This is an exhilarating seaside route: in the mid-west part of Wakayama Prefecture, going north along the coastline allows you to enjoy the view of the Kii Channel and have a great ride while viewing the lighthouse at the westernmost point of the Kii Peninsula, the huge outcrops of white chalk and lime rock and contrasts beautifully with the ultramarine sea.
Visiting “Yuasa” is a must, as it is where soy sauce originated in Japan. There is also an optional hill climb route to go to a hill full of “mikans” (mandarin oranges) just before reaching the end goal.
Starting from JR Gobo station, you will reach the coastline, which is just 4.5km away.
From there, you will ride along the coastline for 60km. First, aiming to reach Kii-Hinomisaki Lighthouse located in Hinomisaki, which is at the westernmost point of the Kii Peninsula.
After you pass the Yura Fishing Port (which is also a port of call for large vessels) and come back to the coastline via riding over a small hill, you will be able to see the white chalk and lime rocks of the coastline contrasting with the ultramarine sea. Shirasaki Kaiyo Park is the best place for a rest or lunch.
There are some tunnels along the coastline road but it is better to avoid the tunnels and use the narrow public roads due to less traffic.
There will be some slope roads, but the beautiful view where you can overlook a sea or port waits for.
If you ride along this route, the recommended souvenir is soy sauce from Yuasa, where soy sauce originates from. The preserved warehouses called “Kura” (old Japanese style warehouse) constructed from planks of wood with walls painted with white plaster, have bottles and bottles of soy sauce. This particular district is worth visiting.
There will be an optional hill climb route to go to called “Mikan no Oka” (The Hill of Mandarin Oranges) just before the end goal. If you have the time and energy to spare, we greatly recommend you go there.
(If you don’t go to “Mikan no Oka”, the distance of the route is 68km with an elevation gain of 1,050m.)
Distance: 94km, Elevation Gain: 1,592m
Starting point is JR Gobo station where the limited express train “Kuroshio” stops.
First, we’re aiming to reach Kii-Hinomisaki Lighthouse located in Hinomisaki, the westernmost point of the Kii Peninsula.
From the Kii-Hinomisaki Lighthouse, you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic sea view of the Kii Channel.
The symbol of Shirasaki coast is a chalk rock called “Tatego Rock”, which has a gaping huge hole in the centre.
If you have lunch at Shirasaki Kaiyo Park, “Tako Meshi” (Mixed Rice with Octopus) made with local octopus is our recommendation.
From the hill where you can climb up after you leave Shirasaki Kaiyo Park, you will be able to see the island called “Snoopy Island”. It’s named that because the island looks like as if Snoopy is lying down.
If you go up a narrow uphill path following blue line by avoiding four tunnels continuing from Kobiki Beach Resort (40.5km away point), a beautiful view awaits for you as a reward for climbing.
Once you leave the coastline from Ena Fishing Port and go over the hill, the winding road surrounded by the Mandarin Orange fields will appear.
You should visit the preserved district in Yuasa, where soy sauce originates from. Soy sauce is produced here via traditional methods and soy sauce bottles that have sat for a year are a particularly tasty souvenir.
On this route, go back to the indented coastline again and head further north, with a small amount of ups and downs on the route along the way.
Mikan no Oka has a vast and wide fileds of “Arida Mikan” (special mandarin oranges that are very sweet and juicy), which boasts the largest production of mandarin oranges in Japan. This is an exquisite hill climb course which has a switch back road meandering through the Mikan Fields. The view from the top where you can overlook the view of the Arida river and highway is really magnificent! It is a must-go route for hill climbing enthusiasts. This hill is optional to go on.
If you go up to Mikan no Oka, it would be a good experience to go under the electric windmill on the top of the hill. You will be overwhelmed by the size of the big windmill when standing underneath it.