Oki Dogo Island, the biggest island of the Oki Islands – “the miracle islands” with its amazing nature and unique ecosystem and culture. This an 85km circuit course, riding clockwise along the coastline starting and finishing at Saigo Port with the altitude gain of over 1600m which is more for the advanced cyclist.
There are so many attractions on this course such as the beautiful view of the coastline and the spectacular strata by the volcanic activities, as well as local delicacies from rich marine resources.
The Oki Islands located 50km north of the Shimane Peninsula, consist of the three Dozen islands – Chibuli-jima Island (Chibu-mura), Nakano-shima Island (Ama-cho), Nishino-shima Island (Nishinoshima-cho) – and Dogo Island (Okinoshima-cho). The population of the all four islands combined is 21,000, and the total area is around 350km.
The Oki Islands were registered as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2013, as so much untouched nature remained there. They have a rich history as well, including the ancient trading of local obsidian, being the place where the Emperors Gotoba Joko and Godaigo were exiled to, as wells as being a port on the voyages of the Kitamae-bune ships during the Edo period.
Starting Saigo Port with the unique view of Oki Islands from the cape
Start from Saigo Port where a bronze statue of a yokai monster is placed, because Shigeru Mizuki, the author of “Gegege no Kitaro” had a connection to Oki.
The route goes along the coast line soon after the start, with 30km of gentle ups and downs to Nagu Cape. Saigo-ohashi Bridge is the first landmark to see.
As a symbolic figure, used as a passage to Oki Island Global Geopark Airport, and one of the must-see sites Saigo Port Lighthouse is nearby.
The 50 to100m cliff of the west side of Saigo Port entrance is the remaining of the volcanic activity of 550,000 years ago, which is the east half of crater was blown off by the phreatomagmatic eruptions.This dynamic land scape can be seen from the coast line.
Fukuura Tunnels, a Civil Engineering (Works) Heritage after conquering the hills
The tough hills of 200m altitude with continuous ups and downs starts after Nagu Cape. There will also be the grand scale of the coastal scenery caused by erosion from the rough waves of the Japan Sea.
Fukuura Tunnels, a famous site 10km from there, the smaller one was dug by hand-tools, and the bigger one was dug by hand-tools and dynamite, then widened later by heavy machinery in Showa Era.
The tunnels are registered as a Civil Works Heritage of Japan and refer to the history of the people and engineering, changing from foot to carriage then vehicle.
Magnificent view of Shirashima Coast after conquering the long climb, with the dancing statue of Shigeru Mizuki
Leave Fukuura Tunnels then small ups and downs to go, then starts the toughest part of this course, about 5km of climb.
Mt. Omine, alt. 507.6m where a cattle ranch and wind mills are located, appears half way through the climb, and shows its formation by the dynamic topographic transition.
Arriving at Oki Shirashima Coast, the most popular tourist site at the northern tip (point) of the island, after the climb and descent the windy road. This tourist site is registered as a National Scenic Natural Monument, created with Shirashima Cape and small islands, with the beautiful scenery of the contrast of the green of pine trees, the white rock cliff and the deep blue of the sea. There is an observatory nearby, though the 5km route to it with an average 8.8% slope is very tough.
Spotted the end of the Mizuki Shigeru Road from Sakaiminato to Oki, check out the Shigeru Mizuki Dancing Statue next to Kita Elementary School.
Then, few kilometres after that the route arrives at Sazae Village, which serves the local delicacy of “sazae-don bowl”.
25km to finish, pedal along the island’s east coast to Saigo Port. There are dramatic landscapes created by volcanic activities and upheavals of the bottom of the sea on the way.
Visited Sasaki Residence in Kama area, Okinoshima-cho, registered as Important Cultural Property, one of the oldest former shoya (village headman) house in Dogo Area built in 1836. The local cuisine can be experienced as well as the tour of the house. The goal is so close now, crossing Saigo Higashi-ohashi Bridge then approaching Saigo Port.
Lunch at Sasaki Residence, an Important Cultural Property
2111 yen / person (admission fee included) from 4 people
Arriving at the goal of Saigo Port by crossing Saigo Higashi-ohashi Bridge.
Over all, the large scale of the scenery with the nature of the coast line and its unique landscape make this course spectacular. The route is well maintained and good condition though there are many tunnels and so cyclists must carry lights.
There are so many things to see and all so impressive despite of the course is mainly along the coast line. And there are still more to see and feel, so enjoy this course with your way.
There are so many things to see and all so impressive even though the course is mainly along the coast line. There still more things to see and feel, so feel free to take detours if you want.
< More to see >
- Operating Season : 1 April to 31 October
- Operating Hours : 1) 10:00~ 2) 13:45~ 3)15:45~
- Duration: 45mins. * with reservation
- Fees: 1,500 yen / adult, 750 yen / child
- Reservation : Okinoshima-cho Tourist Association 08512-2-0787
- Date: Check
- Start: 9:00, Duration: about 15 mins.
- Fee: 1,300 yen / adult, 650 yen elementary and junior high school students
*Free for child before school
- Contact: Okinoshima-cho Tourist Association 08512-2-0787
< Feel the Scale of the Nature of the Miracle Island, Dogo Island of Oki Islands >