Shodoshima is an island located in the Seto Inland Sea. It is situated about 20 km northeast from Takamatsu Port of Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku. Its size is 153 km2 and the population is about 28,000. It is a popular tourist spot for Japanese people, as on Shodoshima you can enjoy some beautiful scenery, a different atmosphere with olive trees and special food products.
Kankakei is regarded as one of the top three canyons in Japan. You can enjoy the gorgeous view of the canyon and the Seto Inland Sea from the ropeway leading to the summit of Mt. Mikasa, 612 meters high. The view is especially splendid in November, during the autumn leave season. If you like hiking, it is also possible to walk up the mountain enjoying the scenery instead of taking the ropeway. There are some temples, shrines, and viewpoints on the way. The height difference from the bottom to the summit is about 300 meters.
There are many olive trees on the island. They started to plant olive trees here in 1906. It was the first time in Japan to grow olives, and now this is the biggest production area in the country. Olive Park is a theme park that revolves around olives. Among the olive trees, you will find a windmill. This is a gift from Milos Island of Greece because Shodoshima has become its sister city in 1989. If you see the windmill with the background of the ocean, you will feel as if you are visiting the Aegean Sea region.
In the memorial hall, you can learn about the olives themselves and the history of the production of olives. You can buy souvenirs that are made of olives and herbs, and of course, they serve food made of olive products.
If you are a Ghibli movie fan, don’t forget to stop by Herb Shop Corico. This small shop is used in the live-action film ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ as a bread store.
Angel RoadAngel Road is a narrow road in the ocean that appears only when the tide is low. You can walk to the small Yoshima Island then. It is said that if you go to the island with your lover hand-in-hand, your love will last forever. But be careful, if the tide goes up, you have to wait for the low tide to come again for half a day!
It is also beautiful to look down the road from the observation deck. There is a bell which you can ring with your lover for good luck.
Movie Park of ’24 Eyes’
’24 Eyes (Nijushi no Hitomi)’ is a popular novel by Sakae Tsuboi written in 1952. It is a story about an elementary school teacher and 12 students. It became a movie in 1954 and 1987 which is set in Shodoshima. The novel doesn’t mention that the story is from the island, but the author is from this island, so Shodoshima was regarded as the hometown of the movie. They made several settings for the movie, and they used an existing elementary school. Now, the school is closed and it has become a part of the Movie Park.
Old Soy Sauce Factory
There are some shoyu (or soy sauce) factories in Shodoshima. They have a long tradition of soy sauce production because the island has been producing wheat and salt from a long time ago. Morita (the brand name is Marukin) is one of the biggest handmade soy sauce factories in Japan. They have 307 huge buckets that are used to produce soy sauce. There is also a Marukin Museum, which explains how soy sauce is made and the history of the company. You can even try some soy sauce ice cream there!
Because of the soy sauce production, there are also a few producers of tsukudani (or pickled seafood) who need soy sauce for their production process.
Access to Shodoshima :
There are several ferry lines from various cities around the island. Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture is the main gate to the island. You can also take ferries from the ports of Uno, Shin-Okayama, Hinase, Himeji and Kobe Airport.
There are bus routes in Shodoshima.