This is a recommended plan to travel along the Shimanami expressway passing over several small islands via bridges across the sea and proceed toward Kochi’s Shimanto River and Cape Ashizuri, starting from Hiroshima Airport. You can also take advantage of various therapeutic experiences on this journey.
Hiroshima Airport is another air gateway to Kochi Prefecture.
About a 1-hour drive
12:00～13:00Drive along Shimanami Kaido across 6 islands, 7 bridges
Islands: Inno-shima, Ikuchi-jima, Mukai-shima, Hakata-jima, Omi-shima, O-shima
The Setouchi Shimanami Kaido expressway, about a 70-km-long toll road connecting the main island of Shikoku with Hiroshima, has Japan’s first strait-crossing cycling road. While cycling you can take in the stunning views of the Seto Inland Sea.
13:00～15:00Lunch & Mt. Kiro Observatory commanding panoramic views of Imabari City & Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge (30 minutes)
About a 90-minute drive
Overnight stay at Dogo hot-spa resort
Dogo has been known since early times as one of Japan’s three oldest hot-spring resorts. In particular, “Dogo Onsen Honkan” (Dogo Spa Main Building) is a nostalgic hot-spring facility that has a long history. The facility offers various attractions in addition to its hot-spring baths.
13:30～14:30Submersible bridges spanning Shimanto River
The Shimanto River has several “Chinkabashi” -- submersible bridges without railings -- that are designed to sink below the water when the river swells. A Chinkabashi bridge spanning the blue river against the backdrop of green mountains is a quintessential landscape in the Shimanto River basin.
From the beautiful and gigantic Ashizuri Kaiteikan Underwater Observatory or a glass-bottomed boat, you can view scenes below the water off Cape Ashizuri, which is one of the clearest offshore areas in Shikoku.