Thursday, April 22, 2010

Speech tonight--Shiraishi Island: This is Japan!

Presentation Tonight-- "Shiraishi Island: This is Japan!"

Tonight in Asakuchi City, Okayama I'll be giving a presentation on Shiraishi Island and other islands in the Seto Inland Sea.

Japan's Inland Sea is the best-kept Japan travel secret. Imagine a Japan untouched by Hello Kitty, McDonald's and pachinko. All forms of traditional Japanese culture can be found here, and as one of the first visitors to this region, you can blaze your own trail.

Let me open up this secret world to you! Shiraishi Island is your portal to the Inland Sea.

And no worries, you can still use your iPhone!

Place: Asakuchi City Public Hall
Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Contact in English or Japanese: 0865-44-8500


If you can't make it tonight, I'll be giving another presentation, "How to Revive Japan's Countryside" in Fukuyama on May 23 at 1pm. More details on the location later.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thanks for a great yacht race!

Over 150 people took part in the 35th Kazi Cup Yacht Race this year.

Thanks to everyone for a great Kazi Cup Yacht Race on Shiriashi Island last weekend! About 150 people braved the cold and drank moogaritas at the Moooo! Bar on the beach at the party the night before. There were live bands, fireworks and special guests.

The Moooo! Bar is closed until Golden Week, April 29, when we'll open again for a week of springtime fun.

In the meantime, we've gotten in quite a few summer reservations on the island, and we look forward to meeting you all this summer.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Island housing renovations increase

A newly renovated house on the pathway
up to the Shiraishi International Villa

There are a lot of houses being renovated on Shiraishi Island. This is one of the most recent ones. This house is over 100 years old, probably more like 150 years old. It was stripped down to the beams and then rebuilt. They've kept the traditional style of the house and replaced the roof. The building to the left is a small "shop" where the woman plans on continuing her job as a beautician in her retirement.

The pieces of stones sitting outside the windows are called "fumi ishi." (stepping stones) These are cut into rectangles but you often see rounder, more natural stones used also. They serve as a something to step onto when entering or leaving the house through those windows.

The other stepping stones are the ones that form a pathway to and from the house from the road. These are surrounded by an entire yard full of little tiny stones which I presume are used for the practical purposes of having no grass to cut, garden to keep or mud to deal with in the rainy season.

I expect more and more houses on the island to be renovated as Japan's population gets older and people move back to the countryside to retire on the small island they originally came from.
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