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Shodoshima Island Guide - Things To Do, Access, And Accommodation

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Shodoshima Island in Western Japan is part of the internationally-known Setouchi Triennale and is an artsy, popular travel destination. Learn how to get to this charming island, activities you can enjoy year-round, and where to stay.

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About Shodoshima Island

Shodoshima Island

Shodoshima Island is a large outlying island in the Setouchi Sea, an area known for the famous Setouchi Triennale. Visiting the island is great for a day trip spot from Okayama Prefecture, Kagawa Prefecture, or even Osaka. It is reachable via ferry from Takamatsu in about an hour. Shodoshima is also an ideal addition for those island hopping in the area to see art, and has exhibits to see year-round at the Setouchi Triennale.

Continue to read to learn about sightseeing spots and things to do, such as visiting Angel Road, a scenic path that appears during low tide, or the Marukin Soy Sauce Museum, where you can learn how this staple Japanese condiment is made. This guide also includes how to get to Shodoshima, where to stay, and the best times to visit.

1. See the Spectacular View from the Kankakei Ropeway

Kankakei Ropeway

Kankakei is one of the three most beautiful valleys in Japan and is a popular sightseeing spot in the fall thanks to its red leaves. From the ropeway, you can enjoy spectacular views of the entire valley dyed red during the autumn.

Address: Kagawa, Shozu, Shodoshima, Kankakei 168 Google Map
Website: Kankakei Ropeway (Japanese)

2. Walk the Angel Road

Angel Road, Shodoshima

This is a road built out of sand between Shodoshima and its neighboring island that only appears when the tide is out. According to the romantic local legend, if you walk along this road while holding hands with a special someone, your wishes will come true; this is a great place to visit on a date.

Address: Kagawa, Shozu, Tonosho, Ginpaura Google Map
Website: Angel Road

3. Enjoy Olives and Revisit "Kiki's Delivery Service" at Shodoshima Olive Park

Shodoshima Olive Garden

Shodoshima Olive Park is a large park focused on Shodoshima's delicious olives. Containing an herb garden, olive museum, restaurants, and even onsen, there is much to do, see, and eat at this must-visit destination.

Shodoshima is one of two places in Japan that can produce olives. In addition to the gardens and entertainment facilities, there are also olive-related workshops for guests, like olive oil-making.

In addition to the olives, Shodoshima is where Hayao Miyazaki's "Kiki's Delivery Service" was based on. You can emulate Kiki with an adorable free rental broom. Take pictures around the park and feel the magic of the island.

Address: Kagawa, Shozo, Shodoshima, Nishimura 1941-1 Google Map

4. Slip 70 Years Back in Time at 24 Eyes Movie Studio

24 Eyes Movie Studio
24 Eyes Movie Studio

The location of the 1954 movie "Twenty-four Eyes," is the movie studio 24 Eyes Movie Studio. Here you will find a traditional fisherman's house and a wooden elementary school; a visit here is sure to have you feeling as though you've slipped back in time to Japan's more modest and peaceful days.

This is an ideal place to visit for those interested in seeing a version of Japan of seventy years ago.

Open: 9:00 -17:00 (November 8:30 -17:00)
Address: Kagawa, Shozugun, Shodoshimacho, Tanoura Google Map
Website: 24 Eyes Movie Studio

5. Watch a Play at Nakayama Noson Kabuki Theater

Nakayama Noson Kabuki

Nakayama Noson Kabuki is a traditional art that has been performed in this region for the past 300 years. It is performed on the stage on Kasuga Shrine every year on the second Sunday in October.

The thatched roof stage, which was built 150 years ago, has been designated as an Important Tangible Folk Cultural property by the national government. Even if you cannot see a performance yourself, just viewing the stage is sure to be fascinating.

Address: Kagawa, Shozu, Shodoshima, Nakayama 1487 Google Map
Website: Nakayama Noson Kabuki Theater

6. See Spectacular Views of the Seto Inland Sea from Daikannon, Shodoshima

Daikannon is a stunning statue of the god Kannon. A photograph of it won the 1994 Arc Plus International Photo Contest. There is an elevator inside and an observation room, from which you can enjoy superb views of the Seto Inland Sea.

Address: Kagawa, Shozu, Tonosho, Komagoe 1 Google Map
Website: Daikannon, Shodoshima (has music)

7. Experience Japan's Rural Landscape at Senmaida (Nakayama's Terraced Rice Fields)

Senmaida Nakayama Terraced Rice Fields

On the side of Yubuneyama mountain you will find a stunning agricultural landscape known as Senmaida, or a thousand rice fields. It's best to visit during the early to late summer when the greenery is quite lush here. This is a view that you cannot find in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka.

