Monday, April 03, 2017

The new Sanyo Kisen ferry terminal to Shiraishi Island #okayama #japan #setonaikai

If you've been to the Kasaoka islands before, you're in for a real shock. The Sanyo Kisen ferry terminal at Kasaoka Port is in a new building! Opened March 18, it's located right next to the old, decrepit concrete building, so it won't be hard to find. Not only does it have decent toilets inside (finally!) it also has heating and air conditioning (whoa!). It no longer looks like you're about to get on a boat to go to some backwater, off the beaten track islands (even though you are). 

The outside of the new terminal. They've named it "minatokobanashi," whatever that means. 

The inside waiting room, facing the sea.

Unfortunately, there is no new terminal building at the car ferry port (Fushigoeko). Dream on...

Friday, March 31, 2017

Shiraishi Island Cherry Blossom Party, April 9 #setonaikai #Japan #ohanami

It's April and time to start of the Daily Moooo Blog again to bring you up to date on what's happening on Shiraishi Island. We're looking forward to another great season on the island and we hope you'll come and enjoy it with us.

First and foremost, we have San-chan's Cherry Blossom party on Sunday, April 9th.

 This is always a good time and a great chance to party with the locals under the cherry trees! While we'll all miss Man-chan, who used to dance for us every year, we hope that attendees will still bring their instruments and break out into song, as usual. The price is 3,000 yen for all you can eat and drink! See their FB event page here.

If you miss the party, you can still catch the blossoms and maybe even a night cherry blossom session if you stay overnight on the island.

The weather should be warming up from this Monday, with highs in the low 20's, so be sure to get out to see the cherry blossoms. This is Japan's most special time of the year. And here on Shiraishi Island, you can see the blossoms with the backdrop of the azure Seto Inland Sea...ahhhhh, now THAT'S special!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Shiraishi Pilgrimage Trail section 58-65 now open to hikers

Thanks to Green Bird Okayama who came out to the island as volunteers to clean the pilgrimage trail, a new section of the route is now open for hikers! Numbers 58 to 65 are now cleared for tourists to walk. This route is right across from the International Villa, so is easy to access and a great place to start for those interested in experiencing the mini Shikoku Pilgrimage first-hand. It goes through the deep forest and ends up down on the beach. Of the 88 stone statues on the island, this section will take you past eight of these small Buddhist shrines.

Note: Please keep in mind that there are many other trails on the island, including a hiking course, that can be hiked year-round. The 400-year-old Pilgrimage trail is subject to availability as there is no funding to keep it maintained and thus is dependent upon kind-hearted volunteers to keep the ancient trail open and to preserve this slice of Japan's local history. Thank you volunteers!

No. 58-65
Distance: 0.9 km
Time: 20 mins hiking, 10 mins trail running
Terrain: fairly easy with two small but steep inclines and declines
Trail condition: Cleared, easy to navigate, shady
Trail features: Hilly, small bamboo forest, yamazakura, wild flowers: yamatatsunamisou

Shiraishi Pilgrimage No. 61Kōon-ji 香園寺

To get to the trail, look for the trail head right across from the international villa. This is the trail head for both the hiking course and the pilgrimage trail. The trail goes up to the right of the sign. 

Soon you'll see an option to either stay on the high road or take the low road. Take the low road.

In another 20 meters, look for another trail coming in on the right. This one is a little less obvious, so don't miss it. Take the low road again. 

Presto! You're now on the pilgrimage path, on your happy way to enlightenment. This path takes you past all the shrines 65 to 58 in descending order. Eventually you'll come out among a few houses and a road that leads you to the beach. From the beach you can easily walk back to the villa. 

Shrines on this section of the pilgrimage: 

No. 65 Sankaku-ji (三角寺)
No. 64 Maegami-ji (前神寺)
No. 63 Kichijō-ji (吉祥寺)
No. 62 Hōju-ji (宝寿寺)
No. 61 Kōon-ji (香園寺)
No. 60 Yokomine-ji (横峰寺)
No. 59 Iyo Kokubun-ji (伊予国分寺)
No. 58 Senyū-ji (仙遊寺)

More links:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Typhoon 16 update--good news for Seto Naikai area #japan

Typhoon 16 is currently passing near the Seto Inand Sea and although there is lots of rain, there isn't much wind. The storm changed direction and rather than coming directly over this area, it is skirting up the Eastern side of Shikoku and heading Northeast. The typhoon's central pressure is 960 and will rise to 970 by afternoon. By 3pm, the storm will have passed and we'll have clear skies and sunshine!

The ferries to Shiraishi Island should be functioning. We'll let you know here if, for some reason, they temporarily stop running. Those who have reservations on the island today should still be able to get here, although we recommend taking an afternoon ferry to avoid the heavy rains.

Note: The car ferry is more reliable in inclement weather than the passenger ferry. Ferry times to Shiraishi Island, leaving from Fushigoe Port are: 11 am Shiraishi Ferry (orange boat), 13:00 pm Kanafuromaru (white ferry with a big picture of Mt. Fuji on the side), 14:40 Shiraishi Ferry. 15:25 Kanafuromaru, 17:00 Shiraishi Ferry.

See you on the island!

This update was Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 6:25 am JST. For more information about the typhoon, see the Japan Meteorological Association website. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Update on Typhoon 16, Shiraishi Island, Seto Inland Sea, Japan

This slow moving typhoon is taking its time, sauntering North from Taiwan and should amble to Japan's Kyushu Island by Tuesday and these parts of the Seto Inland Sea by Wednesday. At that point, the typhoon itself will be slouching around as a tropical storm, at 990 hectopascals of pressure; not even enough wind to stop the ferries! But there will be rain and today's forecast is for rain on and off. Once the typhoon arrives, heavy rain is possible. By Thursday, we should be back to fine weather again on the island!

PS The Moooo! Bar will be open serving typhoon moogaritas throughout....:)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September on Shiraishi Island, #Japan #setoinlandsea #beaches


September is a great time to be on the island and reservations have been rolling in for the long weekend of Sept. 16-19, the holiday of Sept 22 and the last weekend in Sept, the 24th and 25th. Here is a current selection of availability (or non-availability, however you want to look at it):

International Villa fully booked Sept. 18
Shiraishi Guest House fully booked Sept. 24

If you'd like to come out to the island in September, get your reservations in soon! See the Moooo! Bar website for accommodation options.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Shiraishi Island Fireworks Festival Aug. 27: Lodging availability update #Japan #setonaikai #SetoInlandSea


We're headed into the last big event of the summer: the Shiraishi Fireworks Festival, billed as the smallest fireworks festival in Japan! It's true, but it's a community effort where everyone contributes a little bit to the fireworks fund and on the night of the festival live bands play on the beach and the fireworks are set off right off the shore on the water. They're so close when they burst into "fire flowers" that you feel like you can touch them! Don't miss it this Saturday night! Here is the current availability for overnight on the island:

Shiraishi Guest House: Full.
Shiraishi International Villa: 3 rooms available (2 ppl per room)
Amagiso: Still has some rooms
Moooo! House: Three women-only tatami mat rooms or one group of males and females 6-8 ppl. Perfect for families. A step above camping!
Camping: Always free on Shiraishi Island Beach!
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