Saturday, August 14, 2010


{Olive stuffed character, outside a souvenir shop. It started raining so they brought him in. Cute! I made him fall off the bench two or three times, the shop attendant seemed a bit irritated.}

My area in Japan may be quite rural, but we host a fantastic annual art event, the Setouchi International Art Festival. The festival takes place on seven different islands in the Inland Sea, all short ferry rides from Takamatsu. Each island has different exhibits or museums, so there is a lot to discover. I've only been to two islands so far, and Shodoshima is one of them.

On Friday afternoon my friends and I boarded the giant, panda and rainbow-painted ferry that would take us to the biggest island of the Inland Sea. To be honest, being on the ferry was probably the most exciting part of the trip. It's huge, and we all sat on comfortable couches, in what seemed to be a living room. They even sell udon on the ferry! Wicked.

Shodoshima is famous for its olive trees, so olive-themed everything is made available: olive ice cream, olive socks, olive soap, olive chocolate... the list goes on. I love Japan for making regional foods such an important deal! By the time we got to Shodoshima it was quite late, and it was pouring rain. The art galleries were pretty far away, so we just walked around a little and found the most extraordinary olive-themed café. A tiny wooden café tucked in the valleys, among the olive trees, where we enjoyed various olive-based dishes.

We just lingered at the café, then walked around and explored the island a bit. The scenery is stunning, and the greenery is lavish. The rain just made it more refreshing and beautiful! We hopped on the ferry back to Takamatsu, where we ended the evening with pretty much everyone we know in the prefecture, for an evening of fireworks, chilled wine, tapas, and too many gin and tonics.

*Note: There are two or three English teachers residing full-time on Shodoshima. I think it's a gorgeous place, and I seriously admire them, because it must be pretty isolating at times. I think I would have had a meltdown by the first week. Or not.


French lover said...

Bonjour dear :)
Ca y est, je suis de retour en France. Nous sommes rentrés hier et la chaleur moite du Japon me manque déjà (qui l'eût cru ?).
Dis moi, je me demandais pour combien de temps tu y restes encore ?

hoihoi51 said...

I found this blog.
he was also living inisolated island

Charlie said...

Shodoshima's totally going on my list of places to go after I get my first real paycheck. This list is getting very long. Please help me prioritize. :)

Vivian said...

French lover- As-tu aimé le Japon?! J'aurais tellement aimé te rencontrer, malheureusement c'était impossible ce weekend-là... dommage! Raconte!!! Et je crois rester ici au moins une autre année, tu es la bienvenue n'importe quand! xx

hoihoi51-thanks! he has a great blog!

Charlie- yes yes yes! come visit me anytime, it will be a cheap trip! x

Ping said...

I love reading about your Japan travel adventures. Also, your passion on cupcakes and food!

惠邱邱邱邱雯 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical.............................................................

hoihoi51 said...

"Twenty-Four Eyes"
Shōdoshima (小豆島?) is an island located in the Inland Sea of Japan. This island is famous for its stages of the "Twenty-Four Eyes