Need to Cycle the Shimanami Kaido? Begin Right here.


I’m a fairly powerful individual. However all of the wild issues I’ve completed exterior of Japan—mountaineering to Everest Base Camp; leaping out of a airplane in New Zealand—I’ve accomplished a number of the most excessive actions right here, from climbing Mt. Fuji to doing the Kumano Kodo in summer season.

I carry this up to not brag, however to provide some context: I didn’t suppose biking ~70 km over the Seto Inland Sea can be a giant deal in any respect. Spoiler alert: It was.

Now, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t cycle the Shimanami Kaido—you completely ought to. Nevertheless, I encourage you to study from the errors I made, and certainly from my hubris.

Learn how to Hire a Bike for the Shimanami Kaido

Not surprisingly, if you wish to bike the Shimanami Kaido, you’re going to wish a motorbike. The excellent news is that there are various firms that provide bike leases. The dangerous information? Whereas an e-bike would clearly make this journey rather a lot simpler, there’s some high quality print that makes it impractical for most individuals to hire one. Particularly, if you wish to hire an e-bike, it’s a must to journey all of it the best way again to Onomichi to return it.

If you wish to do a one-way rental—and until you’re feeling assured which you could bike 140 km in someday, assisted or not, you’re going to must—you’ll want to hire an bizarre bike. I personally selected to make a motorbike reservation right here, however there are various retailers and even motels in Onomichi (and Imabari, when you’re beginning there) that may help you in procuring a motorbike.

The Shimanami Kaido, Step by Step

A brief ferry journey from Onomichi

After you hire your bike close to Onomichi Station, the bike rental affiliate will advise you to bike round 500 meters to a pier. It will assist you to board a ferry that, in only a few minutes, will take you over the water to Mukaishima island, the place the biking route formally begins.

The primary bridge

Previous this level, you begin to get a really feel for what it will likely be prefer to cycle the Shimanami Kaido. After crossing the primary suspension bridge onto Innoshima island, you’ll cycle previous beautiful mikan orchards and thru charming cities. You gained’t have coated a lot floor, however relying on the wind, it might really feel like you may have.

Ikuchijima: Gasoline up right here

It will take you onto Ikuchijima, which was the primary place alongside the Shimanami Kaido that I actually began to really feel like I used to be “there.” As you strategy the city of Setoda, you’ll discover quite a lot of eating places (or, comfort shops, when you don’t need to sit down). You’ll additionally discover Kousan-ji temple, the route’s most well-known vacationer attraction.

Extra islands, extra bridges

I hope that when you cycle the Shimanami Kaido, you’ll have higher luck than I did previous this level. As I made my manner off Ikuchijima onto Omishima, Hakata island and eventually onto the bigger (and final) Oshima, two strokes of dangerous luck befell me. First, the sky stuffed with clouds. Secondly, my entrance tire went flat!

One final bridge

In fact, I didn’t understand this till I used to be biking down the steep hill from Oshima’s Kirosan Park viewpoint, at which level it was too late to do something about it. Effectively, besides bike over the extraordinarily lengthy Kurushima Kaikyo bridge, throughout which I found the being “nearly” all the best way to Imabari can nonetheless really feel like a good distance away.

Can You Do the Shimanami Kaido in One Day?

I did the Shimanami Kaido in someday, so I can say for positive that it’s potential. Alternatively, it took me for much longer to finish than I anticipated, though I rented my bike in Onomichi proper at 8 AM. Actually, I got here inside 10 minutes of not having the ability to return my bike in Imabari, and lacking the final bus of the night time again to Hiroshima. A few of this was resulting from my bike’s entrance tire going flat, however a number of it was my very own hubris.

The subsequent time I bike the Shimanami Kaido—assuming there’s one—I’m positively going to remain in a single day someplace. In all probability on Ikuchijima, because it’s each the island with probably the most issues to see and do (I’m gutted I didn’t have time to go to Kousan-ji!), but in addition the one with probably the most motels, even when properties like SOIL Setoda and Suminoe Ryokan are reasonably spartan.

Different FAQ About Biking the Shimanami Kaido

How lengthy does it take to cycle the Shimanami Kaido?

Official tourism authorities advise that biking the Shimanami Kaido can take anyplace between 4-6 hours for knowledgeable cyclists, to 8-10 and even 12 hours for many who are merely sightseeing. Nevertheless, based mostly by myself expertise, I actually advocate spending an evening on one of many islands to take a number of the strain off your self.

What’s the greatest bike for Shimanami Kaido?

Ideally, you’ll use an e-bike to finish the Shimanami Kaido biking route. Sadly, as of January 2024, you’ll want to return these bikes to the place you hire them from, which is an advanced proposition, given that the majority vacationers bike a one-way journey. Alternatively, whereas the bizarre bikes out there for rental ought to get the job completed, I do know first-hand that this strategy will not be with out its dangers.

How far to cycle the Shimanami Kaido from Onomichi to Imabari?

The biking distance between Onomich and Imabari is about 70 km, give or take, assuming you start your journey with a ferry to the start of the path, because the bike store in Onomichi will advocate. Time-wise, you’ll be able to count on the Shimanami Kaido to be an all-day tour, until you’re a aggressive bike owner with little want to cease and sightsee alongside the best way.

The Backside Line

I hope this submit has inspired you to cycle the Shimanami Kaido, and never made you afraid of it. There’s a motive the 70 km of trails between Honshu and Shikoku islands are generally known as the most effective biking route in Japan. On the similar time, having a better baseline of knowledge than I did after I embarked upon my very own Shimanami Kaido journey will allow you to keep away from a number of the errors I made. Want customized assist working this journey into your individual journey, or deciding when you ought to do it in any respect? I do hope you’ll think about hiring me to plan a customized Japan itinerary—let me sweat all the small print for you!



メールアドレスが公開されることはありません。 が付いている欄は必須項目です