Ride through gorgeous forests: the Amami Oshima Route
Threading between mountains and the sea, this stunning road must be on every cyclist's bucket list. This is a route that will immerse you in the culture and nature of Amami Oshima from native mangrove forests to white sand beaches.
Amami northwest itinerary
|Departure/Arrrival point||Start: AiAi Hiroba, Finish: Turtle monument|
|Distance||Approximately 72.3 km|
|Elevation gain||Approximately 1,015 m|
After leaving from the starting point, Naze, there is a mountain pass to cross but from there, the road is flat. The scenery is wide and varied, from the impressive Kaganbana Tunnel to village churches that are part of everyday life around here.
A short, 29 m-long tunnel on the prefectural road in Tatsugo-cho. Locally it is called the "dragon's eye", because at the moment before the sun sets in spring and autumn, the whole sun perfectly fills the tunnel.
The sotetsu, or Cycad revoluta, is a species of cycad that grows only in parts of China, southern Kyushu, Amami Oshima and Okinawa. It has long been grown on Amami as a hedge to demarcate properties or as a windbreak, and today it is grown as an ornamental plant. Its pith (nari) is still used today used in the local dishes such as "nari miso."
Amami northeast itinerary
|Departure/Arrrival point||Start: Turtle monument, Finish: AiAi Hiroba|
|Distance||Approximately 44.0 km|
|Elevation gain||Approximately 414 m|
This is an itinerary for ocean lovers. There is Cape Kasari, from which you can see the East China Sea to the left and the Pacific Ocean to your right, and Cape Ayamaru jutting out into the Pacific. This is a route of gentle hills. There are plenty of restaurants along the way, so you can fully appreciate the food culture of Amami on the ride.
One of the "Ten Sights of Amami" in northeast Amami Oshima. This is a fantastic spot to rest with café, toilets and amazing views. From the elevated park, look out at the 180-degree view of the horizon from Cape Kasari at left to Tomori Beach at right. This brings home the majesty of Earth's form. You might even spy whales in winter. This spot is not far from the airport, so if your ride starts from there, make it your first stop.
A heart-shaped rockpool that appears only at low tide. Gaining fans as a lovers' powerspot in recent years, it is also said that romantic wishes will be fulfilled if you save a photo of the rockpool to your phone's lock screen. The best time to view Heart Rock is an hour either side of low tide when the water level is at under 80 cm, and when the sea is calm. This itinerary is gentle and open, but the entrance to Heart Rock is easily missed, so watch for it carefully (then park at carpark and walk).
Amami Central North (Yamato village) itinerary
|Departure/Arrrival point||Start: Itsukushima Shrine, Finish: AiAi Hiroba|
|Distance||Approximately 49.3 km|
|Elevation gain||Approximately 1,145 m|
Enjoy a ride along this coast of plunging cliffs and coral reefs. It is a challenging itinerary of flat patches interspersed with steep climbs. The southern part of the island has few shops, so bring food for the road.
These grain storehouses represent ancient architecture, built without the use of a single nail. The thatched part is the storage area and has a structure preventing rats from climbing it. It is a designated heritage of Kagoshima Prefecture.
Come out through the Ryukyu-chiku bamboo to a stunning view over the East China Sea (walk in from carpark). The road into Miyakozaki is hilly and challenging, yet the way scenery unfolds before you clears away all fatigue. With a little luck, you might even see dolphins or whales (in winter).
Amami Central South (Sumiyo) itinerary
|Departure/Arrrival point||Start: AiAi Hiroba, Finish: Heart-shaped View|
|Distance||Approximately 45.3 km|
|Elevation gain||Approximately 931 m|
This route passes through a number of long tunnels under green mountains. You will gain perspective on the mountain range that is the backbone of Amami Oshima.
This park features rental bungalows that face the calm waters of Uchiumi Bay, Sumiyo, Amami City. It is a great place to stop off, with a tourist hub selling tankan orange juice nearby (and renting bikes too), as well as a complex where you can relax in a herb bath.
（Photos: Amami City Sumiyo General Branch Office）
The virgin mangrove forest of Sumiyo is the second-largest in Japan. Mangroves grow in estuarine environments where river waters mix with the sea. Do not miss the grandiose view from the lookout. The photogenic scenes go on and on. You can also explore the waters by canoe.
Amami Yuwan itinerary
|Departure/Arrrival point||Start: Nagara village, Finish: Funakoshi Beach|
|Distance||Approximately 24.8 km|
|Elevation gain||Approximately 328 m|
The road along the shore of Yakeuchi Bay is essentially flat and of no concern to riders of any ability. Take a relaxed cruise between little settlements.
Ikegachi viewing platform
This is a sunset spot. Looking to the west is most recommended. The road is quite flat until the Funakoshi Beach, so this is a good ride to relax and enjoy the salty breeze.
A dazzling 800 meter-long stretch of white sand. During spring low tides, a reef stretches out to the horizon. In summer, swimming and snorkelling are all the rage. From above, you can see the "micro atoll," a donut-shaped coral reef.
Amami Setouchi-cho itinerary
|Departure/Arrrival point||Start: Yadori Beach, Finish: Nagara village|
|Distance||Approximately 39.4 km|
|Elevation gain||Approximately 961 m|
This route takes in the calm scenery of Setouchi. There is a surprise around every corner and considering the sheer number of corners, it is a very exciting ride. The ups and downs also make this a slightly harder course.
Facing the Pacific, the action of the heavy waves on stones and sand across millennia have created pebbles. When a wave draws out, the sound of the clashing stones is like a taiko drum. Take a break here, sit down by the shore and listen to the clatter of the stones. The scenery is excellent along the road, peppered with mysterious rocky outcrops and caves.
In Setouchi-cho in the south of Amami Oshima is an outlook over a "heart-shaped view." It is a beautiful view over the clear blue waters of a heart-shaped bay, contrasting with the green of the mountains. It is a popular spot for couples too.
Complete all six routes for the full circuit of the island
Six routes for the areas that make up Amami Oshima. If you ride all of them, you will have make the full circuit of the island. Eat your heart out on your Amami Oshima ride, taking in each of its different areas from deep forests to seas stretching out to the horizon.
Where to ride? Recommended cycle routes
01）the Hokusatsu Route（Kitasatsuma area）
02）the Koshikishima Route（Kitasatsuma area）
03）the Tanegashima Route（Kumage area）
04）the Yakushima Route（Kumage area）
05）the Amamioshima Route（Oshima area）
06）the Tokunoshima Route（Oshima area）
07）the Okinoerabujima Route（Oshima area）
For any queries about cycle tourism, please contact the Tourism, Culture and Sports Department, Kagoshima Prefecture
10-1, Kamoikeshinmachi, Kagoshima-shi
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