Bike Tourism, Shikoku Henro 四国自転車ツーリズム 遍路道


The river ahead and the city road beyond. この先は川があり、その先は市道

Today we are bicycling further inland following the pilgrimage route of the Shikoku 88 Temples. Most of the original ancient routes are developed with wide modern paved roads except for the very tiny paths in the mountains. Sidewalks can be used as bike lanes as no one is walking these day, but actually the sidewalks are not continuous so we had to cross the traffic constantly switching from one side to the other. Some parts of the old roads remain and the main traffic doesn’t use them anymore, but they are very short, interrupted by the new roads and you never have a really relaxed ride.



A rural road in between the mountain and the river. 山と川に挟まれた田んぼ道

If you ride a parallel route, for instance on the opposite shore of a river which is on the main route, you can have fairly nice travel. These photos are a good explanation…. We found that this side of the river is much quieter and has much less traffic. These narrow streets are almost like dedicated bike lanes as only local people use these meandering roads which discourage fast driving and actually are not needed by the local people. Very few bridges join this area to the other side. Why don’t we publish a map that carefully connects these local routes and call it a continuous “ bike route”? There must be a lot of similar locations like this.


This cul-de-sac road ends at the mountain. 反対側、山があって行き止まり




We are now in a village. Unfortunately this potential bike route hits a heavily trafficked car route. There is a temple in this village “Byodo-ji” the 22nd of the 88 temples. Traffic passes just in front of it. It is very quiet for someone who came from a city but you cannot be totally relaxed. A parking lot is provided by the temple.

村の中に入ってきた。「自転車散策道」は残念ながら 村の中に入いる地点で車の行き交う道路と合流する。この村には四国巡礼88寺の一つがあって、門前は車がよく通る。都会から来れば十分閑散としているが、それでも車への注意は欠かせない。お遍路に駐車場さえ用意されている。


Byodo-ji main hall. This unsophisticated garden is not like in Kyoto but is very charming. 22番札所 平等寺本堂 この洗練されていない庭がいかにも四国らしくて良い。

To follow our original path back would not be boring but it would be daunting, it would be a long distance and there is a tough hill in between. If we can take a train from this village it would be great for our tired legs but our bikes do not fold and we have no covers which are both required by the railway company, even in an empty car.  It does not make sense, no one would be annoyed, and it helps maintain the passenger deficit by excluding cyclists. This rule is a inheritance of the golden age when trains were always packed. The weather is getting dark. Let’s take a quick visit to the main building and have a panoramic glance at the village, and trace our way back.




orange: this trip, yellow: last trip オレンジ:今回の旅、黄:前回の旅


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