Golden Week 2013 Tour Feedback - (Shikoku, Kyushu)

Malte

Maximum Pace
Sep 26, 2011
496
54
48
Tokyo
#1
Hi everyone,

I plan to do the following Tour during GW through Shikoku and Kyushu.
  • Day1: Onomichi to Susaki [217km / 2590m]
    • Shimanami Kaido (Bridges)
    • Kanpuzan Tunnel
  • Day2: Susaki to Uwajima[193km / 1940m]
    • Along the Coast
    • Cross to Kyushu by Ferry
  • Day3: Usuki to Nogata[185km / 2300m]
    • Mizuwake Toge
    • Yakushi Toge

Any experience and recommendations?
Cheers,
Malte
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,141
43
68
Kochi
#2
Malte, to give any feedback, really need to know what you are wanting to do with the ride. Is it climb, traverse Shikoku, visit Shimanto, sightsee??? For instance, if you plan on sightseeing, then you need to allow a lot of time for the Shimanami section, as very tempting to stop for a long time and just enjoy the view. If you plan to climb, then just before 168km, you can turn right and go along the skyline all the way to Ishizuchi-san...quite impressive...but depends on visibility - came back that way (by car) from the Ishizuchi hill-climb. The descent from 169-175 wasn`t pleasant though...even in the car. I`m not sure if the gradient/altitude given btwn 166/168 is correct.

Most obvious suggestion, is to plan an alternative, as if the weather is bad, I wouldn`t recommend the climb over the 194...though if you use the tunnel, it only goes up to @700m, so not so bad...but the tunnel is loonngg, so not nice from the look of it, but not been through it, so can`t comment on rideability.
 

Malte

Maximum Pace
Sep 26, 2011
496
54
48
Tokyo
#4
Malte, to give any feedback, really need to know what you are wanting to do with the ride. Is it climb, traverse Shikoku, visit Shimanto, sightsee??? For instance, if you plan on sightseeing, then you need to allow a lot of time for the Shimanami section, as very tempting to stop for a long time and just enjoy the view. If you plan to climb, then just before 168km, you can turn right and go along the skyline all the way to Ishizuchi-san...quite impressive...but depends on visibility - came back that way (by car) from the Ishizuchi hill-climb. The descent from 169-175 wasn`t pleasant though...even in the car. I`m not sure if the gradient/altitude given btwn 166/168 is correct.

Most obvious suggestion, is to plan an alternative, as if the weather is bad, I wouldn`t recommend the climb over the 194...though if you use the tunnel, it only goes up to @700m, so not so bad...but the tunnel is loonngg, so not nice from the look of it, but not been through it, so can`t comment on rideability.
It does not need to be climbing, I like nice mountain roads as well as beautiful coast lines.
I usually don't like to get off the bike too often during a tour.
So is Kochi area very rainy in April/May? Is the north coast safer from the weather standpoint?
Which coast stretch is worth riding? I read that the Shimanto river is nice, but what's about the area around Tosashimizu?

If I don't cross the mountains, maybe this is a better alternative: The problem with flexibility is also that I better book my hotel before (as it might be full over GW).
 
May 22, 2007
3,571
1,390
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#5
I'm told (by a former resident) that the section between Uwajima and Matsuyama is dull, dull, dull - apart from Sadamisaki which is worth a detour.

If you fancy another detour you can ride all the way 'round Takaneshima island. I think it's nicer to go the longer way round the islands on the Shimanami-kaido. The headland north of Imabari is nice, too.

You'll find lots of little fishing villages having 'appease the gods' festivals. There's one we happened upon two years ago with the villagers working all morning to weave a huge rope (and weave their prayers into it). They then hang the rope between two nearby islands, linking them, and replacing the rope they made last year.

Shimantogawa is exquisite.

My movies from Shikoku (part 1/part 2), and Shikoku again. Photos from Kyushu.
 

Jayves

Speeding Up
Nov 20, 2009
115
3
38
Yokohama
jayves-rando.blogspot.jp
#6
Kind of agree with Half-Fast Mike. This was one of the reason I opted to take the train from Imabari to Uwajima couple of years ago after the Island hopping in Shimanami. I use the time to loop Umajima to Cape Ashizuri via Shimantogawa downstream and back to Umajima along the coast.
 

Malte

Maximum Pace
Sep 26, 2011
496
54
48
Tokyo
#7
Thanks for all the tips. I reworked my route again and also made it a 4 day trip.

Day1: Onomichi to Imabari [ 183km / ]
  • Shimanami Kaido (Bridges)
  • loop around the island
  • take the train to Umajima
Day2: Uwajima to Cape Ashizuri [ 172km / ]
  • via Shimantogawa (Is it worth doing the dash to Tasataicho?)
Day3: Cape Ashizuri to Yawatahama [ 196km / ]
  • along the Coast
  • with some small hills in between
  • take the ferry to Usuki

Day4: Usuki to Nogata[185km / 2300m]
  • Mizuwake Toge
  • Yakushi Toge
Here are the maps:
Day1:
Day2:
Day3:
Day4:
 
May 22, 2007
3,571
1,390
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#8
Thanks for all the tips. I reworked my route again and also made it a 4 day trip.
I think you're really going to enjoy that. The almost-abandoned loops on the Shimantogawa, where the road cuts through a tunnel, are great for spotting monkeys, snakes, boars, and Alpinis. (OK maybe not the last one.)
 
