Thursday, May 19, 2011

Traveling Japan -- Shiraishi Island

Over Golden Week we decided to go with another family for a little getaway to Shiraishi Island. This small little fishing village is 25 minutes away by ferry from Okayama. This is the perfect place if you want peace, quiet and to get away from the daily life.

We stayed at the International Villa, which consists of 4 western bedrooms and 1 tatami room. We were the only ones staying there so we had the whole house to ourselves, which was perfect for making meals. There is one restaurant, a beach bar that is open seasonally, a small liquor store for beer and sake and a tiny grocery store.  You can walk through the houses, admiring all the small gardens along the way.

Beach season in Japan is typically July - mid-August so we didn't have to worry about disturbing anyone with our six energetic kids. (Not that the beach on Shiraishi Island ever gets really crowded given its location) The kids had a blast running, playing in the sand, finding a few cool starfish and even doing a bit of rock climbing.

While the kids enjoyed playing on the beach, the adults enjoyed hanging at the Moo Bar. The typical opening season for the Moo Bar isn't until June, but the owners had a special opening just for Golden Week. Needless to say, we were very excited. There were a few other "island guests" besides us and we really enjoyed talking to the owner, who happens to also be from Ohio! (Small world, huh?)
There are only about 500 people living in Shiraishi Island. Since it was so small, we were able to walk or ride bikes around the whole island easily.  Chris really enjoyed riding a bike around, while Sami and Caleb prepared for the next season of Survivor tryouts.
The last day we decided to try a small hike that was recommended to us. What we thought would be quick and easy turned into a 3 hour hike.

Sadly our time was over before we knew and it was back to the "city" for us.  You can see many more pictures from our time here.