The start of my second day on the Shimanami Kaido was a quick ride out to Tatara Bridge from Setoda Link. While it was raining a little on the way to the bridge, by the time we got to the bridge, the rain slowed to a light drizzle. The entrance is located a little farther away from the bridge, so if you are taking the north route, you will see it quickly. If you are coming from the south, you will wonder where the entrance is, but you will eventually find it.
The approach to the bridge is about 1.3km long and it is slightly unique. The path to go up from the coast of Ikuchijima is slightly different to the others in that it is mostly straight. Most of the other paths wind their way up going left and right, but this one takes a more “direct” approach by making a slightly longer uphill stretch. Thankfully there are places to stop along the way and enjoy the view, but unfortunately the view wasn’t that great with all the rain.
The great thing about the approach on Ikuchijima is that the approach is in a citrus orchard. You are surrounded by various types of mikan trees. As I mentioned in a previous post, mikan were mostly out of season so I couldn’t enjoy the view of nice orange fruit on the green trees. It was still nice nonetheless and a good reason to consider going back there again.
Tatara Bridge was a little different in the sense that there is a nice lookout on the Ikuchijima side. The bad part was that I happened to get there as a large group of Chinese cyclists were also there. I ended up just stopping to wait for “A”, but we took off pretty quickly once he caught up. I didn’t want to be in a group of people and wanted to just enjoy the nature of the area and the quiet atmosphere we had gotten used to.
In general Tatara Bridge is another cable stayed bridge that looks similar to Ikuchi Bridge, but it is a little different. I really didn’t spend any time on the bridge due to the weather but I did enjoy the mysterious view of the Seto Inland Sea. The sea was producing a nice mist that made everything look a little creepy.
Once you get to the Omishima side, you are in the Tatara area. It is a good place, but because my legs and butt hurt a lot from the previous day of riding, I didn’t have the energy to really enjoy exploring this place. The approach to the bridge deck on this side is very unique in that you have to go over a road and along the side of the hill. It is similar to the Ikuchijima side, but more “developed”.
As I made my way down from the bridge deck, there is a small observation area. Unfortunately there is no access for cyclists and nowhere to park your bike, so you either have to illegally park or head to the bottom and walk up again. I decided to just stop and take photos instead. There is a very interesting helicopter that has been placed there, but I have absolutely no idea as to why it was there.
Once you get to the bottom, you have a choice to either keep going, to Hakatajima, or to stop off at the Tatara Shimanami Park. The path actually heads off in two directions and if you are trying to follow the blue line, you will be a little lost. The path basically goes straight or left. If you head left, you head to the main entrance of Tatara Shimanami Park and if you go straight, at the main street you turn right and head to Hakatajima. It really depends on what you want to do, but I do recommend making a quick stop at Tatara Shimanami Park.
Tatara Bridge is a pretty nice bridge. Due to the weather, I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I should have but it is just as beautiful as the other bridges. There is a sense that things change as you cross the bridge. Ikuchijima is on the Onomichi side of the Shimanami Kaido and Omishima is on the Imabari side. If you are aware of it, you can actually see a small difference between the two islands. While things are very similar between the islands, there is a difference in the overall atmosphere between them and if you ever visit these islands, perhaps you’ll feel the same way too.