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Shimanami Kaido Cycling Tips

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Shimanami Kaido Cycling Tips


Plan your cycling adventure on the Shimanami Kaido and discover the best times of year to take on the route

Shimanami Japan



One of the Japan’s most classic cycling routes is the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido, a 70km road that connects Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture and Imabari in Ehime Prefecture.

The scenic route crosses six islands via seven bridges, with safe bicycling lanes throughout so you don’t have to worry about cars. Each island offers different discoveries for visitors: some have splendid modern architecture and museums, while others have shops serving fresh farm produce like citrus or locally caught seafood.

Autumn is considered peak cycling season thanks to the pleasantly cool weather and clear skies. Spring is another popular choice, as it coincides with cherry blossom season.

Summer is hot and humid. Fortunately, cyclists can cool off at swimming beaches along the route, such as Sunset Beach on Ikuchijima Island. Just a short bike ride from the beach is the small town of Setoda, where you can enjoy lemonade or gelato made from local citrus.

While the winters are chilly, temperatures rarely go below freezing. There are options for warming up along the route, such as the hot springs on Omishima Island or the retro public Yunbune bathhouse in Setoda. You can rent bikes and start cycling from both Onomichi or Imabari. There are also rental bike stations on each of the islands along the Shimanami Kaido.


How to get there


To Onomichi: From Shin-Osaka Station, take the Shinkansen bullet train to JR Fukuyama Station (1 hour and 10 minutes) and change to the JR local train to Onomichi Station (about 20 minutes). The bike rentals are a 3-minute walk from the station.

To Imabari: Fly from Haneda Airport to Matsuyama Airport (about 1 hour 30 minutes). From Matsuyama Airport, take the local bus or taxi to JR Matsuyama Station (about 20 minutes), then ride the JR express train to JR Imabari Station (about 40 minutes). Bike rentals are available right in front of the station.


5-11 Nishigosho-cho, Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken

2-773-8 Kitahorai-cho, Imabari-shi, Ehime-ken


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