”Shimanami Kaido” offers the spectacular experience of cycling over the ocean making stopovers at six islands
Located between Honshu and Shikoku, Seto Inland Sea is the calm ocean always brightened by full of sunshine. “Shimanami Kaido” (total length: around 70 km, or 43.5 miles) connecting Onomichi city, Hiroshima prefecture and Imabari city, Ehime prefecture with six islands as stopovers in between, offers a bikeway allows for over-the-ocean cycling experience. Its stunning view and well-paved cycling lane make the road ultimate destination for world-wide cyclists.
Shimanami area in Imabari city, the point of departure on Shikoku side, presents various can’t-miss destinations including world’s first triple suspension bridge “Kurushima Kaikyo Ohashi”, the largest cable-stayed bridge “Tatara Ohashi” and “Kirosan Observation Deck” which ranked third in the review site TripAdvisor’s “Worth visiting! The most picturesque destination in Japan 2016”. Perfect for inexperienced cyclists as it takes less than one day to cycle around the area even making brief stops at tourist spots.
Imabari offers full support to cyclists in its effort of furnishing most hotel rooms with hooks specially designed for hanging a bike, and enabling cyclists to carry their bikes in route buses along Shimanami Kaido. Just bring yourself as the support center assists everything you need for your trip and the rent-a-cycle terminal “Sunrise Itoyama” offers as many as 500 bikes including power-assisted bicycles.
360°panorama from Kirosan Observation Deck. You must not miss the picturesque Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge, especially the view when it is lit up at night.
Across 4,105-meter (around 2.5-mile) Kurushima Kaikyo Ohashi, appears Oshima-island. Kirosan Observation Deck in Oshima-island is a definite must-visit. Climbing up 300 meters (984 feet) is a bit of a challenge but the spectacular view is worth trying.
Over Hakata-Oshima Ohashi, brings you to Omishima-island via Hakatajima-island. Regarded as the general headquarters of all the village shrines in Japan, Oyamazumi Shrine at the center of Omishima-island holds 2,600 year-old giant camphor tree.
175,000 cyclists visit Shimanami Kaido annually with the increasing number of international visitors. Plan your trip as you like by yourselves or with your family and friends and explore the beauty of Shimanami area, full of refreshing sea breeze and sunshine!
”The 7th island” offers a variety of local specialties and gourmet food
Newly opened on April 23rd, 2016, “AEON MALL Imabari New City” is regarded as “the 7th wonderland” offering wonderful experience to get to know Shimanami area. Take a bike from Kurusu Kaikyo Ohashi, “AEON MALL Imabari New City” shows up in just an hour. Shuttle bus service to and from JR Imabari station is also available.
Liza, from Russia currently residing in Imabari city, has already visited here three times since its grand opening five days ago. Today, she is shopping with her Indonesian friend at International Exchange Association, Maysa. “Just looking at fresh food and specialties of Shimanami is so much fun.” she mentioned.
Operated by the local agricultural cooperative, “SAI&Co.” is referred to as a “local food department store”. As Japan’s largest producer of citrus fruits, Ehime prefecture offers a wide selection of citrus and you can taste hard-to-find premium fruits.
Abundant in vitamin C with anti-aging effect and in potassium which soothes swelling, citrus is ideal essence for cosmetics. On the first floor of “AEON STYLE Imabari New City” linked to AEON MALL Imabari New City, an extensive collection of organic cosmetics is available. Unheated soap and hand creams made from Japanese mandarin orange are perfect for souvenirs.
AEON STYLE presents broad range of products unique to Imabari as well as new lifestyle extensively in gourmet, beauty and health, fashion, knick-knacks and many more.
Shikoku’s largest class restaurant area attracts visitors with its high quality Shikoku cuisine. Enjoy café au lait embellished with “Bary san”, the official character of Imabari, and kaisendon, bowl of rice topped with fresh seafood.
Ocean wave-like ceiling design and art objects of local roof tiles create an authentic atmosphere of Shimanami.
AEON MALL Imabari New City provides quality towel store operated by “Towel Museum ICHIHIRO”. Highly hygroscopic and pleasant in texture, Imabari towels are employed by first-class hotels across the world. Do not miss one of the specialty products in Imabari ultimate for Japanese gift.
Your cycling experience will be fully enhanced with rental bicycles, outfits and free showers
AEON MALL Imabari New City offers an extensive support for cyclists. Just rent a bike at the tourist information center on the first floor and take a shower at the free facility after cycling. Tourist brochures in English, simplified/traditional Chinese and Korean are available.
Wide range of products at specialty stores and professional advice by expert staff are significant advantages here. You can rent a road bike made of carbon frame at the sport store “SPORTS AUTHORITY” (above). The cycle store “AEON Bike” (below) offers an extensive selection of cycling goods or supplementary food.
AEON MALL Imabari New City
Address: 1-1 Nigiwaihiroba, Imabari city, Ehime prefecture
Open: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm (AEON MALL)
8:00 am – 10:00 pm (AEON STYLE Imabari New City)
* Business hours differ in specific stores
Business day: Year round
Access: 15 minute from JR Imabari station by bus
Over-the-ocean bridges equipped with special road for motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians are only found here in Shimanami Kaido in Japan. Enjoy exclusive trip in Shimanami area as well as shopping and gourmet at “the 7th wonderland”!