Since the early 1980’s, the picturesque island of Honjima has hosted the annual ‘Shiwaku Honjima My Pace Marathon.’ Shiwaku is the name of the archipelago in which Honjima is located and My Pace, is a local expression that means you can pick a course that is the most suitable for you. Held in early spring with Honjima Junior High School as the starting point, participants can choose to run 3.5, 9.5 or 14.5 kilometers, with the longest of the distances taking you almost entirely around the somewhat shoe-shaped island. Whatever distance you decide to run, you will be in for a treat as you make your way through the islands scenic seaside paths and past some incredible traditional structures. There are several buildings which were constructed at the end of the Edo era and are now designated landmarks.
One fascinating aspect of the history of the island is that it has an extensive maritime history, which has been carefully archived. Records and artifacts are on display at the former village administrative building. Honjima Island has one of the best preserved Edo era village escapes that you are likely to ever come across. Several of the former merchant residences are open to the public. Perhaps the most stunning of these is Yoshida-tei. It is like a complete snapshot into the life of a local family of means who lived comfortably in traditional elegance. Other places to look out for as you explore the island are the village buildings which have been converted into neat cafes serving hearty food and drink and the hilltop Shōkakuin Temple. Shiwaku Honjima My Pace Marathon is a great way to get an introduction to the history and culture of Honjima Island.
Access: Take the Shiokaze from JR Okayama Station to JR Marugame Station. Walk for about 7-8 minutes to Marugame Port. Take the ferry to Honjima Island. Honjima Junior High School is about a 5-minute walk from Honjima Port.
About the Area
Kagawa Prefecture is often referred to as the gateway to Shikoku because it hosts one of the footholds of the Seto Ohashi Bridge in Sakaide City. The bridge, which is the longest in the world to carry both passenger cars and trains, stretches across the Seto Inland Sea like a dragon in flight before touching down in Shikoku.
The capital of the prefecture and the largest city in all of Shikoku is lovely seaside Takamatsu City. It is a castle town which is famous for its port area and long shopping arcade.
Marugame City, like neighboring Takamatsu City is a renowned for its castle. However, as Marugame Castle rests at a high elevation, it commands an impressive view of the region. From the castle, there are panoramas of the cityscape, Mt. Iino (Sanuki Fuji) and the Seto Inland Sea.
Kagawa Prefecture is a champion of the arts and plays a large role in the Setouchi Triennale Art Festival, which as its name suggests, takes place every three years. There are art installations and museums throughout the prefecture.
The beating heart of the art scene in Kagawa is on several of its islands, namely, Shodoshima and Naoshima. There you will find an intriguing world dedicated to beauty and creativity.
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|Cancellation Date||Up to 21 days prior||20-8 days prior||7-2 days prior||Day prior to start of tour||Day of tour||After start of tour/non-participation with no contact|
|Cancellation Fee||No charge||20% of tour fee||30% of tour fee||40% of tour fee||50% of tour fee||100% of tour fee|