Standard 2days cycling
Cross the Shimanami Kaido in 2 days
Standard model course starting from Imabari
【Popular and standard plan】You can accomplish Shimanami kaido cycling, by making your way along the blue line in two days while relaxing and enjoying local specialties and sweets. This is a digest version of the guidebook “Shimanami Toso PLAN” that contains cycling information based on field surveys collected by local cycling guides and 16 carefully selected cycling plans. I have re-edited and introduced the “2-days standard cycling plan”, which is the most satisfying plan for those staying at CYCLONOIE.
Please be sure to check each official website and facebook etc for the latest information.
2022/6/16 first released
2022/10/23 last updated
Author: MURAKAMI Masayuki
Shimanami Kaido cycling
2 days or more touring
If you are new to long-distance cycling, a two-day or more plan is recommended. You can stay overnight on one of the island on the way of Shimanami Kaido. If you do it one day, you’ll end up cycling to the point of mental and physical exhaustion without any enjoyment. We don’t recommend do this.
Start from Imabari city
The starting point of Shimanami Kaido is Imabari city or Onomichi city. When you start from Imabari, you can complete Kurushima-Kaikyo bridges while you still have enough energy. It’s often easy to cycle thanks to the tailwind. And the goal, JR Onomichi station, offers a lot of train services and easy to access to JR Fukuyama station, where you can take the Shinkansen.
In addition, if you stay at the guesthouse CYCLONOIE in front of JR Imabari station, you can get the latest information and route consultation.
Rent a bike at JR Imabari station
You can rent a bicycle at JR imabari station rental cycle terminal or at Sunrise Itoyama (Central cycling terminal of the Shimanami rental bike), which is at the beginning of Kurushima-Kaikyo bridges, 6km away from Imabari station. Transportation to Sunrise Itoyama is not convenient so it’s better to rent a cycle at Imabari Station and start from there. But if you are worried about your physical fitness, we recommend renting one at Sunrise Itoyama to save distance and time.
|Accommodation near Imabari station||Type||Address||Phone|
|CYCLONOIE||Guesthouse||1-1-12,Kitahorai-cho, Imabari city||0898-35-4496|
|Imabari Kokusai Hotel||Hotel||2-3-4, Asahimachi, Imabari city||0898-36-1111|
|Komecho Ryokan||Ryokan||1-1-4, Tokiwa-cho, Imabari city||0898-32-0554|
|JR Clement INN Imabari||Business hotel||2-773-9, Kitahorai-cho, Imabari city||0898-55-8333|
|Kisukenoyado||Capsule inn||1-2-30, Nakahiyoshi-cho, Imabari city||0898-22-0026|
Tidbits There are only 6 bus services from JR Imabari station to Sunrise Itoyama on weekends (3 buses on Sundays and holidays). 22 minutes by bus, 350 yen / 5 minutes by taxi, about 2,500 yen.
[PR] Original cycling maps of Shimanami Kaido
The cycling map, “Shimanami Toso Map” is exclusively for cyclists who want to cycle the Shimanami Kaido. This is published by CycloTourisme Shimanami, which is based in Imabari City and works on regional development and cycle tourism.
This is sold in a set of seven maps ─ Oshima Island, Hakatajima Island, Omishima Island, Kamijima Town, Ikuchijima Island, Innoshima Island＆Mukaishima Island and Imabari City.
The English version of the cycling map, which has been a favorite of Japanese bicycle travelers, is now on sale at Amazon.co.jp. If you plan to cycle the Shimanami Kaido, get this map in advance. This is also sold at the guest house “Cyclonoie” in front of Imabari Station.
Popular and Standard Plan
You can accomplish Shimanami Kaido cycling, by making your way along the blue line (main route, the shortest) in two days while relaxing and enjoying local specialities and sweets. In this cycling plan, we calculated at a slow pace of 12 ~ 15 km / h, assuming a beginner who rents a bicycle and rents a bicycle. If you have enough physical strength and itinerary, please add detours, activities such as cruising, time to stop at the cafe, etc. based on this plan. Please also refer to this web page that comprehensively introduces the spots to stop by.
