Suo = Old Place Oshima = Big Island 周防大島 is known as the Hawaii of Japan and the secret is still not out on this stunning beach lined island, popular with Japanese.
Suo Oshima is known as the Hawaii of Japan, because over 4000 people emigrated to Hawaii in the early part of the 20th Century. With a sister island relationship established with Hawaii in 1963. Both islands have a very similar tropical climate and are tropical holiday destinations. There is the Museum of Japanese Emigration to Hawaii on Suo Oshima Island too, which is in both English and Japanese.
Suo Oshima has a great mix of beaches, mountain walks and cycling routes for you to explore. The ideal place to fill your holiday notebook with inspiration.
People from all around the world come to the wider area to cycle, with the 7 bridges in the Seto Naikai National Park a favourite. These seven bridges cross small tropical islands, from the mainland, onto the larger island of Shikoku 四国.
But Suo Oshima doesn't disappoint either, with a ring road that hugs the coast line and is a beautiful level cycle ride. Its a great way to explore the many beaches and stunning scenery along the coastline. Our inside tip is definitely to get out and explore on a bike if you can. The route is quiet flat, as it is along the coast line with very few hills. You can cycle around the island in around 5 hours and is about 60 miles, so is perfect for a few days either on a bike, or in a car if your feeling less energetic.
If your more of a walking hiker you also won't be disappoint with four mounts to climb, nicknamed the 600m ridge line. It comprises of Mt. Monju, Mt. Kano, Mt. Genmeizen and Mt. Dake.
You can take the scenic drive up to Monju Temple, where you can park up and start your journey. There is also parking near Mt. Dake, at the other end of the ridge, where you can also start.
The ridge line is walkable from either starting point. On top of the ridge you will get awe inspiring 360degree views of the island and sea. You can also see ruins of a former Japanese army battery on top of Mt. Kano too.
You can collect a map from the tourist information.Suo Oshima Sight Seeing Information Centre
Open: 9:00am - 5:30pm (Everyday)
Look out of the bright orange building. At least one person speaks very good English, who will be able to help you with a map and anything else you want to explore on the island. Well worth a visit near the start of your adventure on the island to see what else you want to see.
Re.seto is a beach side cafe, you can't go wrong with. They have beautiful views over the sea for a lunch treat or to get out of the sun. Situated on the southern end of Hirano beach 片添ヶ浜海水浴場, where you can spend the day sunbathing and swimming. This spot is the perfect lazy day with a good book or podcast, to relax and enjoy some down time.Re.seto Cafe
Open: 11:00am-5:00pm (Closed Tuesdays)
If you are a fish lover then Kawai Sushi is the place for you. Fresh fish, sushi and sashimi from local Japanese waters, freshly prepared each day. Its definitely a favourite of our Japanese insider, that tipped us off about Suo Oshima. Not over priced for the quality it is a firm favourite with Japanese. If you going to eat sushi while in Japan, why not try it on this amazing island overlooking the sea.
Open: 11:20am - 9:00pm (Closed Tuesdays)
How to get here!