Final stage opens to make Shikoku a ‘holy land for cyclists’
MATSUYAMA—Ehime Prefecture has opened a 1,000-kilometer loop cycling course that runs through Shikoku island, the final step in a campaign to make the prefecture a “holy land for cyclists.”
The prefecture estimates it will take cyclists 11 days to complete the route, which starts from and ends at the prefectural capital of Matsuyama.
“I will make every effort to establish the habit of moving around Shikoku on bicycles,” Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura, wearing cycling gear, said in March about the opening of the course.
Shikoku is already home to attractive bicycle routes.
The 70-km Setouchi Shimanami Kaido course, which connects Imabari in Ehime Prefecture with Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture, was selected as one of the world’s seven most incredible bike routes by U.S. broadcaster CNN.
Cyclists hop from island to island in the Seto Inland Sea over seven bridges that provide spectacular views.
Although the four prefectures on Shikoku opened a cycling course in 2014, the latest loop route was developed by Ehime Prefecture alone by adding some scenic spots to the existing course.