The first day Imabari city → Omishima island (37㎞) Necessary time 7 hours / Riding time 4 hours
The second day Omishima island → Onomichi city (41㎞) Necessary time 6 hours / Riding time 4 hours
Place to stay / Omishima island
Shimanami Kaido 2-day cycling plan itinerary
The first day
|8:20||START JR Imabari station|
|8:30||JR Imabari station cycling terminal|
|9:00||Shimanami Guesthouse Cyclonoie|
Shimanami Kaido 0 km point
|BREAK Entrance to bicycle and pedestrian lane of Kurushima-Kaikyo bridges|
|Kurushima-Kaikyo bridges (30 minutes)|
|10:25||Exite of bicycle and pedestrian lane|
|BREAK Roadside rest area, Yoshiumi iki-iki kan|
|BREAK Miyakubo pass|
|LUNCH Restaurant Noshima suigun|
|SPOT Murakami Kaizoku museum|
|14:05||Entrance to bicycle and pedestrian lane of Hakata-Oshima bridges|
|Hakata-Oshima bridges (15 minutes)|
|14:20||Exite of bicycle and pedestrian lane|
|BREAK Roadside rest area, Hakata SC park|
|15:15||Entrance to bicycle and pedestrian lane of Omishimia bridge|
|Omishimia bridge (5 minutes)|
|15:20||Exite of bicycle and pedestrian lane|
|BREAK Roadside rest area, Tatara Shimanami park|
|16:30||STAY Stay overnight at an inn around Inokuchi-port, Kamiura-cho, Omishima island*|
*+30 minutes when staying at an inn around Miyaura area, main town of Omishima island.
The second day
|8:30||Leave the inn you stayed overnight|
|8:45||Entrance to bicycle and pedestrian lane of Tatara bridge|
|Tatara bridge (25 minutes)|
|Exite of bicycle and pedestrian lane, the lemon valley|
|BREAK Setoda Sunset beach|
|SPOT Downtown of Setoda|
|BREAK Homemade gelato Dolce|
|11:55||Entrance to bicycle and pedestrian lane of Ikuchi bridge|
|Ikuchi bridge (15 minutes)|
|12:10||Exite of bicycle and pedestrian lane|
|LUNCH Sidewalk cafe Nanohana|
|BREAK Innoshima flower centre|
|14:30||Entrance to bicycle and pedestrian lane of Innoshima bridge|
|Innoshima bridge (20 minutes)|
|14:50||Exite of bicycle and pedestrian lane|
|SPOT Sidewalk cafe Willows Nursery|
|16:10||Ferry terminal for JR Onomichi station|
|Ferry (5 minutes’ ride)|
|16:25||Ferry terminal Onomichi port|
|16:30||Onomichi port rental bicycle terminal|
|16:45||GOAL JR Onomichi station|
The required time may differ from the actual time depending on traffic, weather conditions, personal physical strength, etc. Please refer to it as a guide. Please check in advance the business hours and holidays of facilities and stores.
Shimanami Kaido 2-day cycling plan: Altitude and distance
The ups and downs and the approximate profile of the distance when cycling the route from Imabari to Onomichi (the main route of Shimanami Kaido) looks like this.
As you can see from the graph, at the beginning of the first day, the Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge and the Oshima Pass are the most difficult sections. If you plan to stay in the Miyaura area of Omishima, add a little more distance and slopes at the end of the first day and the beginning of the second day.
The guidebooks and maps we publish list the distances and ups and downs for each route of each islands and each cycling plans. Currently, the map and guidebook of Shimanami Kaido are being prepared in English.
The first day
Imabari, start cycling
At the rental bicycle trminal, we rocommend renting a cross bike. Although a city bike with a basket at the front is convinient, it’s heavy. You easily get tired when cycling a long distance. The cross bike is lighter and has more shifting gears attached. Make sure to have the saddle height adjust correctly before starting. You are required to wear helmet, which you can rent with no extra charge.
Where should you start from? The signboard at CYCLONOIE says “Shimanami Kaido Start/Goal”. This is the starting point. From here, you cycle through the city along the blue line on the road for about 30 minutes to the long uphill slope. This slope leads you to the entrance to Kurushima-kaikyo Bridges.
The length of this slope is 1.8km and the height of the bridge is 78m. This will be a barometer to measure your physical fitness. If you feel quite tired on the way, take frequent breaks to avoid exhaustion and pain in your backside.
When you get to the top of this slope, you’ll feel a fantastic excitement. The scenery from there is one of the Shimanami Kaido’s highlights.
Welcom to CYCLONOIE
If you stay in our guesthouse CYCLONOIE our local cycling guide staff can provide you with recommendations and tips about the Shimanami Kaido and can help you to plan your perfect trip. Other guests can also share tips and tell you about their experiences cycling the Shimanami Kaido!
Oshima After crossing the bridge, you follow the curvy downhill road till you come to a Island T-junction. Turn left and follow the blue line, written “To Onomichi”. In a few minutes you will see “Roadside Rest Area Yoshiumi Iki-iki Kan“. From there you have to conquer two steep slopes. Here, take a break and prepare for the first pass.
