Shōdoshima, Day Two – 小豆島 2日目

Kagawa, May香川 5月

Our accommodation was comfortable; the cabin had a kitchen/living room, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a balcony with a great view to the sea. Near was a hot spring, which we visited before going to sleep, so we could wake up refreshed to the new day.


After breakfast we said goodbye to our lovely cabin and drove off to see the day’s first sight: senmaida, ‘one thousand rice fields’ arranged like tiny shelves on top of each other on the hillside. Probably because I come from a very flat country, everything related to mountains are enchanting for me, but these fields! How is it possible to cultivate them?


Next we visited the Shōdoshima Olive Park, which was like a small piece of Greek with its beautiful flower and herb beds, olive groves and shiny-white buildings. They also have Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service herb shop Corico that was a must-see for Chihiro and me.

次に、小豆島オリーブ公園を訪れました。美しい花とハーブの花だん、オリーブの木立、輝くような白い建物があって、そこはまるでギリシャの一角のようでした。スタジオジブリ「魔女の宅急便」の映画のロケセットがあるハーブショップ コリコは、千尋と私には必見の場所でした。

Sunrise from our cabin
Senmaida fields
At the Olive Park
Kiki’s Delivery Service herb shop Corico

Shōdoshima Olive Park

1941-1, Kagawa, Shozu-gun, Shōdoshima, Nishimura, 761-4434 Japan

道の駅 小豆島オリーブ公園

〒761-4434 香川県小豆郡小豆島町西村甲1941-1

Medieval Week on Gotland – ゴットランド島の中世週間

Visby, Augustヴィスビー 8月

Chihiro and I met in Stockholm, Sweden and hopped on a ferry to Gotland; when we arrived at the island, old-fashioned clothes, knights and monks on the streets surprised us. We had booked the trip without knowledge of its ongoing Medieval Week. The reason we traveled to Visby was, of course, Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service.


Visby as a city is beyond attractive: it’s small, full of flowers, cobblestone streets, ancient ruins, all surrounded by the sea and an impressive stonewall which is the best preserved historical city wall in Scandinavia. Visby’s picturesque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Because of the Medieval Week, the town was full of unusual activity; knights fighting in tournaments, an outdoor market place with troubadours, blacksmiths, pottery makers, yarn spinners, and all properly dressed for the occasion. We find out that the market was a perfect place to find interesting items made from sheep’s wool, wood, iron, linen and leather.


The ferry
Rustic old town
St.Karin Catherdal ruins
At the tournament
The outer city wall


Donnersgatan 1, 621 56 Visby, Sweden