Special tour package aims to attract an international contingent to one of Japan’s premiere cycling events held on the Shimanami Kaido.
The Shimanami Kaido’s biggest cycling event Cycling Shimanami, returns on October 30, 2022 after a 4-year hiatus. With uncertainty surrounding the reopening of Japan’s borders to visitors from overseas, Cycling Shimanami 2022 is looking to international residents to put the “international” into on of Japan’s biggest cycling event.
Hiroshima Prefectural government have teamed up with JTB to offer international residents guaranteed entry to one of the most popular courses, hotel accommodation and assistance with bicycle rental and transportation. This International Resident Entry Package is an excellent opportunity to tick riding the Shimanami Kaido off your Japan bucket list.
Cycling Shimanami 2022
A total of 7000 riders will take part in the event across 8 courses of varying lengths. In addition to the sense of camaraderie that comes from being part of a celebration of cycling, bikes are allowed to ride on parts of the expressway which is closed to motor traffic during the event, making it a rare opportunity to ride some of the the bridges as the engineers intended.
Cycling Shimanami International Residents Entry Package
- Guaranteed entry to the Onomichi to Imabari A Course (70km)
- Two nights accommodation in Fukuyama
- Shuttle bus to start and from finish
- Change of clothes waiting for you at the finish
- Bike transport support options
- Cross bike rental option
The event is always oversubscribed and most applicants are chosen by lottery, which makes it difficult to plan your trip well in advance.
This package, however, allows international residents to skip the lottery with a guaranteed entry to one of the events most popular courses; the classic Onomichi to Imabari 70km course. This course includes about 23km of expressway.
Tour participants can also rest easy when it comes to accommodation as there are several hotels from which they can choose. This removes additional stress as local hotels get booked up quickly over the weekend of the event.
Due to the limited number of hotels in Onomichi, accommodation will be in Fukuyama which is about 30 minutes from both Onomichi by local train and the idyllic fishing port of Tomo-no-ura by bus. Tour participants will be able to do the mandatory pre-event registration on arrival in Fukuyama rather than having to go to Onomichi. A private shuttle bus will take you to the start area on the morning of the event and bring you back to your hotel from the finish in Imabari.
Just show up and enjoy the ride!
As tour participants have the option to rent cross bikes (sporty bikes with flat handlebars) for ¥3,200, you don’t even need to have your bike to join the event. Just pick up your bike at the start, enjoy the ride and drop it off before taking your shuttle back from Imabari. Using the rental bike option is definitely the easiest and most cost effective way to enjoy Cycling Shimanami 2022.
Bring your own bike
Moving bikes around Japan can be a real headache, but this tour aims to take at least some of the hassle out of the logistics of using your own bike, for a price.
You will be responsible for getting your bike to Fukuyama by yourself, but staff will transport your bike (packed in a bike bag please) to the start area after you complete registration for a charge of ¥3,000 and you will be able to ship your bike from the finish in Imabari (again in a bike bag) to the Japan address of your choice for ¥7,000 (including the price of a cardboard shipping container.)
Just between you and me…
This tour is, in theory, limited to non-Japanese residents of Japan, but, taking a look at the small print, there is a provision that if you make a group booking one Japanese national is able to be included for every non-Japanese entrant. Could be a good opportunity to gain some popularity points with some of your local cycling buddies who don’t want to rely on the luck of the draw.
The basic package which includes guaranteed entry, 2 nights accommodation and shuttle bus to the start and finish start at ¥48,000 per person. Reservations can be made in English, Japanese and Chinese via the online reservation site linked below from 12pm on April 18, 2022. The number of spots open to international is limited and reservations are first come first served.