After crossing the Tatara Bridge the Shimanami kaido runs down the SE edge of Omishima. Omishima is the biggest of the islands on the route, and there is plenty to see around the island, but I had been here a month or two earlier so this time I decided to press on and try to get to the next island, Hakatajima, to spend the night.
On calm, sunny days, of which there are plenty in the Inland Sea, the sea is really quite beautiful. There are just a few small fishing harbors on this part of the island.
Omishima and Hakatajima are quite close together, so no suspension bridge is needed. The arch bridge was the first of the bridges to be built on the Shimanami kaido, opening to traffic in 1979, and at that time was the longest arch bridge in Japan with a span of 297 meters. There are a few minshuku on Hakatajima, and I was hoping to rent a room for the night, but I had no luck, not because they were full but because they were empty and didnt want to open at such short notice for just one customer, so I replenished my supplies at the conbini and headed the short distance to the next bridge to try and find somewhere to sleep out.
Hakatajima connects to the last island Ohshima by two bridges. The first reaches to a tiny uninhabited island called Michika Island and there is an exit from the bridge for pedestrians and cyclists because there is a campsite down on a small beach. The campsite was closed and no-one else was on the island so I set up camp in a roofed picnic area right on the highest point of the island. I spent the last hour or so of the day relaxing, eating, and drinking as I took in the great views of the sunset....