The first uphill slope starts as soon as you leave the roadside rest area. Beyond this slope, a flat road with convenience stores and supermarkets continues through the town for a while. After passing this area, you will come to the second slope (Miyakubo Pass). This steep slope continues for about 1.2km, so if you feel tired, walk your bike.
After finishing the pass, you reach the sea and a T-junction in front of Miyakubo Port. Turn right there. Though you move away from the blue line, don’t worry. You’ll find “Restaurant Noshima Suigun” on your left soon. It’s recommended to have lunch there. You can have fresh seafood.
|Lunch at Oshima||Category||Address||Phone|
|Noshima suigun||Seafood||1293-2, Miyakubo, Miyakubo-cho, Imabari||0897-86-3323|
|Ishi no cafe||Cafe||5216-8, Miyakubo, Miyakubo-cho, Imabari||0897-72-9253|
|Shima no dining||Cafe||4753-1, Miyakubo, Miyakubo-cho, Imabari||090-3941-0274|
|Miyabi||Sushi||5166, Miyakubo, Miyakubo-cho, Imabari||0897-86-2688|
|Kitazushi||Sushi||2214, Miyakubo, Miyakubo-cho, Imabari||0897-86-2170|
*Of the islands on the Shimanami Kaido, Oshima to Omishima are within the range of Imabari City.
After the meal, if you have time, we recommend visiting Restaurant Noshima Suigun “Murakami Kaizoku Museum” which is located across the road from the restaurant. Murakami Kaizoku(unofficial navy) is designated as Japan Heritage by the Agency of Cultural Affairs. You can experience the history of the Murakami Kaizoku, who played an active part in the Seto Inland Sea in the 16th century.
After that, return to the blue line and head for the next bridge, Hakata-Oshima bridge. The distance from the base of the bridge to the top is 0.8km. The height of the bridge is about 39m.
|Lunch at Hakatajima||Category||Address||Phone|
|Hakata SC park||Restaurant||1668-1, Kanoura, Hakata-cho, Imabari||0897-72-3300|
|Cafe un fil||Restaurant||1667-15, Kanoura, Hakata-cho, Imabari||0897-72-8100|
|Okonomiyaki Fu||Okonomiyaki||1667-5, Kanoura-ko, Hakata-cho, Imabari||0897-74-0053|
|Patisserie T’s Cafe Tamaya||Cafe||2328, Arouzu-ko, Hakata-cho, Imabari||0897-72-0343|
|Okonomiyaki Tanpopo||Okonomiyaki||2325, Arouzu-ko, Hakata-cho, Imabari||0897-72-1908|
*Of the islands on the Shimanami Kaido, Oshima to Omishima are within the range of Imabari City.
Hakata SC Park has Hakata Beach and Dolphin Park Shimanami, and it is also a popular beach in the summer. Salt-flavored ice cream is popular here and is popular with cyclists. It’s a good idea to put your bike on the cycle stand “6 Cyclo Tourists” and take a commemorative photo.
The cycling distance on Hakatajima is only 4km and you come to the base of Omishima Bridge. The distance to the bridge top is 1.5km and the height of the bridge is about 41m.
Stay at Omishima island
Go down the bridge and cycle for about 20 minutes, and you’ll arrive at “Roadside Rest Area Tatara Shimanami Park”. The view of Tatara Bridge seen from there is superb. There is a monument in the park that’s labeled as a sacred place for cyclists. Six humanoid bike racks called “6 Cyclo Tourists” stand there. They are truly unique statues. Why don’t you take some photos there?
There are several hostels around Inokuchi Port, about 10 minutes north of the roadside rest area. If you feel you’ve reached your limit, it’s best to stay overnight around there. But if you have the time and strength, we recommend going farther to Miyaura area 8 kilometers away from the roadside rest area. There are ryokan and guest houses in this area and also a beer brewery (Omishima Brewery), an amazing hot spring “Mare Gracia Omishima”, and even more. I’m sure you will have a lot of fun with them. You can drink Omishima craft beer in Miyaura!
