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Spring 2016 - Shikoku region trip report

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Old 20-04-2016, 02:58 PM   #1
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Spring 2016 - Shikoku region trip report

Hello everyone! It's me again. I just came back last night from Osakaat around 11.40pm; as such, am taking the day off from work today to rest, recharge, unpack luggage and organize my photos. Throughout the trip, I have taken quite a lot of photos (all using my hand-phone!), so some of the future posts may take a bit of time to load. But not to worry, let me assure you that it's all worth it. Alright, without further ado, onto the trip report proper!

Here's an executive summary of what I've been up to:

Day 1, 13/4/16:
Singapore - KIX.
Rinku Pleasure Town, Rinku onsen.
overnight: Star Gate Kansai Airport Hotel

Day 2, 14/4/16: KIX - Matsuyama.
Rinku premium outlets, Seaside garden, Aeon mall tarui, Matsuyama.
overnight: Guesthouse Matusyama

Day 3, 15/4/16: Matsuyama - Imabari.
Shimanami Kaido
overnight: Juicy Fruits ryokan

Day 4, 16/4/16: Shimanami Kaido
overnight: Hotel Hokke Club Hiroshima

Day 5, 17/4/16: Hiroshima - Osaka.
Nagai Park, Den Den town, Dotonbori, Yuraku onsen
overnight: Daiwa Roynet Osaka - Kitahama

Day 6, 18/4/16: Kyoto/Osaka.
Half day trip to Kyoto, Grand Front Osaka, Den Den Town, Suminoe Spa.
overnight: Daiwa Roynet Osaka - Kitahama

Day 7, 19/4/16: Osaka - KIX, KIX - SG.

Detailed posts and day by day posts will be up soon!
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Old 20-04-2016, 04:47 PM   #2
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Old 21-04-2016, 11:02 AM   #3
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Spring 2016 - Shikoku trip report Day 1(a)

So, Day 1 began on the wee hours of Wednesday. Took a short nap at home after work and around 2am, Grabcar-ed from my place to Changi Airport [I used the discount code of SAFEFLIGHT to get $10 off your journey to and from airport; it's only valid till 30 June this year].

The reason why I went to the airport so early when my flight leaves at 6am is because I wanted to utilize my Premium Lounge access coupon that I had gotten from a staycation last month; it sure beats waiting around in the terminal's transit lounge, as you can see from the photos below:





I'd say the premium lounge was very comfortable - the lightings were dim and conducive for taking a nap in. Of course, the fact that there were very few people around at that time (3am?) played a huge part in it too. So after whiling away a few hours in the lounge by taking a nap on one of those armchairs, eating snacks, drinks and even using the showers(!), it was soon time for me to board my flight.

Since my Delta flight was not a direct one, it was split into two portions. I flew on DL 616 from SIN - NRT, and opted for an upgrade to Delta Comfort+. This was a worthwhile investment - the legroom was more spacious, the amenities provided were better than the normal Economy seats (the comfort kit included a blindfold, toothbrush and paste kit, ear plugs, all in a nice reusable sachet), and the entertainment options were quite substantial as well. I managed to watch Inception and a bit of Spectre before I fell asleep.





Breakfast was served around an hour after flight; since it was a morning flight, the menu was omelette. I don't remember having a choice for this flight - means it's pretty standard unless you opt for vegetarian. Taste-wise, it was pretty okay.



After a nap, I reached Narita Airport at 2pm local time. Since mine wasn't a direct flight, I had a layover of almost 2 hours in Narita airport, before boarding my connecting flight at 4pm. The good thing was that my checked in luggage was forwarded to the next plane without me having to claim it at the immigration area. As such, all I had to do was to go through the security screening upon deplaning at the transit area, before I was free to roam around. Settled lunch at Tatsu, which served typical Japanese food like curry and katsu don, before boarding my Delta flight DL473 which brought me to Kansai Airport.







The NRT - KIX portion of the journey was a short one - it was around an hour's journey only. No proper meals were being served as a result of that; only snacks of salted pretzels and drinks were being served. Since it was a shorter leg, I didn't opt for Delta Comfort+, so the legroom was significantly lesser, but still more comfortable as compared to those budget airlines, or even the older SQ planes.

It was a rainy evening when I finally reached Kansai Airport around 5.30pm. Immediately ran for the shuttle train that was leaving for the main Terminal building and thankfully managed to clear immigration and customs before this large gaggle of Mainland Chinese tourists did (thank goodness, and they were making such a ruckus). Grabbed my luggage off the conveyor belt and proceeded to board the free shuttle bus towards my first hotel - Star Gate Kansai Airport hotel. The shuttle bus area is at the extreme left hand side of the Arrivals Hall on the 1st floor. Just exit the hall and turn left; you'll see the area where the shuttle buses AND tour buses are parked at.

