Shimanami Kaido [しまなみ海道]

Shimanami Kaido
Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido around Innoshima
Shimanami Kaido around Innoshima

Map of Shimanami-kaido

Shimanami Kaido is the nickname of Nishiseto Expressway.
It is one of the expressways connecting Honshu Island and Shikoku Island.

The entrance point of Honshu is Onomichi city, and the one of Shikoku is Imabari city.
The length is 59.4 km.

There are many islands around this area in Seto Inland Sea (Seto Naikai).
This expressway runs through the islands like stepping stones.

The islands are the followings. (From Onomichi side)

Mukaishima (向島), Innoshima (因島), Ikuchijima (生口島),
Ômishima (大三島), Hakatajima (伯方島), Ôshima (大島)

The first three islands are in Hiroshima Prefecture, and the last three islands are in Ehime Prefecture.

Of course, when we run on this route by car, we can enjoy the views of the sea and islands in Seto Naikai.

And, one or two exits are set up on each island, the we can tour around the islands.

Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road
Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road
Photo : Hiroshima Prefectural Tourism Federation

Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road
Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road

There are seven large bridges across the sea on the route, and six of them have the way for pedestrians and bicycles.
(The bridge between Onomichi and Mukaishima island doesn't have it.)

For cyclists, Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road is set up.

It also connects Onimichi and Imabari through above islands, and the length is about 70 km.

The route passes the six bridges, general roads, and the roads for bicycle, and is highly valued from abroad.

Go Shimanami

Popular sightseeing spots in the islands

Innoshima Suigun Castle
Innoshima Suigun Castle

Inside of Innoshima Suigun Castle
Inside of Suigun Castle

Innoshima Suigun Castle (因島水軍城) is the re-created castle of sea troops (Suigun) in the 14th to 16th centuries.
It is located about 2.5 km from Innoshima-kita exit of the expressway.

Murakami family was active as sea troop in this area of Seto Naikai in the period.
They were pirates, but contracted to guard the sea from the lords.

Inside of the castle is the museum about sea troop.

Koyomon of Kosanji
Koyomon of Kosanji
Photo : Hiroshima Prefectural Tourism Federation

Hondo of Kosanji
Hondo of Kosanji
Photo : Hiroshima Prefectural Tourism Federation

Kôsanji (耕三寺) is a Buddhist temple of Jodo-Shinshu, a school of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan.
It is located at the northwest part in Ikuchijima, and is by the route of the Cycling Road.

A successful businessman became a priest for his dead mother, and founded this temple in 1936.

All buildings in the temple grounds are modeled after the famous historic structures in Japan.

Koyomon gate (孝養門) looks like gorgeous Yomeimon in Nikko Toshogu Shrine.
So this temple is called "Westeen Nikko".

Hondo (本堂, Main hall) looks like Byodo-in in Uji city.

Buddha statue moved from Kofukuji in Nara
Buddha statue moved from Kofukuji in Nara
Photo by Railstation.net

Five-storied pagoda of Kosanji
Five-storied pagoda of Kosanji
Photo by Railstation.net

Five-storied pagoda (五重塔) looks like Murouji in Nara Prefecture.

The temple is not so old, but 15 buildings in the precinct are designated as important cultural properties.

In addition, Kosanji Museum is by the temple and quality antique arts are displayed.

Kosanji Museum

How to get here

The express buses are operated between Fukuyama station and Imabari station.
It takes about 1 hour and 35 minutes, and the buses stop in each island.

To Suigun Castle, at Innoshima-ohashi stop, change the bus to the route bus running around Innoshima.

To Kosanji, at Setoda stop, change to the route bus running around Ikuchijima.

Hotels around Shimanami Kaido

Hotels in Onomichi Hotels in Imabari

Other Tourist Attractions in Hiroshima Prefecture

Other Tourist Attractions in Ehime Prefecture

Return to Hiroshima Prefecture Return to Chugoku Region

Return to Ehime Prefecture Return to Shikoku Region

Other prefectures in Chugoku Region