|Accommodation in Kamiura area||Type||Address||Phone|
|WAKKA||Cottage||6691-1, Inokuchi, Kamiura-cho, Imabari||0897-72-8705|
|I-LINK HOSTEL ＆ CAFE SHIMANAMI||Hostel||7345-1, Inokuchi, Kamiura-cho, Imabari||0897-72-8308|
|Minshuku Nagisa||Minshuku||5600, Inokuchi, Kamiura-cho, Imabari||0897-87-3513|
|Ryori-ryokan Fujimien||Ryokan||5733, Inokuchi, Kamiura-cho, Imabari||0897-87-2025|
|Tenzo||B&B||7332, Inokuchi, Kamiura-cho, Imabari||0897-87-2224|
|Accommodation in Miyaura area||Type||Address||Phone|
|Tomarigi Hostel||Guesthouse||88, Miyaura, Omishima-cho, Imabari||080-8493-5416|
|Ryokan Sawaki||Ryokan||5460, Miyaura, Omishima-cho, Imabari||0897-82-0153|
|Ryokan Chaume||Ryokan||5467, Miyaura, Omishima-cho, Imabari||0897-82-0008|
|Minshuku Kontama||Minshuku||5388, Miyaura, Omishima-cho, Imabari||0897-82-0111|
|OHANA in Mishima||Guesthouse||5341, Miyaura, Omishima-cho, Imabari||0897-82-0023|
*Of the islands on the Shimanami Kaido, Oshima to Omishima are within the range of Imabari City.
The second day
Starting from Omishima
It is recommended to get up early the next morning. If you are staying in the Kamiura area of Omishima, you should take a walk to see the beautiful scenery of Tatara Bridge and the morning sun. If you are staying in the Miyaura area, why not visit Oyamazumi Shrine, a 2000-3000 year old camphor tree, in the clear morning air.
First, return to the roadside rest area which you visited the day second day before. When you stay in Miyaura area, the shortest way is to go back the same road, crossing the middle part of the island. But if you want to take a different route, we recommend taking the north seaside route.
Though the distance increases, you should be able to fully enjoy cycling along the sea. The road is flat except for one pass which is 68m above sea level. The distance is 16km to Tatara Bridge, about 60 minutes’ cycling.
The distance to the top of the fourth bridge, Tatara Bridge is 1.5km. The height of the bridge is about 48m. On the bridge, don’t miss Tatara Nakiryu (roaring dragon). Stand below the main tower and clap your hands or strike the equipped wooden blocks, and you can hear the echoing sounds travel up the tower. Don’t miss the prefectural border line between Hiroshima and Ehime.
The area that descends from Tatara Bridge to Ikuchijima is called the Lemon Valley, and various citrus trees such as lemons are planted all over the slope of the mountain. Ikuchijima is the birthplace of domestic lemon cultivation. It still boasts the highest production of lemons in Japan.
In Ikuchijima, cycle the north side route along the palm trees.
Setoda area located in the center of the route has a colorful Kosanji Temple, Hirayama Ikuo Art Museum. It displays famous Nihonga (Japanese-style) paintings by Hirayama Ikuo who was one of Japan’s most famous painters.
It is strongly recommended you have a gelato at Shimanami Dolce Main Store. Enjoy various tastes of them. Then continue along the coastline and see if you can race the passing boats. Ikuchi Bridge After you cycle 0.9km to the sixth bridge, Ikuchi Bridge, you can take in a sweeping seascape view from the 35m high bridge.
Go down Ikuchi Bridge and you can have lunch at Sidewalk cafe Nanohana which is right near the exit of the bridge. There are tables on the terrace from which a far stretching amazing view can be seen over the bridge. If you go a little farther, you will find a daifuku rice-cake bakery Matsuura and oyster-fry restaurant Azuma Shokudo.
If you have enough physical strength, there is also a second option to have lunch in the town of Habu, which is about 4 km away from the blue line of the Shimanami Kaido. There are many shops where you can eat Innoshima okonomiyaki called “In-Oko”, which is one of the standard gourmet dishes of Shimanami Kaido Cycling.
|Lunch at Innoshima||Type||Address||Phone|
|Nanohana||Cafe||4701-2, Takuma-cho, Innoshima, Onomichi||0845-25-6787|
|Azuma Syokudo||Restaurant||5051-4, Takuma-cho, Innoshima, Onomichi||0845-22-2202|
|Okonomiyaki Ochi||Okonomiyaki||1902-3, Shiohama-kitaku, Habu-cho, Innoshima, Onomichi||0845-22-0932|
|Curry Rurryon||Curry shop||1899-106, Habu-cho, Innoshima, Onomichi||050-5583-5146|
*Of the islands on the Shimanami Kaido, Ikuchijima to Mukaishima are within the range of Onomichi City.
In the first half of the main route, you must be careful because of many cars and the narrow road. In the middle stage, the blue line turns inland and leads you to Innoshima Flower Center. On the way, cross two slopes to the amenity park with a huge dinosaur object.
Actually, this park is a landmark for Hassakuya, a Japanese sweets shop that is very popular with cyclists. It is a famous Hassaku Daifuku restaurant, and mochi with citrus fruits and white bean paste is very popular. Hassaku is said to be a citrus fruit that originated here in Innoshima.
