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Sea, Mountains, And Hot Springs! Cycling At Chichibugahama In Kagawa

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Chichibugahama Beach, one of the best sunset viewing spots in Japan, offers an excellent cycling course with great scenery, local food, and hot springs. Learn more about this oasis-like area from a MATCHA editor who resides there.

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Explore Kagawa by Bicycle

Cycling at Chichibugahama

For an urban resident, the word "oasis" may conjure up the image of either a quiet cafe or a lush park.

In Mitoyo, a city full of beautiful natural scenery in Kagawa, where the writer of this article resides, many locals enjoy kayaking or bikeways with great views because Kagawa mostly consists of plains.

Let me introduce my favorite cycling course. There is a multi-lingual bicycle-sharing app available in Japanese, English, and traditional and simplified Chinese. Overseas visitors will surely enjoy a cycling trip around Mitoyo thanks to this app.

Chichibugahama Beach, Fine Food, and Hot Springs

The departure point for this route is JR Takuma Station. We will be heading to Kotohiki Kairo, a hot spring resort. Picturesque spots such as Chichibugahama Beach, which boasts Japan's most beautiful sunset, and Zenigata Sunae, a gigantic coin-shaped sand artwork, are located along the route. The excellent local cuisine and hot spring facilities are also great charms of this area.

The road is superb, with only one steep slope along the route. The ride takes about two to three hours, so even amateur cyclists can have fun.

Cycling from JR Takuma Station

There are some areas along the route with no streetlights so it would be wise to start cycling in the morning or in the early afternoon.

The second half of this article introduces a guide to Hello Cycling, a bicycle sharing service that allows visitors to rent bicycles at Takuma Station and conveniently return them at Kotohiki Kairo.

Departing from JR Takuma Station

Cycling at Chichibugahama

At JR Takuma Station, there is a tourist information center where you can obtain pamphlets in Japanese, English, and traditional Chinese. The Hello Cycling station is located next to the center.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Ride westward from JR Takuma Station and you'll notice a bridge. This area is where the river flows into the ocean. The surrounding mountains are also breathtaking.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Mitoyo is associated with the tale of Urashima Taro. This folk tale is about a fisherman who rescues a turtle from being tortured by village children. The grateful animal takes the protagonist to a palace found on the bottom of the sea.

There's a statue of Taro and the sea turtle on the bridge.

Ocean Views from the Mountainside

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Continue cycling and turn left at the signs "Shonai Hanto" and "Mt. Shiude" on National Road 231.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

National Road 231 is the only mountain trail on this route. Those riding Hello Cycling bicycles should use the power assist function. After a while, take a look back to enjoy the ocean view. This scenery will surely lift your spirits.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Once you reach the mountaintop, you'll see a sign pointing to "Mitoyo City Niocho." It is all downhill cycling from here.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Now, you'll be heading towards the ocean. Mandarin orange orchards and mountains can be seen on both sides. There will also be old shrines and towns along the way.

On this part of the route, the wind was strong and I felt as if all my troubles were being blown away.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Turn left at the signs "Nio Marina," "Kanonji," and "Mt. Shiude."

Cycling at Chichibugahama

The road is well-paved from here.

Enjoy Fine Food at Chichibugahama

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Keep on pedaling before arriving at the beach.

In recent years, Chichibugahama has gained popularity on social media for its beautiful sunset. There are several dining places in this area.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

If you're planning to take a coffee break and enjoy a light meal, visit hand in hand, an eatery that serves beverages and hot sandwiches made with local ingredients. A fan-favorite is the cutlet sandwich with Sangenton, a Japanese brand of pork (580 yen including tax).

The hustle and bustle of every day will feel like a faraway memory while enjoying a meal with an ocean view.

Other Recommended Cafes

At Chichibugahama Port, you can find dishes made with ingredients produced locally. The business hours are from 11:00 to 18:00. The cafe is closed on Wednesdays (*the day when it is closed changes every season).

Kakigori Cafe Himuro serves kakigori (shave ice) topped with local fruit. The business hours are from 11:00 to 18:00. The cafe is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

If you would like to taste Mediterranean dishes cooked with ingredients from the Seto Inland Sea, go to Setouchi Kitchen Chichibugahama. The business hours are from 11:00 to 14:00 for lunch, 15:00 to 17:00 for coffee time, and 18:00 to 22:00 for dinner. The store is closed on Tuesdays. The last order is 30 minutes before closing.

Cafe de flots offers dishes cooked with salt from Chichibugahama. The business hours are from 11:30 to 18:00. The facility is closed on Thursdays.

