【Ehime】Imabari City has released PR video: the world-renowned dance team, Avant Garde, experiences cycling and sauna!

As a cycling route where you can enjoy the superb view woven by the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, about 330,000 cyclists gather from all over the world every year, and it is so popular that it is called "the holy land of cyclists", the "Setouchi Shimanami Kaido". To convey a new way of enjoying the Shimanami Kaido, Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, has formulated a concept called "Sasameshi". A "Sasameshi" PR video featuring the world-renowned dance team "Avant-garde" has been produced.

What is "Sasameshi" = Cycling x Sauna?

"Sasameshi" (ササ飯) is an abbreviation for "Cycling (イクリング) x Sauna & Hot Spring (ウナ・温泉) x Meal ()".

In Imabari City, as a new way to enjoy Shimanami Kaido cycling, we recommend "Sasa-meshi" to cyclists visiting Shimanami Kaido, where they can heal their fatigue in a sauna or hot spring and fill their stomachs with delicious local gourmet food and sweets.

*In Imabari City, there are 15 sauna and bathing facilities and about 800 restaurants, offering plenty of spots to enjoy along with cycling.

World-renowned dance team Avant Garde experiences a two-day "Sasameshi" journey

The world-renowned dance team "Avant Garde", which is rapidly gaining popularity with appearances on the popular audition show "America's Got Talent" broadcast in the United States and the NHK Red and White Singing Contest at the end of 2023, was asked by Imabari City to help spread the word about "Sasameshi".

Over the course of two days, Sono, Macchan, and Seira, who are among the roughly 20 members, were invited as guests to experience the "Sasameshi" journey.

Avant-garde Sasa Rice Shimanami Kaido Ehime

On the first day, they took a "Sasameshi" trip on the Shimanami Kaido, mainly visiting Oshima, Hakatajima, and Omishima.

They started with a rental bicycle from the Shimanami cycling base facility "Sunrise Itoyama", crossed the Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge, the world's first triple suspension bridge, and headed to Oshima. At the roadside station "Yoshiumi Ikiiki Kan", they recharged energy with local burgers and local soft serve ice cream. On the next island, Hakatajima, they enjoyed dancing with dolphins at "Dolphin Farm Shimanami".

Avant-garde Sasa-meshi Ehime Yoshiumi Ikiiki Kan
Avant-garde Sasa-meshi Ehime Dolphin Farm Shimanami

After that, they moved to Omishima, where they enjoyed a sauna and a seawater bath at the hot spring facility "Maregratia Omishima". They were taught how to use the sauna by members of the "Sauna Club", who are employees of the long-established Imabari towel manufacturer, Kontex, and relaxed in the sauna.

The last part of the first day was spent at the accommodation facility "WAKKA" (Omishima), where they could experience various activities including cycling. We ate BBQ and enjoyed cycling, sauna, and gourmet food.

WAKKA Omishima Ehime Sasa Rice Avant-garde
WAKKA Omishima Ehime Sasa Rice Avant-garde

On the second day, they started from Imabari Port and toured around Imabari City.

They stopped by Imabari Castle, and after replenishing the sugar levels with a shaved ice that's like gelato at "Tamaya Cafe", they enjoyed "total immersion" at "Shimanami Onsen Kiso no Yu", which is popular as "the hot spring where the most cyclists in Japan gather".

Avant-garde Sasa Rice Ehime
Tamaya Cafe Avant-garde Sasa Rice Ehime
Shimanami Onsen Kiso no Yu Avant-garde Sasa Rice Ehime

Finally, after rejuvenating both body and mind, the trio went to "Hakurakuten" to enjoy Imabari's soul food "Yakibuta Tamago Gohan" (grilled pork and egg rice), a perfect hearty gourmet meal after a sauna. They were truly impressed.

Yakibuta Tamago Gohan Hakurakuten Ehime Sauna Meal Avant-garde

This video is available on the official Imabari City YouTube channel.

In addition, they also filmed a "Sasameshi" dance at the location of this video. It will be released on the Imabari City Tourism Division Instagram, so please check it out!

Performer Profile


What is Avant-garde?

A dance team of 17 members produced by akane, the choreographer of Bubble Dance. Launched in 2022, they are gaining popularity worldwide through social media as a "mysterious uniformed bobbed hair group".

In June 2023, they started their activities widely, such as appearing on the American audition program "America's Got Talent", and appearing on many TV programs and commercials.

The concept of "Sasameshi" was created by the regional revitalization internship program "TURE-TECH"

The new way to enjoy cycling on the Shimanami Kaido, "Sasameshi", was conceived by the regional revitalization internship "TURE-TECH" sponsored by SoftBank. It was born from a program where students selected from all over the country through rigorous selection actually visit Imabari City and discover and solve regional issues.

This time, the members who conceived this concept will release a reel video touring the "Sasameshi" spots in the city on the Imabari City Tourism Division Instagram, so please take a look.

Ehime Shimanami Kaido Cycling Sasa-meshi

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