Oct 1, 2018
Olives are some kind of finicky fruit which requires stringent conditions to grow. Japan first attempted growing them in Mie, Kagoshima, and Kagawa in 1908, but only Kagawa's Shodoshima, which has a climate similiar to the Mediterranean, succeeded in growing them.
In Kagawa's Shodoshima, there's an Olive Garden where visitors can get close to olive plantation, and try their luck searching for heart-shape olive leaves. It is said that those who spotted one can earn themselves absolute bliss. The lucky ones can also purchase a bookmark from the Olive Museum there, frame up the lucky leaves and bring them home! Fans of the 2014 movie "Kiki's Delivery Service" can also find the bakery shop featured in the movie here. They can borrow brooms from the museum and replicate Kiki's bloom flight here, to create a picture of special effect.
In the garden compound, there is also a Greek Windmill replica, to commemorate Shodoshima and Greece's Mykonos Island becoming sister islands back in 1989, offering excellent background for Instagram savvy visitors. There is also a yellow postbox somewhere, it is said that postcards sent out from here will fetch the recipients bountiful happiness. After the visit, patrons can enjoy cuisines in the museum restaurant, produced using local ingredients, notably olives, soy sauce. I would recommend trying out the olive soda too, it's very refreshing! We also know that apart from consumption, olive can be used to produce a wide range of beauty products, and many of them are also available for purchase in the museum gift shop.
Shodoshima can be easily accessed via Shin-Okayama port in Okayama and Takamatsu port in Kagawa. Take note that Olive Garden is nearer to Ikeda port and Kusakabe port (both ports connecting to Takamatsu) in Shodoshima, from where there should be buses plying at approximately 30 mins interval. The nearest bus stop is Olive ga Oka (オリーブヶ丘).
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