Enjoy Japan’s autumn as never experienced before! 5 Must-go places for adventure at Shodoshima-island at Setonaikai ocean.

Shodo Island, the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, can be summed up in one phrase as “undoubtedly beautiful.”
The attraction of the natural beauty is not only in seeing it but also in actively enjoying it. Come and enjoy a journey that satisfies your spirit of adventure as you walk in the mountains, paddle in the sea and enjoy the amazing scenery.  

Visit steep sacred mountains on a
spiritual trek in the wild

Shodo Island, the largest island in Japan accessible only by boat, is popular for its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful nature. The Shikoku Pilgrimage famously includes 88 temples, but Shodo Island also has 88 sacred locations, which is why it is known as an island of worship. 
Approximately 70% of Shodo Island is mountainous. Mountain worship has been taking place for a long time, and the many sacred mountains utilizing the steep terrain that have long been places of worship are one of the key features of this area, which is not seen on the Shikoku Pilgrimage.

Jinensha, an eco-tourism company on the island, organizes treks primarily through these sacred mountains. This popular pilgrim experience is characteristic of Shodo Island in that it offers the taste of a spiritual journey while actively enjoying nature. 

The Number 1 Temple on Mount Doun, which is part of the "Sacred Mountain Hishio-no-Sato Course," features a temple hidden in a rugged bare rock cave, where there is a definite supernatural atmosphere. The Number 2 Temple on Mount Goishi located along the ridge from Mount Doun has a steep cliff used as a Buddhist training ground, which looks like a stone Buddha rising over the woods. After climbing the steep rocks, there is an amazing view of the Seto Inland Sea that is not to be missed. The temple building on Mount Goishi is also inside a cave where incense burning is carried out if you wish, in which a fire is lit to make your impure thoughts to be removed. You may be overwhelmed by the solemn atmosphere in the cave created by the flickering flames and the sutras of the priests. 

Number 72 Inner Sanctuary Kasaga Waterfall, which is visited on the "Kasaga Waterfall/Senmaida Course," is on a sacred mountain that utilizes the hollow of the cliff, and it is perhaps the most inaccessible location of the 88 sacred areas on Shodo Island. The last section is almost vertical and must be climbed almost as when rock climbing, which will stir your spirit of adventure on this sacred ground that demonstrates the difficulty of ascetic practices from long ago. In front of the main building, there is a log that is known as the gate of good luck, and it is said that your prayers will come true if you go through it. You can also see the Seto Inland Sea near the temple, which is refreshing after the tiring steep climb.
In addition to the sacred locations, another highlight is the chance to see island life by visiting one of the famous soy sauce factories of Shodo Island on the former course, or, on the latter course, by visiting the terraced rice fields of Nakayama, which have been selected in the top 100 terraced fields in Japan. 

These 2 Courses can be viewed on the following webpage

Reserve a trek tour

Be in the middle of breathtaking autumn colors!
Take a walk in the forests of Kankakei, one of Japan's three most beautiful valleys

Even on the naturally beautiful Shodo Island, Kankakei is one of the most popular spots. Located in the middle of the island, the key attraction of this valley is its various looks created by the strangely shaped rock formations produced by long-term diastrophism and erosion. Kankakei is said to be one of Japan's three most beautiful valleys, and it has been designated as a national location of natural beauty.

The viewing platform, which is easily accessible by cable car, is very popular, but we recommend the Jinensha "Kankakei Forest Walking Tour" that will take you on an active journey deep into the forest. This location is amazing all year round, from the stunning greenery of early summer to the deep greens of midsummer, through to the black and white rocks of winter, but the highlight is the autumn colors in fall. It is best viewed from early to late November.

On the mountain trails, there are 12 scenic points in front of Kankakei and 8 sceneic points behind it, and you can also walk to the highest peak on Shodo Island, Mount Hoshigajo. While walking in the forest, you will see pointed, unevenly shaped rocks and other wonders that will make you aware of the living plants and animals, including wild birds and monkeys. It feels amazing to take up a spot that overlooks the autumn colors. 

The various courses can be adjusted to your physical capabilities and your preferences, and there are also slightly easier routes where you can descend the mountain by cable car on the way back. This fall, why not take a walk through the middle of a forest that appears to be burning?

Course No.3 can be viewed on the following webpage

Reserve a trek tour

Ultimate private beach experience with sea kayaking

Water-based activities cannot be missed out if you want to enjoy an active trip on Shodo Island. Sea kayaking is perfect for the particularly tranquil Seto Inland Sea.

Jinensha offers special guided tours where you can relax on beaches that can only be reached by sea kayak.

Even beginners can feel safe on the gentle waves of the sea in a two-person kayak that has an excellent sense of stability. Elementary school students are also allowed if they are accompanied by a guardian.

After you leave the bay, you pass by the beautiful coastline of exposed rocks. Travelling by sea kayak provides a unique perspective that brings you close to the water, and the scenery of the islands stretching out to the Seto Inland Sea will refresh you to the very bottom of your heart. 

Finally, you land on a small, peaceful beach accessible only by kayak and offering amazing views. This private beach is enjoyed to the full as you drink tea and swim in the sea. There are half-day courses and full-day courses, with the latter option providing a luxury service that includes having lunch made for you on the beach. The moving and delicious menu, which normally features sea bream, octopus and other famous gourmet products from Shodo Island, will fill you up as you look out to sea.

 

The best thing about this tour is that you will experience not only kayaking but also the relaxed flow of time on the island sea. The tours this year come to an end in early October, so please enquire soon if you are interested. It will start again in April of next year. 

Reserve a sea kayak tour

Luxury accommodation with a window-view of the secrets of nature

Accommodation is an important part of a nature-rich journey. On the west coast of Shodo Island, there is a beautiful sandy beach that can only be seen twice a day, which is called Angel Road. At low tide, a sand path that connects four islands appears in this romantic natural location that will make you and someone you love happy as you walk hand in hand.

 

The Shodoshima International Hotel is the closest hotel to the Angel Road. There are rooms where the Angel Road can be seen from the windows, as well as Executive Rooms featuring outdoor baths that command a view of the Angel Road. Enjoy the captivating view from your window of this natural secret that appears gradually at low tide, or get out of your room and cross the road with someone you love. The Angel Café Terrace also opened this summer where you can enjoy the sea air while looking out onto the Angel Road.

 

The cuisine at this hotel is also well regarded for making abundant use of seafood from the Seto Inland Sea and naturally cultivated mountain vegetables. Please don’t miss the unique foods of Shodo Island, including fresh seafood and just-picked island vegetables.

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Make a reservation at the Shodoshima International Hotel

Kobe Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

75 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 2※

Okayama Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

80 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 5※

Hiroshima Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

90 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 9※

Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

105 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 4※

Takamatsu Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

80 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 6※

Matsuyama Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

95 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 6※

Nagoya Chubu Airport

70 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 3※

Osaka Itami Airport

55 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 9※

Tokushima Awaodori Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

75 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 4※

*Information correct as of March 24 2016

Displayed information is as of late September 2016.