Shōdoshima is famous as the setting for the 1954 antiwar movie Twenty-Four Eyes (二十四の瞳 / Nijūshi no Hitomi). The movie is based on a book written in 1952 by Sakae Tsuboi (1899-1967), who was born on Shōdoshima.
In 1908, the island became the first in Japan to successfully cultivate olives. Olive trees proliferate on the island and olive-related merchandise is quite popular with tourists.
Shōdoshima is also known for its soy sauce, wild monkeys, and beaches.
Shinto legendAccording to Shinto legend, Shōdoshima was one of the first islands created by the gods.
By boatShōdoshima can be reached by boat from Uno Port in Tamano (90 minutes, ¥1,230), Shin-Okayama Port near Okayama (70 minutes, ¥1,050), Kobe (3.5 hours, ¥1,990), Himeji (100 minutes, ¥1,520), or Takamatsu on the island of Shikoku (60 minutes, ¥690 for ferry or 30 minutes, ¥1,170 for a speed boat).
Ferry schedules are available online.
By busShidoshima Olive Bus operates various routes around the island.
By bicycleThere are many places that offer bicycle rental. A list is available online.
By carThe Shodoshima Skyline Road runs for 10 km along the mountains in the interior of the island. It begins at a gorge near the monkey park and leads to the Kankakei Gorge. The road offers great views of the island and the Seto Inland Sea.
Shidoshima Great KannonA 50-m-high statue with a temple inside depicting Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. The statue was built in 1993. Visitors can walk or take an elevator to the top to see a display of the tooth of Buddha. The statue also offers spectacular views of the island. The temple also has hundreds of miniature statues of Kannon on display and a worship hall.
Nijushi no Hitomi Movie VillageNijushi no Hitomi (literally 'Twenty-Four Eyes') is a 1954 Japanese movie that follows the lives of a family in the years leading up to World War II. The movie was remade in color in 1987. The movie set consists of an entire reconstructed village.
Ruins of Osaka Castle Stone Cutting WorkshopAfter the destruction of Osaka Castle in 1615, many stones were harvested from Shidoshima to rebuild the castle.
Osaka Castle Stones Michi no EkiA museum dedicated to tools and stones harvested from Shidoshima to rebuild Osaka Castle in the early 1600s.
Marukin Soy Sauce Factory & MuseumSoy sauce has been produced on Shidoshima for over 400 years. The Marukin factory is open for tours and has English displays.
Kankakei Gorge (寒霞渓) @ Setonaikai National ParkConsidered to be one of the most beautiful gorges in Japan. As much as 812 m deep. Celebrated for its maple trees. The gorge can be traversed by cable car (¥750 one way, ¥1,350 return) or by a steep hike.
Choshikei Monkey ParkThere are 500 Japanese macaques roaming around the park. There are monkey shows twice per day as well as a feeding area. Near the park is an observation deck with a great view of the island.
Angel RoadA sandbar that connects 3 small islands to Shodoshima. Make sure to visit during low tide since at that time you can walk along the sandbar.
Senmaide Rice TerracesHundreds of rice terraces are carved into the hills. There is a stage that has hosted outdoor kabuki plays since the Edo period.
Olive ParkThe site of the first olive cultivation in Japan in 1908, it is a park full of olive trees and an olive museum. It also has the Sun Olive Bath House, which has 8 pools separated by gender. The bath house costs ¥700 and is open from 12:00 to 21:00.
Shodoshima 88 Temple PilgrimageLike the island of Shikoku, there is a pilgrimage route that will take you to 88 temples. The route begins near Sakate Port and runs clockwise around the island. It takes around 2 weeks to complete the pilgrimage on foot.
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