Cycling the Shimanami Kaido route to Michika Island Campground Wednesday 21st November

After a very peaceful night it was lovely to wake up to the sound of waves lapping on the beach.

Kurushima-Kaikyo bridge

We enter the tunnel

We exit the tunnel

A short cycle around the coast and we were at Toshimao Bridge going across to Toyoshima Island. The cycling was perfect, apart from getting up to the bridges very flat and very quiet.

Looking down from the bridge

Next bridge (Toyohamao Bridge) next island Osaki-Shimozima, if anything the further along we travel the less traffic we see. Three bridges very close together link two very small islands Heria Island and Nakanoshima Island to Okamura Island, here we have to stop, no more road and no more bridges but a ferry terminal.

Bridge to Okamura

Unfortunately we just miss a ferry so we have a two hour wait for the next. There is nothing at the ferry terminal (I say terminal, really a room with one office). The tickets cost ¥2100 in total including the bicycles, the ferry is a passenger only boat. And at exactly 12.30 pm we were off, it made 3 stops at smaller islands before Imabari where we got off.

Our ferry

You see island after island from the ferry, the sea itself has very strong currents and we saw a small whirlpool it is not somewhere you would want to fall in!

At 1.30 pm we were back on land, we are going to camp a couple more nights so the first stop was a supermarket to stock up on food, Imabari is a large town with no shortage of shops.

The first section leaving town is flat and very quickly you pick up a blue line painted on the road, if in doubt follow the blue line it takes you the full length of the Islands. As we get to the first bridge on this section it is around 100 metres above us so they have built a bicycle ramp up to it with a gentle slope, it does go around and around though.

A picture of the dedicated Cycle path up to the bridge

Janet racing on ahead

Kurushima-Kaikyo bridge is staggering, built from three bridges all joined together, it has a cycle way one side, a scooter way the other and cars in the middle (an expressway, it is like a motorway). It has the honour of being the world’s longest suspension bridge at 4.015 kilometres long. More information HERE.

Pictures cannot do it justice

Here we saw quite a few other cyclists as this is a world renouned cycle way, once across the bridge and a twisty drop to the sea the next island, Oshima Island was quite industrial, we rode through a large shipbuilding area. Before a climb and drop to the coast on the opposite side of the island and yes another twisty climb to the next bridge.

More of it

This bridge we only went halfway across before getting off to drop down to a camp ground. It was only accessible by scooter, bicycle or foot. Here we camped on Michika Island.

A lonely building on it’s own island

It is a lovely peaceful site a couple of others are here all Japanese, there is a toilet and water at this one.

Light was beginning to fade when we had pitched the tent, cooked and eaten (the two hour delay makes a big difference when it gets dark by 5,30 pm).

Michika Island Campground

Anyway we will go to sleep with waves lapping the shore, and a little lorry noise from the bridge 100 metres above us.

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