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Ehime:Sasage Island along Shimanami Kaido Cycling Route Accessible Only during Low Tide

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Sasage Island, left, becomes connected with Hakata Island, right, at low tide.

IMABARI, Ehime — Located about 180 meters northeast off Hakata Island along the Shimanami Kaido, which links Honshu with Shikoku, Sasage Island is called the “Mont-Saint-Michel of Shimanami” after the tidal island in France.

Though the island is usually inaccessible, a sandbar appears at low tide as if the sea parted and connects it with Hakata Island, making it possible for visitors to cross to the island on foot.

The Shimanami Kaido is known as a mecca for cyclists, attracting tourists domestically and from abroad. Many visitors enjoy cycling on the bridges connecting the islands that dot the Seto Inland Sea, while appreciating the beauty of the many islands, but the place where people can appreciate this mysterious landscape is away from the cycling course, making it a hidden spot with few tourists.

The emerging sandbar widens during the spring tide, allowing visitors to experience the dynamic natural phenomenon caused by the moon and earth up close.

However, if the sea level continues to rise due to global warming, it may become impossible to see this phenomenon.