Cyclist’s Dream Hotel Along the Shimanami Kaido

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Onomichi U2 is a bike-lover’s mecca in the Hiroshima prefecture of Japan. The all-inclusive complex is home to Hotel Cycle and a bevy of shops and restaurants that cater to wandering cyclists. Located right on the Shimanami Kaido, Onomichi U2 puts visitors where the action is, welcoming them to go outside and explore the 60-kilometer trail. The bike path offers views of the bridges, parks, and seaside communities of six beautiful islands.

Back on the boardwalk, Onomichi U2 is a waterfront gem in and of itself. The building once served as a ship warehouse and retains an industrial look today. Renovated by Suppose Design Office, the space blends local color with boutique flair, using a palette of chic but traditional materials such as wood, mortar, and steel.

Inside Onomichi U2, Hotel Cycle is likely the first stop for sleep-over guests. The rooms are bike-friendly; most doubles are even outfitted with a pair of bicycle racks. Travelers can check on their bikes, retrieve up their rides from the receiving and holding area, or pick up rentals on-site from GIANT. Beyond the common areas, guests will find handsome, minimalist rooms with dark gray walls, wood-lined ceilings, sparing decor and furnishings, and all the expected amenities.

When it’s time to eat, visitors need not travel far. Onomichi U2 offers a variety of options for nosh. The main kitchen, called The Restaurant, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. In the first part of the day, there is a buffet offering healthy pick-me-ups for breakfast and creative pizzas for lunch. At supper time, The Restaurant shifts gear to offer multi-course and a la carte seafood dinners. For a midday snack or a change of taste, visitors can try the levain breads at Butti Bakery, the coffee and sandwiches from Yard Cafe, and KOG Bar’s spread of snacks, appetizers, dessert, and drinks.

For a memento of the experience, guests should look no further than U2 shima SHOP. The store offers local arts and crafts including carefully packaged food gifts, clothing, and home decor. Curating a selection of traditional and modern handicrafts, the shop showcases many of the little details that make life in Hiroshima distinct.

Globe-pedaling cyclists will find a world of adventure, design, and culinary delight at Onomichi U2. The rich offerings go to show that venturing outside the city is a must for anyone traveling Japan on two wheels.

Photography by Toshiyuki Yano

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Holly

Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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