Tokuyama to Iwakuni – 20 April

45km in the hills or 72km on the coast …

Starting at 8:15am after a good breakfast and the choice was made easy by the nice man on reception,

Route 188 is much more scenic on the coastal road’

That was easy … settled!! … getting out of the usual shops and car yards; then into suburbia; a group of girls jogging around a sand playing field shouting what I gather a team song; boys were gathered in the next sand field, and sacks of soccer balls in waiting. It’s Saturday … sports day.

It took 13km for route 188 to deliver – Komoot took us parellel to the main road to enjoy a lovely sandy beach between pine trees.

The coast is shared with industry so we were on and off the coast for a while until we could virtually dip our toes in the water; large expanses of coastline with views of the islands closeby. Concrete breakwaters provide small marinas for local fishing boats and a platform for recreational fishing.

We swapped between the bike/pedestrian path and narrow road shoulder and enjoyed the views while the km’s ticked away on the flat roads.

We made great time and were at our accommodation and checked in by 2pm. Iwakuni has some significant sights so we were back on our bikes to discover the Kintaikyo Bridge one of the most famous wooden bridges in the world built in 1673 … wow that’s an old bridge.

Over the river via the wooden bridge, a ropeway (cablecar) – elevation of 200m leads us up Mt Shiroyama to the Iwakuni Castle built in 1608. The whole precinct is a lovely afternoon out. Lovely walking paths and gardens – the cherry blossoms are finished however there are some pink blossoms equally as attractive in bloom today. Down the mountain there are great picnic areas and water features for the littlies to paddle. The river bed is a parking lot at the moment, I would suspect that in winter it would be the full complement of the river.

The hotel is a little away from the centre of town so a buffet meal for AUD$12 satisfies the palate … so much that I shouldn’t eat for a week.

We have clean and dry clothes thanks to the coil laundry …AUD$5 … all is good!!

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