Ohmishima to Onomichi

(45 KMs)

Sunday 29th October

Ohmishima - Onomichi

Completing the seven bridges

Farmor served us a light breakfast a little before 8am.  We didn’t rush to leave so our washing was dry before packing it away.  It was another glorious day and we were soon approaching our first bridge, the cable-stayed Tatara Bridge.  As we climbed towards it, I noticed two Japanese guys lift their bikes over a fence and take a side road. We then spotted the Tatara Observatory Deck and decided to do the same, though we parked our bikes near the same fence and walked to the top.  The views were amazing and we could see the cycling infrastructure that made the bridges so accessible. 

We were soon on Ikuchijima Island, which is the leading producer of domestically grown lemons, and we spotted the odd lemon as well as a random T-Rex sculpture. The route took us along the coast to Setoda Sunset beach where we stopped for our morning coffee and admired the stack of coffee cups.  Simon wasn’t in to having his photo taken on the beer-swilling man’s lap.

Further along we reached Setoda Port with its yellow bridge to Koneshima Island and cycled along the Shiomachi Shopping street, with its restaurants, but it was too early for lunch.  It was a good time for an ice cream though and we stopped at Dolce to try their home made icecream - selecting to share fig, chocolate hazelnut and salted milk icecream.  A winning combination that we enjoyed looking out over the bay.

We could soon see the Ikuchi Bridge, also a cable-stayed bridge, and as we crossed to Innoshima Island, we detoured off the main route to visit Hakka Park, with its garden and nearby Manda fermentation factory, which produces health food products. Apparently they developed the park to improve their profile in the local community.  The gardens were lovely being situated right on the water and there was a little patch growing pineapples. Simon tried to make friends with the goat, but it was more interested in the grass and leaves. We had lunch in the little cafe and I enjoyed my lemon and oyster pasta, whilst Simon had a pork curry.

The wind was picking up as we continued on, passing a brontosaurus before climbing onto the Innoshima bridge, which was a double decker suspension bridge, with bikes on the lower platform.  This took us onto Mukaishima Island where there were lots of people fishing along the edge of the bay.  We followed the route around the island before heading to the ferry to take us across to Onomichi.  Whilst there is a bridge to Onomichi, it is not recommended for bikes as it only has a narrow pedestrian lane and traffic is heavy. 

Once off the ferry, we took a leisurely stroll along the port to our hotel, Urashima Inn.  We were too early to check in but were able to leave our panniers and went for a wander round town.  We passed a coffee shop with an actual espresso machine and chatted to the barista who had a barista friend in Sydney who worked with Only Coffee Project.  We promised to return for a coffee tomorrow. 

The room was compact but had a beautiful view over the Onomichi Channel where we could watch the ferries in action. After showering, we relaxed on the beds (there were no chairs) with a cup of tea to soak in the view before heading out to dinner. 

Dinner was at a nearby Izakaya restaurant, 5 Five, located in a little alleyway and run by a husband and wife team. We ordered some French fries and two of their specialty rice pots with chicken which took 30 minutes to prepare.  Unfortunately she only served one, so we added some fried chicken as we were still hungry.  I also enjoyed my first glass of red wine for the trip.  It was a cold walk home via the 7 Eleven to pick up some yoghurt for breakfast so time to break out the puffer jackets of an evening.