Shimanami Kaido

Exploring the Shimanami Kaido Bikeway

The Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world as of 2018. Using bicycles are a common mode of transportation in Tokyo and many parts of Japan. It’s a great way to get to school, work, and most of all, explore places and see the beauty of the country. A bicycle is also a fine way to exercise and stay fit. Most of all, biking helps reduce global warming because it helps cut fuel emissions, a bike requires less energy to produce: unlike a car, it doesn’t need a lot of metal; it can use smaller roads to travel on; and it takes up less space for parking.

Shimanami Kaido expressway

Shimanami Kaido expressway.

Tokyo has so many places to discover using a bike. Some of the best places to explore are the quaint local neighborhoods in the hidden back streets of the bustling metropolis. Many other unnoticed places that only the locals know of such as restaurants, temples and parks are all waiting to be discovered. The best way to discover these places is by using a bicycle. You can also explore places outside Tokyo that are best seen on a bicycle.

The quaint port town of Onomichi along the Seto Inland Sea in Eastern Hiroshima Prefecture extends from the mainland across some of the neighboring islands. The islands are connected by bridges of the Shimano Kaido and small ferries take visitors and residents between the downtown area and the nearby islands. Onomichi is about only 45 minutes from Hiroshima city, and is known for its historic temples and picturesque sloping seaside hills. Onomichi is also the start off point of Shimanami Kaido bikeway, a stunning 43-mile route that allows bikers a scenic island-hopping route across the Seto Inland Sea.

Shimanami Kaido route

Shimanami Kaido route.

Shimanami Kaido literally means “Island-Wave-Sea,” which connects Honshu with the island of Shikoku, passing through six other islands along the way connected by one of the longest series of suspension bridges in the world. It is the only route that can be crossed on foot or using a bicycle.

Parts of the route have spectacular views traversing crystal blue waters and lush greenery. Some parts pass through small scenic towns that allow you an unforgettable take on Japanese culture and everyday life in the countryside. The entire bike route can be done in a day for experienced cyclists while other more laidback visitors can take it slow and enjoy just some of the best parts of the route that also passes by a few museums, temples, castles, campgrounds and beautiful cherry blossom trees.  Shimanami Kaido bikeway is truly something that’s worth visiting when travelling to Japan.