Shimanami Kaido of Seto Inland Sea: Japan’s Famous 70km Cycling Road Connecting Islands
Sea Road “Shimanami Kaido”
In the most famous scene from the film Titanic, the protagonist Jack gently holds the heroine Rose at the waist from behind at the bow of the Titanic cruising at dusk. Stretching her arms wide, here she says, “I’m flying, Jack!”
While it would not be easy to experience being on such a luxurious cruise ship and stretch your arms wide on the bow of the ship with your beloved one holding you gently, there is a place in Japan where you can actually feel like flying above the ocean. It is “Shimanami Kaido (Nishiseto Expressway),” about 70 kilometers long road leading through the sea and connecting two prefectures of Hiroshima and Ehime.
“Shimanami Kaido” is the bridge leading from Onomichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture, through six islands of Mukojima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima and Oshima, and reaches across the sea to Imabari City, Ehime, one of the four prefectures on the Shikoku Island.
One of Japan’s Best Cycling Roads
Bicycle is a must item if you want to cut through the wind and feel like flying above the ocean.
You can rent a bicycle at either one of the 13 rental cycle stations along the road and drop off the rented bike at any of them. The road has a bicycle lane and allows even infrequent bike riders to enjoy easy cycling.
The bridges connecting the islands are elevated to considerable, almost scary, heights, so you will surely be able to feel like travelling through the sky. I could actually enjoy the great thrill and excitement myself.
Attractions and Specialties from Along Shimanami Kaido
Because Shimanami Kaido stretches far as long as about 70 kilometers, you may not be able to pull off the whole distance at once. It would be a great idea then to lodge on one of the islands on the way. There will be great specialty foods and the beautiful marine view for you to enjoy.
Especially, lemons from Ikuchijima Island are called “Setoda Lemon” and makes up about 30 percent of all lemons produced in Japan, which makes the island the country’s largest producing area. They have a nice refreshing smell when cut, goes well with all kinds of dishes and is very healthy.
“Hakata No Shio,” the salt widely known in Japan for the TV commercial featuring a catchy song, is originally from Hakatajima Island and currently produced in the factory on Omishima Island. The roadside station on Hakatajima Island offers soft-serve ice cream made with the salt and makes a greatly popular snack for its perfect combination of sweetness and saltiness.
The marine scenic beauty of Shimanami Kaido is the greatness of nature you can enjoy only when travelling on a bicycle. The supreme experience of flying over the ocean like a scene from a film will add an extra spice to your journey in Japan. Make sure to treat yourself with an exceptional experience at Shimanami Kaido and don’t forget to say “I’m flying!” at the right moment like Rose. Information: Map
Amazing View of the Seto Inland Sea