Japan’s most intriguing cycle route links 6 small islands in steps across the Seto Inland Sea.
Cycling enthusiasts should take the Shimanami Kaido, a long toll road that connects six small islands in steps across the Seto Inland Sea linking Honshu and Shikoku. The route was opened in 1999 and is an amazing feat of engineering.
In addition to a highway, a separate 70km cycle route was built that detours from the highway so that cyclists can enjoy the beauty of each island. The cycle is relatively flat so even intermediate riders can manage the route in one day, although there are some lovely traditional ryokan on the islands in case you want to break up the ride. Bicycles can be rented from terminals at either end of the route, and if you run into a problem, staff from the nearest terminal will come to your rescue.