Oshima is the first major island on the breathtaking Shimanami Kaido, which crosses the Seto Inland Sea from Ehime to the main island of Honshu. Whether you’re riding along the route itself or just visiting from nearby Imabari, it’s a great place to spend a day.
The island isn’t the only one with this name in Japan, because it’s name literally translates to the pretty generic “Big Island” (although it’s not even the biggest in the area). What you’ll find here are lovely viewpoints, excellent fresh seafood, and a wealth of cultural sites. While Shikoku Island has its 88-temple pilgrimage route, Oshima has its own smaller circuit: a series of 88 temples running along its coast which can be conquered over a weekend.
If you’re all templed out, then head along to Yoshiumi Rose Park instead for some lovely botanical displays which peak during their Rose Festival in May. The Murakami Suigun Naval Museum is also worth a look, it tells the story of a seafaring military force who controlled the Seto Inland Sea in Japan’s tumultuous feudal past.
Whether you come for the flowers, food, temples, or history, sunny Oshima has plenty to fill your next day trip from Ehime.
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