Alright, that's all for post 1(a). I reached my image posting limit, haha.
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Old 21-04-2016, 01:39 PM   #4
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Spring 2016 - Shikoku trip report Day 1(b)

Continuing from where I left off previously, I had just checked into my first hotel for the trip - Star Gate Kansai Airport Hotel.

Star Gate Kansai Airport Hotel review

In short, this hotel was the best I've stayed for my entire trip. Really, no fight. The carpeted room was very nice and comfortable as a whole, and it was very, very spacious. I was able to open my luggage fully on the floor and still had space to do sit-ups and push-ups beside it. Initially, I had booked a normal room for single use, but the room they gave me had TWO super single beds side by side, AND a seating area, complete with armchairs and coffee table. The mattresses were soft and comfortable; there were two pillows provided, one hard and one firm. The bathroom had a full sized bathtub which I could lie in it totally and have a good soak (which I did on the 1st night); there were the standard tea/coffee making facilities on the normal sized writing desk and the TV had one English channel - CNN. In fact, this was the only hotel that I stayed which had English language channels!







Facilities-wise, the hotel gym and public baths were undergoing renovations during my stay there. The hotel's free shuttle services to and fro the airport only run on specific timings; if you're travelling outside of those timings, then you'll have to take the train to Rinku Town station, which is the station directly after the airport, and take Exit #3, if I'm not mistaken. The shuttle service runs from the airport to the hotel in the evening and early night time, from 5.55pm - 10.55pm, leaving every hour on the 55th minute. The one that leaves from the hotel to the airport leaves in the morning, from 6.30am to 10am, leaving every half an hour. The receptionist will ask if you want to reserve a seat on the bus from the hotel, not to worry.

The view from my hotel room was fantastic - my room was on the 48th floor and overlooked the city and sea, so it was breathtaking, to say the least.




So after checking in and freshening up, I went over to Sports Depot for a little shopping and dinner. Sports Depot is a shopping mall which specializes in sporting apparel and equipment, and is located just next to Rinku Pleasure Town & the premium outlets. Think of it as a hyper-mart that specializes in sporting goods - the collection there is pretty extensive, having everything from baseball gloves to running shoes. I tried on a few pairs of sports shoes, but there weren't any that really caught my eye, so didn't buy anything there. The prices weren't that cheap also - a Mizuno shoes that I tried costs almost S$80; thankfully I didn't buy it. Service wasn't too good for a Japanese retail store too; I had to hunt around for a salesperson that get a size that I wanted and failing to do so, I had to comb the shoe boxes at the back of the display to get my desired size. However, if you're still interested in going to take a look, here's the website.

Having failed to find a suitable pair of sports shoes, I settled dinner at the Coco Ichibanya outlet in Rinku Pleasure mall, which was good as usual.





After dinner, my plan was to start shopping at the Rinku Premium outlets, but when I reached there around 9pm, to my dismay, I saw that their shops closed at 8pm!! Bummer. Decided to just walk around the main shopping mall and chanced upon the (りんくうの湯)Rinku onsen, which was on the 2nd floor of the Rinku Pleasure Town.

Intrigued, I went inside and paid the entrance fee of 1,000 yen (a discounted fee since there was some promotion going on; the usual price was 1,240 yen), that included entrance to the onsen, bedrock bathing, and usage of towels. The baths are gender-segregated, and it consists of both indoor and outdoor pools, which I enjoyed quite a lot. The indoor ones had the normal hot/warm/cold water pools and Jacuzzi pools, whereas the outdoor ones had rock baths and views of the night sky. There was a limited edition pool that had a sakura fragrance which I liked a lot too. ^^

Soaked for like 30 minutes and then went back to my hotel. And that concludes day 1 of my journey.

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Old 22-04-2016, 02:44 PM   #5
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Spring 2016 - Shikoku trip report Day 2(a)

When I checked in, the receptionist told me about the buffet breakfast at the restaurant on the 54th floor, from 630am - 930am. Of course, being a sucker for such breakfasts, I switched my phone's alarm AND the bedside alarm to wake up at 830am, so that I can take my time for the breakfast in the morning....

