Shikoku/Shimanami/Hiroshima – Relaxed

Bound by the major islands of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, the Seto Inland Sea (Setonaikai) is the largest inland sea in Japan. With its calm sea surface and mild climate, the Sea and its surrounding areas have prospered as an important shipping lane since ancient times, and are full of sites of scenic and historical interest. On this trip, we explore islands and surrounding areas of the Seto Inland Sea, riding along picturesque coast of the Sea dotted with numerous islands, visiting historical and cultural sites, enjoying great food. En route, we ride across the Sea using the Shimanami Highway, the most popular cycling course in Japan which stretches across the Sea from Shikoku to Onomichi on Honshu. Our tour ends in Hiroshima with visits to the Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima, both registered with the list of UNESCO’s world cultural heritage sites.

  • Meet/Depart:  Osaka/Hiroshima
  • Trip Length:  8 days 7 nights
  • Level:  RELAXED
  • Price per Person:  340,000JPY   (for currency converter click HERE)
  • Single Supplement:  20,000JPY
  • Ave. Temperature (High/Low) :  Mar 14/5C (57/41F)   Apr 17/8C (63/46F)  Oct 21/12C (70/54F) Nov 16/7C (61/45F)
  • Minimum number of guests required for guaranteed departure: 4
2019  October 25-November 1 FULL

: Guaranteed departure

  • Enjoy relaxed rides, mostly on flat terrains encompassing a few gentle hills.
  • Cycle across the Seto Inland Sea on Shimanami Kaido, the most popular cycling route in Japan with breathtaking views of the Seto Inland Sea dotted with small islands.
  • A variety of local cuisine featuring fresh and local ingredients.
  • Stay at a traditional hot spring spa town of Dogo, said to be the oldest in Japan with 3,000years history.
  • Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial, an UNESCO’s world cultural heritage site and its Museum, and appreciate the preciousness of peace.
  • Visit Miyajima, known as one of the three most beautiful sights in Japan and UNESCO’s world cultural heritage site.
  • All lodgings on a twin-share basis. A limited number of single-occupancy rooms are available for an additional charge on most tours. If you are a single traveler, please inquire for room availability and a single supplemental charge.
  • Meals (7 breakfasts, and 6 dinners. Lunch is not included.)
  • Guide and van support
  • Rental cross bike
  • Any ground and ferry transportation (except for private taxis)
  • Admissions to temples, museums and historical attractions
  • Oka Tours custom cycling jersey and a water bottle

Trip Itinerary

We meet at a hotel in Osaka in the morning and transfer by train and ferry to the island of Shodoshima. Our warm-up ride starts along the northern coastline of this beautiful island, which is known for olive cultivation, soy sauce production and Mediterranean atmosphere. We ride at a leisurely pace enjoying views of beautiful Seto Inland Sea. Tonight we stay at a Japanese-style hotel with magnificent ocean views from guest rooms. (Dinner included)
In the morning we head inland and cycle to a beautiful farm village of Hitoyama. There is some climb followed by nice descent to the southern coast of the island. Then we continue cycling along the rugged coastline and stop by a soy sauce factory to see its production facilities. After soy sauce tasting, we ride to Kusakabe port to catch a ferry to Shikoku. It is about one hour journey from Kusakabe to Takamatsu. Once in Takamatsu, we ride to the beautiful Ritsurin Garden. Tonight we stay at a western-style hotel which is conveniently located in the central Takamatsu. (Breakfast and dinner included)
After breakfast, we hop on a local train and head to Kotohira. We visit Kotohiragu Shrine, the most celebrated shrine in Shikoku. The access route to the Main Sanctuary has some 785 steps and is not an easy climb. The view back over the town from the main Hongu shrine at the point of the 785th step is especially impressive after the climb. After lunch we are on a 2-hour train journey to Matsuyama. We stay at a ryokan (Japanese-style inn) in Dogo Onsen (natural hot spring bath), the oldest onsen in Japan which is said to have 3,000 year history. (Breakfast and dinner included)
After departing from the hotel we visit the Matsuyama Castle which provides an excellent, original example of Japanese feudal castles. We then cycle out of Matsuyama city past rice paddy fields. Eventually we reach the coast and ride along the coastline with views of picturesque Seto Inland Sea dotted with small islands. Today, we stay in Imabari city, access point to the Shimanami Highway. The city is famous for good foods such as fresh seafood from the Kurushima strait or yakitori (charcoal-grilled chicken). We stay at a western-style hotel. (Breakfast and dinner included)
Today we set off for a cycling journey from Shikoku to Honshu across the Seto Inland Sea. For two days, we ride on the Shimanami Highway which has become the best recommended cycling course in Japan. Most parts of the Highway have dedicated cycling paths and offers cyclists to enjoy relaxed rides with spectacular “island-hopping” rides over six islands connected by bridges. Tonight we stay at a ryokan (Japanese-style inn) on a small island. (Breakfast and dinner included)

We continue our journey on Shimanami Highway to Onomichi city amid citrus orchards and fishing villages. We conclude cycling on Mukaishima and approach Onomichi city by ferry. Onomichi is a quaint city which has long flourished due to a brisk maritime trade. You can watch small ferries passing through narrow Onomichi strait and enjoy the city’s nostalgic port town atmosphere. We stay at a western-style hotel on a water-front. We have dinner at a local restaurant featuring fresh seafood and celebrate our successful rides. (Breakfast and dinner included)
We spend the morning exploring the city of Onomichi which is characterized by its many slopes and temples. We walk through narrow lanes and stopping by several temples. If your legs are not worn out, we can walk up to the hilltop of Senkoji Park and enjoy a bird-eye view of the city. After an hour train journey from Onomichi, we reach Hiroshima at around noon. We visit the Peace Memorial Park and the Museum. Evening is your free time. Hiroshima offers a number of gastronomical pleasures, including oysters and Hiroshima-style ‘okonomi-yaki,’ unique flour crepes fried with vegetables and noodles. We stay at a western-style hotel which is conveniently located in the city center. (Breakfast included)
After breakfast, we travel by local train and ferry to Miyajima island. It is a scenic site in which the mountains, sea, and red shrine buildings blend together in harmony. It is considered to be one of the three most beautiful sights in Japan and also inscribed as a UNESCO’s world cultural heritage site. After lunch we head back to Hiroshima. It is time to say good-bye. You will be escorted by our guide to Hiroshima train station where you can catch a bullet train for your next destination. (Breakfast included)