8 nights (Self-guided)
Osaka, Onomichi, Shimanami Kaido & Takamatsu
From £1,695 pp
CYCLING THE INLAND SEA TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
The Shimanami Kaido is a 70-kilometre-long road that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku passing the beautiful islands of the Seto Inland Sea. As the route is perfectly marked by a blue line and easy to follow, this tour is ideal for cyclists of all levels. However, you can also enjoy this tour by car. Begin your independent journey in Osaka, the second-largest city of Japan, where you will arrive by plane. Then head to Onomichi City before cycling the six small islands of Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima and Oshima. Before heading back to Osaka for your flight back, explore Takamatsu, a port city in Shikoku overlooking the Seto Inland Sea.
Visits to Osaka, Onomichi, Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima, Oshima, and Takamatsu
Aluminium Road Bicycle
Meet and Greet service upon arrival at the airport
Airport transfers from/to Kansai International Airport
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN JAPAN, MEET & GREET AT KANSAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (OSAKA)
Welcome to Japan! Our friendly Meet & Greet service representative will be waiting in the Arrivals lobby and holding a sign with your name on. The Meet & Greet will direct you to the Haruka Express train or Airport Limousine Bus bound for Osaka. Check in to your clean and comfortable hotel in Osaka for your first night in Japan.
DAY 2: OSAKA TO ONOMICHI
After breakfast, take the train from Osaka to Onomichi. The train journey will be approx. 4 hours. Onomichi is a charming town located along the Seto Inland Sea in the Hiroshima Prefecture. Upon arrival check in to your accommodation for one night.
Your Bags: As you will be cycling from Onomichi to Imbari, you might want to take advantage of the convenient same-day luggage delivery service: your luggage will be collected from your accommodation in the morning and will be delivered to your next accommodation by 7 pm. You can also send your bags from Osaka to Onomichi and Oshima to Osaka for your longer journeys. We will advise you on how to do this in full in your Detailed Itinerary.
DAY 3: SHIMANAMI KAIDO – MUKAISHIMA, INNOSHIMA
Onomichi to Mukaishima 8 KM
Mukaishima to Innoshima 12 KM
After breakfast, pick up your bicycle and start your cycling adventure.
Your Bicycle: You can pick up your bicycle in Onomichi and drop it off at Imabari. We offer different types of bicycles for beginners to advance cyclists. For example, Aluminium Road Bikes are recommended for people who are on their first road bike; The Carbon Road Bikes are recommended for people who prefer a combination of high-performance and an ultra-lightweight bike. A helmet will be provided if you do not have yours.
From Onomichi you can reach the first island in the Shimanami Kaido, Mukaishima, by ferry. Hop off on this island where the Shimanami Kaido starts. After cycling around this island, carry on to the next one, Innoshima. The two islands are connected by the Innoshima Bridge, a suspension bridge of 770 meters, completed in 1983. Whilst in Innoshima, you might want to hike Mt Shiratake whose summit offers a magnificent view of the Inland Sea. Another attraction of this mountain are the 700 carved Buddhist statues. If you visit this island during Summer, you can also relax and sunbathe at the Shimanami Beach. Check in to your Guesthouse for one night.
DAY 4: SHIMANAMI KAIDO – IKUCHIJIMA TO OMISHIMA
Innoshima to Ikuchijima 12 KM
Ikuchijima to Omishima 16 KM
After breakfast, it's time to cycle again. Today head on to Ikuchijima Island. This island has different attractions to visit. To name a few, Kosan-ji and Choseikaku Villa are sights not to be missed. Kosan-ji is one of the main sights located in the main town. This Buddhist Temple complex was founded in 1935 and took more than 30 years to complete. Choseikaku Villa was built in 1929 and it was designed by Kanemoto Kozo, a businessman from Osaka. The main building is constructed in traditional Japanese style. Your next island is Omishima. Ikuchijima and Omishima are connected by a lovely cable-stayed bridge called Tatara Bridge. Omishima Island is home to a variety of art museums and sights to visit. One of the main attractions is the Oyamazumi Shrine. Inside its museum, you will find a collection of samurai armour and weapons. Another attraction is the Omishima Art Museum whose collection includes many Japanese Nihonga, Japanese-style paintings. On the south of the island, you will find Tokoro Art Museum, a contemporary art museum located on a steep slope offering breathtaking views of the island.