The result? I slept through both alarms and woke up at 850am. Haha. Hurriedly washed up and went to the restaurant for breakfast. The spread was not too large in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality, it was delicious. There were the usual suspects like sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, egg station, cornflakes, juices & coffee/tea, and a section on Japanese foods like tamago, miso soup, tofu, salads, and other stuffs I can't remember. But the food was delicious. Definitely. And the views from the restaurant's windows were simply breathtaking.



It was around 10am when I finally finished my breakfast and enjoyed enough of the views; took my last sip of my coffee before checking out of my comfortable room. Deposited my luggage at the concierge, and went sightseeing around Rinku park.





Rinku park actually consists of two parts - the seaside garden, and the symbol garden. The former is the one on the bottom left of the above picture - the one with the sundial and mini lagoon inside it. To get there, follow the signs from Rinku Town Station; if my memory never fails, it is exit #2. Enjoy the pictures!





After walking around the park, it's time for shopping! Walked back to the station and took the exit for Rinku Premium Outlets. No photos taken here because I was busy shopping, hahah. Ended up buying a pair of adidas shoes for around $49, which was a total steal! As compared to sports Depot, the service here was much better. The shop attendant took out the sizes that I wanted to try on and waited for me to try both sizes, before giving her opinion. I was tempted to buy a sports towel as well, but thankfully, didn't do so - it was only day 2 of my trip and I didn't fancy lugging it around the region in my luggage.

Went to window-shop at the other brands around the premium outlets; there's quite a lot of shops there, but pricing wise, it is cheaper than Singapore, but the price difference is around 40%. So if a Coach bag's RRP is around $1000 here, the same bag is being sold for around $600 there. There's still a discount, but it's not as substantial as compared to the Golden Week period. Of course, there wasn't too much of a crowd when I was there too. Lunch was settled at the popular conveyor belt sushi restaurant - 大起水產迴轉壽司.

Since I still had some time to kill after lunch, a friend recommended me to check out Aeon Mall in the neighboring town of Tarui. To get there, take any train that heads towards Namba direction to Izumisano, then switch to a local train and alight at Tarui. It's only a 23 minutes ride, so there should be plenty of time of you to do your shopping.



Crossing the railway before Aeon Mall.



Advertisement for the Huntsman movie.

Went shopping around Aeon Mall - it reminded me of her counterpart in Malaysia, LOL. The pattern is exactly the same throughout all of the Aeon Malls; I guess it's supposed to be a corporate template or something. Didn't see anything that fancied my eye, though there was a huge sporting apparel shop too. I almost bought a 1 litre Pocari sweat bottle, but thought that it would be troublesome to carry it around. On hindsight, I should have bought it - Singapore didn't sell it.

Caught the shuttle service back to Rinku Town station around 5pm since there was a bus back there, collected my luggage from the concierge and made my way to the domestic terminal of KIX for my flight to Matsuyama.

Will continue in my next post!
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Old 23-04-2016, 10:57 AM   #6
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Support this thread thought 7 days seem to be too short.

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Old 23-04-2016, 02:54 PM   #7
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Support this thread thought 7 days seem to be too short.

Yes i know!! I didn't have enough time for some of the attractions that i went! =(
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Old 25-04-2016, 01:31 PM   #8
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Spring 2016 - Shikoku trip report Day 2(b)

Continuing from where I had left off, I had just reached the domestic terminal 2 of Kansai International and was bound for Matsuyama. The domestic flights from Kansai to Matsuyama operates daily, but there's only ONE flight per day - it flies in the evening, from 1900 - 2000 hrs, so be sure to book it early, otherwise you risk missing it. Settled dinner at the departure lounge before boarding; my stomach wasn't feeling too well, so I had a katsu don (fried and warm foodstuffs are always the safer bet for me during such situations).



Because it's a LCC, Peach Aviation flights allows people to walk on the tarmac before boarding the plane! It was quite an interesting experience for me - after all, even the LCCs in Singapore's Changi Airport have aerobridges now.



I just had to upload this picture - I liked the emotion on that uncle's face.

I didn't opt for the comfort option, so I didn't get any meals or drinks; but then again, the journey was barely an hour long, so it wasn't kind of worth it. Touched down at Matsuyama airport at 8pm, claimed my check in luggage, and boarded the Airport Limousine bus (it sounds nice, but it's just like those normal coaches to Malaysia) to Matsuyama City itself. The fare is distance-based, and it's around the range of 310 yen - 460 yen per person; the furthest it goes to is Dogo Onsen [which I didn't manage to go!! ] Here's the link for the timetable. The last bus leaves the airport at 9.10pm, so be sure to make it.

