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Island Hopping by Bike

Across the Tatara Bridge to Ikuchijima


Tatara Bridge (Onomichi Tourist Association)

We fell asleep to the sound of the waves and enjoyed a good night�s rest. After breakfast the next morning, we set out on the second day of our journey. We went halfway around the island to the Tatara Bridge. This bridge, which is 1,460 meters long, looks like a bird about to take flight. It is beautiful, and riding across is a real pleasure.


Striking your hands here produces a mysterious echo. (Onomichi Tourist Association)


A beautiful sunset over gourd-shaped island (Onomichi City)


These octopus traps are used to fish for octopus. (Onomichi Tourist Association)

We had an interesting experience as we were crossing this bridge. A set of wooden beat clappers is available at the bridge tower, and when we clapped a set together, the resulting sound produced a strange echo. This is known in Japan as the �crying dragon phenomenon,� because a similar echo can be heard in some Japanese temples and shrines that have dragons painted on the ceilings. No one had any idea that this would happen when the bridge was being built. After we crossed the bridge, we arrived on the island of Ikuchijima, which is part of Onomichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture.

Riding along Sunset Beach on the north side of the island, we saw a small, gourd-shaped island in the sea to our left-hand side. We had lunch near Kosanji Temple, which is famous for its cherry blossoms. We had a bowl of tako-tendon (rice topped with tempura made with octopus, a local specialty).

How much does it cost to rent a bicycle?

It costs ¥500 ($4.35) a day for an adult (age 13 or older) and ¥300 ($2.61) a day for a child (12 or under). Rented bicycles can be returned at any of the terminals.

How much does it cost to cross the bridges?

The tolls vary, with some costing ¥10 (about 10�), some ¥50, some ¥100 (just under $1), and some ¥200. The toll gates are automatic and do not provide change, so make sure you have the right coins ready. Some of the renta-cycle terminals sell tickets. The ferry from Mukaishima to Onomichi costs between ¥70 and ¥110.