“Awaichi” is short for “Awajishima Isshu,” which means a tour around Awaji Island. It is a popular route among Kansai cyclists along with “Biwaichi,” one time around Biwa Lake, and both are a 150-to-160-kilometer ride.
The route is easy to access—you can drive from Kobe across the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and park your car at the Awaji Michi-no-eki (rest area) right below the bridge. You can also take a quick boat ride on the Awaji Jenova Line across the strait from Akashi to Iwaya (13 minutes, ¥500 for adults and ¥220 for your bike.
Starting from the Michi-no-eki, we’ll do a clockwise tour of the island, beginning on Route 28 and then taking local Route 76 (aka Minami Awaji Suisen Line), named after the narcissus flowers that blossom in the southern part of the island in winter. As we pass Yura Town, right across the sea from Wakayama Prefecture, the route gets hilly until you get to the western coast. Jumping on a sightseeing cruise from Fukura Port for a relaxing cruise and viewing the famous whirlpools would surely make a memorable break along the way.
The route beyond, some 100 kilometers from the start, turns almost flat as it continues north along the western shore of the Awaji Sunset Line. Cruising on an empty coastal route will bring you back north. The tour is almost over when you see the townscape of Akashi on the left across the Harima Nada Sea.