Onomichi – Temples, Cats & Bicycles

Onomichi,(尾道), is a town located along the Seto Inland Sea in eastern Hiroshima Prefecture. If not for my trip research on the Shimanami Kaido cycling, Onomichi would have been overlooked. This port town is best known for its Temple walk, a network of hilly paths which connects 25 Buddhist temples, some dated back to the 7th century. Onomichi is also the starting point of the 70km Shimanami Kaido cycling route.

Our trip started with a red-eye flight from Singapore to Hiroshima. Upon arriving, we took a bus which cost 1,130 yen to Onomichi. The journey was about an hour and we alighted at the stop outside the JR Onomichi station. Our hotel for the night was Green Hill Hotel Onomichi which is conveniently located near the JR station (2 minutes walk) and just beside Onomichi port and the Shimanami Kaido Onomichi bicycle rental terminal.

Lunch was at the nearby shopping street where we bump into a random festival with food stalls and a cosplay competition

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Some random cosplay competition

Senkoji Park

The most visited place in Onomichi got to be the Senkoji park which is accessible by foot, bus or ropeway. We took the ropeway up at 320 yen one way. Head over to the observatory platform which is next to the ropeway for a panoramic view of Onomichi city, the port, neighboring islands and the mountains. We were lucky to have a clear view despite a cloudy day.

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View of Onomichi city from Senkoji park observatory platform
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View of Onomichi city from Senkoji park observatory platform

Also visited the Onomichi City Museum of Art showcasing local art and photography. Walk along the Path of Literature that is marked by rocks inscribed with poems and onwards to Senkoji Temple.

Senkoji Temple

Despite having 25 temples, we only have time to visit 1 temple. Senkoji temple was built in 806 on the mountain of Senkoji. It is a symbol of Onomichi and it offers a superb view of Onomichi city.

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The bell tower. Photo credit: Kenneth Boey
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Niko Niko Jizo figurines. Photo credit: Kenneth Boey
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100 yen for some rock climbing anyone?
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Photo credit: Kenneth Boey
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Photo credit: Kenneth Boey
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Nice view after the climb. Photo credit: Kenneth Boey
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Couple rocks… some good imagination to name this..

Continue on to walk down the narrow alleys, with a mix of residential, temples, pagodas and more views!

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Tennei-ji

Onomichi and the Cats

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There seems to be a very special relationship between Onomichi and the cats. In Senkoji Park, a Lovers’ Sanctuary with a sculpture of 2 cats, was erected in 2006.

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The many narrow alleys in Onomichi are a sanctuary for cats. As you navigate your way down from Senkoji park to town, you will pass by the Onomichi cat alley which was restored to contain cafes, art galleries, and quaint boutique shops.

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A map to find the cats!

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We did not have time to explore more of Onomichi, but nevertheless, these are the highlights of Onomichi for short visit travelers like us. Now, an early night for us as we start our Shimanami Kaido cycling the next day.

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