Likes: ikedawilliams

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,141
43
68
Kochi
#10
Sorry, didn`t mean to put you off your original route! It should be fine, but if the weather is bad, that descent I mentioned is single lane, twisty, steep, littered with debris (speaking from memory). And all the way from Hiroshima airport to Sakawa in one day, was a big ask. But I agree that spending a whole day exploring Shimanami is much better. And also, taking the bus from the airport to Onomichi (as your route implies) is a better idea. The weather for early May should be fine, but then who knows...been pissing it down today. As for the hotels, book soon...apparently the in-laws couldn`t find a hotel in Kochi, so they are staying with us :eek: likely story me thinks...

There are specific bike-only sections on Shimanami, and they do have an official route for bicycles, but any way you want to go should be fine. They have organised events across, and the one from Shikoku follows this route, and the one from Onomichi..sorry, can`t find the link at the mo. There is a whole facebook page on Shimanami Kaido Touring/Bicycle information here

As for Shimanto/Ashizuri, haven`t actually made it that far yet...but again there is a 2-day event (12,000 Yen...no thanks) and the course they follow is here.
Also, a Tour de Ainan is commencing this year, and that might have some course information. Their site is here
The above two sites might also have lists of recommended hotels in the area.
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,002
176
83
Tokyo
#12
Shimanto to Ashizuri coastal roads is very flat and it might be nicer to ride clockwise on the Ocean side...
I'll be back to hit the inside of Shikoku someday
 
Jun 5, 2009
7
0
11
Kobe, Japan
#13
Looks like you have planned a good route! Uwajishima, Shikoku, Kyushu and your ferry plans all look great. I have one suggestion for your route from Oita City to Yufuin. I noticed you are taking route 210 over the pass. I highly recommend NOT using this section of route 210. I would suggest taking the pass on the Opposite side of Mt. Yufu. It is much more beautiful and bicycle friendly. Also, great place to see deer, wild boar, monkeys and ghosts.

From Oita City take the bike path along the coast to Beppu (only 7-8 km), route 500 out of Beppu, route 616 and 617 through Myoban, Tsukahara and then to Yufuin.

For more detailed information, please feel free to contact me through this link. www.japancyclingtours.com/contact-us.html
 

Ceryx

Warming-Up
Apr 25, 2013
2
0
1
37
#15
I am planning to do a similar route during Golden Week as well but head south from Usuki and turn towards Miyazaki and on to Kagoshima. Does anyone have any experience with the roads from Usuki to Nobeoka? The coastal road #388 seems to have a lot of tunnels whereas #326 seems to have more hill climbing.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Jun 5, 2009
7
0
11
Kobe, Japan
#16
Sorry, I just saw this. Hope it's not too late. Best route is from Usuki to Tsukumi use the the small mountain route 217 (not the main route 217). From Tsukumi to Saiki use the main route 217 (there are small roads around the tunnels and/or all tunnels have sidewalks). From Saiki to Kamae use route 37. From Kamae take route 388 and then swith to route 122. Route 122 will run back into 388 which you will use to get to Nobeoka.
This is one of my favorite rides. Hope you enjoy!
www.japancyclingtours.com/contact-us.html
 

Ceryx

Warming-Up
Apr 25, 2013
2
0
1
37
#17
Eric,

Thanks for the information. I ended up going to Beppu and then through Yamanami Highway (2nd time) then to Kumamoto and back through Aso up to Gokase and Takachiho along the 218 to Nobeoka. I bent the rim of my back tire on some abandoned inaka road (Thanks google maps!) somewhere in-between Hyuga and Miyazaki trying to avoid the 10. Next time I go I will take the 388 coastal route and skip Hyuga to Miyazaki and go down to Nichinan.
 

tho

Cruising
Dec 1, 2010
16
6
13
kagoshima
#18
Hi Malte,

Did you do your GW 2013 Shikoku - Kyushu trip ? Could you post your track log ?
I'm planning a similar trip and would be very interested !

Thanks,
Thomas
 

Malte

Maximum Pace
Sep 26, 2011
496
54
48
Tokyo
#19
Hi Thomas,

yes I did - here are the logs:
Day1: GW2013 - Onomichi to Imabari: link
Day2: GW2013 - Uwajima to Cape Ahizuri via Shimanto River: link
Day3: GW2013 - Cape Ahizuri to Yawatahama: link
Day4: GW2013 - Beppu to Aso: link

It was a great trip!
Malte
 
Likes: tho