It was a half an hour journey to the city centre proper; I alighted at Ichibango Okaido station, and took a brisk walk to my hostel, Guesthouse Matsuyama. The local address is as follows: 愛媛県松山市大街道3丁目8−3. To get there, just follow the signs towards the ropeway for the castle. After 10 minutes of walking, the hostel will be on your right.

To call it a hostel is pushing it. Guesthouse Matsuyama is more like, for lack of a better word, a high class army bunk/barracks. There are private and public rooms available; for readers who have served in Officer Cadet School during NS times, the private rooms are something similar to the officer cadet bunks. Take a look at the pictures below:



I got a double decker bed room even though I reserved a single room. Haha.



Mini study/reading corner



Private bathroom, typical Japanese style

Alright, for my review proper: like I mentioned, there are both private and shared rooms available for rent at the Guesthouse. The mattress was very hard and firm, which made me had a very sleepless night. The bed sheets and pillow cases are given to you by Atsui-san, the owner of the place, who would welcome you upon check in. The room was spacious, had wooden flooring at night, which meant that the floor was COLD! Apparently, the air-con heater was not powerful enough. There was no TV in the room, and no meals provided.

The service provided by Atsui-san was good though: she waited for me till 9pm for me to check in and sorted out the takkyubin delivery form that I needed to fill in for delivering my luggage to my next hotel after my cycling. She also directed me to the convenience store nearby which had delivery services - thankfully, since the delivery person came earlier when I was still on the way to Matsuyama. Payment for the stay was in cash only, so do take note of that. Settled my payment and delivery form, and went to the convenience store to deposit my luggage there, bought some snacks for the night, and that's the end of day 2!
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Old 26-04-2016, 04:54 PM   #9
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Spring 2016 - Shikoku trip report Day 3(a)

And it's day 3 of my trip report! The main highlight of my trip - cycling along the Shimanami Kaido (しまなみ海道)! It is essentially, a 60-kilometre long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. (credits: Japan-Guide.com)

Alright, let me get the specifics out of the way first.
- There's no shortcut to it, so you'll have to be relatively fit, at least 60-70% fit. I'm not saying you have to be Spartan-ready, but at least you won't tire out easily; after all, you will be cycling for the good part of the day.
- It is best to do this during spring/summer; there is more day light during the day and it wouldn't turn dark so quickly, which means you can cover more ground per day.
- That being said, take the time to see the sights and to rest during the stopovers/each rest stop.
- Be properly equipped: ie, get a pair of cycling gloves (I got mine online; otherwise, there's always Decathlon or those sporting shops.) Comfortable attire too - I wore my under armour tights.
- Book a ryokan in the middle of the journey, so that you can break up the distance in two. I booked mine in Ikuchijima, which was roughly the 60% part of the journey.
- My wifi device didn't have any reception in the middle of the sea, but when I was near civilization, there was.
- You can either start your journey at Imabari (Sunrise Itoyama, which was where I did it), or at Onomichi (the bike shop is more centrally located). Logistics-wise, Onomichi is served by shinkansen, whereas for Sunrise Itoyama, it is nearer to a local train station. I will provide more details later on.
- It's good to be kiasu and reserve a bike from the cycling terminal, especially if you're going during the weekends or public holidays; I emailed Sunrise Itoyama and reserved a mountain bike from them.

Alright, on to the report proper. Checked out from the guesthouse at Matsuyama and headed to Imabari. It was a combination of three different forms of transportation -

1) I took the streetcar from Okaido to Matsuyama Station initially. Take note, it is JR Matsuyama station, and not the local one in the centre of the city.



2) From Matsuyama Station, I hopped on the Limited Express Shiokaze to Iyo-Hojo station. It's an Anpan-Man themed train!







3) At Iyo-hojo station, I switched to the local Yosan line and alighted at Hashihama station. It was a single car train!



The reason as to why I didn't take the Limited Express all the way to Imabari station from Matsuyama is because the cycling terminal is actually located nearer to Hashihama station, which is a local train station just before Imabari.

As such, I had to take the local JR Yosan line so as to reach Hashihama. In addition, the train timings from Imabari to Hashihama wasn't too frequent that time in the morning - there was one every half hour only.

Of course, you can also choose to take the Limited Express all the way to Imabari and cab over to the cycling terminal; the estimated fare, that I saw online, is around 2,200 yen.

If you can reach Hashihama around 9am, they provide a free shuttle service from the station to the cycling terminal - all you have to do is email them, and they will provide you with the service.

