By Sandra Isaka
Suo Oshima is the third largest island in the Seto Inland Sea or "Setouchi", after Awaji and Shodoshima islands (the first and second, respectively). Located at the eastern end of Yamaguchi Prefecture, this island is famous as the hometown of immigrants to Hawaii, USA, and Kauai Island from the Meiji Restoration period. Thanks to the shared history of immigration exchange, Suo Oshima and Kauai are sister cities. Suo Oshima itself is so attractive because of the beautiful nature surrounded by the Seto Inland Sea. Here are some of the sports activities of the island.
The Dream Setouchi Long Ride
Why not challenge the Setouchi long bicycle ride? You’ll need to board a flight from Haneda to Hiroshima Airport (JAL operates eight flights a day), putting your bicycle in the JAL bicycle container (SBCON) as checked baggage. The flight will take an hour and a half. From there, take the Shimanami Kaido Expressway via Onomichi and enter Matsuyama from Imabari. It's a good idea to end the first day there and stay around Matsuyama.
The next day, go to Mitsuhama Port and ride the Boyo Ferry to Suo Oshima’s Ihota Port. This is the Suo Oshima portion of the "long ride", from the southern end of the island to the north end. You’ll be able to cross Suo Oshima Bridge over this one-and-a-half-hour riding course. Then you can return to Hiroshima in the evening from Yanai via Otake.
Suo Oshima Long Ride
Suo Oshima, located at the eastern end of Yamaguchi Prefecture, is just a stone’s throw across the sea from Matsuyama in Ehime Prefecture. By taking a morning flight from Haneda to Matsuyama Airport (JAL runs six flights every day), you can arrive in the beautiful islands of the Seto Inland Sea. It takes about an hour to Suo Oshima’a Ihota Port; from there you can enjoy a cycling course of the whole island. Not to mention, you can stay at a resort hotel with a Hawaiian vibe (Hotel and Resort Sunshine Sunset). The next day, why not cross the Suo Bridge and pass into Hiroshima? Of course, you can also return to Matsuyama by ferry.
Suo Oshima Trekking（Seto Inland Alps Climb）
The Seto Inland Alps is a nickname for the 600m ridgeline consisting of the crests of Mt. Monju, Mt. Kano, and Mt. Genmeizan and Mt. Dake. The view from the top is said to be superb and is a popular mountaineer day trip. In addition to the distant Chinese mountains and Shikoku mountains, the Seto Inland Alps offer a beautiful island-like charm wholly unique to the region.
It’s common to start the hike after a drive to Monju Temple. The scenic course to Monju Temple, located halfway up the mountain, is about a three-hour round-trip by rental car or by taxi from your lodgings. A parking lot is also available for use.
- Monju Temple
- Mt. Monju (elevation 662.7m; with bathroom, water, and observation deck)
- Mt. Kano (elevation 684.9 m)
- Mt. Monju
- Monju Temple
This course follows an easily walkable ridgeline. The top of Mt. Kano has traces of a former Japanese army artillery battery as well as a fantastic view. In addition to this course, there is a five-hour long course. However, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful Seto Inland Sea scenery from any course you trek to the top of the mountain.
Saturday Hula 2019 in Suo Oshima
Get ready for “Satahula”! On Saturdays during the summer vacation period, this lively Hawaiian-style event will be held on the stage of Suo Oshima Town, Yamaguchi. Suo Oshima is also the sister city of Kauai Island, Hawaii, and is called the “Hawaii of Seto Inland”. Starting Saturday 13 July from 16:30, “Satahula” will be held at the Green Stay Venue. Come and have a look at these wonderful hula dances presented on stage!
- Every Saturday between 13 July and 31 August 2019; daytime show (12:00-15:00) and nighttime show (18:00-21:00).
- Opening Festa to be held on 13 July at Green Stay Nagaura.
- Closing Festa to be held on 31 August at H&R Sunshine Southern Seto.
- Day Stage (12:00-15:00) Roadside Station Southern Seto Towa/ Ryuzaki Onsen
- Night Stage (18:00-21:00) Green Stay Nagaura / H&R Sunshine Southern Seto / Island Town Marche (Yawata Lifelong Learning Village
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