Mount Ishizuka Roadway  Mount Ishizuka Roadway

Mount Ishizuka Roadway

Mount Ishizuka Roadway

【147.0km】A superb view road commanding West Japan's highest peak; Ishizuchi Mt.

Fun & Fitness Challenging

Route Introduction

This route features breathtaking scenery, including vibrant vegetation that changes as you climb, the beautiful canvas woven by the forests and clear streams, and Mount Ishizuka which is the highest mountain in western Japan (at 1,982 meters). Mid-course, the the well known Kamegamori Rindo (the UFO Line) follows along the ridge at an elevation of 1,300 to 1,700 meters, and has been featured in TV commercials. With nothing to block your view of the vast sky as you ride, this cycling route is said to be the most scenic in western Japan.

With a length of 27 kilometers and countless sharp turns and inclines, the route tests the endurance and technique of even the most seasoned veterans, but the ability to cycle the route while also taking in the changing views of nature through the seasons, such as Ehime’s secluded Namerikawa canyon, the bucolic rural scenery of Kumakogen, and the distance views of the sea from the UFO Line, is unsurpassed. There are plenty of hot springs and places to dine in the city of Saijo along the way, so we recommend it as a place to relax after cycling.

TOTAL 147.0 km

Highlights

Route attraction

Challenging
【Point 36.2km】Namekawa Canyon

【Point 36.2km】Namekawa Canyon

One notable site at the secluded Namerikawa canyon, a leading destination in Ehime prefecture, is the river bed formed from a single rock, known as the Namera, polished by the waters over thousands of years. The rock, which is over 1 kilometer in length, features a unique shine and texture, and the clear waters flowing over it produce a magical sight. If you then walk along the stream for about 20 minutes, you will arrive at the Oku-no-Taki (Taki-no-hara) waterfall. You will experience a sense of finding an undiscovered land when the waterfall appears before your eyes surrounded in massive gently rounded stones.

Challenging
【Point 118.1km】Kamegamori (UFO Line)

【Point 118.1km】Kamegamori (UFO Line)

This 27 kilometer route follows the ridgeline of the Shikoku mountains, which include the highest peak in Western Japan (1,982 meters), Mount Ishizuchi, and reaches a maximum elevation of 1,690 meters. You can take in a view encompassing the Pacific Ocean and the Seto Inland Sea at once with no obstructions on a sunny day, and you can enjoy the changing seasons including the cloud cover below you or the autumn leaves. The route follows the ridgeline of the mountains between an elevation of 1,300 and 1,700 meters, and has been used in the production of TV commercials for the beautiful views. While you can enjoy the views of the Akebono azaleas in the springtime and the autumn leaves in the fall, be aware that the route closes during the winter from the end of November through early April.

Now you know, so let’s go

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SPOT 1

Aquatopia

Aquatopia

Saijyo City was named by the government of Japan as an aquatopia, and has come to be know as the "City of Water". Spread accross the city are around 3,000 spots called "uchinuki" where underground rivers gush up from the ground. There are walking paths that follow these underground rivers, and places where you can drink the water, creating an overall refreshing atmosphere throughout the city.

Address
Saijo City, Kanbaiko, Ehime Prefecture

SPOT 2

Toraya Confectionary's Toraya Cookie

Toraya Confectionary's Toraya Cookie

Founded in 1945 in Saijo, Toraya is a popular sweets shop. The original founder's oldest began making original variations of European sweets, resulting in the now famed Toraya Cookie. These delicous cookies are a much loved local souvenir.

Address
856-13 Omachi, Saijo, Ehime Prefecture
Phone
0897-55-3555
Hours & Holiday
8:30am - 7:30pm, Closed every 2nd and 4th Wednesdays

SPOT 3

Malbun Komatsu Store's Hot Plate Napolitan

Malbun Komatsu Store's Hot Plate Napolitan

Once a busy Japanese style eatery, Malbun is now a western food restraunt dearly loved by locals. Napolitan, a Japanese style sphagetti dish with ketchup sauce served on an iron plate is this establishment's signiture dish, said by many to be a must-eat delicacy of Saijyo City. The rich flavor of ketchup mixed well with the thick sphagetti noodles, the big sausage and the soft-boiled egg topping all make for an unforgettable meal.

