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~2 Week tour of Shikoku

BAPEsta_SWE

Warming-Up
Dec 17, 2021
4
2
Hi all!

I’ve had the vision of doing a cycling tour in Japan since early 2019 but we all know why that hasn’t been possible yet. At first the idea was to ride around Awaji but after becoming a more and more avid cyclist I’ve realized that Awaji is far too small. Recently I sat down and started really looking through a possible route, but this time on Shikoku. This is what I’ve come up with. The distances seem doable and I am aware of the elevation changes, especially with the 1st leg that will be both long and steep (5m to 1400m above sea level). But what I do not know is if I am missing out on some Need-to-see places that I can not miss. So please, give me tips or alternate routes, I’d be incredibly grateful!

I am not a huge fan of cities and am more interested in riding in nature and stopping in smaller villages or towns. I’ve tried to find cheap or free campgrounds to stay at and I will bring my own tent to keep the costs down but when I stop for more than one night I will go for a cheap hotel where I can do laundry and such. During the Shimanami Kaido leg I’ve found a hotel on Ikuchi Island that looks neat and in a nice price range, not terribly expensive and not too cheap. Suggestions are welcome!

1st rough route plan:

This is all a rough plan by now and I’m not really expecting to do this until Late April, Early May 2023 or even 2024. My exploring of Osaka will probably be pretty brief as I’m not a fan of cities and when I do visit cities I usually enjoy exploring them with minimal planning. But as a nerdy IKEA employee I will visit both the Osaka and Kobe IKEA warehouses, that’s my only plan in Osaka so far.

Do you bring a light carrying bag with you on the ride to use for ferries/trains or is it easy to get one on the fly? Thinking mainly of one to use for my trip from the Hotel in Osaka to Tokushima and the trip from Onomichi back to Osaka. When checking in my bike for the flight I’ll use a hard case that I will leave at the hotel in Osaka.

Have I missed anything? Is there something you see as being completely crazy or boring? Should I redo some route to really get the full experience?
 
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microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,404
969
By "a light carrying bag" I think you mean one to hold your bike in: a rinkōbukuro. (Read all about these here.) If you're at all like me, you'll be greatly annoyed by having to use such a bag that's either insufficiently [whatever] or excessively [whatever], or, most likely, both. And that's what you're likely to get in a hurry, if you can get anything at all. (Bike stores are realizing that more and more people buy this kind of thing online, so why stock any?) So I'd buy one, and make sure that it's OK for your purpose (and if necessary replace it with one you prefer), well before you leave.

(Sorry, I can't say anything about Shikoku.)
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,582
3,604
a rinkōbukuro. (Read all about these here.)
Indeed. I have had several great cycling adventures in Shikoku. The only drag has been the station staff's insistence that every part of the bike – including the definitely-not-oily saddle – be covered by the bag.
 

BAPEsta_SWE

Warming-Up
Dec 17, 2021
4
2
I will absolutely look into buying a carry case for the train/ferry before I leave for Japan!


Indeed. I have had several great cycling adventures in Shikoku.

Fantastic! Is there something in my plan that you think I should change? Is there any special place I have to go?

I am a bit sad that I don't think I have enough time to go down to Tosashimizu and Cape Ashizuri. I think it will add too much distance to my trip.
 

Cactaur

Maximum Pace
Feb 3, 2014
316
254
For the ferry you just roll on into the car hold. they'll secure it to the side of the bulk head. But yeah you need a rinko for the train.
 

BAPEsta_SWE

Warming-Up
Dec 17, 2021
4
2
It depends what you like. My favorite is to ride along the course of Shimanto-gawa, avoiding all the tunnels and taking the bends in the river instead.
I like varying types of nature. But I would also like to see and experience what makes Shikoku unique if it's along my way.
I will ride along Shimanto river in different sections, I felt like I couldn't miss that!
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
3,265
3,493
Years ago I visited "Iya Valley" on the strength of Alex Kerr's book "Lost Japan". It was spectacular. Look him up online and you could probably arrange to stay in one of his traditional "kayabuki" farmhouses.

Andy
 

BAPEsta_SWE

Warming-Up
Dec 17, 2021
4
2
Years ago I visited "Iya Valley" on the strength of Alex Kerr's book "Lost Japan". It was spectacular. Look him up online and you could probably arrange to stay in one of his traditional "kayabuki" farmhouses.

Andy
Great advice! It's close to my route but I guess I could add one day or cut down the length of another route to fit this in.
 
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