Shimanami Kaido (Hiroshima)

An amazing architectural wonder that links six islands, with a path just for cycling

The Shimanami Kaido is a bridge system and toll road that connects six islands in the Seto Inland Sea to the main island of Honshu. This incredible architectural marvel provides a unique and breathtaking experience for travelers, especially cyclists. With dedicated cycling paths and stunning views of the surrounding sea and islands, the Shimanami Kaido is a must-visit destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Quick Facts:
– The bridge stops off at Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima, and Oshima islands.
– Tatara Ohashi is the longest askew-arched bridge in japan.

How to Get There:
To access the Shimanami Kaido, you can enter from either the Ehime or Onomichi intersections. Both entry points provide convenient access to the bridge and its surrounding attractions.

How the Bridge Came to Be:
The Shimanami Kaido spans a length of 70 kilometers and offers spectacular views of the surrounding sea and the coastlines of the islands it crosses over. The bridge was constructed to connect these remote islands to the mainland, providing a vital transportation link for locals and tourists alike. The engineering prowess required to build such a massive structure is truly impressive, and the bridge stands as a testament to human ingenuity.

Manmade vs. Natural Beauty:
One of the main attractions of the Shimanami Kaido is the perfect blend of manmade architecture and natural beauty. As you traverse the bridge, you will be captivated by the stunning views of the sea and the picturesque landscapes of the islands. The bridge itself is a masterpiece of design, with its askew-arched structure adding a unique touch to the surrounding environment. Whether you are drawn to the engineering marvel of the bridge or the awe-inspiring beauty of the sea and islands, the Shimanami Kaido offers an unforgettable experience.

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Cycling the Shimanami Kaido:
Cycling enthusiasts will find the Shimanami Kaido to be a paradise. The bridge system includes dedicated cycling paths that run alongside the main road, allowing cyclists to enjoy the journey at their own pace. The well-maintained paths provide a smooth and comfortable ride, and there are plenty of spots along the way to rest and admire the view. The cycling experience on the Shimanami Kaido is not just about the destination but also about the journey itself. As you pedal across the bridge, you will be treated to panoramic views of the sea, the islands, and the surrounding landscapes. It is a truly immersive and exhilarating experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

Scenic Views and Observation Points:
Throughout the Shimanami Kaido, there are several observation decks and points that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding area. One notable observation platform is the Hanaguri Seto observation platform on Omishima. From this vantage point, you can marvel at the expanse of the Seto Inland Sea and the intricate network of islands that dot its surface. Another must-visit spot is Mt. Kiro on Oshima, which provides a panoramic view of the bridge and its surroundings. These observation points allow visitors to appreciate the scale and beauty of the bridge and its impact on the surrounding environment.

Attractions on the Islands:
In addition to the bridge itself, the islands connected by the Shimanami Kaido offer a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Each island has its own unique charm and attractions, ranging from historical sites and cultural landmarks to natural wonders and delicious local cuisine. Mukaishima is known for its beautiful beaches and scenic coastal landscapes, while Innoshima boasts historical sites such as the Innoshima Suigun Castle. Ikuchijima is famous for its citrus groves and the stunning Kosanji Temple, while Omishima is home to the Omishima Museum of Art and the Hirayama Ikuo Museum of Art. Hakatajima is known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and Oshima offers opportunities for hiking and exploring its rugged terrain. With so much to see and do on each island, visitors can easily spend days exploring the unique attractions and immersing themselves in the local culture.

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COVID-19 Considerations:
It is important to note that the information provided may be subject to change due to COVID-19. Before visiting the Shimanami Kaido, it is advisable to check for any travel restrictions, safety guidelines, and updated information from official sources. The health and safety of visitors and locals should always be a top priority, and it is essential to follow any guidelines or regulations in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

The Shimanami Kaido is an architectural masterpiece that seamlessly connects six islands in the Seto Inland Sea. With its dedicated cycling paths, scenic views, and numerous attractions, it offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers. Whether you are a cycling enthusiast looking for an exhilarating adventure or a nature lover seeking breathtaking landscapes, the Shimanami Kaido has something to offer everyone. From the engineering marvel of the bridge itself to the natural beauty of the surrounding sea and islands, this destination is a true gem in Japan’s architectural and natural wonders. Plan your visit, immerse yourself in the beauty of the Shimanami Kaido, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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