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“Japan's Best Hidden Gem”
Review of Shiraishi Island

Shiraishi Island
Ranked #2 of 28 things to do in Kasaoka
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Owner description: Shiraishi, a tiny island with a population of 800 on the Seto Inland Sea, is only accessible by ferry.
Reviewed 28 November 2010

Shiraishi Island's my favourite place in the whole of Japan - it's just the perfect escape from the rat race. Its location, far off the beaten track, means it offers unparalleled opportunities to escape from it all and get back in touch with a simple, honest way of life surrounded by stunning and invigorating nature. You can enjoy cocktails on a sun-drenched beach, seaside sports, traditional Seto Inland Sea cuisine and lodgings, and even a hiking trail around 88 mini temples and one huge, glittering temple complex boasting a range of South-East Asian influences. Be sure to make it up to the observatory at the top of the hill for breathtaking views of the island chains set against the brilliant cobalt blue of the sea. The friendly and super-helpful locals are well used to foreign guests and have none of the hang-ups or pretensions of modern city-dwelling folk. Its quiet and tranquil atmosphere belies an action-packed realm of possibilities - I've been there countless times and am still finding new layers to the place. Come prepared for lack of modern conveniences: bring plenty of cash as ATMs are almost non-existent and credit cards aren't accepted (as far as I'm aware). Accommodation is clean but very basic and there's a limited choice of places to eat - this is the polar opposite of some '5-star luxury hotel and spa resort' scenario, but 100 times as refreshing precisely because it's so stripped down. Time slows to a standstill as the cares and concerns of the modern world melt away, and you find yourself surrounded by warm friends - you can truly talk to anyone and have a great time. Come with an open mind and truly rediscover yourself. Open May to October.

1  Thank WorldFamousJH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (30)
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13 - 17 of 30 reviews

Reviewed 6 October 2010

For those of us who are or were in Japan for a longer stretch than your average holiday maker then Shiraishi Island is a little haven of relaxation. I lived in Japan for a year and visited Shiraishi often, each time was better than the last. The pace of life and atmosphere just feels totally different from mainland Japan, what the island might lack in amenities it more than makes up for in character and the locals are very friendly. If you happen to visit during the summer season then pop into the Moooo! bar, a fantastic little beach bar run by two of the most friendly people you could ever hope to meet.

When I return to Japan, and I will, Shiraishi Island will be top of the list of places for me to visit.

2  Thank Bushidodreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2008

Staying at the highly recommendable & extremely
economical "International Villa"-hostel for two nights
in mid-September 2008, I must say that experiencing this
tiny island was a wonderful experience upon the
big city of Kyoto. There is a beach next to the only real
village on the island which has a relaxed atmosphere,
maybe slightly crowded in the tourist season, but when
we were there, we basically had the beach for ourselves.
There is a view cross the bay to Fukuyama and its industrial skyline, but everything seemed clean and as a whole, the landscape of Shiraishi is beautiful with many islets, beaches, woods, rocks and hills.
The Moo!-Bar, owned by Australians, has an informative home-page on the island. In the village you can find at least three groceries, the central one being the best. The local people were extremely polite and friendly. There is also some really picturesque architecture in the village and it is possible to cycle or walk around the entire coast by a small, beautiful road, in just a couple of hours. There are pretty hiking tracks in the hills, mainly focusing on the two look-out points, about 160 m. above sea level. But bring a stick to fight spider webs when you go up there. Enjoy this relaxed island for a couple of days if possible ! The International Villa has all the facilities you need, and nice views as well.

3  Thank joen.dk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2017
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4  Thank Nishu S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2017
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1  Thank 奈良のことが詳しい
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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