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Cycling at Onomichi

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/08 Travel & View point , , , , ,

Summer season is not as friendly as spring and fall in Japan. Despite the excruciating heat and humidity, I had one of the most unforgettable experiences last summer – cycling adventure at Hiroshima.

Nishiseto Expressway or commonly called Shimanami Kaido, is an expressway connecting a number of islands in Japan. This expressway is constructed with specially designed bike and pedestrian lanes, making it more safe for cyclists. Apart from its safety is the spectacular view along the way. No wonder this expressway said to be one of the world’s most incredible bike routes.

Let the cycling begin!

To start our adventure, we went to Onomichi, one of the cities of Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, where we started our cycling route. We arrived at Onomichi around 9 in the morning with our bags packed with towel, clothes, water and food, feeling like a pro. We roamed around the city for a little while and ate brunch before we headed to the cycle rental terminal.

rentalFor an amount of 1500 yen, you can rent a bicycle. The 1000 yen serves as a deposit and will be given back after returning the bicycle.

Our cycling route started at Shinhama port where we took a ferry with our bicycles going to Shigei port, one of the ports of Innoshima Island. The island looked deserted but as soon as we got closer to the main road we saw a few cyclists. They were also riding in groups and mostly were foreigners.

groupThe cyclists getting ready for a long drive at Shigei port

As like any other adventure, cycling was fun especially when you are in a group. The beautiful green scenery of the island, the fresh summer air, surrounded by the stunning view of the ocean, brings forth a calm and relaxing feeling.

Shirataki Mountain

Our first stop was Shirataki Mountain (Shirataki-san). Shirataki mountain has an altitude of about 227 meters. It’s no Mt. Everest, but to reach the top of the mountain, you’ll need  considerable effort because of slopes that are around 18 to 20 degrees steep. But all the hard work and effort will surely pay off because of the breathtaking 360-degree view from the top of the mountain. In my next post, I am going to feature more details about Shirataki Mountain.

view

Innoshima Bridge viewed from the top of Mt Shirataki

Descending the mountain was easy because you just have to glide down, no pedals, just apply the brakes when needed to control your speed. But it was also dangerous because of the sudden turns and some parts of the road were a little bit bumpy. It was summer but the shades of the trees and the cold breeze eased the hot weather.

Innoshima Bridge

Then we crossed Innoshima Bridge with the toll fee of 50 yen. The bridge had a special lane for bicycles and pedestrians that made it safe to cross. After crossing the bridge, we had a long ride along the sea that glitters when hit by the sunset.

innoshima bridgeThis beautiful scene made me stop for a photo.

We got back to the city around 6 PM and returned the bicycle. While at the city, there was an event wherein thousands of paper cups with written wishes on it and candles inside were lined and lighted by the people around, that was beautiful.

event

Few cups were already lighted

We ended the trip with a delicious bowl of their famous local ramen. My legs were tired but the experience was totally exhilarating.

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