An island in the Seto Inland Sea with oddly-shaped rocks, formed over the years by rain and wind erosion.
Shodo-shima Island is situated at the eastern tip of the Bisan Islands, northeast of Takamatsu. It is the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, after Awaji-shima Island. This island, with a circumference of 126 kilometers, enjoys mild weather similar to the Mediterranean climate. The cultivation of citrus fruits and olives is very popular on the island, and the island is especially known as the place where people succeeded in the cultivation of olives in 1908 for the first time in Japan.
The highest peak on the island is Mt. Hoshigajo-san, with the altitude of 817 meters. A flat plateau, called Utsukushi-no-hara, expands out over the west side of this mountain. The edges of the plateau are sheer cliffs, offering scenic views, such as that of the Choshi Valley. There are rows of oddly shaped rocks and monstrous rock formations carved by wind and rain. Another attraction is the Kanka Valley, said to be one of the three most beautiful valleys in Japan. You can walk along the promenade, or enjoy the view from the ropeway that runs between the steep cliffs.
The Shodo-shima Folk Material Museum recounts the history of the Island and many folk materials are on display. Shodo-shima Olive Park features olive fields, herb gardens, a Greek-style windmill and other scenery similar to that found along the Mediterranean coast. The Olive Memorial Hall inside the park provides explanations about topics related to olive culture, and you can also enjoy making herb crafts there.
The island is also known as the locale of "Nijushi-no-hitomi (Twenty-Four Eyes)," a gentle, sensitive Japanese novel written by Sakae Tsuboi. The novel was later made into a movie, and the settings for the film preserved at the Nijushi-no-hitomi Eigamura theme park attract many visitors.
[Rail] 3h 20 min to Okayama Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line. 30 min from Okayama Station to Shin-Okayama Harbor by bus, and 1h 10 min from the harbor to Tonosho Harbor by ferry.
[Rail] 40 min from Shin-Osaka to Okayama Station by Shinkansen.