On Shodoshima, more precisely on the south coast of the town of Tonosho, there is a natural phenomenon that may not blow you away, but that is worth a visit nonetheless. It is one of Shodoshima’s main tourist attractions, and its name is Angel Road.
What is Angel Road?
Well, right south of Tonosho can be found three islets. Two of them really only are big rocks, the third one – called Yoshima – is a little large enough to house a summer camp.
Nothing very noteworthy at first sight, except that at low tide something pretty interesting happens. As the water level recedes, the three islets end up being connected to each other and to Tonosho by a sandbank, which allows people to walk to the islets. And that makes the already beautiful place even more wonderful.
On top of that, and I have no idea why and how, some sort of “romantic tourism” developed there, as many couples take the opportunity to go attach heart shaped ema on the first islet’s trees. Ema on which they wrote various love wishes and other similar promises. Why ema? I’m not even sure, I’m not completely positive that there is a shrine there, except for a tiny tiny one just before the sandbank.
Odd “tradition” if you ask me, but why not? Personally, I never thought it was very romantic to do exactly the same thing as many other people did just because “it’s the thing to do.” But to each their own; if you find copycatting and simulacra romantic, who am I to judge?
In any case, the spot is very beautiful, although I’d love to visit it with less people around… That means going there at dawn or on a cold winter day though.
I don’t have much to add about Angel Road really, so I’ll just let you enjoy the pictures:
Oh and by the way, if you ever spend the night on Shodoshima, there are lots of hotels right there for some reason, with views like this from your hotel room window. 🙂
Towards the other islets (actually, we didn’t go, you may have noticed some umbrellas on the previous pictures, rain had been threatening the whole time and we were not equipped against).
The choices some Japanese women make as far as clothing is concerned when they go “in the wild” (or at least away from the city) never cease to amaze me. OK, maybe she hadn’t planned to go to Angel Road, maybe her boyfriend surprised her with it…
Mmmm… No, I don’t believe it one second.
When night came, as we were staying walking distance from Angel Road, I decided to go see what it looked like at night:
As you can see the first islet is lit at night. Also, I wasn’t completely alone, there was a young couple too (out of the frame) and this heron that was fishing on the sandbank that was now covered with water (but still walkable if you don’t mind getting wet)
The long exposure makes the heron look quite ghostly here.
The morning after, from my hotel room.
You’ll most likely see Angel Road on this blog again. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this overview of one of the many wonderful spots that the Seto Inland Sea has to offer.