72 kilometers by bike, in 10 hours. This was the middle point of our journey through Japan. Actually, Jake and I had planned on more hiking and biking than we actually did, but this ride was almost more than we had bargained for!
The bike path starts in Hiroshima prefecture, spanning 6 tiny islands and massive suspension bridges, ending in Imabari city on the island of Shikoku. In order to do it all, we rented 2 bikes for 2 days and stayed at a hot spring beach hostel. Covered by orange and lemon groves, Innoshima was probably the most remote of our entire trip. And we sampled the oranges too as we rode through the little towns nestled in these islands. (See a pic below for the entire route.)
With heavy packs on our backs, we still managed to locate the hostel on day one and get a well-deserved hot spring bath to soothe our aching muscles. I honestly don’t know if we could have finished cycling the other 3 islands the next day if we didn’t have that chance for some deep relaxation.
The next morning we had a very ambitious itinerary. Finish biking the rest of the path (5 hours), hop on a train at noon to Yawatahama port (3 hours), and then take a ferry to Beppu (3 hours). Luckily my good friends, the Omata family, were at Beppu ferry terminal waiting for us. We made it there around 8pm, after starting our bike ride at 7:30am. Exhausted, and ready to die, my dear friends picked us up and brought us to their home in the mountains of Oita.