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Anyone rode Shikoku?


Mar 23, 2008

Whilst presently back Down Under, a few months back I came across the TCC site (searching for some info on tires, funny enough) & since then I've enjoyed reading the postings - it brings back fond memories of many hours spent in the saddle in Japan in the 90s, although mainly around Tohoku rather than Kanto.

Anyhow, I'd appreciate feedback from anyone who's done any touring around Shikoku. I plan to be there for a few weeks in November and I'm keen to explore the area by bike. At this stage I was considering sticking to the coast and working my way around the island. I'm fairly open in terms of destinations though, so if anyone can recommend a better 4-5 day tour in Western Japan, I'd be keen to hear.

Cheers, Paul


I haven`t finished uploading photos, but the most recent ones are from my Shikoku trip. I biked from Tokushima south along the coast to Kochi via Muroto Misaki, then up through Koboke-Oboke canyons back to Tokushima. Marvelous ride!

I`ve ridden around southern Kyushu some years back. I`d recommend a Kagoshima-Ibusuki-Kaimon-Chiran-Kagoshima run.
Hi Paul,

How do you feel about mountains ?
Just to add a couple more ideas to the excellent ones described by Phil above:
- The Shikoku "interior", Matsuyama to Tokushima via the Iya valley is wonderful: I cycled this in November a few years ago and the autumn leaves were amazing.
- If you have three weeks available, you could cycle the ancient Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage route - about a 1000 miles. Clean away your sins at the same time.
- North Kyushu: Miyazaki->Takachiho->Aso-san->Yabakei Gorge. Amazing scenery, but Aso-san might be a little chilly? I have a skeleton route of this on Google Maps:


Phil & Steve,

Thanks for the terrific feedback. The route you both seem to be suggesting in Shikoku definitely looks do-able in the time frame I had in mind. I don't know if it's still in print, but my bike bible when living in Japan was Bryan Harrell's Cycling Japan, and he's listed a similar loop - Tokushima, down the coast via Muroto to Kochi, then heading inland up to Iya Onsen, then back to Tokushima. You mentioned an Iya Valley Steve - I presume this must be in the same area as the onsen?

As for the hills, can't really be avoided if you want to get off the beaten track, and the bike's geared low enough anyhow. A last question for you both though - Harrell's guide shows a ferry link out of Tokushima, although to where, it doesn't let on. Did either of you use this?

Again, thanks greatly.

Hi Paul,

For ferries, this link is pretty useful:

There are loads of ferries going to/from Tokushima.

I recall I did go to an onsen in the Iya valley... maybe Iya Valley Onsen !?! Anyway, now I remember, there's also an old Japanese farmhouse that has been restored by the author Alex Kerr - it's called "Chiiori" and is run by volunteers. Wonderful area, so if you get a chance it's worth staying. You might have to help chop up some firewood or something, but they'll give you a lift down to (and back up from) the onsen. If you ask them they'll send you a map. Contactable via:

Cheers Steve


You've been more than generous with your advice. Thanks for taking the time.

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