TRIP TO SETOUCHI-SHODOSHIMA
Shodoshima is the second largest island next to Awaji Island in the Seto Inland Sea area. Similarly to Sado Island in eastern Japan, Shodo Island in western Japan has a long history and many folk customs. It is dotted with picturesque places and movie locations, as well.
More than 100 years have passed since the first olive tree was planted there. The hillside is a sea of olive trees. Enjoy walking around and checking out original goods of olive oil in Olive Park. Olive hamachi(young yellowtail) and olive beef, which are produced from fish and cattle fed on olives, are also gaining attention in recent years.
The island is famous as the setting of Twenty-four Eyes, a movie based on the same title novel written by female writer Sakae Tsuboi (1899-1967). At Misaki no Bunkyojo (setting of a school in the movie) in Twenty-four Eyes Movie Village, you can feel the atmosphere of an earlier generation. The film is also screened in a mini-theater there.
When you walk around Hishio no Sato, streets with many soy sauce factories, you will smell the fresh scent of soy sauce. Making soy sauce in Shodoshima has about a 400-year history and the factories and the storehouses are still operating since being built 100 years ago. You can find impressive black roof tiles and walls as a result of mold of soy sauce. Some factories allow a tour if you make a reservation. Enjoy taking a walk and soy sauce sweets. You can experience a process of making somen (thin wheat noodles) called “hashiwake.” Somen is also a specialty food of the island. A reservation is required.
Meiro no Machi has narrow alleys like a labyrinth because such a layout was considered to protect the town from pirates of the Seto Inland Sea in the past. The Dofuchi Strait is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s narrowest strait. A sand beach that is available for walking from Shodo Island only when the tide is out is called “Angel Road,” and is considered a spiritual “power spot.” The breathtaking scenery of Kankakei Gorge is also a can’t-miss place.