At Bake Studio Okazaki, you can enjoy hamburgers made with local ingredients. The business hours are from 11:00 to 18:30. It is closed on Fridays. The eatery will also close if the bread is sold out.

Running Along the Shoreline

Cycling at Chichibugahama

The route from Chichibugahama offers stunning ocean views. The mountains seem to be jutting out into the ocean as small islands appear in sight.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

At some spots, you can go for a stroll on the beach. Just park your bicycle along the road.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

After a while, the Otaki Tunnel will come into view. It is located at the border of Mitoyo and the neighboring Kanonji City.

Through the City to Kotohiki Kairo

Cycling at Chichibugahama

The cycling route runs through the residential area of Kanonji. Turn right at the sign "Kotohiki." Be careful as you'll be riding on some narrow roads.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

You'll see plots for vegetables along the cycling route.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

The sign "Michi-no-Eki Kotohiki" and a river will come into view. Turn right along the river. It would be wise to check the Map in advance because this is a residential area.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

At Kotohiki Kairo, there is a Hello Cycling station where you can return the bicycle. Now let's relax in the hot spring after the bike ride.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Picture courtesy of Kotohiki Kairo

Kotohiki Kairo is a popular resort offering unique baths. This includes a hot spring using seawater and kamaburo, a circular steam bath that originated in Kyoto 1,200 years ago.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Picture courtesy of Kotohiki Kairo

Enjoy the fabulous ocean sunset from the restaurant that serves a variety of local and seasonal dishes. After the long excursion, a relaxing bath and a delicious meal should be refreshing.

Kotohiki Kairo is two kilometers away from JR Kan-onji Station, the nearest station. If you feel too tired to walk, the facility can call a taxi for you.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Zenigata Sunae can be seen from the observatory near Kotohiki Kairo. This artwork was created one night in 1633 to greet the visiting feudal lord of the time. Modeled after the currency of the day, it measures 122 meters from east to west, 90 meters from north to south, and 345 meters in circumference.

This sand painting is currently maintained with the help of many volunteers. According to legend, those who manage to see it will be blessed with financial luck. The painting is lit-up at night. Don't miss it if you have the chance to visit the area.

Hello Cycling Guide

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Hello Cycling, a bicycle-sharing service with stations all over Japan, has a branch at JR Takuma Station (*). The rate is 100 yen for 15 minutes and 1,500 yen for twelve hours (the cost includes tax).

Download the app from the official Hello Cycling site and input the necessary information to start your account. The app can be viewed in Japanese, English, and Chinese (traditional and simplified).

*There is another rental bicycle station at Marine Wave, a civic facility located near Takuma Station.

The following are some points to note.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Hello Cycling allows users to rent a bicycle at JR Takuma Station and return it at another station.

The app will show how many bicycles are available and how many vacant spots there are at each station. Please note that you cannot return a bike at a station that has no vacant spots.

Those who follow the route in this article should check the vacancy at Kotohiki Kairo station when they reach Otaki Tunnel. If there are no empty slots, please head back to JR Takuma Station.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

Start the app and a PIN will appear.

Turn on the device located in the middle of the handle, type in the PIN, and the bicycle will be unlocked.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

The device on the left side of the handle is for controlling the power assist function. The buttons with the triangles raise (or lower) the assist power.

The battery cannot be charged while riding. Please keep in mind the remaining battery life while cycling. It would be wise to use the power assist only when going up a steep slope to save energy.

Cycling at Chichibugahama

When you get off the bicycle, don't forget to lock it manually. To unlock it, just punch in the PIN code.

At the bicycle station, be sure to push the "Return" button and manually lock the bicycle.

Take advantage of this handy bike rental service and enjoy the fabulous scenery along this stunning cycling course.

In cooperation with Mitoyo Tourism and Exchange Authority, hand in hand, Anabuki Housing Service (Hello Cycling), and Kotohiki Kairo

Written by



Mitoyo, Kagawa, Japan

I worked in a PR agency for corporate IR/CSR and a publisher which publishes a magazine focused on international cooperation before joining MATCHA in October 2017. 
In April 2019, I moved to Mitoyo City in Kagawa Prefecture. I write articles for tourists visiting Japan, and also contribute to regional revitalization.
My main focus is on writing about internet services, rental cars, hotels, and tourist attractions in western Japan.
The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting. Some of our articles contain affiliate links. We kindly ask our readers to exercise careful judgement when making a purchase or booking a service online.

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