Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Autumn on Shiraishi Island

Bussharito Festival, Nov. 15

The temperatures have dropped and it's a bit cool these days on the island with the day-time highs around 19 to 20 Celsius. The sun is out most days, however, making the weather perfect for hiking and for taking in those beautiful Seto Inland Sea views!

We just finished the Kobo Daishi 10k Pilgrimage Trail Race at the end of October, so the pilgrimage path is in perfect condition for hiking, and should remain so through the winter. You can download the map from the Shiraishi Pilgrimage Facebook page or buy a hard copy for 300 yen upon arrival on the island.

Nov. 15th is the annual Bussharito Festival, when they open up the crypt in this Thai style temple. It's a great opportunity to see an interesting Japanese Buddhist fire ceremony as well as to inspect the inside of the Bussharito Temple which is said to hold some of the remains of the Buddha.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

September on Shiraishi Island, #japan

Early morning on Shiraishi Island

As September begins, we're moving into cooler weather and the low season on Shiraishi Island. The beach is still open, however, and International Villa is open year-round, so come out and enjoy the quiet island life. The Moooo! Bar will be open only on Sundays in September and will close for the season at the end of the month.

 Come out and watch the sunset, have a BBQ on the beach, hike the 400-year-old Shiraishi Pilgrimage or just relax on the deck at the Villa overlooking the Seto Inland Sea.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Smallest Fireworks Festival in Japan is on this weekend, Aug. 26 on Shiraishi Island, #japan #setonaikai #shiraishijima

The Smallest Fireworks Festival in Japan is on this weekend on Shiraishi Island! It's always a great time--the fireworks are launched just off the beach so they're very close! Live bands, African dance. A few rooms still available at Amagiso and Moooo! House. To book, give us a moo at shiraishireservations at yahoo dot com

Friday, August 18, 2017

Craft Beer Festival today and tomorrow, Shiraishi Island, #Okayama #Japan

The craft beer festival is on this weekend on the island with live music, dance! Accommodations available: shiraishireservations at yahoo dot com

Thursday, August 10, 2017

All about the Bon Holiday on Shiraishi Island, Aug. 13-17

 The Shiraishi Bon Dance, a designated national treasure, performed on the beach on Shiraishi Island.

The Bon Holiday starts from today (although officially not until the 12th) thru the 17th on Shiraishi Island. There are lots of activities going on in addition to the traditional Bon rituals and the island's famous Bon Dance. If you'd like to know more about what Bon is, please read 5 Things You Need To Know About Bon, one of Japan's Biggest Holidays. 

Watch a video of the Bon Dance (note: not the original music).

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Art on the Kasaoka Islands, Aug. 11-17 (Shiraishi, Takashima, & Hishima islands)

Matsuuratei house, on Shiraishi Port

The Art Bridge yearly art exhibit starts on Shriaishi Island Friday, Aug. 11 and runs through the 17th. The exhibits are free and we have 7 artists this year on the Shiraishi. Exhibits are open from 9:00 to 17:00 daily. Grab a map and walk around to the different exhibits for a refreshing take on the island, its history and culture! Hop on the ferry to visit exhibits on Takashima and Hishima islands as a day-trip.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Typhoons and Wedding Bells at the Moooo! Bar

Typhoon 5 has come and gone. It largely missed us and we only had the effects of a tropical storm here. The ferries to Shiraishi Island have stopped today but should be running again tomorrow (Tuesday). The weather forecast for tomorrow is sunny skies!

The typhoon stole the limelight of our Moooo! wedding couple, who had a beautiful ceremony on the beach at the Moooo! Bar yesterday. Congratulations to the lucky mooing couple!

 That was our third wedding to host. Who will be next to get married at the Moooo! Bar?!

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Typhoon 5 Update, Shiraishi Island, #japan

Typhoon No. 5, called Noru, is moving very slowly north-east from southern Kyushu. Over the next several days it will gradually lose pressure and probably turn into a tropical storm. Sunday will still be fine weather on Shiraishi Island, and the ferries will run until at least 3:00 pm. They typhoon is expected to hit here on Monday.

 Cows, drinking before the typhoon, at the Moooo! Bar

Friday, August 04, 2017

Typhoon Noru update, #shiraishiisland #setonaikai #japan

Typhoon No. 5 (named "Noru") will hit Okayama on Monday. As you can see from the image below, the typhoon will sweep up North through the entire archipelago, so no matter where you are in Japan, you'll experience this typhoon. Regarding Shiraishi Island, we are fairly protected because we are among many other islands in the Seto Inland Sea so the winds aren't as strong and the waves not as big as on the Pacific Ocean side or the West coast of Japan. However, the ferries to the island will stop running on Monday, if not Sunday afternoon. If you're already on the island, we recommend you either plan on staying till Tuesday/Wednesday, or leaving the island on Sunday morning.

The Moooo! Bar will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Screenshot from the Japan Meteorological Agency. For updates, click here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Summer bookings update: Shiraishi Island, #japan #setonaikai

 Chillin' out at the Moooo! House

 The International Villa still has vacancies for next week, Aug. 7-10, but from the 11th is completely booked until after Obon. Most other accommodation on the island is also already full for the Obon holiday Aug. 12-17.

