Setouchi Shimanami Kaido is a 60km road (70km cycling road) between Onomichi City, Hiroshima and Imabari City, Ehime, linking the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. The Cycling Road is Japan's first cycle path to cross the straits and is famous as the 'holy land of cyclists' both in Japan and abroad, giving bikers the feel of the cool sea breeze as they enjoy the spectacular view.
And with the hope of offering this beautiful scenery to as many people as possible, Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road has implemented a program called 'Shimanami Cycling Free', which lifts the bicycle toll for a limited period from July 2014 to the end of March 2022. (*As of December 2020)
In order to assist the continuation of this free service, Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan has set up nine Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road Support Vending Machines as of the end of November 2020 and donated part of the proceeds to "Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road Promotion Council Hiroshima Headquarters" (Note 1).
Just recently on November 20, 2020, a support vending machines was installed at Japan's only 'bicycle shrine,' Oyama Shrine (Innoshima Habucho, Onomichi City). The support vending machine wrapping is taken from the cycling manga, "Long Rider Stories!", (Note 2) which includes Shimanami Kaido in the story and is a completely new design, different from other support vending machines.
Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road Support Vending Machines are the bright blue colors of the Setouchi Inland Sea and can be found at nine different locations. We hope you enjoy the original designs and stop by for breaks. Don't forget to hydrate frequently, and enjoy safe cycling.
[Mukaishima rest area]
[Bus waiting area along Setoda National
[Oyama Shrine (bicycle shrine)]
[Support vending machine at Oyama Shrine
Signage on the vending machine has a map to show you where you are.
(Note 1) Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road Promotion Council Hiroshima HQ
Established in June 2014 with the main purpose of continuing to keep the Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road toll free. It consists of members of Hiroshima Prefecture and Onomichi City, and the Tourism Section of Hiroshima Prefecture serves as its Secretariat. In June 2014, we entered into an agreement with Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road Promotion Council and have been installing support VMs as a part of initiatives to offer free toll for bicycles crossing the six bridges of Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road (usual charge is 500 yen).
(Note 2) "Long Rider Stories!"
This manga series features a story about a cycling team of five female university students and has been published on "Monthly BUSHIROAD" (BUSHIROAD MEDIA) since April 2019. Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road appears in "Long Rider Stories!"