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©Kochi Escapes

Cycle Along the Shimanto River from Source to Sea


This 200-km trip along a river in Shikoku is a great way to experience a classic, unspoiled Japanese landscape up close.


Kochi Prefecture, which is located in the south of Shikoku, is an idyllic place, featuring beautiful blue rivers, lushly forested mountains, and ancient temples visited by pilgrims. The Shimanto River is a 196-km long river known for its clear stream and distinctive bridges. You can bike the length of the river, providing an unobstructed encounter with Kochi’s nature. 


On the first day of your four-day adventure, you’ll be picked up at Kochi Ryoma Airport at around lunchtime and driven by shuttle bus to a forest in Tsuno. You’ll then hike into the forest to see the headwaters of the river along which you will ride. The road trip proper begins on the second day.


The route has been carefully curated to avoid heavy traffic and long tunnels, Crucially, unlike many cycle rides in mountainous Japan, the route is mostly flat or downhill, so it is accessible to novice cyclists. You cycle between around 40 and 60 kilometers per day, starting at around 9:00 a.m. and finishing at about 3:00 p.m., leaving plenty of time for both sightseeing and rest. (Note that the tour can be customized for individual preferences and needs.)


©Kochi Escapes


Over the three days you will ride through the countryside, occasionally crossing the low and narrow rail-free bridges known as chinkabashi over the river, while making stops at picturesque temples and hot springs, curious cafes and delicious izakaya pubs along the way.


Traveling by bicycle along the Shimanto River is a great way to get up close to Kochi’s natural beauty and meet the people who live there.


Access: It takes about one hour and 30 minutes from Haneda Airport to Kochi Airport.
The journey from Kochi Airport to the entrance to the headwaters of the Shimanto River takes about one hour and 40 minutes by car.
Taxis are readily available at Kochi Airport and at various locations in Kochi City.


©Kochi Escapes


Shimanto River Source to Sea Bike Tour (Kochi Escapes)


Funado, Tsunocho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi-ken


3 nights, 4 days




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