Shiraishi International Villa is located on Shiraishi Island (population 600) in the Seto Inland Sea. Built in 1988 by the Okayama prefectural government, the purpose of the villa was to attract foreign visitors to Japan’s countryside and to offer affordable rates. The villa lives up to this image even today, where rooms cost just 3,500 yen per person for the first night and 3,000 yen per night thereafter.
The villa sits on top of a hill overlooking the Inland Sea and is designed so that all rooms have windows that open up to the sea. The architecture is modern with natural wooden beams and in the community living room and kitchen, large plate glass doors slide open so you can enjoy the sea breeze on hot summer days. Outside, there is a large wooden deck where guests can enjoy panoramic views of the Inland Sea. The beach is at the bottom of the hill, a short 3-minute walk along a path that winds through vegetable gardens.
The Shiraishi International Villa has always been extremely popular and since it only has 5 rooms (max capacity 10 people) it gets booked out quickly, especially in the summertime. As a result, starting in 2012, they now take bookings up to six months in advance (as opposed to the previous two months). This is great news for those who want to book ahead for weekends, Sea Day and the busy Obon holiday.
The villa offers four rooms with two single beds in each and one Japanese style room with tatami mat and futons. The bathroom and toilet facilities are shared (two western toilets and one Japanese bath). Reservations can be made via Booking.com, either in English or Japanese.
Other than the beach and swimming, other activities on Shiraishi Island include sea kayaking, hiking and sailing. And don’t forget –relaxation!