The Moooo! House still has rooms available on most days (very clean but very basic, 2,000 yen per person per night). Contact us at: shiraishireservations at yahoo dot com

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Edward J Taylor's Journey through the Inland Sea Islands from Kagawa to Okayama (via the Kasaoka Islands)

If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to take that mysterious once-a-week ferry from Tadotsu, Shikoku to Honshu (Kasaoka, Okayama) via the Seto Inland Sea islands of Awashima, Manabe, Kitagi and Shiraishi, check out Edward J. Taylor's journey last week which he has chronicled on his blog: Notes from the 'Nog: Tranquility VIII (Awashima, Manabeshima, Kitagishima).

Manabe Island, Okayama

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Enjoy the summer on Shiraishi Island! #setonaikai #beaches #japan

 View from Shiraishi Beach

We're looking at mostly sunny weather from now throughout the weekend on Shiraishi Island. The beach crowds have been small this year, so it's a great time to have the beach to yourself! There are also a few other smaller, deserted beaches around the island too for the more intrepid.

Accommodations are filling up for August, so get your reservations in now, especially if you plan on staying a Saturday night. Below are the current availability for the International Villa (pink means fully booked!). Amagiso Ryokan, Shiraishi Guesthouse and the Moooo! House also have some rooms left, so give us a shout at shiraishireservations at yahoo dot com to check on availability for your dates. See explanations of accommodations at the Moooo! Bar website.

Availability for Shiraishi International Villa:


Friday, July 14, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Last minute deals for Sea Day Weekend (7/15-17) #shiraishiisland #japan

We just found out that Amagiso Ryokan (on the beach) has unadvertised rooms available for the Sea Day holiday weekend (July 15-17). No meals available but a nice, clean place with a lovely hostess, Mrs. Amano. Price is 5,000 yen per person per night.

Book now if you want this last-minute deal: shiraishireservations at yahoo dot com

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Catching a few rays of sun during the Rainy Season #shiraishiisland #japan #setonaikai

Catching a few rays of sunshine while they're out!

It's been a slow start to the beach season this year due to the late arrival of Japan's rainy season. Still though, a family of four who stayed just one night said Shiraishi was one of the highlights of their trip (and they even climbed Mt. Fuji!). Let's hope the weather gets better and that Okayama's famous sun-filled days on the beach return soon.

In the meantime, however, reservations keep coming in and accommodations for July and August are filling up fast. So get your reservations in asap. Check out the array of what's available (from camping to ryokan) at 

See you on the island! Mooooo...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Announcing the Run with Kobo Daishi 10k Trail Race, Oct 29, 2017 on Shiraishi Island, #Japan

This year the Run with Kobo Daishi Trail Race will be on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. New this year is a family event for children and adults who want to walk a section of the pilgrimage route. 

Come out and help support our 400-year-old pilgrimage. All proceeds go back into helping maintain the pilgrimage route. Help preserve Japan's cultural heritage! 

Sign up today at

For more information on the Shiraishi Pilgrimage, see our Facebook Page

See you on the island!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The 2-day Shiraishi Pilgrimage

 For those coming out to the island to do the Shiraishi Pilgrimage, an ancient 10km route with 88 shrines placed along it (mostly through the forest), the Moooo! Bar is now providing Pilgrim hats and staffs along with copies of the map, so guests can get the real "henro" (pilgrim) experience! Pilgrim hut accommodation also available for 2,000 yen per person per night. To do the entire route takes two days.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Hana Matsuri, Shiraishi Island (the bathing Buddha ritual) #japan

Yesterday, I took some of the villa guests up to the island's temple to the Hana Matsuri to celebrate Buddha's birthday. There, we took part in a ritual called "bathing Buddha" in which we poured amacha (sweet tea) over a statue of the Buddha. The amacha symbolizes the sweet rain that is said to have fallen on the day of Buddha's birth over 2,500 years ago.

 This small display was set out in front of the temple. Notice the Buddha statue in the center.

 Pouring sweet tea over the Buddha, bathing him.

After performing the ritual, the Buddhist priest invited us in for green tea and a chat. It was wonderful to see my old friend the priest, again. We had our photos taken with him, including his grandchildren who were visiting from the mainland.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Shiraishi Island on NHK World "J-Trip Plan" program tonight, May 1, 2017

Shiraishi and the Kasaoka Islands will be featured tonight on NHK World's "J-Trip Plan" program! Those in Japan can watch at Monday, May 1 at 23:30 (Japan time). It's on late because it's aligned to the viewing times abroad, however, there are some repeat viewings on May 2 as well. See the link below for more information and viewing times.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Moooo! Bar open for Golden Week (April 29-May 7) #shiraishiisland #japan

 Get away from the crowds and relax on a small island in the Seto Inland Sea. Moooo! Bar opens today for Golden Week (April 29-May 7). Plenty of accommodation available.

See you on Shiraishi Island!

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...

I also noticed that there are new signs showing the way to the new ferry terminal from Kasaoka Station. These signs will direct you to an overpass/pedestrian bridge that goes over Route 2. If you have luggage and don't want to take the stairs, you can go down to the traffic light and cross at the pedestrian zebra crossing instead.

Updated April 29, 2017

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!

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