Once I reached the cycling terminal, I showed them the email reservation, filled in the forms and got my bike. They provided me with a bicycle lock and key too, which was very useful, along with a helmet, which is compulsory to put on. And with that, I'm off!
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Old 28-04-2016, 11:17 AM   #10
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Spring 2016 - Shikoku trip report Day 3(b)

A map that the cycling terminal can be found here; I was going to scan the original copy that I had, but it was full of scribbling and circling that I've done during the journey, haha. Let me know if you want it still, I have it in my drawer.

So, my cycling journey started from Imabari; right from the start, there was this circular slope up to the first bridge - the Kurushima Kaikyo bridges, a suspended bridge 4,105m long. Words don't do justice to the views, so I shall just keep quiet and upload the pictures.



The first bridge to be crossed



The bike that would be my transport for the next two days



The approach to most of the bridges on the route involves such a 40-meter rise, but it's not a direct, steep incline. Rather, the route winds around so it is not punishingly steep. Having said that, the road is wide enough for you to get off and push your bike; I did that for the last few bridges. After two or three minutes, you should be on level ground again.





The views off the first bridge

Oh yes, I almost forgot. Japan is a land where transportation run on precisely timed trains and buses. The Shimanami Kaido, however, goes back to the basics. The entire cycling course is marked out with the blue line leading the way, and even provides you with regular updates on how much distance you have left before your final destination, be it Onomichi or Imabari. And yup, the line is present for the entire 70 kilometers.

1. Oshima Island

Following the blue line and crossing the first bridge, I reached Oshima Island, the first and island which have the most tourist attractions, in my opinion.



So, after you descend from the bridge, you'll pass by a rest station. Stopped by for a washroom break, before heading off to my first destination - the Murakami Suigun Museum on the other side of the island, bypassing the rose park.



According to the guide, the Murakami Suigun were a group of sea-faring pirates active in the 15th and 16th century, who controlled trade and sea traffic on the Seto Island sea back then.

The exhibitions are interesting: there's replicas of the skiffs being used by them back then, along with some historical artifacts. However, there is very few English explanation available. The main aim of coming here though, is to try on the suits of armor. For free! And there is no language barrier in trying them out too!

Eh, image posting limit. More in the next post then,

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Old 28-04-2016, 10:21 PM   #11
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Nice sharing TS!
Cycling in shimanami kaido seem like something i will try next time
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Old 29-04-2016, 03:49 PM   #12
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Spring 2016 - Shikoku trip report Day 3(c)

Wow, it's the third part of Day 3, and it's only in the morning. lol. ok, so I was trying on the suit of armor - it was quite heavy, around 20kg. But it was quite fun in my opinion, since I didn't have the chance to do it in Singapore. There are specific timeslots when you can wear the armor - 9am to 11am, then 2pm to 4pm. I arrived slightly later than 11am, but managed to get it still. Hehe.


The suit of armor


Putting on the armor.


Back view. Haha.

Highly recommend this - you don't get to do it in Singapore, and what's more, it's free! (Ok la, there's an admission fee of 300 yen per pax for the museum. So even though there is few English explanations for the exhibits, if you consider the 300 yen to take photos all dressed up, and treat the museum as a freebie, it somehow becomes better... right?)

So after some photo-taking, I left the museum and settled lunch at the restaurant opposite.


Free flow of hot and cold green tea, and water


Set meal for the day. I lazy to think. on what to order.

So after lunch, the road led past the harbor, and up the next bridge.



2. Hakatajima Island





According to the guide, this island actually had beaches whereby you can actually rest on. However, because I was slightly behind schedule, I didn't really stop at the beaches to rest on. Pushed on to the third island instead.
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Old 29-04-2016, 03:50 PM   #13
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Nice sharing TS!
Cycling in shimanami kaido seem like something i will try next time
yes pls do! it's fun and unlike cycling in the ECP, haha.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:31 AM   #14
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Spring 2016 - Shikoku trip report Day 3(d)

3. Omishima Island

After Oshima, this island was the one whereby I spent the most time in. It's biggest tourist attraction was Oyamazumi-jinja, so naturally, I made my beeline there after a quick washroom break. It was located somewhere in the centre of the island, so it does require a bit of a time to get there.


the fašade of the shrine


Inner hall

It was around 4pm when I left the shrine. Since my lodgings was at the next island, I was faced with a dilemma - to try out the salt water onsen at Mare Gracia [マーレ・グラッシア大三島], the normal ones at Tatara onsen [多々羅温泉], or just push forward with the next island?

