The mild Seto climate produces a great range of ingredients
Tenobe somen, thin handmade wheat noodles, are a distinctive Shodoshima product. Soy sauce and sesame oil are both essential ingredients. During the height of soy sauce production on the island, there were over 400 soy sauce manufacturers. Today, only 19 remain but they continue to produce distinctive flavors. Sesame oil production on Shodoshima dates back to 1858 when Kadoya Sesame Mills was founded here. The company has since become one of Japan’s top sesame oil producers. Tsukudani, a pickle made by stewing various ingredients in a soy-based sauce, is another popular Shodoshima product and the island’s kelp tsukudani has the highest sales in the country. As you can see, there is a close interrelationship between local ingredients and products. And let’s not forget olives. The national government supported trial cultivation in various parts of Japan in 1908 but only Shodoshima succeeded in producing a viable crop. Today, the island is synonymous with olive production in Japan.
Shodoshima’s eternal beauty brings good fortune to lovers.
The hills of Shodoshima rear up out of the Seto Inland Sea, reaching heights of 800 meters. Only a few stretches of plain can be found along the coast and the lush green of the mountains provides a striking contrast against the blue sea. Another of the island’s many attractions are the spectacular views of the Seto Inland Sea, which can be seen from different angles and elevations. You can enjoy getting right down to the water by walking across the sandbar known as Angel Road or take in a panorama from the peak of Hoshigajo that stretches from the Seto Ohashi Bridge as far as the Akashi Ohashi Bridge.
A culture with ancient roots takes new forms in novels and movies.
Shodoshima is located on a strategic sea route and, for this reason, its jurisdiction changed hands many times over the centuries. As a result, the island developed rich cultural traditions, such as farmers’ kabuki, which is still passed down from one generation to the next. The island’s steep topography gave rise to the distinctive terraced rice fields that climb the slopes and the development of an island marine force helped the local soy sauce industry to flourish by making it easy to obtain soybeans and other ingredients. Historical circumstances and local industries nurtured a distinctive local culture, leading to the creation of such famous works as novelist Sakae Tsuboi’s Twenty-Four Eyes (later made into a popular movie) and poet Hosai Ozaki’s haiku collection Daiku (Big Sky).
Thinking of Italy while on
Shodoshima in the Aegean of the East

My hometown is a small fishing village on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. If you take the road in front of my house to the right, you’ll come to the beach and if you walk a little ways to the left, you’ll see rolling hills spread out before you. Every day around noon, the port echoes with the talk and laughter of fishermen enjoying wine and fish stories after a day’s work. Up on the hills cloaked with olive groves, farmers laugh gaily as they down hunks of bread liberally dipped in olive oil. Shodoshima reminds me of this warm and welcoming village. Although here pasta is replaced by thin somen noodles, the lush green of the olive orchards against the blue water looks just like home. Shodoshima islanders, who have come to know me now, welcome me with friendly smiles. I love Shodoshima, my second home.

Olive Line Shikoku Ferry Super Marine
Olive oil
Olive oil contains 70 to 80 percent unsaturated fatty acids, which are considered to be good for the health. If you’re planning on buying some, I recommend virgin olive oil.
Tenobe Somen
The texture of handmade somen becomes silkier when preserved and is highly prized. Recently, a partially dried variety has been developed.
Soy Sauce Warehouses
The number of soy sauce plants that use traditional manufacturing practices has dwindled drastically. The Yamaroku Soy Sauce warehouse introduced on the gourmet page is one of the few that continues to do so.
Shodoshima Tsukudani
Tsukudani originated as a byproduct of the soy sauce manufacturing industry. Shodoshima is Japan’s top producer of kelp tsukudani. Try the different varieties while exploring the origins of Shodoshima soy sauce.
In addition to olives, many types of herbs are cultivated here. The herb garden at Michi no Eki Olive Park is definitely worth a visit as it grows a wide variety.
Olive Park Windmill
A picturesque windmill stands on a hill overlooking Shodoshima’s Olive Park. The view from here is fantastic and lovely paths wind through a grove of mature olive trees nearby.
The Olive Museum
The Olive Museum is a focal point of Olive Park. Situated on top of a hill with the park to the right, it looks out over the sea, providing a panoramic view.
Japanese Macaques in Choshikei Monkey Park
The Choshikei Gorge is located at the headwaters of a river in the middle of Shodoshima island. About 500 macaques live in the Choshikei Monkey Park where they are fed but left to roam free.
Kankakei Gorge
Shodoshima’s scenic beauty was extolled in the 8th century Nihon Shoki, the nation’s second oldest chronicle. Hikers can enjoy 12 famous scenic spots on one side of the gorge and another 8 spots on the other side. The 917 meter long ropeway also offers a spectacular view.
Seto Inland Sea Sunsets
Shodoshima is dotted with sunset viewing spots for every season. Of these, Yuhigaoka and Mito Hanto have been included in Japan’s list of the top 100 sunsets.
Shodoshima Farmers’ Kabuki
Farmers began performing kabuki plays on Shodoshima in the 18th century. Some of the kabuki plays are based on well-known works such as Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees) while others are based on local historical events.
Meiro no Machi (Maze Town)
About 680 years ago, troops from the Southern Court in Kyoto set up a base on Shodoshima. To protect themselves against invasion, they created a complex maze of alleys. For this reason, this particular area of town is known as “meiro no machi” or “maze town”.
Nakayama Senmaida
Hundreds of terraced fields rise up the slopes, creating scenery that has been included in Japan’s list of 100 most beautiful views. The fields rise from an elevation of 150 meters to 250 meters and they tell the tale of man’s struggle to adapt to and coexist with nature.
Original Olive Tree
Shodoshima was the first place in Japan to successfully cultivate olives. The one pictured here grows in Shodoshima’s Olive Park and is said to be the oldest olive tree in Japan.
Shodoshima 88 Temple Circuit
Shikoku is famous for its pilgrimage circuit of 88 temples but Shodoshima developed its own miniature version. The route begins at Shodoshima Reijo Sohonin and ends at the 88th temple, Nanreian.
(Ferries or high-speed passenger crafts)
Ballpoint pens
(Ferries or high-speed passenger crafts)
Mechanical pencils
(Ferries or high-speed passenger crafts)
Choro-Q toy cars
(Olive Line)
Choro-Q toy cars
(shukoku Ferry)