war for "Samurai" and today is a mecca for people interested in "Samurai" weaponry and martial arts.
Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture
There are museums such as "Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture", "Tokoro Museum Omishima", "Ken Iwata Mother and Child Museum" at the scenic spots on the southwest side of the Omishima island. It's kind of hard to visit by bike, if you can get ferry from Imabari to Munagata port with bikes, it's easy to visit there.
|Museum of Oyamazumi shrine||8:30am - 17pm||-||Google Map >|
|Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture||9am - 17pm||Mon.||Google Map >|
|Tokoro Museum Omishima||9am - 17pm||Mon.||Google Map >|
|Ken Iwata Mother and Child Museum||9am - 17pm||Mon.||Google Map >|
Q. Any wonderful restaurant or shop?
"Omishima Coffee Roastery", where is the wonderful cafe to visit if you prefer coffee. Perfect tasty coffee and beautiful landscape will give you unforgettable memories. "Limone" is a local shop where you can buy delicious lemon liqueur, which is handmade. Local restaurants "Yoshikawa" serve local seafood delicacies. These are recommended for lunch.
Omishima Coffee Roastery
When cycling Omishima, it has a nice smell of coffee. "Omishima coffee roastery" is a factory-cafe managed by Mr.Eto and his wife who has migrated to Omishima. It's like a stylish cafe, the views of ocean is really nice and the ambience is very cozy. While watching the ocean, a cup of hand - drip coffee ... it is time to be blessed.
Mr. Yamazaki and his wife moved to the island, started cultivating organic lemon, making homemade liqueur "Limoncello". And they have a cozy liqueur shop "Omishima Limone". Besides liqueurs, original items using lemon and lemon goods line up ...... The shop is as cute as a jewel case.
Seafood restaurant "Yoshikawa"
"Yoshikawa" is a local restaurant where you can eat local fish dishes and seafood bowls. The shop offers a very fresh and tasty fish dish. It's located near place from Oyamazumi Shrine.
|Omishima Coffee Roastery||11am - 17pm||Tues., Wed., Fri.||Google Map >|
|Omishima Limone||11am - 17pm||Tues. and Fri.||Google Map >|
|Yoshikawa||11am - 15pm, 17pm - 20pm||Irregular||Google Map >|
4. Ikuchijima "Island of lemons and arts"
― : Main route
― : Island explore
"Lemon island", people call Ikuchijima island like this. Lemon is cultivated on a large scale here. These green mountain turn yellow color in winter. Lemon cakes, you can find some cake shops by the cycling path,are delicious and popular.
Tatara bridge and lemon island
Miraishin no Oka in Kosanji
Several temples and museums are also famous among tourist in Shimanami Kaido. "Kosanji temple" was founded in 1936 by a successful businessman "Kozo Kosanji" who was inspired by the devotion his mother. Several colorful buildings are replicas of famous buildings in Japan. "Hirayama Ikuo Museum of Art", a museum dedicated to the artist Hirayama Ikuo, hosts many of the great artist's works.
Let's enjoy local foods
You can enjoy locals' favorite foods like fried mashed potato and roast chicken in "Shiomachi shopping street" in Ikuchijima. Octopus and conger eel are favorite fish in this area. And lots of cyclists visit "Dolce" and eat Italian-style ice cream made with local lemon and oranges. Let's take a break !
✔5. 6. Innoshima and Mukaishima
― : Main route
― : Island explore
Crossing the Ikuchi bridge, you can get into Innoshima island. West side of Innoshima is nearly flat but east side has lots of ups and downs, so that is advanced route. In this island, fishing is main economic activity like other islands, but there is also agriculture, especially citrus called "Hassaku" and pyrethrum flowers, and even shipbuilding is also main industry.
"Bicycle shrine" Oyama shrine
Since Innoshima was one of Murakami navy's base, the castle called "Innoshima suigun castle" is also still exist in this island.
