We got up early for the one-hour ferry ride to Shodoshima - Olive Island. It was totally dark until we were halfway there, then we watched a very beautiful sunrise along the horizon.
We purchased a one-day bus pass at Tonosho Port and headed to Olive Park, then changed to another bus for Kankakei Gorge, one of the top three in Japan. You can choose to drive, hike, or take the five-minute ropeway over the gorge. This area is part of the Setonaikai National Park and a Place of Scenic Beauty. We hiked to three different observation platforms, which revealed unique views of the Seto Inland Sea and various rock formations caused by volcanic activity millions of years ago. We witnessed lots of song birds along the trails prior to the large crowds that followed behind us. Although only 2008 feet high, you get the feeling you are on top of the world with the many varied views of mountains, sea, and sky.
When we arrived back at Koun Hillside Ropeway Station the bus had just left, leaving us an hour plus before the next one. Checking our Google Map, we decided to take the trail down to Inotani Pond, an excellent choice. Most of the trail ran along a bubbling stream, and we reached the pond while there were still reflections of the fall colors.
We finally caught the bus back to Olive Park to enjoy a meal containing local olive oil, washing it down with delicious olive cider. At Olive Garden I just had to try the olive soft-cream, which turned out to be very tasty.
Many young people were renting brooms to have their picture taken next to the Greek windmill, jumping in the air to look like they were flying witches. Apparently, this is from a movie that was filmed here titled "Kiki's Delivery Service'. Before catching our next bus, we walked among the many olive trees throughout the park and garden. In this area there are eight different types of olives grown from around the world.
We arrived back in Tonosho and walked to Dofuchi Strait, listed in Guinness Book of World Records as the narrowest strait in the world. After you cross over the bridge go to the town hall and for 100 yen you will receive a certification of your crossing.
We opted to take the rapid ferry back to Takamatsu, which took a little over 30 minutes. We arived just in time to catch the Kotoden train back to Ikkaku Restaurant for our second night of grilled chicken on the bone.