Slow Tour comes to Japan: Day 3

Imabari to Ikidane Cyclist Hostel and Cafe

Day 3 saw us start from Imabari on the Shimanami Kaido. Once again no GPX file is required because all you need to do is find the blue line and follow it. Although, we did take a nice quiet detour along the shoreline.

The Shimanami Kaido route involves seven islands, six bridges and one ferry. The islands we visited were:

  • Umashima
  • Oshima
  • Hakatajima
  • Omishima
  • Ikuchijima
  • Innoshima
  • Mukaishima

We decided to complete the route in two days. Staying at the Ikidane Cyclist Hostel and Cafe on Omishima Island.

Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge

O.k. you say its a bridge, so what? Well, I respond that the bridge is 4105 metres long , it crosses a beautiful part of the world, and has a special cycling lane! This is certainly one of the highlights of the ride – and it was the first thing we did out of Imabari.

Just to emphasis how good the bridge was we took a 7km diversion up and down and a mountain (o.k. maybe it was a big hill) to get some good photos for you.

Lunch

We had plans to visit a special pizza restaurant, but our hilly excursion meant that we were running a little late. Fortunately we called ahead to find out that were out of pizzas in any case!

Quick consultation of Google found a lunch place that was open. When we arrived it look like a run down cabin. But as the doors opened and classical music poured out a gentle woman greeted us. On the menu was one item only – Keema Curry. The setting was perfect. She prepared our curry and collected cut herbs from the garden for our curry and our drinks. We sat outside enjoyed to good food, good weather and good company.

To Ikidane Cyclist Hostel

Fortunately the rest of the ride was not as hilly or as hard as the first part of the ride. The Ikidane Cyclist Hostel should be renamed Cyclist Heaven. It only opened in May and provides great facilities. Most importantly, it offers wonderful food! It is, in my mind, closer to a ryokan and than a western hostel.

Just before the Hostel is a the local Cyclist Sanctuary with food, gifts and orange juice. You might not know but this region is famous for mikan (oranges) and salt!

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