We got a little bit of a late start and then drove to Okayama and then hopped on the ferry to Shodoshima. The island is interesting in that it has a public bus system that goes to the Kankakei gorge (which is the islands biggest attraction) but it only runs 4 times a day. This was really strange to us and we got there to late to see the gorge so we decided to go checkout the olive grove. Yep, you read that right. There apparently were 4 places in Japan that they tried growing olives about 100 years ago but the only one that was successful was on Shodoshima so they grow olives and make olive oil. The setup is really quite pretty and they had some good food for a late lunch.
|This is supposed to be a Greek style windmill. I have no idea if this correct or not since I don't have a lot of knowledge on windmills.|
|Evening over the sea.|
|Stairs leading down between the olive trees.|
The next day we got up early and caught the morning bus out to the Kankakei gorge. It has a "ropeway" or a gondola to go up to the top or it has a couple of different hiking trails. This was nice as we could decide how active we wanted to be based on how I was feeling. We had originally talked about taking the ropeway up and then walking down but it was a lovely day and I was feeling good so we decided to walk up and go from there.
We were quickly rewarded by a passing troupe of monkeys. They were polite and didn't get too close but they were clearly used to seeing people. I was a little worried as I was in the middle of eating a roll (left over from breakfast) when we first spotted them and I was concerned they would be attracted to the food. I put the roll in my pocket but the monkeys seemed very indifferent.
The fall leaves were perfect and the lighting was such that the canopy was glowing as the sun was hitting them. The pictures really don't capture how stunning it was.
|View from the top of the gorge.|
|People at the top.|
|It was a little less hazy on the other side and the fall colors were amazing.|
|Natural stone arch.|
|looking up at the top of the arch.|
|Temple nestled into the side of the rock wall.|
|Craggy rocks and fall prettiness.|
|This was the bottom of our trail.|
|Just to give you an idea of how far we walked, you can see the town in the center of the picture, we walked back to there.|