Nov 19, 2012

しまなみ海道 Shimanami Kaido or the Sea Road


While I was visiting my parents in Matsuyama,  I went to Imabari city.
The city is famous for the ship industry, good quality towel, and also Shimanami Kaido.


Shimanami Kaido, or the Sea Road, is the expressway over the Seto Inland Sea.  It connects  Imabari to Onomichi city in Hiroshima prefecture.
This 60 km route crosses a series of seven bridges that connect six islands in the Inland Sea.

(The blue line is the Shimanami Kaido.  Bottom left is Imabari.  You can see there are a lot of islands in the Seto Inland Sea.)


The first bridge from Imabari is the Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge which takes you to Oshima Island.
Beautiful, isn't it? 


Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge is a triple suspension bridge.
It's 4105 meters long and the tower is 184 meters tall.  The height of the roadway surface is about 65 meters from the water. 


If you want, you can cross the bridge on foot or by bike.
Then, you can stand on the bridge and enjoy the view.  
They say it is so high!
I really wanted to cross the bridge by bike (you can rent it) but we didn't have much time, so we rented a car.
Also, I really wanted to drive all the way to Onomichi, but we didn't have much time, so we just crossed Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge and spent a day at Oshima Island.


Still, it's quite exciting when you think you are driving over the sea. (^v^)


Located at the south of Oshima is the Kiro-san Observation Park, where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Seto Inland Sea.
The mountain is 308 meters high, and I was very thankful I was not riding a bike. 
The road is very steep!  I'm not sure if you can climb up there by bike.


Also, on top of the mountain, it was so windy!


But the view was so beautiful!  
The bridge, small islands, ships and looked very peaceful.


They say when the sun sets over the sea, it is just breathtakingly beautiful.  I wish I could have seen it!


I had fun at Oshima.  But I'm going to save it for another post. (^_-)
It was time to go back to Imabari.


Next time, I really want to take more time and go up all the way to Onomichi, stopping at each island.  


If you think you can, it must be fun to travel by bike on Shimanami Kaido.  It's getting more and more popular. They are very bicycle friendly, and have several cycling stations called "Shimanami Cycling Oasis."  
(But you have to ride a ferry between Mukaijima and Onomichi.) 
 Don't you want to feel the sea breeze on those bridges high above the sea? \(^o^)/

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Rurousha said...

Can I travel across the bridge on horseback?

I like the second-last photo taken from the mountain top. Did you see any foxes up there?

OK, we'll wait for Oshima, but don't make us wait too long, ne? :)

Merry Witch said...

Horseback? Oh, it must feel good. And you will be famous, too!

I saw no foxes. But I heard inoshishi (wild boars) on the islands sometimes swim across the sea to Imabari city, and become famous. (^_-)

Dru said...

I have been dreaming of riding a bike across the Shimanami Kaido for a couple years now. If I can somehow work it, I will do it next year around May. It may be unlikely but I have my fingers crossed. Of course I would love to stop for a day in Matsuyama too if I do this trip. ^^

Merry Witch said...

Oh, please do it! It must be so fun! I would very much like to read about your adventure next year.

But I must warn you. Kirosan seems very tough. You need a lot of exercise. (^_-)

Dru said...

Thanks for the tip. I guess I should start training now. ;)

Merry Witch said...

Yes, strengthen your quadriceps! <(`^´)>