Home' The Australian Senior Traveller : October 2010 Contents 18 THE SENIOR TRAVELLER October, 2010
EVERY year when I travel to Japan for a
few weeks, I usually spend a week at
Shiraishi Island. As I board the ferry at
Kazaoka, I exchange greetings with the
ferry captain, who knows me by now -- this
is my fifth visit.
Within 35 minutes the ferry arrives at
the island and I collect the key for a pre-
booked room at the island's International
Villa from the ferry office. The manager's
son Amano san calls out "konnichi wa"
(hello) and promptly gives me some fresh
fish to cook.
The International Villa is a relaxing and
economical place to stay with western and
Japanese-style rooms overlooking the sea.
It also has a full kitchen and after weeks of
eating at restaurants, cooking a meal adds
to the delight of staying on the island.
In fact, you can buy all the food you need
at the supermarket about five minutes
walk away. Mrs Amano, the caretaker (and
no relative to the ferry office master's son)
collects money for my stay in the late after-
noon, and then brings me broccoli and
onions fresh from her garden.
The price per room is only around A$50
for the first night and $43 for subsequent
The next morning I am enjoying break-
fast outside with new friends when we see
the bonneted head of an elderly Japanese
lady, just below the verandah. She intro-
duces herself as Mrs Shinohara and gives
us some beautiful paper umbrellas.
As she wanders back down to the road
that leads to the beach, she points to her
house, indicating she would like us to visit.
After breakfast, I go to visit Shinohara
san. She tells me she is 75, invites me for
tea and cake and shows me how she makes
the umbrellas out of newspapers and mag-
In May, the island's beach is a swimmer's
delight. As I plunge in the water each day
the locals keep asking me "samui desu ka"
-- is it cold? They don't tend to swim until
June, when it's offically summer, but this
Australian swims whenever she sees water.
Bicycles are free of charge for villa
guests and there are many wonderful walks
or bicycle rides. Nearby is a lookout offer-
ing a 360 degree view of this magnificent
island. It's a steep climb but a fantastic
thing to do as the sun sets.
Another great walk is up to the temples.
On the way you pass houses with multi-
coloured flower boxes and vegetable gar-
dens, green and luxuriant in the rich island
The area is alive with cherry blossoms
and azaleas in April and rhododendrons in
May. A walk along the waterfront leads to a
picturesque path with cherry blossoms in
full splendour in April.
You can also visit neighbouring islands
by ferry. Mannabe has a well-preserved
temple that serves as a community centre
for activities and art displays. There is a
picturesque walk along the water's edge.
Climb the hill to the temple, turn left and
climb more steps to find exercise stations,
then a pretty flower garden overlooking the
sea and the island.
A good way to spend the afternoon on
Shiraishi Island is to enjoy a cold beer,
freshly-made miso soup and yakitori
(grilled chicken on skewers) at San-chan on
Need an escape
from the big cities
when travelling in
Island is the
HANDIWORK -- Mrs
Shinohara displays her
CATCH the bus from Osaka to
Kazaoka which leaves daily at
9.45am from Osaka Central Bus
Terminal, Namba station, arriving
in Kazaoka at 12.15pm. The fare
is around A$37 one way. When
you get off the bus, walk straight
ahead for three minutes and you
will see Kazaoka station.
Japan Rail Pass travellers can
catch the Shinkansen to
Fukuyama station and then the
local train to Kazaoka.
To find the ferry terminal, turn left
at the station and on your right
walk though the underpass, then
turn left and across the
pedestrian crossing then walk
straight ahead for 30 seconds.
Turn left again and you will see
the ferry terminal ahead. The
daily ferry schedule is provided
when you book your
Reservations for the International
Villa on (+81) 86-256-2535 or
once in Japan on 086-256-2535.
For email reservations at the
villas, San-chan and other
accommodation, as well as
sailing trips around the island,
contact Amy Chavez
Mature-age travellers are ready to
pack their bags and go. 85% of
seniors surveyed reported using
Senior Traveller as their favourite
source of information about holidays.
95% are planning a holiday within
Australia this year. 80% of readers
said they would travel more if seniors'
discounts applied and for short breaks
75% said they preferred mid-week.
Each month nearly 1 million readers
look for international holidays in
Senior Traveller with nearly four out of
ten planning to holiday within the next
12 months. Their preferred style of
holidays are independent touring,
cruise, fly/drive and rail.
If you want more information on this
survey or want to speak to a consultant
about booking advertising space please
contact Michelle on (02) 43 555 024
*Australian Senior Traveller Survey 2010
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