Shoudoshima, an olive island in the Seto Inland Sea

Mayo Harry | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Shodoshima is an island of 144km periphery, floating in the Seto Inland Sea, which is known as the Japanese Mediterranean. There is no airport on the island, nor bridge connecting it to the main island of Japan, so it is only accessed by a ferry or a fast boat. Because of the mild climate throughout the year, olive cultivation is very popular in Shodoshima. You will encounter stunning views from the coast of Shodoshima, as there are many different islands nearby.

The history of Shodoshima dates back to the mythical era of Japan. The island has 400 years of tradition in soy source production as well as hand pulling somen noodles. The traditional food culture is vividly alive locally, and it highlights the taste of seafood and mountain food, both grown in its rich natural environment. The clear and calm blue sea surrounds Shodoshima Island, and the beaches have white sand. Visitors come from all over Japan to enjoy swimming and sea kayaking. ‘Angel Road’ is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shodoshima. 70% of Shodoshima Island is occupied by the forest and mountain area. It is dotted with superb scenic spots that weave the rough mountain surface. The natural beauty of the seasons has been healing the souls of pilgrims who tour the "88 temple visit of Shodoshima".


Magic nature in Angel Road


Angel Road is one of the must-visit spots in Shodoshima. The sand bridge connects the beach, and a little island appears only twice a day at low tide. So, make sure you check the tide for the day, not to miss this beautiful natural phenomenon. It is said that when you cross the Angel Road with your loved ones, an angel will come down in the middle of the sandbar and make your wish come true. There is a little hill on the connected island “Yakusoku no Oka” (promising hill) observatory. There is a “bell of happiness” where you can ring the bell to wish your love fortune. Apparently, many people come to Yakusoku no Oka to propose to their loved ones. From this stunning viewpoint, you can overlook the Angel Road and the Seto Inland Sea. Don’t miss this little spot when you visit Angel Road.

Shodoshima’s power spot -Ise no Kasaneiwa

Shodoshima produced high-quality granite, and since 1583, when Hideyoshi Toyotomi built the Osaka Castle, the local shogun Kiyomasa Kato was dispatched to open a quarry on the island. At the summit of the rocky mountain in Kosehara-choba, where the Kato family quarried, there is a huge stone called "Ise no Kasaneiwa,” which is a mysterious appearance that seems to be unnaturally balanced. Ise no Kasaneiwa is a new popular 'power spot' on Shodoshima Island. After about 20 minutes climbing from the bottom of the hill, the superb view overlooking the Seto Inland Sea and the appearance of these mysterious heavy rocks are a must-see.

Olive park and olive beach

©Nana Pengilly

The olive park is another popular spot which is known to be the healing space for visitors as well as locals. This massive park has olive trees everywhere, a charming herb garden, and its unique olive shop and cafe. You can buy not only Shodoshima olive oil, but original olive soap, olive grasse, and olive sider and more. Why don’t you try olive soft-serve at the café? There is a Greek windmill in the park, which was built as a proof of friendship with Milos Island, Greece, which has a partnership with Shodoshima and the sister island. The combination of the windmill, the clear blue sky, and the Seto Inland Sea can be 'instagrammable' for sure!  There is a beach right next to the complex called Olive beach. The calm, clear water of the Seto Inland Sea might make you feel that you are at some Mediterranean island. It is very visitor friendly as there is a kiosk, a changing room, and showers available on the beach. 

Shop, play and stay at Shodoshima Furusato village


Shodoshima Furusato village is a leisure facility, including restaurants that use local ingredients and a kiosk that offers locally produced souvenirs, like Shodoshima olives and the historical Shodoshima soy sauce. It is perfect for souvenir shopping! There are many activities this village provides; you can make udon from the scratch or clock using the local olive tree, experience the net drawing to catch local fish as the locals do, and even have yacht class. There is also a strawberry farm attached to the facility where you can pick strawberries. You can spend all day at the Shodoshima Furusato village. There is also accommodation available so that you can stay at Shodoshima Furusato village after a full immersion day.

Timeslip cafeteria, Komame shokudo

©Komame Shokudo/unknown

Komame shokudo cafeteria was once a local rice mill. The floorboards under the tatami became signboards and furniture. The liquor case that was stored in the barn became chairs or table legs. The water used at the Komeme Shokudo is spring water that comes from the upper reaches of the “Yunafune no Mizutei”, a terraced rice field that has a history of 1000 years. It has been selected as one of the “Best 100 Selected Water sources”. Komame shokudo’s onigiri (simple rice ball) is super tasty, perhaps because the rice is traditionally cooked with this water. All of Kodama shokudo’s menu changes seasonally as it uses only fresh local ingredients, including deserts. Kodama shokudo offers not only the seasonal seafood from the nearby sea but the original olive beef burger as their main dish. This olive beef is Shodoshima delicacy, which comes from an 'olive cow' that is raised on a special diet containing local olive squeezed products. Either way, you can enjoy the blessing of Shodoshima through Komame shokudo’s delicious foods at its timeless cafeteria.

©Komame Shokudo/unknown

If you are looking for a calm island experience, Shodoshima in Seto Inland Sea (Japanese Mediterranean!) is highly recommended. As Shodoshima is the small island with no bridge connection to the main island of Honshu or Sikoku, only access is by the ferry or speed boat. You can catch fast boats from Takamatsu city, where is the capital of prefecture in Shikoku. If you are coming from Honshu, you can find ferries from Kobe or Okayama. Within the island, there is a sightseen bus available, but hiring a taxi or renting a car is an option too. If you want to feel the slow island vibe, the rental bike is another great option. You will enjoy nature and historical gastronomy with fresh products from the sea and land. Why don’t you relax in the gorgeous Shodoshima for a few days?  

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