Experience Japan with highway buses!
Visit Imabari via Overnight Bus

Imabari is the gateway to the cycling mecca of Setouchi Shimanami Kaido(EXPWY) – a 70km-long bike-friendly highway linking Imabari in Ehime Prefecture with Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture via seven bridges across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. Why not see a different part of Japan and save time and money getting there with an overnight bus?

Comprising four prefectures, the island of Shikoku in west Japan is packed with wonderful things to see and do and a must-see destination for travelers tired of the typical tours to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, or those that only take in Mt. Fuji or Takayama. We certainly recommend you visit the island at least once in your lifetime.

1. Shimanami Kaido one-night plan
2. Hiroshima circuit plan
3. Day trip plan (for those stretched for time)

1. Shimanami Kaido one-night plan

You can ride the whole 70km across the Shimanami Kaido in a single day or stay a night on one of the islands. There are accommodation facilities on the islands where you can enjoy some delicious local seafood. It is also worth staying a night just to watch the beautiful sunset and sunrise.

    8:20 p.m. Depart Shibuya Mark City Highway Bus Terminal

   Highway bus reservation  

8:10 a.m. Arrive at Imabari (Imabari Station bus stop)
Take local bus bound for Ohama via Koura [About 30 min ride] Get off at Observatory Entrance bus stop [100m walk]

     Rent bike from "Sunrise Itoyama rental service"

    Cycle across Shimanami Kaido

   

    Stay overnight    Recommended guesthouses and lodgings

     Recommended sightseeing spots in Imabari

    2nd Day Get on the highway bus from Imabari Station bus stop and leave for Tokyo.

   Highway bus reservation  

    Arrive at Shibuya Mark City Highway Bus Terminal

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Tatara Bridge
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Oyamazumi Shrine
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Sunset in Omishima

2. Hiroshima circuit plan

After cycling the Shimanami Kaido, take a bus to Matsuyama’s Dogo Hot Spring, one of Japan’s oldest. Do some sightseeing in Matsuyama before catching a ferry to Hiroshima. See the sights of Hiroshima (such as Hiroshima Peace Memorial or Miyajima) and then fly back to Tokyo from Hiroshima Airport.

    8:20 p.m. Depart Shibuya Mark City Highway Bus Terminal

   Highway bus reservation  

8:10 a.m. Arrive at Imabari (Imabari Station bus stop)
Take local bus bound for Ohama via Koura [About 30 min ride] Get off at Observatory Entrance bus stop [100m walk]

     Rent bike from "Sunrise Itoyama rental service"

    Set off from Sunrise Itoyama bike rental

    Cycle across Shimanami Kaido

    Return bike / see sights on Omishima. Take bus to Dogo Hot Spring in Matsuyama.

    Local Setouchi bus [About 2hr 15min ride]

    Sightseeing in Matsuyama

    Matsuyama Sightseeing Port  

   1hr 17min trip by ferry

    Arrive at Hiroshima. Sightseeing in Hiroshima

 Fly or take Shinkansen back to Tokyo
*You can also take the Shinkansen to Osaka (Kansai International Airport) and Nagoya (Chubu Centrair International Airport) regions

    Arrive at Tokyo

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Dogo Hot Spring
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Cruising by Matsushima Sightseeing Ferry
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Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome
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Itsukushima Shrine

3. Day trip plan (for those stretched for time)

You could also tour the islands, return to Imabari and see the local sights there (such as Imabari Castle or the Imabari Towel store), and then catch the highway bus back to Shibuya Mark City Highway Bus Terminal (arriving at 6:30am the next morning).

    8:20 p.m. Depart Shibuya Mark City Highway Bus Terminal

   Highway bus reservation  

8:10 a.m. Arrive at Imabari (Imabari Station bus stop)
Take local bus bound for Ohama via Koura [About 30 min ride] Get off at Observatory Entrance bus stop [100m walk]

     Rent bike from "Sunrise Itoyama rental service"

    Cycle across Shimanami Kaido

   

    3:00 p.m. Return to Imabari and see the sights
Recommended sightseeing spots in Imabari

   

    6:35 p.m. Leave Imabari Station bus stop

   Highway bus reservation  

    6:30 a.m. Arrive at Shibuya Mark City Highway Bus Terminal

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Shibuya Mark City Highway Bus Terminal
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Shimanami Kaido
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Imabari Towel Head Office – Japan's number one towel brand

Bike Rental

Sunrise Itoyama  

Sunrise Itoyama is located at the starting point of the Shimanami Kaido cycling route. Various types of bikes are available for hire and the shop will let you conveniently return your bike to any of the many terminals along the route.
Given that Sunrise Itoyama also has lodging facilities, it is a good place to start your cycling adventure.

Baggage

Lockers are available. Sunrise Itoyama can also look after bags too big for the lockers. This service is available 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Sagawa Express courier service offers same-day delivery between participating hotels. A service request form must be filled in before 9:00 a.m.
more details  

Other bike rental services

GIANT Store Imabari@JR Imabari station
Shimanami Rental Bike

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Sunrise Itoyama

Recommended spots to visit along the way

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Oyamazumi Shrine: Important cultural assets, natural monuments, and national treasures
 Google map
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Ikuchi-jima: Hirayama Ikuo Museum of Art
 Google map
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Kirosantenbo Park: The best views of Shimanami Kaido
 Google map


Recommended sightseeing spots in Imabari

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Imabari Towel Head Office: High quality towels from Imabari, Japan’s biggest towel-manufacturing region
 Google map
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Imabari Castle: A castle on the sea with Japan’s largest inlet for boats
 Google map
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Local Imabari delicacy: Grilled pork and egg on rice

Popular local yakitori (grilled chicken) shops

Below are a few of the yakitori shops recommended by the locals. Yakitori in Imabari is grilled on a hotplate (instead of on skewers over charcoal).

Takahashi Yakitori

Cheap and tasty. Enjoy the view of the illuminated Imabari Castle while you eat.
 Google map

Kikutori

Conveniently located near the station. Great-tasting food and friendly staff make this restaurant very popular.
 Google map

Toribayashi

A favorite spot of the locals. The combination of meat and sweet sauce is delectable.
 Google map

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We also recommend using buses

You can also take a bus across the Shimanami Kaido from Imabari (Ehime) to Onomichi (Hiroshima). If you tire out after cycling part of the way, you can return your bike on one of the islands and catch a bus for the rest of the way.

Highway Bus – Shimanami Cycle Express

Imabari (Ehime)     Onomichi (Hiroshima)
Fare: ¥2,250
Time table
*Please note the timetable and information about bus stops may be changed without notice.

Tickets can be purchased onboard (no reservation required)

・Please note that all seats are non-reserved so you may be refused service if the bus is at full capacity.
Note: Passengers can only board the bus between Imabari Station and Omishima island and cannot get off until Setoda parking area. Passengers wishing to visit Oshima or Hakatajima islands must take the bus to Setoda first and then backtrack by local bus or bike.

Timetable

Recommended guesthouses and lodgings