Address
407-Shinyashiki, Komatsu-cho, Saijo, Ehime Prefecture
Phone
0898-72-2004
Hours & Holiday
11:am - 10pm, L.O. 9:30pm, Closed on Mondays

SPOT 4

Roadside Station Komatsu Oasis

Roadside Station Komatsu Oasis

This is the closest road station to Mount Ishizuchi, the highest peak in western Japan. Here you can find local produce and delicacies from the region as well as an outdoor shop run by Montbell. For cyclists and travellers who like to stay active, there is a rock climbing wall inside the Mntbell shop, and a campground next door. Be sure to have a refreshing bath at Tsubaki Hot Spring Komatsu, where you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view.

Address
22-29 Shinyashiki Otsu, Komatsu-cho, Saijo, Ehime Prefecture
Phone
0898-76-3111
Hours & Holiday
9am - 6pm, Closes 5:30pm in winter seasons

SPOT 5

Shikokuya Hot Spring

Shikokuya Hot Spring

In Shikoku there is a famous pilgrimage that traverses 88 temples found accross the island. Hot Spring Shikokuya is a well konwn resting point for the pilgrims that make this journey. Since one of the 88 temples is just nearby, it's a cenvenient place to take a break. The hot springs are also said to have beautifying qualities given by subtly slimy spring water.

Address
47 Akiho, Komatsucho, Saijo, Ehime Prefecture
Phone
0898-76-3388
Hours & Holiday
10am - 10pm, Open every day

SPOT 6

Ishizuchi Mountain

Ishizuchi Mountain

Mount Ishizuchi is the highest peak in western Japan, at an altitude of 1,982 meters. Historically the mountain itself was once worshipped as a god. Traces of this tradition can still be found, as this mountain is now one of the seven sacred mountains of Japan. Mount Ishizuchi is also popular among tourists as a place with great spiritual power. This route passes near the ridge of the mountain, providing a mystical and stimulating experience surrounded by nature.

Address
Wakayama, Kumakogen Town, Kamiukena District, Ehime Prefecture

SPOT 7

Yuyaguchi Fault Line

Yuyaguchi Fault Line

In Nakayamagawa Canyon several fault lines which have become exposed due to crustal deformation can be seen. Here you can clearly see the Japan Median Tectonic Line, Japan's longest fault line which runs through almost half of the entire country. The rare sight of red sandstone pushed upward by layers of black mica schist has been deemed a natural monument by the prefectural government for its geological value.

Address
Kurumi, Tanbara-cho, Saijo, Ehime Prefecture

SPOT 8

Namekawa Canyon

Namekawa Canyon

One notable site in the secluded Namerikawa Canyon, a popular destination in Ehime, is this river bed formed within a single rock. Known as the Namera, this river bed was created by the flow of water over thousands of years. The rock, which is over one kilometer in length, has an unusual shine and texture, and the clear water flowing over it produces a magical sight. If you walk along the stream for about 20 minutes, you will arrive at the Oku-no-Taki (Taki-no-hara) waterfall. When the waterfall appears before your eyes, surrounded in massive, gently rounded stones, the feeling is a though you have descovered a hidden world.

Address
Tōon, Namerikawa, Ehime Prefecture

SPOT 9

Shirai Falls

Shirai Falls

The Shirai Fall has long since been known as a scenic spot due to its crushing 96 meter waterfall as well as the beautiful surrounding nature. Famous Japanese writers such as Shiki Masaoka and Soseki Natsume have written Haiku and Tanka (poems) about this waterfall. In winter, the falls freeze and become one big piece of ice, creating a quiet, mysterious scene.

Address
Kawanouchi, Tōon, Ehime Prefecture

SPOT 10

Kuromori Pass

Kuromori Pass

Kuromori Toge is the first peak in this cycling route, reaching an elevation of 985 meters. It is also marks the boundry between Touon City and Kumakogen City.

Address
Sugou, Kumakogen, Kamiukena District, Ehime Prefecture

SPOT 11

Omogo Furusato Market's Grilled Sweetfish

Omogo Furusato Market's Grilled Sweetfish

Omoga Furusato Market is located at the bottom of a roughly 22 kilometer uphill incline called Mount Ishizuchi Hillclimb. Here you can enjoy local speciality foods such as konnyaku, broiled corn, and salted grilled sweetfish. Be sure to rest up before going on uphill ride through the wilderness of Mount Ishizuchi.

Address
26 Ainoki, Kumakogen, Kamiukena District, Ehime Prefecture
Phone
0892-58-2440
Hours & Holiday
8:30am - 3pm, 不定休

SPOT 12

Omogo Gorge (Omogokei)

Omogo Gorge (Omogokei)

This canyon is eight kilometers in length, and is located on the southern side of Mount Ishizuchi. Many scenic spots recognized by the government can be found spread throughout this area; even if you spend a whole day here you might not see them all. Many who come here are surprised by how clear the water is. If you look you can see the riverbed even from a distance through the deep blue river water. The multicolored leaves of autumn are also a beautiful sight; fall is a great season to visit.

