March 17th-18th, my family joined the 8th Shimanami tandem matsuri (Festival).
Every year, about forty tandem bike lovers, including families with small children, people with visual or other disabilities, gather from all over Japan and enjoyed riding and interaction together.
We have joined it since my son was four years old.
The first day, we rode in Imabari city and visited a plum garden, Imabari towel museum and a food factory producing Japanese sauces and seasonings.
My First experience
My son and I rode on a tandem bike together for the first time.
Usually, my son rides a tandem bike in the back of my husband, and I ride along with them on a single bike (sometimes we ride a triplet).
However, at this time, my husband must have left the tour on the way, so we decided that I became a pilot.
At first, I was scared and unsteady, but gradually I got used to handling the tandem bike soon because my son is an experienced co-pilot.
The tour started at noon in front of Cyclo-no-Ie, a hostel near Imabari station.
Imabari Towel Museum
At first, we climbed up a hill to Imabari towel museum. Imabari towel is famous for its high quality. The museum also has five floors of textile gift shops, restaurants, and a garden with views.
After the museum, we went down the hill and visited a plum garden.
Europian Palace in Imabari?
Then we visited a factory of Nihon Shokken garden.
It is too luxurious as a factory, isn’t it?
The factory designed after the model of Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
Nihon Shokken is known as a factory making inexpensive “Yakiniku” (Japanese style BBQ) sauces in Japan.
It is a funny and nostalgic CM of the sauce in 90’s.
I enjoyed the mismatch between the luxurious building and their inexpensive products.
Bike Lockers in Onsen
After the tour, we went to “Kisuke-No-Yu,” Onsen and joined the welcome party at Izakaya (Tavern) in the Onsen.
Imabari is one of the destinations in Shimanami, so the Onsen has nice bike locker to keep bikes safety while taking a bath.