The Chinese characters for Shodoshima mean “little bean island”, but there is nothing small or especially bean-like about the island. The second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, Shodoshima technically belongs to Kagawa prefecture, but is easily accessible from ferries running from Okayama prefecture as well.
Shodoshima is popular with domestic tourists as the setting for a classic Japanese movie and television series, but international visitors will find the combination of scenic locations and gourmet food items irresistible.
International travelers will find plenty to do, see, and experience on the island. Shodoshima boasts several nice beaches, hot spring resorts, and beautiful coastal scenery on the exterior of the island, with a mountainous interior. Some of the sights on the interior of the island include the famous Olive Park, Kankakei Gorge and Ropeway, and a monkey park.
Gourmands will enjoy touring a soy sauce museum to learn about the 400-year-old tradition of making soy products on the island. Tsukudani, which are pieces of seafood or vegetables preserved in soy sauce and eaten with plain rice, are another item that visitors can learn about. Sesame seed oil and olive products are also well-known items from the region.
Finally, Shodoshima is part of the Setouchi International Art Triennale; as such, many permanent installations of contemporary art are on view to visitors. The artwork makes a wonderful contrast between the modern and the traditional, natural and man-made.