Of all the islands of the Seto Inland Sea that crown Kagawa, Shodoshima is the biggest of all. The name means “Small Bean Island”, but in truth there is little that is small about it. Shodoshima is rich in beautiful landscape, industry, and has a robust and earthy presence. The island has all the amenities one can hope for, modern shops, some chain stores, as well as a whole bunch of local sites and restaurants and cafes for you to explore and experience.
The best way to get to Shodoshima is by ferry. Go to the Takamatsu Port just north of Takamatsu station. There are signs! Follow them!
The staff are very friendly and you will not be the very first foreign visitor they have seen. Tell them you want to go to Shodoshima. There will be a few options. If you go by slower boat you can pay less, but the ride is longer. That is not a problem I think as the views are beautiful and you can take some gorgeous photos. But, if you are in a hurry you can take the express ferry which should get you there in about 30 minutes.
Once you are at the port you will need to figure out a way to get around. There are options, but keep in mind that Shodoshima is pretty big, so if you are in possession of an international drivers license, you might think about renting a car. Or, you can ride the buses, or you can rent a bicycle. It all depends on what you hope to do once you get to Shodoshima. There are a lot of things to see, so while it is possible to see a lot in a day, you may want a couple of days to do it right.
Here are a few things that might be of interest to you on Shodoshima. Listed in no particular order
Also consider going to the monkey park
Another place to consider a visit is the Olive Park. I was rather surprised to see a whole location dedicated to olives, but it was really great! I was amazed at the number of things people have made with olives. Not the greatest flavour for kids, I guess, but olive ice cream, olive chocolate, olive cookies, olive oil, and of course olives are there for you to try and take home. I particularly liked the olive groves and the windmill that looks out over the water. Stunning!
And here are a few of the olive items available for you to experience!
We left Shodoshima with still much not experienced or seen. A one-day trip was not enough, so we will go back for sure. More details about Shodoshima hotels, the huge hostel, and more of the very fun and interesting hidden gems yet to be discovered coming soon.