For the foreign cyclist who is coming to Japan, the Tobishimakaido maybe not as famous as its close neighbor, Shimanamikaido. Both routes offer an island hopping experience, meaning that we can move across the islands by using the bridges connecting them.
I’ve experienced cycling in both Shimanamikaido and Tobishimakaido so that I can compare between those two cycling routes. To be noted, I don’t intend to conclude which of the route is better than another.
The Shimanami Kaido, one of the world’s best cycling routes. It spans about 60 km from Onomichi City to Imabari City, crossing six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. The routes are well designed, well-planned, and well integrated to the local tourism map. Therefore, there are many sightseeing spots along the road, such as temples, museums, restaurant, etc. Further, the routes are divided into three categories, let’s just call it as ‘easy’, ‘medium’ and ‘advanced’. For everyone happiness, the steep roads in the ‘easy’ route are mostly (or only) located near or before passing the bridges so the rest of the routes are mostly flat roads. This makes Shimanokaido is a good cycling destination for all ages and gender.
Meanwhile, the Tobishimakaido offers shorter route, about 30 km, crossing five small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. There are few sightseeing spots. Not so many cars as well, unlike in Shimanamikaido. When I visited there, I could only found two sightseeing spots, which are the old town of Mitarai and the Kenminnohama beach. Nevertheless, the beaches and the views along the coastline could be the ultimate sightseeing spots in Tobishimakaido. Unfortunately, there are many steep roads. As for me, the steep roads are challenging and also very exciting but maybe not for the other. Kids or people with less cycling experiences may find difficulties in this route.
To conclude, if you are with family or you have less cycling experience, I highly recommend you to go cycling in Shimanamikaido. But, if you prefer to experience the beaten roads, the views, or the feeling to be very close to the sea, I highly recommend you to drop your wheels at the Tobishimakaido.
The route that I took for Tobishimakaido trip can be seen here:
Enjoy the highlight of the cycling tour of #ngothelhiroshima in Tobishimakaido here: