The central area of Tonosho-cho is also known as the “labyrinth town” due to its intricate alleyways that resemble a maze. The town definitely has a unique character of its own, and has largely retained its old-fashioned houses and buildings. The reason it has become such a labyrinth may go back to nearly seven centuries ago, when the Imperial court was divided into two sides fighting for the throne (the so-called “Nanboku-cho” era, literally meaning “South-North”). Shodoshima was also drawn into the war, and the people had to prepare for the battles to come.
The alleyways are believed to have been made so intricate to ensure that enemy troops would have difficulty reaching the town center. Tonoshi-cho is said to be one of the few remaining labyrinth towns from this war-torn era. Walking down the narrow alleyways will make you feel disoriented, almost as if you are being shown an illusion. Art works from past Setouchi Triennales have been installed around the town, and there are also art galleries and a café– art blends right into the maze-like town.
Saiko-ji is the 58th temple of Shikoku pilgrimage. Going through the vermilion-lacquered gate equipped with a bell tower, you will be welcome by an old huge gingko tree. Inside the premise stands a vermillion-lacquered pagoda, making this temple an icon of this labyrinth town.
[Address] 200 Kou Tonosho-cho Shozu-gun, Kagawa
Gallery ‐ MeiPAM
The gallery consists of several old farm houses and town houses, each of which has a character of its own. They include MeiPAM01, which used to be a storehouse belonging to a draper’s shop from the Meiji period, MeiPAM02, a former soy-sauce warehouse, MeiPAM03, a traditional Japanese restaurant, MeiPAM04, an old letterpress printing shop, and MeiPAM05, a former village headman’s house. Each of the houses is brought to life by various exhibited art works.
[Address] 405 Kou Tonosho-cho, Shozu-gun, Kagawa
[Closed] Wednesdays (except during Setouch Triennale )
[Opening Hours] 10:00-18:00
Setonouchi is a recent addition to the town, a tourist attraction that opened in May 2015. It consists of a shop with carefully selected products/produce from the Setouchi area and Shodoshima, a cafeteria-style eatery that serves meals made from local ingredients, a tourist information center, and an art gallery.
[Address] 398 Kou Tonosho-cho Shozu-gun, Kagawa
[Closed] Wednesdays (except during Setouchi Triennale )
[Opening Hours] 10:00-18:00
Some art works from past Setouchi Triennales have been made into regular exhibits at certain points around the town, including an installation comprising a whole house, as well as several outdoor works.
INFORMATION – TONOSHO-CHO
[Address] Tonosho-cho Shozu-gun, Kagawa
[Access] 15 minute walk from Tonosho Port