Cycling Japan – day 11 – Usuki to Matsuyama

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  • Day 11 – Usuki to Matsuyama
  • Distance: 72km
  • Ascent / descent: 575m / 493m
  • Weather: sunny and hot
  • Accom: Cinnamon Guest house Dogo, Matsuyama, ¥3,000 dorm room

My ferry was at 7:45am and I was told to be there at 7:15am to pick up the ticket. It was just a 3km ride from the guesthouse to the port and when I arrived I was directed to put my bike in the queue next to a BMW motorbike. The couple on the bike were heading to Shikoku for the weekend. I left my bike in the queue then went into the office to pay and pick up my ticket. I was the last to board and as it was a nice day, I spent most of the ride outside on the upper deck.

Breakfast on the ferry of juice, coffee, peanut butter sandwich and an apple

Breakfast on the ferry of juice, coffee, peanut butter sandwich and an apple (bought from the supermarket in Usuki)

Fixing the bike onto the ferry from Usuki to Yawatahama (Kyushu to Shikoku)

Fixing the bike onto the ferry from Usuki to Yawatahama (Kyushu to Shikoku)

Fixing the bike onto the ferry from Usuki to Yawatahama (Kyushu to Shikoku)

On the ferry from Usuki to Yawatahama (Kyushu to Shikoku)

On the ferry from Usuki to Yawatahama (Kyushu to Shikoku)

On the ferry from Usuki to Yawatahama (Kyushu to Shikoku)

On the ferry from Usuki to Yawatahama (Kyushu to Shikoku)

On the ferry from Usuki to Yawatahama (Kyushu to Shikoku)

Areas to lie down and sleep on the ferry from Usuki to Yawatahama (Kyushu to Shikoku)SCF7823

Areas to lie down and sleep on the ferry from Usuki to Yawatahama (Kyushu to Shikoku)

It took 2hr 15 min to reach Yawatahama in Shikoku. There was a large Michi-no-eki next to the ferry terminal with a fish market, a food hall, cafes and information. After collecting a stamp and eating a salmon rice ball, I started on my Shikoku cycle adventure. Straight away I was impressed with the cycle lanes and separate cyclist / pedestrian tunnels. It was a gorgeously warm day and other than quite a few tunnels (and some without a footpath), I was mostly cycling along the stunning coastline.

Welcome to Shikoku!

Welcome to Shikoku!

The fish market at the Michi no eki beside the ferry terminal in Yawatahama

The fish market at the Michi no eki beside the ferry terminal in Yawatahama

Tunnel time - this one just for pedestrians and cyclists

Tunnel time – this one just for pedestrians and cyclists

Shikoku

Shikoku

The excellent coastal road, Route 378

The excellent coastal road, Route 378

Tottoro!

Tottoro!

Shinto shrine

Shinto shrine

DSCF7861

Wisteria by the sea

Wisteria by the sea

DSCF7865

Fishing time

Michi-no-eki Futami was a welcome surprise with a lovely sandy beach and lots of food options. I had takoyaki and donuts for lunch while sitting on the sand and for the first time on this trip, I felt like I was on holiday!

Lunch time at Michi-no-eki Futami

Lunch time at Michi-no-eki Futami with a beautiful sandy beach and good home made food (takoyaki and donuts!)

My intention was to pass through Matsuyama and continue to a park a further 16km on, however I was lured into the wonderful ambience of Dogo Onsen and after seeing and chatting with the same biker couple that I’d met this morning on the ferry, I decided to try and find somewhere to stay. There was a guesthouse (Cinnamon Dogo Guest House) 300m from where I was staying but the free wifi I was using wasn’t good enough to show me if there was availability so I decided to go directly there and find out. The owner, Shimpei-san informed me there was one last bed available in the female dorm for ¥3,000 and that I could bring my bike inside the guesthouse. Perfect!

Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama

Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama

Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama

Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama

Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama

Matsuyama

Matsuyama

The excellent Cinnamon Guest House Dogo, Matsuyama

The excellent Cinnamon Guest House Dogo, Matsuyama

The excellent Cinnamon Guest House Dogo, Matsuyama

The excellent Cinnamon Guest House Dogo, Matsuyama

Shimpei-san was wonderful and very helpful and the guesthouse was beautifully designed and thought out. He told me of a new onsen that had opened in 2017 called Asuka no Yu which is next to Tsubaki no Yu (about 200m from Dogo Onsen) so I decided to try this new one as I’ve been to both Dogo Onsen and Tsubaki no Yu. It was ¥600 (it’s ¥400 for Tsubaki no Yu) and I loved it! There were two baths, one indoor and the other inside but with an open roof for the cool breeze. There was a light projection on a wall in the bath every half hour which was wonderfully done and I felt so relaxed after my long hot soak.

Dogo Onsen at sunset, Matsuyama

Dogo Onsen at sunset, Matsuyama

Dogo Onsen at dusk, Matsuyama

Dogo Onsen at dusk, Matsuyama

I went for dinner at an udon noodle restaurant (called Manma) that was recommended by Shimpei-san just around the corner of the guesthouse and had a delicious hot pork udon dish.

Dinner in Matsuyama of hot beef with udon noodles and a Kirin alcohol-free beer

Dinner in Matsuyama at Manma of pork with hot udon noodles and a Kirin alcohol-free beer

Jb11 - elevation profile from Garmin connect

Jb11 – elevation profile from Garmin connect

Jb11 - google map from Garmin Connect

Jb11 – google map from Garmin Connect

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