Innoshima, Japan | Island of the Murakami Pirates and the Shimanami Kaido

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Breakfast at our Ryokan

Breakfast was almost as elaborate as the dinner we had last night at Hotel Innoshima. We tried to eat as much food as we could. There was plenty of rice and miso soup we could have filled up on.

Innoshima hotel traditional japanese breakfast

Hotel Innoshima restaurant

Free Parking

We then went and drove to the other end of Habu town where we parked our car in a pachinko parlour car park, it seemed like the easiest option for free parking.

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path

Ikuchi-Hashi Bridge

In a few minutes were were ready with our bikes for the second stage of our island cycling. We started from Ikuchi-hashi bridge and our goal for today’s ride was to get back to Innoshima bridge, around the second island in the chain of the Shimanami Kaido.

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path cyclist

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path seto inland sea

Cycling along the Coastline

The first part of the path was along the busy road next to the shoreline but once we had passed the town hall traffic got less busy. We saw a giant radish outside a pickle plant, perfect spot to stop and take a photo.

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path giant radish

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path fruit crates

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path bus stop

Ship Building Factory

The road curved around, up a small hill and down into an area with a large ship building factory. We could see a gigantic car carrier ship being built in the dock.

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path ship building dock

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path car carrier

Shimanami Beach

Further down the road we reached busy しまなみビーチ – Shimanami beach, with an 因島アメニティプール outdoor swimming pool.

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path beach

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path beach

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path beach shade

The Outdoor Pool

The pool has two curly slides and Jerome wanted to go on them. We paid the entrance fee and changed into our swimming costumes. The next hour we spent going down the slides. We were the only gaijins (foreigners) and to the amusement of the Japanese, I was probably the only girl in a bikini as the locals mostly cover up to avoid the sun and stay white skinned for beauty.

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path outdoor swimming pool

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path outdoor swimming pool slides

Lunchtime

Next to the beach were some food stalls, selling standard Japanese takeaway fare of yakisoba, chicken katsu…etc.

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path beach restaurants

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path food stall menu

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path beach shop

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path food stalls tables

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path beach goers

Lunch with a View

Here we had a basic cheap lunch with a view of Shimanami beach and the Seto Inland Sea.

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path brontosaurus

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path playground slide

Playground

Right behind there is a small playground with a slide and see saw in the shape of animals and a huge Brontosaurus!

We pedaled on up the hill, turning left before getting to the Innoshimahashi bridge, where we had turned round the day before. Over the rise we free wheeled down to the sea where we found a much quieter beach with clear blue water and golden sand. There were two other families on this beach and Jerome made friends with their kids, playing Frisbee and with a bouncy water ball from Waboba.

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innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path fun beach

It always amazes me how easy it is for children to ignore language barriers.

innoshima shimanami kaido cycle path fisherman

The Bike Ride Back

The sun was already hiding behind the trees on the hill and it was time for us to ride back on our bicycles to the car.

For our return we cycled past the 因島フラワーセンター Innoshima Flower Center, up over a steep hill and down to the town hall, which was shorter but somewhat more strenuous than the way out, especially for Jerome who was getting tired by now.

Innoshima shimanami Kaido hay ball garden fields

Dinner at Hotel Innoshima

We got back to Hotel Innoshima in time to have a hot bath before dinner. Like the previous night we were served seven courses of Kaiseki cuisine, each dish was delicious. It is amazing how they can take one fish and serve it in six or seven different ways to make a whole multi-course meal.

innoshima hotel hanabi firework yugejima

innoshima yuge jima fireworks hanabi

innoshima hotel yugejima fireworks hanabi

Fireworks – Hanabi

Our concierge at Innoshima hotel had told us that tonight there were going to be fireworks – fire flowers in Japanese or – hanabi on the island across the bay, Yugejima. He invited us to watch it together with guests from the hotel on the top terrace. We gathered on our plastic chairs, together with the other guests, including many children and stared into the dark of the night waiting for the fireworks to start. We could see the colourful explosions of the rockets and of course we could only hear the bang a few seconds later because of the distance between the island and us. The fireworks were elaborate and went on for sometime maybe over 20 minutes. How can such a small island deliver such an elaborate firework show? I will never know, but it was amazing to see even from the distance.

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