Kagawa #2: Olives (オリーブ)

In 1908, olive saplings were imported to Japan and planted in three places around the country thought to have the right conditions to grow them. The only one to survive was in Kagawa Prefecture’s Shoudo Island, and thrive it did in the sunny hillsides, so much so that now Kagawa is Japan’s number one producer of olives today. There’s an olive shrine on the island, a working olive grove, a museum, shops, restaurants, and even a bath house! There’s also an Olive Harvest Festival from October to November every year. If you like beef, you might try “Sanuki wagyu”, cattle fed on dried olives. And don’t forget to pick up some olive face oil when you visit! Mmmm, olives…


Kagawa #4: Konpira Grand Theater (旧金毘羅大芝居(金丸座))

The Kanumaruza (Konpira Grand Theater), in Kotohira City, Kagawa Prefecture, is the subject of Kagawa’s 4th card as well as the oldest kabuki playhouse. What’s kabuki? Great question! Read here all about this traditional style of theater.

If you’re interested in catching a show and are in Shikoku right now, you’re in luck! The theater holds 1 month of performances, usually in April, and this year is no different, with performances through the end of April. If you are visiting in off-season you wont be able to catch a show, but you can instead explore backstage, dressing rooms, and even the basement to see how the stage is rotated. This amazing piece of Japanese history is certainly worth a visit both during show month and outside as well.