Address
In Wakayama Ishizuchi Quasi-National Park, Kumakogen, Kamiukena District, Ehime Prefecture
Phone
0892-21-1111

SPOT 13

Kamegamori (UFO Line)

Kamegamori (UFO Line)

This 27 kilometer route follows the ridgeline of the Shikoku mountains, including the highest peak in western Japan at 1,982 meters, Mount Ishizuchi. The route reaches a maximum elevation of 1,690 meters. The view from here reaches to the Pacific Ocean and the Seto Inland Sea unobstructed. Following the ridgeline of the mountains between an elevation of 1,300 and 1,700 meters, this route has been used as a location for many TV commercials because of its beautiful views. In spring you can see the Akebono azaleas and the autumn leaves in the fall, but be aware that the route closes in winter from the end of November through early April.

Address
Kamegamori, Saijo, Ehime Prefecture
Phone
0897-52-1446

SPOT 14

Kaza-ana

Kaza-ana

Kaza-ana means "hole of the wind". As the name suggests, this is a spot where wind blows continuously from the depths of a cave. This phenomenon is created by underground, and in summer the difference in air temprature inside and outside the cave produces fog. A rare spcies of blue poppy that typically only blooms in the Himalayas can be seen here. Using the peculiar climate conditions present here, voulenteers have been able to cultivate this flower. The caves, the mystical flowers, the fog, and deep forest create an unusual, dramatic scene.

Address
Fujinoishi, Saijo, Ehime Prefecture
Phone
0897-56-2605

SPOT 15

Bujo Hot Spring

Bujo Hot Spring

This bath house uses water from the Nibukawa Hot Spring, famous for its supposed beautifying effects. The smooth texture of the water is characteristic of this spring, giving it the ability to improve skin health and neuralgia conditions. Various types of baths, such as a stone bath, an esthetic bath, and a micro bubble bath can be enjoyed here. The outdoor bath, with its views of nature is especially popular among visitors.

Address
209 Omachi, Saijo, Ehime Prefecture
Phone
0897-52-1126
Hours & Holiday
10am - 11pm, Open every day

GOAL

Aquatopia

Aquatopia

After enjoying the bountiful nature of Mount Ishizuchi, return to the center of town in Saijo. Now that you have completed this course, it's time to reward yourself with a delicious meal and a drink or two. From here there are several options to choose from. Stick around and see the museums, temples, and shrines, head to Imabari, or hop on the Shimanami Kaido and enjoy a few more days of cycling around the area.

GOAL km

Kickoff point for this route

Start Point

Aquatopia

  • Just For Fun
    • By train
      Approximately 8 minutes walk from JR Iyo-Saijyo Station
      ※On weekends and holidays, you can board on the train with your bicycle for the Yosan-sen Cycle Train will be in service (Please check operating date to be sure)

Articles to help with your cycling

Fun & Fitness
Anyone can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Mount Ishizuchi cycling courses. We asked a pro rider/trainer to tell us more. Anyone can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Mount Ishizuchi cycling courses. We asked a pro rider/trainer to tell us more.

For this article, we interviewed Ehime native Sanshi Kubota, a cycling aficionado and rider who also works as a core trainer for cyclists. We asked him about the courses he recommends and his precautions for the courses of the Ishizuchi Mountains for both beginners and intermediate riders, and points to consider when training to overcome the significant ups and downs of the mountain roads.

Challenging
Cycling Spots in Ehime Recommended by Pro Riders Motoshi Kadota and Yasuaki Nishiyama Cycling spots in Ehime recommended by pro riders Motoshi Kadota and Yasuaki Nishiyama

Today we interviewed Motoshi Kadota, a professional mountain bike rider knowledgeable about Ehime Prefecture, and Yasuaki Nishiyama, a new rising athlete who races with Kadota, about their ideas on the most comfortable routes to ride, the most motivating uphill rides, and the most motivating off road routes.

Challenging
An introduction to cyclo-cross by Masahiko Mifune. Why does he recommend it to road bike riders too? An introduction to cyclo-cross by Masahiko Mifune. Why does he recommend it to road bike riders too?

Masahiko Mifune, a former professional road racer who has represented Japan in competitions throughout the world, and current chairman of the Cyclo-Cross Subcommittee of the Japan Cycling Federation (JCF) recommends cyclo-cross to road bike riders in particular. Here he tells us all about why that is.

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