Kagawa Prefecture is one of the four prefectures of Shikoku. In this feature, we talk about an island called Shodoshima (小豆島), which is one of the famous tourist islands of Kagawa Prefecture, located in the Seto Inland Sea. With many tourist attractions including historical and natural spots, you can visit this island all year round. A slightly different spot that is incredibly delightful is Shodoshima Olive Garden (オリーブ園). Let’s check out what you can do here!
Access to the Olive Garden
If you plan to travel all the way from Tokyo, it might be best to stay close to Takamatsu. From Haneda Airport, you can get to Takamatsu Airport in about 80 minutes. If you take a flight from Osaka or Nagoya, it takes less than an hour.
From the airport, you can take an airport limousine from Bus Stop No. 3 and get off at Takamatsu station (approx. 40 mins).
The bus fare is 780 yen. You can check the bus times here.
Look for the signs as the stops are subject to change.
There is enough signage in English, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t understand Japanese.
Once you get off at the station, follow the signs for Takamatsu Port.
There are several ways to travel by ferry to Shodoshima Island. Make sure to check the destinations at each terminal as ferries are operated by different companies.
The ports closest to the Olive Garden are Ikeda and Tonosho. If you want take a car on the ferry, you need to make a reservation well in advance online. For those who wish to travel just as passengers, there is no need to book tickets in advance.
Although Tonosho Port is further from the Garden, it is actually quicker as there are more ferries so you don’t waste time waiting around.
You can ask the staff at the ticket counter to be sure or buy a ticket at the vending machines.
It is recommended to buy a return ticket as you save 50 yen (one-way ticket: 700 yen; return: 1,330 yen).
The waiting area for the boat is spacious so you can sit comfortably while you wait.
There are many maps placed at strategic spots. Make sure to check them if you get confused.
The ferry is quite huge with two levels.
As you can see, it is spacious, has comfortable sofa seats that are warm and cozy. There is also a restaurant selling udon in case you feel peckish.
You can choose to sit indoors and watch TV.
But we recommend sitting on the deck, especially in summer, as you can feel the salty sea breeze and enjoy the gorgeous views of the sea dotted with islands.
Kagawa Prefecture is famous for its udon and its a great way to spend time with an udon bowl on this 35-minute ride.
On arriving at Tonosho Port, you can take a taxi to Olive Garden, which takes about 15-20 minutes, or a bus, which takes about 30 minutes.
Shodoshima Olive Garden
When you arrive, you will see a sign for Shodoshima Olive Garden.
The garden is divided into 10 areas. Even though it seems quite large on the map, you can easily walk to each point.
The atmosphere and landscape of this garden is quite different from those usually seen in Japan. The Garden was also the setting for the Ghibli movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service.
The highlight of this place is that it has the only olive-colored postbox here, which represents peace and happiness. Why is there a postbox here? Read to the end to find out.
The must-see point of this park is the Greek windmill, which is a symbol of Japan’s friendship with Greece.
The windmill with the beautiful blue sky, mountains and sea has a calming effect.
You can rent a “Magical Broom” just like the one in Kiki’s Delivery Service and take photos with the windmill.
The best part is you can use the broom free of cost.
Look at how cute it is!
Next, let’s check out the Olive Memorial Hall building.
Learn about the history of this space and be mesmerised by the massive statue in the center.
Enjoy a meal made with olives
Turn to the left to find a food shop. You can buy snacks or you can buy postcards with cute designs that are only available here and send them via the Olive-Colored Postbox.
When you arrive at the Olive Garden, don’t miss out on trying the many snacks and treats made using olives. Since the olives are grown here, they are freshly picked and a lot more delicious than what you would find elsewhere. The extra virgin olive oil soft serve is divine.
You can also have green-colored somen (cold noodles) that are made from olives. You can actually taste the yummy flavors of olive.
If you don’t like olives, there are also other options.
We tried the soft serve and it was smooth and creamy with a definite hint of olives.
Olive Leaf Bookmarks And Postcards
This is where you can buy original postcards with cute designs.
You can even pick heart-shaped olive leaves from the garden and make your own original bookmarks.
The price for making bookmarks is 300 yen.
Island’s Olive Products As Souvenirs
When you’re here, don’t forget to buy some delicious souvenirs that use olives from the gardens. There are olive rice dishes, somen (cold noodles), olive oils, and many other olive-based products.
There is even a large selection of olive-based beauty products to choose from. Make sure to stop by as there is something for everyone.
There are lots of things to do in this lovely Olive Garden. A great way to spend a day and be transported to Greece! Add this unique spot to your list of things to do when island hopping in the Seto Inland Sea.
SHODOSHIMA OLIVE GARDEN
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