Shimanami Kaido is a route bridging the islands between Hiroshima and Shikoku in Japan’s Inland Sea. It’s also a very popular cycling route for beginners on up, with cycle rentals and cyclist-friendly stops all along the route, as well as ferries between various islands. With the quality rental bikes available, you don’t even need to worry about how to transport your bike to the start of the ride and back.
I’ve spoken (well, mailed) with Fearless Leader Joe and L2P and Biwako veteran Sanborn, and it sounds like we’re on for the last week of March. We’re waiting to firm up the dates, but we’ll be looking at options to extend this 70km ride into a two-day outing. We could include some of the outer perimeter loops and overnight along the way, or we could ride out and back (rather than taking the ferry back at the end of the first day).
As this is a popular route there are a lot of resources. We’ll start with Shimanami Cycle’s Setouchi Shimanami Kaido course as well as the good general info site Enjoy cycling on the Shimanami Kaido!. There’s also the Shimanami Kaido Tourist Information from Go Shimanami, and Japan Guide’s Shimanami Kaido page.
One alternative to consider to Shimanami Cycle’s rentals is the local Giant outlet’s offerings — a bit more expensive, but some real quality bikes here.