Shimanami Kaido (Ehime) しまなみ海道
Cycling and island-hopping across the Seto Inland Sea
Sparkling seas, white sandy beaches and stunning, green islands await along the 70-kilometer Shimanami Kaido route, connecting Onomichi to Imabari . Cross several bridges, all architectural marvels, by bicycle or by car, and discover the fascinating museums, gardens, and temples that dot the islands.
- Each island's specialty ice cream, including salt, rose and a variety of locally grown fruits
- The stylish and slick Tokoro and Toyo Ito museums
- The swirling currents of the Kurushima Strait
How to Get There
Onomichi Station is 20 minutes from Fukuyama Station (15 minutes by Sanyo Shinkansen from Hiroshima). Be aware that although there is a Shin-Onomichi Station, but it's far from Onomichi's city center; it takes about 1.5 hours from Hiroshima or Okayama to Onomichi Station by JR Sanyo Shinkansen. The bike rental terminal is a 5-minute walk from the station, near the start of the cycling course.
The bridges connect Onomichi City in Hiroshima and Imabari City in Ehime via Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima, and Oshima islands
Tatara Ohashi is the second longest cable-stayed bridge in the world
Designated bike lanes make riding on the Shimanami Kaido safe and hassle-free
Enjoy the ride
Ambitious cyclists can ride across the 70-kilometer-series of bridges in a day, but an even better option is to take two or three days to enjoy the scenic beauty of the area at a relaxed pace, and to get to know the locals while staying at the small inns and hotels on the islands.
Routes and rentals
Although many tourists start from Onomichi , going from Imabari instead makes for an easier ride. From Matsuyama, the Shiokaze/Ishizuchi Limited Express takes about 36 minutes to Imabari. From Imabari Station, you can rent a bike and cycle to the start of the route or take a taxi to the Sunrise Itoyama bicycle terminal, which is adjacent to the route's starting point.
Views of the waters below from monumental bridges
Marvel at the stunning bridges with the backdrop of the turquoise waters of the Seto Inland Sea. Hanaguri Seto observation platform on the island of Omishima and Mt Kiro on Oshima have the best panoramas.
See and smell the roses and other flora
The mild climate of Setouchi results in abundant nature. Visit Oshima Island to see hundreds of varieties of roses that bloom in a deluge of color. For more flora, head to Citrus Park Setoda or the Innoshima Flower Center.
Pirates and paintings
Head to the Murakami Suigun Museum to learn more about the intriguing history of pirates in the area. Visit Omishima, Tokoro and Toyo Ito museums for your art fix.
Temple trails where samurai walked
Walk in the footsteps of samurai at Oyamazumi Shrine on Omishima. The collection of armor on display is the largest in Japan. Once you arrive in Onomichi , be sure to check out the many temples dotted throughout the hillsides.
Fuel your cycling
Each island has different delicacies to keep you going. Hakata salt ramen, okonomiyaki pancakes, eel, and ice cream are delectable treats to rejuvenate you while cycling. On Mukaishima, visit the Goto Soda Factory or the Ushio Chocolatl chocolate factory for a more in-depth look at the islands' produce.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.