Shodoshima is the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea. I'm kind of fascinated by the many islands of Japan, and my daughter and I had enjoyed Nokonoshima in Fukuoka several months earlier. Shodoshima turned out to be much different than Nokonoshima.
The ferry ride from Takamatsu Port takes about an hour. There are high speed boats available if you want to arrive faster, but the regular ferry is pretty nice and it's a pleasant ride over.
When we arrived, the first thing I noticed was a peculiar scent in the air. We were engulfed in a powerful odor my daughter thought smelled like nuts. In a few minutes we located the source - it was a soy sauce factory. Gotta tell ya, it did not smell good at this stage of production. We decided to walk in a different direction.
Unfortunately, walking is not the best idea. The town map displayed many interesting attractions, but the directions were vague. We surmised one had to travel by car or bus to reach these places. Where we did walk was in the city, and I was disappointed with Shodoshima because it was exactly like mainland Japan. There was nothing special about it being an island. Unlike quirky Nokonoshima, Shodoshima was urbane and modern.
Shodoshima does have a regional specialty which is olives. The trees line the streets and in the souvenir shop near the ferry landing there are all kinds of olive-based products. But I do not like olives, so I was unwilling to take a chance on olive cookies or candy. Instead, I bought some olive soap and lotion, plus a pretty hand towel, to give as a gift.
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