Thursday, May 12, 2016

Intoducing Amano Store on Shiraishi Island

  "Amano Store"

Lately people have been asking me just how big the "super market" is on Shiraishi Island. This is especially relevant to those staying several days in accommodation such as the Villa, or Shiraishi Guest House, where there is a kitchen to cook your own food.

How large it is depends on how you see things: either the supermarket is half-empty or half-full. If you booked through the Okayama International Villa web page, they'll lead you to believe that you'll absolutely starve if you don't bring your own food to the island. This is simply not true (how do they think the islanders survive?!). While the variety of goods is not huge, it is definitely enough to get by and covers all the basics.

For an island of just 440 people, it seems to me like we have a pretty good store, but I'll let you be the judge.

Amano Store (086-568- 3015 proficient Japanese only) is open every day from 8:00 am to 6 pm (although they're usually open by 7 am in the summer). It is restocked every morning at 11:00 am except for Sundays when they are open regular hours but do not stock new items. (Please note that if you are coming to the island on the last ferry from the mainland, the store will be closed before you arrive).

There are four isles. Here are some samplings:

Vegetables: Most of your western-type veggies such as lettuce, carrots, mushrooms, onions, spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber and garlic. Also lotus root, daikon radish, ginger root, negi.

Fruits: apples, bananas, kiwi, and seasonal fruits such as strawberries, grapes and berries. There are cantaloupe, pineapple and peaches, but they're mostly for gift purposes so are expensive.

The Meat Section: 

Mostly chicken, wieners and sandwich meat (ham).  There is usually a little bit of salmon but not much fish since most people here are fishermen, so the last thing they want is more fish!

Instant food:

There is some ready to eat (or nearly ready to eat) food like tofu, yogurt, shumai, gyoza, canned tuna, corn, frosted flakes (the only cereal), instant ramen, curry, premium crackers and Ritz crackers. They stock spaghetti and pasta curls but no sauces, but you can make your own as they sell both canned tomatoes and fresh. There is a wide selection of snacks (chips as well as senbei rice crackers and cookies). If you're lucky, you'll find a bento lunch or onigiri before someone else does.

Not pictured but also available: bread, milk, eggs, cream, butter, margarine, cheese, soy milk, mayonnaise, cooking oil, soy sauce, mirin, miso, and other basic cooking needs.

They also stock personal hygiene items: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, women's hygiene products (including, rather impressively for the Japanese countryside, tampons). 

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Moooo! Bar open today, Sunday May 8!

Today is a special opening of the Moooo! Bar for those who had planned on coming out for Golden Week but were forced to change plans according to Mother Nature. Just a slight delay in the bovine social schedule...

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Shiraishi Pilgrimage No.s 58-65

Thanks to the students of the Canadian Academy in Kobe 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.

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. 

Yamatatsunamisou is a wildflower found in the spring on the pilgrimage

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:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New public toilets on the beach--Whoa, and they're Western style toilets!

Just in case you were wondering...

The new public toilets on the beach. Hey, this is important--They're Western style! And wheelchair accessible. Campers rejoice.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Come out to Shiraishi Island for Golden Week! #japan

 Spring flowers on the Shiraishi Pilgrimage trail

 Golden Week is almost here! Starting April 29, Japan will experience a number of consecutive national holidays thru May 5 and we welcome all those who decide to spend their holiday on Shiraishi Island. It's a great time of year here; the weather is perfect and there aren't very many tourists. Sanchan's restaurant will be open and the Moooo! Bar will too, so please come join the herd!

We always have a few campers on the beach for Golden Week and this year's camping herd will be happy to know that the public toilets on the beach have been refurbished. Western toilets and a general face lift of the site should make everyone happy. After all, it's the little things in life :)

Fresh water is also available from a tap outside the restroom block.

I have lots of other announcements, but will try to tackle them one day at a time.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Shiraishi Pilgrimage opens, Shiraishi Island, #Japan

Thanks to the students at the Canadian Academy in Kobe who came out to the island last weekend and helped clean the Shiraishi Pilgrimage trail! Thanks to these volunteers, the path from number 58 to 64 is open and ready for hiking or running! This part of the route is right across from the International Villa, so easily accessible to guests staying there.

Shrine No. 61 

The route, with mountain cherry blossom petals. 

Enjoy the springtime on the island!  

The Moooo! Bar will be open for Golden Week. More details soon!

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