Sofie’s Adventures: Shodoshima Tour
(↑ Sofie and her buddy Mr. Ominami share a love of photography! Here they are taking pictures of the sunset on Shodoshima)
During the KAIR residency Sofie had some adventures but I was too busy to write about them. Now I have some time to share some stories. In mid-October, a delegation from Kamiyama went to Aki Rika’s home island of Shodoshima. We talked to some people who are organising an artist in residence program there, went on an island tour with a small non-profit alternative touring company, and experienced the local autumn festival! We had a lot of activities packed into a one-night two-day trip.
As soon as we arrived we had lunch, and then we drove to the museum at the local shoyu factory and ate some shoyu ice cream! Everyone wanted to go back the next day for more.
Next, we visited a place that makes dried udon and somen noodles by hand. They dry them by hanging the noodles like beaded curtains on poles. There’s a bit of noodle that gets squished onto the pole, and that’s what you’re seeing in the above shot. Here’s what the noodles look like when they’re drying:
That night, we had some local seafood at a restaurant and we attempted to barter with the staff using some sudachi that we’d brought along. Our strategy worked! The people at the restaurant gave us some dishes full of locally grown olives in return for our contribution. Shodoshima is famous for its olive orchards. Thanks to Emma for this great idea!
During dinner, we started to hear something outside. It was the pre-festival night party! Festival teams were taking their portable shrine up and down the street outside the restaurant. We all ran out without paying (ha ha! no, we went back later and paid, don’t worry) to take pictures of the event.
The next day, the local NPO tour company, Dream Island, took us around to see some lesser-known sights, one of them being a temple in the special Shodoshima 88 temple pilgrimage! The priest at the temple held some prayers for us and chanted the heart sutra but Sofie got scared of the dark, incense-filled, chanting atmosphere so we went outside and found something even more exciting!
One of the tour guides told us that he used to see these more often when he was a boy but he hadn’t seen any recently. He said that when he was a boy his friends told him that if you touch a geji-geji, you’ll go bald! After that, we visited an orchard where we ate oranges straight from the tree. Yum! They were growing olives too but we’d already attempted to eat fresh olives earlier – very bitter and unpleasant!! Sofie took a nice picture of Andrea and her husband Adam.
About a week later, Sofie and I went on a road trip to Kochi with Andrea and Adam too! I’d like to share some pictures from that trip, but I think it will have to wait for next time!
Canadian living in Tokushima City. Translator, Interpreter, and Sofie's mom.Articles by Claire