Okonomiyaki and Habu shopping street
"Habu shopping street" flourished once in Innoshima, when there was one of the biggest shipbuilding company near by. The specialty in this area is "Okonomiyaki", Japanese-style pancake made from egg, flour and water with lots of toppings. You can eat it in local Okonomiyaki restaurant in Habu street.
After Innoshima bridge, Mukaishima is the last island in Shimanami Kaido. "Mukai" means "Opposite", exactly it's on opposite side of channel from Onomichi. From Mukaishima to Onomichi, you will get on the ferry with your bike because Onomichi Bridge is unsafe for bike.
Traditional soda pop factory "Goto Kosenjyo"
Recommended points in Mukaishima, "Goto Kosenjyo (Soda pop factory)" which is traditional soda pop factory and "Ushio Chocolatl" which is hand-made chocolates factory, are popular among cyclists. You must visit there, before getting on ferry.
Finish!! at JR Onomichi Station
Onomichi, the town of hills and cats
Q. Is ferry available?
A. Several ferry routes are useful.
We choose several ferry routes that we think are necessary. Taking a ferry boat allow us to enjoy a part of Shimanami Kaido cycling. When you have some accident or problem, it will be usefil information.
【Map of Ferry routes in Shimanami Kaido >> Google Map】
Setoda - Onomichi 【timetable】
For example, if you have a plan that you start from Imabari to Onomichi, the ferry route Setoda - Onomichi is available for 1 day biking. Setoda is the central town in Shimanami Kaido. When you will arrive at Setoda, you are able to decide whether to bike to Onomichi or not.
Q. Can I get any buses?
A. We will show the map of bus route below.
The orange colored line, the buses between "Imabari-Ekimae" and "Oyamazumi Jinjya" are useful, 16 buses / day. "Oyamazumi Jinjya" bas stop and "Omishima BS" are located near the rental bike terminials, it's easy to get on the bus after cycling.
Conversely, the yellow and red coloerd lines, between "Imabari-Ekimae" and "Onomichi-Ekimae", these are not useful. Direct buses are running, but just only 3 buses / day. You must change the bus at "Innoshima Ohashi BS", getting on other buses.
Q. Can I reserve a guided cycling tour?
A. We will accept a guided tour reservation.
"Cyclotourisme Shimanami", our company has been continuing social activities in Shimanami Kaido and Imabari since 2009. And our staff have also been working as cycling guide. We can provide the guided tour that you have ever experienced before. We will propose special plans that meet your needs, physical capacity, interests and experiences. Please feel free to contact us if you have any requests and questions > Cylotourisme Shimanami .
We love to running "slowly". If it take too fast, we can not see anything. Feeling the sea breeze, getting into the local life on the islands, having local foods.......thus you might make a new discovery, which you have never experienced before.
Problems ・ Troubles
Q. If the trouble such as flat tires occur?
A. Several help service are available.
When the trouble such as flat tire occurred, please check where the nearest rental terminal is. If it is not so far, you should get to the terminal and change the bike. Otherwise please contact cyclists on the way, they might help you.
And several auto‐repair shops and filling‐stations support as "Toso Rescue". If you find the red color flag below in these shops, the staff might repair the flat tire. > Toso Rescue
When the flat tire occured in Shimanami Kaido
"Shimanami Cycle Saver" service, that is outwork flat-tire repair system, is also available on Saturday and Sunday (10am - 17pm). This service is available only in Oshima, Hakatajima and Omishima islands. > Kamiura Rental Bike Terminal (Tel: 0897-87-3855)
Lots of tourists who enjoyed cycling in Shimanami Kaido stay at our Gusethouse Cyclonoie. We are so happy that they give us their good impressions of Shimanami Kaido such as "That's amazing experience for me", "Awesome cycling route", "One of my best experiences in Japan!", and so on. These are the moments of happiness for us as people who live in Shimanami Kaido, and as who love bicycle touring. We hope we can be of any help to you planning the cycling in Shimanami. We, staff of Cyclonoie are looking forward to meeting you in Shimanami Kaido, and of course in Imabari. Thank you.