When planning your trip to Japan, adding Japan’s islands on your itinerary can be a great idea, like Shodoshima Island in Kagawa Prefecture. Shodoshima Island is the largest island participated in the popular Setouchi Triennale event. The art island is getting more well-deserved recognition in the last couple of years. We visited Shodoshima not only to see the artworks that are spread all over the island but also to enjoy the view of the gorgeous island. There are so many things to do in Shodoshima, 2 days just wasn’t enough to explore the island. Here are our 5 favorite things to do in Shodoshima Island.
1. Stumble on the Ishi no Etegami Road/Illustrated Stone Letter Road
On the way to Angel Road, we found many illustrated granite stones that made our morning walk to Angel Road overflowing with excitement and turned into an illustrated stone hunt. Each illustrated stone letter is an artwork by many different artists sent from all over the country. The letter stones are scattered around the island, along the Ishi no Etegami Road from Obe to Umagoe, at the Tonosho Port, and along the roadside of the Angel Road.
2. Walk along the Angel Road
Located near the Tonosho Port, Angel Road is a picturesque pathway of sandbank that will emerge when the tide is low, it only appears twice a day. The golden sandbank is popular among couples, it is said that a couple who walk hand-in-hand through the sand path, their love will last forever.
When we reached the islet tree, we found many wooden Ema with wishes written on it hanging on the tree. Although the path was packed with couples and families, it was worth the visit.
3. Explore Olives Paradise at Shodoshima Olive Park
For centuries, Shodoshima Island is known as the Olive Island, there are thousands of Olive trees spread around the island. Although you’ll find the trees everywhere on your walk to your destination, the Shodoshima Olive Park will give you a whole different experience. We got the chance to enjoy the view of Seto Inland Sea from the top of Olive Garden while eating Olive taste ice cream was spectacular.
Shodoshima Olive Park has a Greek Windmill known to be the setting of “Kiki’s Delivery Service” movie, this windmill is very popular among visitors. We saw people were posing, straddling on their broomstick in front of the windmill copying Kiki, the young witch character from the movie. The others were queuing while holding on their ‘magic’ broomstick, waiting to take the famous pose.
4. Enjoy a Panoramic View from the Kankakei Ropeway
One of our highlights of the day was to ride the Kankakei Ropeway, because it is said that the Kankakei Gorge at the center of Shodoshima Island is particularly spectacular in the autumn season. We took a one-way ride up, and decided to walk down the hiking trail through the forest. A one-way ticket cost about 980 yen.
Although the view was spectacular from the top, as it was early autumn, we didn’t get to see the trees at its most colorful.
The slope on the hiking trail was quite steep, it was quite hard to control our feet to adjust the speed. If you want to try the hiking route, we suggest you to wear more comfortable clothing and shoes. And, as the hiking trail surrounded by tall and quite dense trees, we think it’s better to exit the trail before the sun goes down.
5. Taste Shodoshima’s Special Dish on Top of the Shodoshima Island
Shodoshima Island is most known for its olive, you’ll find most of the souvenirs are based on olive. In addition to olives, soy sauce, and the beautiful beaches, never miss the Shodoshima Soumen, one of the greatest three noodles in Japan. Shodoshima Soumen, we tried this special dish at the restaurant located on the top of Shodoshima Island called “Kankakei Ropeway Restaurant Kaede”. Great food, great view.