A first-rate view of the Shimanami Kaido
This observatory park atop the 307.8m Mt. Kiro located southeast of the Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge at the southern tip of Oshima Island has the most beautiful view within Shimanami Kaido. On the way up to the observation point, there is a terrace that was built on the suggestion of photographer Kitao Ando which is the best place to take that photo of Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge. On top of that, the observation point with its 360-degree panoramic view was designed by architect Kengo Kuma. The building itself is built underground with trees and other plants arranged around it so that the natural view is protected and it cannot be seen from outside. From the point, the Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge, the world’s first triple suspension bridge, and the Kurushima Strait which is responsible for one of Japan’s Three Great Rapid Tides can be seen to the northwest, while to the south, the city of Imabari and, if the weather is clear, the Ishizuchi Mountain Range, which is the highest range in Western Japan within the Shikoku Mountains, can be seen to the southeast. Viewing the 184m-high Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge from a point that is 1.7 times higher makes for the perfect photo spot.
A spot where you will also want to go cycling along the Shimanami Kaido
Mt. Kiro Observatory Park can be accessed by car or bicycle. The Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road is not that far away so the view is very much worth seeing although the slope goes up for up to 3 km. Open 24 hours, the magic hour during sunset is especially the perfect time to view the lit-up Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge as the sun dips below the horizon. There are shops within the parking area of the observation point, and it is only here that you can sample the popular Tamashio Ice Cream created from seaweed and rich in minerals. Next to the parking lot, there is a cute stone statue of a legendary huge turtle with a statue of Kannon in the background; the name of the mountain, Mt. Kiro (old turtle), is derived from this turtle.