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Day Trip Ideas: Ushimado

20,Aug 2015 Day Trip Ideas

Did you know that there are olive gardens in Japan, located on hills in a prime spot overlooking magnificent views of the Seto Inland Sea and nearby islands?


A well-kept local secret, Ushimado is a beach town that has more than olive gardens and picturesque scenery to offer. Getting to the olive gardens brings you up a hill which can be quite a trek if you do not have a car, but not to worry! About halfway up there is a rest area with seats, as well as shops selling food and drink, where you can revitalise yourself for the remaining journey with some refreshments and conversation with fellow travellers. One of the shops is Copio Gelato, which sells gelato homemade with local milk and ingredients, some of which unique flavours such as olive (with olive pieces), and grape sake (with very low actual alcohol content); all of which light and authentic and a sure way to perk up for the rest of the climb.

When you reach the top of the hill and the olive gardens, after admiring the olive gardens and perhaps trying to spot and name the neighbouring islands, you can take a rest before starting your journey back down. The second Sunday of every month, there is a local food and artisan market called the ‘Olive Garden Market’ held in the meadow next to the olive gardens, where local stores sell food and craft products made with local materials; from pizza and okonomiyaki to shell baskets and necklaces, everything is made with love and care. If not, there is the pavilion shop, where you can have coffee, tea, soft serve ice cream (said to be the second most delicious soft serve ice cream in Japan), and more; or browse the various olive products in the shop (various types of olive oil, soap, beauty products, etc.).

Leaving the olive garden and going back down the hill to the town, you can walk to the beach and have a relaxing stroll along the shore, or maybe lounge on the sand or take a dip in the cool waters. Or perhaps climb up the forested stairway to Ushimado Shrine, a Shinto shrine which is nestled in the greenery of the mountain hill. Along the way there is a viewpoint where you can have a seat to admire the vistas of coast, trees, and islands; or you can admire the scenery whilst climbing. And any time you wish, there are shops along the beach selling things like shaved ice, snacks such as okonomiyaki, and drinks, so you can keep your energy levels up whilst enjoying the atmosphere.



Ushimado is a 1.5 hour drive away from Kifu no Sato, and 3.5 hours by public transport. From Kifu no Sato, it is best visited with a car, and there are no toll roads. Information on tourist activities and events can be found at the Ushimado website here (Japanese only). For more information, please feel free to contact Kifu no Sato.

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