For 500 JPY you can have access to an internationally awarded architectural wonder that towers above its foundation to reach 50-60 meters in height on the island of Shodoshima.
Noticeable from several points around the island, this giant alabaster statue with gold accents of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, sets a wonderful tone of peaceful spirituality. Since construction was completed in 1995, the statue has been a powerful draw for the fully functional temple beneath it.
Just before entering the temple grounds you might notice that there is a white and somewhat surreal sign that reads Shiawase no Eki or “Happiness Station”. This sign stands in front of a series of white discs that look like flat clouds heading off to infinity. More than likely, the placement of this spiritual art in front of the temple was designed to get visitors in line with its rhythm and purpose.
The landscaping around the statue is notable for its colorful flowers and swaying palmetto trees. There is an eternal flame lit outside the entrance of the temple next to the donation box.
There are dozens of miniature Kannon statues inside the temple as well as statues of Buddha. There is also a well-kept relic tooth of Buddha which was donated by a Sri Lankan temple for enshrinement.
In as much as Dai-Kannon is a statue, it is also a building and accordingly offers access to an observation area by elevator or by stairs.
In addition to being a site for spiritual reflection, local residents have taken to using the temple hall for yoga and zazen meditation, while university students use the space for their club activities.
Daihonzan Shodoshima will surprise and astonish you by its size and grandeur and its beauty will be a permanently etched in your memory.
Access: Take the Olive Bus from Tonosho Port or rent a bicycle.
ABOUT THE ISLAND
The second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, Shodoshima belongs to Kagawa Prefecture, but is easily accessible from ferries running from Okayama Prefecture as well.
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. Sesame seed oil and olive products are also well-known items from the region. Popular sightseeing destinations on the exterior of the island include a soy sauce factory, and Angel Road, a sandbar that visitors can walk along at low tide to reach a small island (see SmartTour code SM-KAG-010).
Shodoshima is part of the Setouchi International Art Triennale; as such, several permanent installations of contemporary art are on view to visitors. The artwork creates a wonderful contrast between the modern and the traditional as well as the natural and human-made.
1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).
|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|