Onomichi, Orange Groves and Bicycles

We left Hiroshima on a local train to arrive in Onomichi in mid-afternoon.  Our brief stop in Onomichi was primarily to ride the Shimanami cycling track which James had found in a Lonely Planet guidebook. The trail spans 72km along the Seto Inland Sea. However, we were only tackling about half that distance with the kids. 

The quaint town on the seaside was, to our surprise, very quiet.  While we were in Okinawa and Hiroshima, we mentioned to locals that we were travelling to Onomichi and they all lit up in delight telling us what a beautiful place it is.  Maybe it’s a more popular destination in the summer months?

We stayed in a simple apartment with two sets of bunk beds for the kids and a traditional Japanese room for James and me.  So, James and I were sleeping on futons on the floor!  I was worried we would wake up sore, but we actually had some of our best sleeps there.

Manji and Bingo enjoying their breakfast!

The morning of our bike ride, we awoke to sunny, clear skies.  James had reserved our bikes through the Shimanami rentals and while they fit myself and the kids, James’ bike was hilariously small.  He looked like a clown trying to fit in a tiny car! As always, he was a great sport about it! Finally, we gathered our belongings and joined several other riders on the ferry to the start of the cycle route. 

Ferry to start the bike ride

Color coded based on difficulty level, the path was easy to follow and we were on the blue path the whole way.  At the start, we were in high spirits as we rode past the sea and several orange stands. When we first arrived in Onomichi, we gathered some local pamphlets and quickly learned the area is known for its orange groves.  We bought some at the local food market and they were delicious. But after passing the initial orange stands, I knew we had to stop and buy some!

Manji cycling with fierce determination

The path continued over bridges that led to Mukaishima, Innoshima, and Ikuchi Islands and past several orange groves. 

Gorgeous views and perfect weather!

We stopped midway for a delicious ramen lunch and followed it up with ice cream at Dolce.  There were numerous flavors but we decided to indulge in cherry blossom and orange ice cream! We also found a massive orange stand at the end of the ride. We picked up a bag of oranges for a treat, including one that looked like a lemon. To our surprise it was the sweetest of the bunch!

Oranges after a tough day cycling

We took the late afternoon ferry back to Onomichi after clocking 30km that day.  Exhausted, we had a good night’s sleep and were ready to head on to our next adventure…Osaka!

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