Getting to the Shimanami Kaido, Onomichi City, and Takehara City

Getting to the Shimanami Kaido, Onomichi City, and Takehara City

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Getting to the Shimanami Kaido, Onomichi City, and Takehara City

The popularity of cycling the Shimanami Kaido has been growing immensely over the years thanks to the promotion of the cycling route by both the Japanese Government and social media widely.

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is just how to best get to the Shimanami Kaido. From flying directly in to transiting to it from different parts of Japan.

In this article will address all the ways to get to and from the Shimanami Kaido and how to best integrate it into your next trip to Japan.

What’s Fastest Way to Get to the Shimanami Kaido?

In short, if cost is no concern the fastest way to the Shimanami Kaido from an international flight is to fly directly into Hiroshima Airport (HIJ). Once at the airport a 30min taxi ride will take you to Onomichi City for around 15,000yen ($140USD).

For those coming from another part of Japan, the Shinkansen Bullet Trains will almost certainly be easier and faster than flying.

For those who cannot get direct flights into Hiroshima Airport, you will almost certainly be better off flying into Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (KIX). From here you transfer into Osaka City, take the bullet train to Fukuyama Station, and then the local Sanyo Line to Onomichi Station.

This will take around 3hrs and cost just over 10,000yen. Sample Itinerary

We like to end our trips in Takehara City. For information on how to get from Takehara to other parts of Japan please scroll down to the section on Takehara below.

For more detailed information on each way to get to and from the Shimanami Kaido, please see the below descriptions of each way to get to Onomichi from around Japan.

Flying into Onomichi & the Shimanami Kaido

Hiroshima Airport | HIJ (30min by car/taxi or 1hr by bus)

For those looking to get right to the Shimanami Kaido directly from their flight into Japan there are a few choices.

Flying into Hiroshima Airport | HIJ

Possibly the fastest, and certainly the closest airport is Hiroshima International Airport.

Situated about 30km directly west of Onomichi City, the start point of the Shimanami Kaido, Hiroshima Airport is the most direct way to fly in.

That said, unfortunately there is no direct train or bus from Hiroshima Airport to Onomichi City.

Taxi (cost 13,000-16,000yen)

The best way to make this transfer is by taxi (or bike!). The fare for one way from Hiroshima Airport to Onomichi City is generally around 13,000-16,000 yen (roughly $100-$150USD).

For those that want to cycle from Hiroshima Airport to Onomichi, the airport also has a bike aid station right in the airport, pretty cool!

Public Transit Option (cost 1,200yen)

As for busses & trains, the best way is to take the airport bus down to Shiraichi Station, then train to Mihara Station, and then transfer trains to Onomichi Station. This takes around 2 hours, see Sample Itinerary.

Cycling Route Hiroshima Airport to Onomichi City (cost free!)

Did you know, Hiroshima Airport has a cycling route actually built around the airport? (see link below)

As with much of Japan, the most direct route is often the one with the most traffic and least scenic and enjoyable to ride. This is largely true of cycling from Hiroshima Airport to Onomichi City.

Luckily there are some small modifications that one can make following the below routes to avoid the traffic & get in some beautiful scenic roads as well!

Flatter Route – Hiroshima Airport to Onomichi City Cycling Route (40km | 290m)

A simple mostly direct route with emphasis on staying off busy roads.

Strava Route Download Link

Hilly Route – Hiroshima Airport to Onomichi City Cycling Route (50km | 680m)

Strava Route Download Link

Cycling Route Around Hiroshima Airport (12km | 250m)

Strava Route Download Link

Flying into Osaka’s Kansai International Airport | KIX (3hrs train)

Though counterintuitive it is often easier to take a direct flight into KIX and train from there to Onomichi City thanks to the high speed Shinkansen Bullet Trains in Japan. At 3hrs it is on it’s face longer time than taking a connecting flight of around an hour, but the added airport time and 30min-1hr transit time from Hiroshima Airport often makes for less time once you factor in waiting for connecting flights.

From KIX you will need to take the airport train to Osaka Station, transfer to Shin Osaka Station, then get on the bullet train to Fukuyama Station. From Fukuyama you take the local line to Onomichi Station.

Total Fare is around 11,000yen one way.

Sample Itinerary

Transiting from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima, etc to Onomichi via Train

In general, if you are coming from just about any part of Japan except Hokkaido getting to the Shimanami Kaido is easiest by taking trains from your start point to Onomichi City.

Here is a list of major cities in Japan with links to sample train itineraries, and time it will take to make the transit. You can click the link to see the cost and transfers.

Hiroshima -> Onomichi – 1hr

Osaka -> Onomichi – 1h40

Kyoto -> Onomichi – 1h50

Fukuoka -> Onomichi – 2hrs

Tokyo -> Onomichi – 4h20

Kanazawa -> Onomichi – 4h30

Sapporo -> Onomichi 13h30

Getting from Takehara Station to Other Parts of Japan

From Takehara Station the easiest way to the rest of Japan is to take the train from Takehara either west towards Hiroshima City or east towards Mihara Station. Both of these have Shinkansen Bullet Train Stations with convenient access to the rest of Japan’s major hubs.

Rough Times By Train From Takehara to Other Destinations

Takehara -> Hiroshima – 1h45 (1h10 by coach bus)

Takehara -> Okayama – 2h15

Takehara -> Osaka – 3hrs

Takehara -> Kyoto – 3h10

Takehara -> Tokyo – 5h30

Takehara -> Kanazawa – 5h45

Takehara -> Sapporo – 14h30

Guided and Self-Guided Cycling the Shimanami Kaido

For those interested in experiencing the Shimanami Kaido guided or self-guided feel free to look at the following articles.

The Shimanami Kaido is much more than the main 70km or so route often advertised. Our guide here to cycling the Shimanami Kaido suggests a slightly longer and much more scenic route of the Kaido, complete with route files you can download and follow on your phone or GPS cycling computer!

For those looking to have a guided experience we offer a weeklong trip exploring not only the Shimanami Kaido, but also nearby on and off the beaten path areas. Learn more here.

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