Address: Kagawa, Shozu, Shodoshima, Nakayama Google Map

8. Taste Soy Sauce Soft Serve at Marukin Soy Sauce Museum

The Marukin Soy Sauce Museum was constructed after renovations were made to their Taisho era factory. Documents related to soy sauce making, and large tubs that were actually used when making soy sauce are displayed here.

The specialty here is their soy sauce flavored soft serve ice cream which is surprisingly popular. The saltiness of the soy sauce matches perfectly with the gentle sweetness of the ice cream. This is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth!

Address: Kagawa, Shozu, Shodoshima, Nouma 1850 Google Map
Website: Marukin Soy Sauce Museum

9. Stroll on the Beach and Comb for Shells


Shodoshima Island has gorgeous white sand and nice coast ideal for walks. The waves and tide are generally gentle, too, making this a great way to experience nature for ocean lovers. In addition to taking in the charming seaside scenery, visitors can search for colorful shells and pebbles.

Feel the sand in your toes and get a little wet in the pleasant waters that surround Shodoshima. The shells and pebbles you find will make a great keepsake to take home.

10. Explore Shodoshima's Narrow, Retro Alleys

Nazo no Machi

Picture from Yokai Art Museum In Kagawa - Meet Ghosts And Goblins On Shodoshima Island
Nazo no Machi, or Maze Town, is an area with narrow, slightly-confusing alleyways lined with old Japanese buildings and structures from the 1950s and 60s. It is another fun place to stroll down and take pictures. The area also has gorgeous Saikoji, a red temple with a pagoda that can be seen from an alley. Have fun but be careful not to get lost!

Address: Kagawa, Shozu, Tonosho, Honmachi Google Map

11. Be Spoked by Japanese Folklore at the Yokai Art Museum

Yokai Art Museum

Picture from Yokai Art Museum In Kagawa - Meet Ghosts And Goblins On Shodoshima Island
If you're in the mood to learn more about Japanese tradition, be sure to stop by the Yokai Art Museum. This museum is all about yokai, or monsters and goblins common in folklore. The exhibits here are colorful, detailed, and even interactive.

This is a great indoor spot to enjoy with families and friends. There is also a souvenir shop and Setonouchi Shimameshiya, a cafe in the facility, so you can spend time here looking for unique gifts and enjoying local food.
Address: Kagawa, Shozu, Tonosho, KotsuGoogle Map

Shodoshima Island Accommodations

As international events like the Setouchi Triennale are located on Shodoshima, it is a popular place for travelers to stay. The island has several options, including hotels, guest houses, ryokan, and even camping. Please note the availability of rooms is dependent on the season. During the Setouchi Triennale in spring, summer, and fall, lodgings will likely be mostly or even completely booked, so plan ahead.

Bay Resort Hotel Shodoshima (Japanese) is a large accommodation located right on the water. The charming rooms have comfortable Western-style beds, a hot spring, and restaurants. Another option with a prominent traditional-Japanese style is Shimayado Mari (Japanese), an upscale, modern ryokan complete with natural hot springs.

There are also a few campsites on Shodoshima. Options vary from pitching your own tent to rental cabins, so you can choose something that fits your travel needs. For more information on where to stay in Shodoshima, please see this page (Japanese, automatically-translated English available).

How to Get to Shodoshima Island

Shodoshima Island is accessible via ferry from a number of ports in Western Japan, including those in Takamatsu, Okayama Prefecture, and Hyogo Prefecture. Note that different ferry companies depart and arrive at Shodoshima, and that the times and fares vary.

Departing Port Time One-way Fare (Adult)
Takamatsu Port 1 hour 690 yen
Shin Okayama Port 1 hour, 10 minutes 1,050 yen
Hinase Port (Okayama) 1 hour 1,030 yen
Uno Port (Okayama) 1 hour or longer (depends on the time of departure) 1,230 yen
Himeji Port (Hyogo) 1 hour, 50 minutes 1,520 yen

For more information and time tables, see (Japanese, automatically-translated English available).

Enjoy Shodoshima Island

There are many experiences which can only be had in Takamatsu City and at Shodoshima Island. When visiting, please refer to this article as your guide to making the most of your trip!

Main image by Pixta

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