On the way you have to ride up three hills and the last one is short but steep. Hang in there!! The distance to the top of the sixth bridge, Innoshima Bridge is 0.8 km. It is about 58m high.
Go down Innoshima Bridge and you can enjoy your remaining precious time at a
cafe Tachibana Shokudo or WILLOWS NURSERY with a lively green garden. The first half of the main route is so flat, easy, and comfortable to cycle along the sea.
After the second half, you enter a town with many cars. At the end, take a ferry from Mukaishima to Onomichi. Ferries are safer and more convenient than the bridge here. The Blue Line leads you directly to the ferry port for Onomichi Station, so you should be able to head to the ferry port without hesitation.
NEW A new shop has opened along the main route of Mukaishima. ”tsubuta SANK!”, a handmade ice cream shop that focuses on local ingredients, is a hot topic among cyclists as a spot where you can take a break while admiring the beautiful view of the Seto Inland Sea.
There are three ferry terminals and the most popular one for cyclists is the ferry terminal bound for JR Onomichi Station square. Pay your fare on the ferry.
Return your bicycle to Onomichi Port Rental Bicycle Terminal directly connected to Onomichi Port. There is also a coin shower on the north side of the Onomichi U2 near the terminal. From there it is about 5 minutes’ walk to JR Onomichi station.
Shimanami Rental Bike
The “Public” have 10 bike-stations along the path; bikes can be dropped off in each of the islands (except for e-bikes). Due to cost and convenience, using public bicycle rental is the most popular on the Shimanami Kaido. Cross-bikes with helmets are available. The rental fee is 2,000 yen / day. And the deposit is 1,100 yen / day (Total 3,100 yen). The deposit is returned if the bicycle is returned to the same terminal. Reservation reception is Shimanami JAPAN, and you can make reservations for bicycle rental at 10 terminals on the Shimanami Kaido from its website (Changed in April 2022). For those who have not made a reservation, some bicycles are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Shimanami JAPAN Inc.
1-4-1, Bekkusho, Imabari city
The opening and closing times differ depending on the terminal: [opening] 7:00 am~9:00 am [closing] 17:00 pm~20:00 pm.
Exceptionally, you can return the bicycle 24 hours at the Imabari Station Cycling Terminal or Imabari Port. However, if you return to those locations outside business hours, your deposit will not be returned.
I have listed the ferry routes that travelers often use for cycling on the Shimanami Kaido. The ferries can allow you to enjoy cycling a small part of the Shimanami Kaido and can also aide you if have an accident or problem along the way.
For example, Setoda town (Ikuchijima island) is the best place to stop cycling. You can return the bike at Setoda rental bike terminal and then, can take a ferry to Onomichi from there.
There is currently no direct bus connecting Imabari and Onomichi. On the Shimanami Kaido, the highway buses “Shimanami Liner” that connects Imabari Station and Fukuyama Station, the local buses from Imabari Station to Omishima, and the local buses from Habu Port to Onomichi Station are often used after the rental cycle is returned.
The orange colored line, shows the buses between “Imabari-Ekimae” and “Oyamazumi Shrine（Oyamazumi Jinjya）”.There are 16 buses / day. “Omishima BS” are located near the rental bike terminals so it’s easy to take the bus after you finish cycling.
When going from Imabari Station to Onomichi Station, please transfer to the Shimanami Liner bound for Fukuyama and the local bus bound for Onomichi at Innoshima Ohashi BS.
Our company, “CycloTourisme Shimanami” has been organising and promoting social events in Imabari and along the Shimanami Kaido since 2009. Our main staff are all experienced cyclists and have been working as cycling guides for many years. We can provide you with a fun filled guided tour and ensure you have a wonderful time exploring the sights and the sounds of this beautiful area. We will propose special plans that meet your needs, physical ability, interests and experience. Please feel free to contact us if you have any requests or questions.
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.
Thank you for reading
Lots of tourists who enjoy cycling and have cycled the Shimanami Kaido stay at our Gusethouse Cyclonoie, so why not come and share your experiences with us and our guests! We are always happy when people share their feelings and thoughts of both the Seto Inland Sea and the Shimanami Kaido. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself saying “It was an amazing experience”, or that “It was an awesome cycling route” or that “It was one of your best experiences in Japan!”, you wouldn’t be the first! As residents of the Shimanami Kaido and bicycle enthusiasts, these happy sentiments are always encouragement for us working here and we really hope we can be of some help to you when you are planning your trip. We, the staff at Cyclonoie are looking forward to meeting you! Thanks for reading and safe travels!