Check in to your Guesthouse for one night.
DAY 5: SHIMANAMI KAIDO – HAKATAJIMA & OSHIMA
Omishima to Hakatajima 16 KM
Hakatajima to Oshima 8 KM
Today head to Hakatajima, the smallest island on the Shimanami Kaido. However, with a few steep climbs, it is worth going around this island with your bike. If you happen to visit during the cherry blossom season, we do recommend you do not miss Mt Hirakiyama and its wonderful cherry trees! Through the Hakata Bridge, you will end up to your final destination for today, Oshima island, the end of the Shimanami Kaido. In Oshima Island, we do recommend you visit the Kirosan Observatory Park, which offers wonderful views of the Seto Inland Sea. Check-in for one night in a Guesthouse.
DAY 6: OSHIMA TO TAKAMATSU VIA IMABARI (SHIKOKU ISLAND)
After breakfast head to Imabari on the Shikoku Island where the Shimanami Kaido route ends. Here you can drop off your bicycle and explore Imabari. Imabari is famous for Japanese towels and the Imari Towel museum is dedicated to this long-standing industry. Later today transfer by Express Train to Takamatsu where you will stay 2 nights in a centrally located hotel. Whilst in Takamatsu we suggest a visit to Shikoku Mura, an open-air museum situated near Takamatsu. Here you will find many preserved traditional buildings relocated from all over Shikoku Island.
DAY 7: TAKAMATSU
Take a stroll in the beautiful Ritsurin Park, a landscape garden built for the lords of the region in feudal times. Now listed as a Japanese National Treasure, the gardens also include a Folk Craft Museum, restaurant and three Tea Houses, where visitors can enjoy a tea ceremony. The ruins of Takamatsu's Castle, in Tamamo Park, and the Yakuri-ji and Yashima-ji temples are also worth seeing. Sample the local delicacy, sanuki udon noodles, in one of the city's numerous restaurants.
DAY 8: TAKAMATSU TO OSAKA
Enjoy your morning at leisure in Takamatsu. In the afternoon, depart Shikoku and travel back to Osaka. Spend the evening enjoying the lively Dotonbori district famous for shopping, eating, and entertainment.
DAY 9: DEPART JAPAN
Transfer from your hotel to Kansai International Airport by Express Train or Airport Limousine Bus
HOW INDEPENDENT TOURS WORK
ENJOY INDEPENDENT TRAVEL BUT NOT THE HASSLE OF PLANNING?
OUR INDEPENDENT TOURS COULD BE JUST THE TICKET!
Carefully put together by our team of specialists, our excellent collection of sample itineraries is designed to inform and inspire your next Japan adventure. Every one of our Independent Tours is fully tailor-made for you, ensuring your trip is everything you want it to be.
It's quite straightforward to travel independently in Japan. We will provide just the right amount of support and logistical planning to make you feel comfortable in a very foreign land. These itineraries are available for any departure date (with a few exclusions coinciding with Japanese National Holidays and some weekends). We'll do all the work for you and provide you with an information pack to make your trip run smoothly. You can also add guided tours as indicated and if you do want your own personal guide we can arrange this too.
ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS & LOCATION GUIDE
PRICING & INCLUSIONS
From £1,695.00 per person based on Twin/Double room occupancy.
From £2,095.00 per person on Single room occupancy.
5 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels in Osaka, Onomichi, and Takamatsu on a bed and breakfast basis
3 nights' accommodation in a traditional Japanese minshuku or Guesthouses on a bed and breakfast basis in the Shimanami Kaido route.
Train tickets from Osaka to Onomichi, Imabari to Takamatsu, and Takamatsu to Osaka
Aluminium Road Bicycle with pick up in Onomichi and drop off at Imabari
Transfers by Express train from and to Kansai International Airport (Osaka) to central Osaka
Meet & Greet service on arrival at Kansai International Airport (Osaka)
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Taxi, subway, and tramway fees
To make a booking, a deposit of 10% of the total price is required.
The balance of the price of the trip must be made 12 weeks prior to departure.
Travel can be a great experience, but it can also be fraught with problems, so when going anywhere it is essential you are properly covered with good travel insurance. You should be protected against cancellation, curtailment, and loss or damage to your belongings as well as medical emergencies and have peace of mind if the unexpected happens.
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