I finally started looking at possible routes, hotel stays and transportation for the Shimanami Kaido ride. We’d thought we had a five-day range to play with, but in the end it came down to a single weekend. And now we have a further complication in that Joe Lejog is recovering from a bike spill, so it’s all a bit iffy at this point.
We’ve hit a snag with my initial plan to spend two days riding from Onomichi to Imabari, taking in sights along the way, and then taking the ferry back to the start. The ferry from Imabari only goes as far as Habu (on Innoshima), not all the way back to Onomichi. There’s a bus from Habu to Onomichi. So this would be fine if we were all renting bikes — we could leave them at Onomichi. Or if we worked out a schedule that would allow us to ride back from Habu to Onomichi.
The alternative, then, is to ride straight out from Onomichi to Imabari and overnight there. I found what looks like ideal overnight accommodation for four cyclists, Cyclo no Ie (Cyclo House). We could book a room for the four of us at the price of a regular hotel room for one person. Unfortunately, when I contacted them via their helpfully bilingual inquiry page, it turned out they’re fully booked for the date in question.
There’s a lot of uncertainty about our plans now, but we haven’t given up yet. There are other bike-friendly hotels, and there will be other dates if it comes to that.
Meanwhile, CNN has a great gallery of photos from the Shimanami Kaido route here.
The featured photo is from Shimanami Kaido Cycling Route: A Must for Active Adventure Seekers in Japan, a very comprehensive guide from Edge of Comfort.