A quick check on Google maps showed that the saltwater onsen was a mere 10 minutes detour by bike away; I'd have sufficient time to go there and have a dip before continuing onto my journey. As such, I decide to chance it and go to Mare Garcia. Followed the signs for the onsen, and after cycling for about 15 minutes, I found myself outside some factory building.

'That's strange', I thought, 'why am I at a factory building?'

Wanted to ask for directions, but it was very quiet - there was nobody around me, except for the factory building which seemed closed and a industrial building complex, which was deserted. I cycled back to where some houses were, but there wasn't anyone outside. A few cars zoomed past on the main road, and I couldn't stop any of them in time.

Went to a petrol station to ask for directions, and the attendant said that the saltwater onsen was nearby, and proceeded to give me some complicated -sounding directions in Japanese. I was getting frustrated - daylight was fading soon, and I still haven't found the onsen yet. I was planning to give up, since there wasn't much time left and I still had to travel to the next island where my lodgings were.

'Ok,' I told myself,' another 10 minutes, if I still cannot find the place, I'll give up.'

Cycled back to the factory building again, since Google maps showed the onsen to be beside it, and it was the direction that the petrol attendant told me to go.

'Strange lei, there's nothing that looks like a spa.' Decided to lock my bike at an office lookalike place in the factory area, and went inside, hoping to look for someone. Success! The office was well-staffed for that time of the day; I asked where the onsen was. To my amusement (and relief), the onsen was in the industrial complex next door!!

Oh my god. I spent half an hour looking for the damn onsen, when it was just next door! Thanked them and went straight to the onsen; the saltwater pools were their hallmark, and there were both indoor and outdoor pools. But because of my misadventure earlier on, the time spent there was cut short quite drastically. No pictures are allowed in the onsen of course, but if you're looking for the entrance, it's next to this place: 伯方塩業(株) 大三島工場.

It was around 5pm when I left the onsen and back to my bike. Imagine my shock when a security guard came up to me and said, 'Is this your bike? You're not allowed to be in here.'

*jeng jeng jeng*

I was like, s***, what if he called the police for trespassing? Played the innocent tourist (which I really was) and told him I was looking for Mare Gracia and lost my way, so had to ask for directions and left my bike there. Thankfully, he was satisfied with the answer, and I was planning to leave until he asked me where I was going next. Told him that I was going towards Setoda Island, and he asked if I knew the way. Seeing that daylight was fading soon, I told him no.

I was kind of hoping he would fetch me in his mini lorry, but he just said to follow him on my bike. Haha. Oh well. He drove for about half way, before telling me to just follow the road and I will reach the bridge. Thanked him and we bade each other goodbye.


Tatara bridge


Scenery off Tatara bridge

After awhile, I reached Tatara bridge, and crossed over to the 4th island - Setoda Island.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:53 AM   #15
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Spring 2016 - Shikoku trip report Day 3(e)

4. Ikuchijiama / Setoda Island

Daylight was fading fast when I reached Setoda Island, where my lodgings were at. Thankfully, it was a smaller island as compared to the previous one, so the distances covered weren't too large.





Oh yes, tolls have to be paid every time you cross a bridge, be it on bicycle or cars. However, there's a tourism campaign going on right now, which waives such tolls for cyclists like me. So yay!


Tatara bridge, seen from Setoda Island

Cycled past the sunset beach, and towards my ryokan - Juicy Fruits ジューシィーフルーツ. The main road on the island is very, erm, linear, so I followed it past the beach and before long, found myself outside the ryokan. Locked the bike at the garage, and went to check in.

Overall, I would say that the ryokan was much better than the guesthouse previously. It is a typical Japanese styled B&B/pension, with private rooms having their own toilet, but shared bathrooms, gender-segregated. The website showed that there were lemon baths, but it was boarded up during my stay there. My room had two super single beds with soft mattresses and a comforter, which made my sleep there very nice and sound. The TV had only Japanese-language channels and there was a small seating area which overlooked a mini garden.

Since there were no F&B outlets nearby, I opted for the half board option. Dinner was served at the main dining room with the other guests (An angmoh couple, 2 old Japanese ladies, and a Japanese family of 4); the menu was French/Western inspired, with a salad, appetizer, main course, and dessert. It was quite delicious; very home-cooked feel.


Bedroom


Dinner


Small seating area

After a hearty dinner, made a bit of small talk with the angmoh couple and the Japanese family, before heading off to take a bath, and back to my room to crash. And that marks the end of my very long day 3.
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