Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shiraishi Island

June 15th - 17th

In the middle of June, we went to Shiraishi Island, which is a small island in Okayama prefecture about 3 hours southwest of Himeji. We went with some of the Australian and American teachers from my residence. We stayed in a beautiful villa that could accommodate 10 people, which included a communal kitchen, dining room, living room and deck overlooking the ocean.

In order to attract more foreign tourists, Okayama Prefecture had the genius idea of building 5 houses/villas around the prefecture in lesser known areas. A couple are at the beach, one has an onsen and the other two are in the mountains. It's really inexpensive at around $25 per night. Okayama International Villas only allows foreigners to book accommodations.

I have visited three of the villas: Shiraishi Island, Ushimado and Takebe (2 beach villas and an onsen villa). Shiraishi Island is really wonderful. It's a very small island. There are no traffic lights, no movie theaters, no shops, 2 or 3 very small food markets and few restaurants and bars. It takes maybe 45 minutes to an hour to bike around the entire island.

We hung out at the villa for a bit and then headed to the beach to play. Below: Tina, Chelsea and Marie on the deck; and everyone walking to the beach.

The girls met some cute boys, we went kayaking and hung out.

After a day at the beach and kayaking we went back to the villa to clean up, have a few drinks and enjoy the view from our deck.
We paid for a restaurant to serve up a beach bbq with meat, fish, veggies, rice and drinks! Julian was grill master. It was heaps good!
We had to finish by 10pm, so we stumbled back to the villa and played jenga and drank more. Marie took this awesome action shot of the jenga game blocks falling.

The next day, we made breakfast.
Afterwards, some of us went hiking, biking or just relaxed on the beach. Jules, Tina, Marie and I hiked to the top of some mountains where we had a beautiful view of the ocean. Julian found himself and became a zen master.

You can see more pictures in my photo album.

1 comment:

Tinz said...

Shiraishi rocks!! :-)