Shodoshima Island is an island with a vibrant blue Seto Inland Sea and thousands of green olives. This time, let’s go explore the island from Sakate Port.
Situated between Kagawa and Okayama Prefecture, Shodoshima Island is the second-largest island in the Seto Inland Sea after Awaji Island, and a hidden treasure you can only be accessed by ferry because there is no bridge connecting it to the mainland.
Nonetheless, the island has a street lined with old soy sauce breweries, olive gardens and many other great spots, a charm that attracts tourists from all over the world.
This time we mainly traveled down to the east side of the island, from Sakate Port where the Jumbo Ferry that connects Kobe, Shodoshima, and Takamatsu is entering and leaving the port.
- Jumbo Ferry (Nyanko Ferry)
- If you’re coming from Kansai, board the Jumbo Ferry from Kobe. The night ride takes about 6 hours and 30 minutes, and the daytime ferry takes around 3 hours and 20 minutes to reach Shodoshima Island.
The Jumbo Ferries are docking at Sakate Port. There are several ports in Shodoshima Island, and many ferries are also entering Tonosho Port and Ikeda Port from Takamatsu.
When you arrived in Shodoshima, there are Shodoshima’s Olive Bus and taxi to get around the island. MAP
- Olive Bus
- Take a bus bound for Tonosho Port from Sakate Port, then get off at Marukin-mae bus stop at the Soy Sauce Village area. For the next spot, since there is no early Tanoura-Eigamura Line bus bound for Twenty-Four Eyes Movie Studio, we recommend you to visit Soy Sauce Village first.
Soy Sauce Village (Hishio no Sato)
Hishio no Sato or Soy Sauce Village is an area where Tsukudani (seaweed cooked in soy sauce) factories and soy sauce warehouses are lined up. The traditional storehouses with traditional black wooden walls are looking strikingly authentic.
Visit the Malkin Soy Sauce Memorial to learn about the soy sauce production process deeply. Here, you can also find Shodoshima’s local specialty, the popular soy sauce soft cream.
Mayonnaise lover certainly mustn’t miss the soy sauce mayonnaise. (Admission fee for adult: 210 yen, children: 100 yen) MAP
- Olive Bus
- Take the Tanoura-Eigamura Line bus, then get off at the Eigamura terminal bus stop.
Twenty-Four Eyes Movie Studio
“Twenty-Four Eyes” is a novel by Sakae Tsuboi, the novel tells about the relationship of a female young teacher and her students who lived during the Second World War. The novel has been adapted twice into movies.
The movie studio recreates the atmosphere of the early Showa era, surrounded by old cityscapes, canal with Koi fishes swimming and sunflower fields. Here, you can immerse yourself in a nostalgic mood.
When you overlook the Seto Inland Sea from Branch School in the Cape, the refreshing breeze gently touches your face.
(Branch School in the Cape ticket set: adults 880 yen, elementary school students: 440 yen) MAP
- If you ride from a ferry dock near the Twenty-Four Eyes Movie Village, it takes only 10 minutes to Olive Beach near the Olive Park. The ferry operating status can be checked on Twenty-Four Eyes Movie Village. (Ticket fare: adult 500 yen, children 250 yen)
- Olive Bus
- If you don’t feel like taking a ferry, get on the Tanoura-Eigamura Line bus and get off at Olive Park bus stop.
- Just a little climbing to a gentle slope, you’ll find the olive trees.
Shodoshima Olive Park
Shodoshima Island is the first area in Japan that can successfully cultivate olives.
Here, the Mediterranean Coast of Japan where olive cultivation is thriving, a park with a Greek atmosphere, where you can feel the blessings of Setouchi’s nature.
When you walk through the olive trees and walk up the park, you’ll find the Olive Memorial Hall on the top of the hill. The hall will introduce you to the history and culture of olives. The view from up here is also spectacular. MAP
- Just a short walk down the hill from Olive Memorial Hall.
Shodoshima Olive Park’s Greek Windmill
The strikingly elegant white Greek windmill on the top of hill is the iconic landmark of Shodoshima Island.
This windmill is known as the setting for the movie “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, about a young witch and her black cat. Just like Kiki, everyone can become a witch, just straddle a magic broom and take a picture. The magic broom can be borrowed free of charge from the Olive Memorial Hall from 8.30 am to 5 pm. But, you’d better train your legs first before hop on the magic broom. MAP
You’ll find that Shodoshima Island is quite large when you actually walk around it. So, we recommend you to at least make a two-day trip on the island.
Make a hotel reservation on the island during peak season is difficult, but since there is a relatively larger number of ferries from Takamatsu, Takamatsu would be a better choice to stay.
- In addition to the Jumbo Ferry at Sakate Port, there are also ferries bound for Takamatsu from Kusakabe Port, Ikeda Port, and Tonosho Port on Shodoshima Island.