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Japan Hour

Bus vs Local Trains In Ehime, Hiroshima And Okayama Prefectures - Part 2

The "bus team versus train team" transfer race continues, with both teams crossing the border into Hiroshima Prefecture and going to Ikuchijima, known as an "island of lemons", to complete a task.

The transfer race between the bus and the train teams continues. Both teams have completed the mission at the first checkpoint, Yoshiumi Ikiikikan, and are now heading to the second one, Shimanami Roman.

The bus team takes a ferry to Iwagijima Island and then catches a bus to Okogi Port. They ride on the 4pm ferry to Ikuchijima island. It is rich in nature and its Setouchi lemons are famous. The island was approved as a member of the Union of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan in 2009.

The train team, meanwhile, has been cycling 12km to Ikuchijima. They finally cross the border, bid farewell to Ehime Prefecture and enter Hiroshima Prefecture. They arrive at Sunoe Port on Ikuchijima at 4.05pm. 

The bus team must wait 40 minutes before taking the 4.50pm bus to the checkpoint. 

The train team reaches Shimanami Roman. As the first team to arrive at the second checkpoint, they win 2,000 yen to spend on taxis as a bonus prize. The team must return their rented bicycles at Onomichi, 30km away, by 7pm. It is now 5.10pm and the last ferry to Onomichi from Setoda Port left at 5pm. There is however a ferry at 7pm to Mihara Port, where there is a train station. So the train team decides to first drop off the bicycles at Ikuchijima Island and then take on the mission at the checkpoint. They will use the bonus prize taxi money to travel by ferry to Mihara.

So the bus team does the mission at the second checkpoint first. Ikuchijima is the largest producer of lemons in Japan and Shimanami Roman serves a wide variety of dishes made with the island's lemons. The mission is to eat and guess the most popular dish out of the five dishes on the menu - lemon pork bowl, salted lemon karaage bowl, lemon bowl, pirate lemon bowl and udon. The bus team correctly guesses the Setouchi lemon bowl as the most popular item. They can now proceed to the third checkpoint, Ofutei in Tomonoura. The bus team enquires about getting to Tomonoura and they are told to take the 6.25pm bus from Setoda Port to a port on Ikuchijima, followed by a ferry to Kanayama Port on Innoshima Island. At Kanayama Port, they can ride on the 7.30pm fixed-route bus to a bus stop near Innoshima Bridge. 

The train team finally does the mission at the restaurant and gets the right answer on the second try. They make it just in time to catch the 7pm ferry to Mihara. They arrive at Mihara Port at 7.25pm. Ofutei, the third checkpoint, is about 13km away from the nearest station, Fukuyama. The train team has no taxi money left so must walk.

The bus team, meanwhile, alights at the bus stop near Innoshima Bridge at 7.55pm. From here, they will walk to Mukaishima. They ask around about inns in Mukaishima and are told about the Shimanami Guesthouse, about 4km away from the bridge. The bus team arrives at the guesthouse at 9pm and ends the first day at Mukaishima. As for the train team, from Mihara Station, they start making their way to Fukuyama Station. It is around 9pm by now and after making enquiries, they decide to stay at the Route Inn Grantia. It is 3km away from Fukuyama Station and 10km away from Tomonoura.

The following morning, the second day of the race, a staff of Shimanami Guesthouse drives the bus team to Onomichi Station. The team then travels on the first bus at 6.45am to Kogyo Danchi, before transferring to the 7.15am bus going to Matsunaga Station. The train team, meanwhile, starts walking to Tomonoura at 7.20am.

At Matsunaga Station, the bus team learns that they can get to Tomonoura from Abuto, but they will have to walk. So they first take a bus to the Numakuma Shisho-mae bus stop and then transfer to an Abuto-bound bus at around 9am. They reach Abuto after a 10-minute bus ride and begin walking to Tomonoura, which is about 4km away. As for the train team, after walking for more than two hours, they finally arrive at Ofutei in Tomonoura.



1)    Iwagijima Island is famous for its lemons
2)    Some inns have drop-off services for guests taking an early train or bus


Source: CNA


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