There was a time when International Villas were plentiful in Okayama Prefecture. Unfortunately, most of them have been closed for a variety of reasons. This was the fate of the Ushimado International Villa as well until a local businessman and community leader put his company behind the facility. Ushimado’s own Nippon Olive has taken the reigns and given the popular pension a renewal in order to continue to provide travelers from around the world with a comfortable place to stay.
The villa is located on the slope of a mountain above central Ushimado. It is set off the winding road that serves as the only way to reach the accommodation. To get to the Villa you have to leave the main road and venture down the side of the hill. The Villa is a Mediterranean style building that if viewed from above would appear as a crescent surrounded by green. The interior is accented by wood, imported marble and touches that convey the feeling of the proximity of the sea.
Getting there is half the fun so I would suggest taking the bus from Saidaiji train station or from Ryobi bus terminal. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the last stop and this is the beginning of your journey. You could grab a taxi from there or if you are up for a hike, walk up the hill. The walk is safe and the reward is the nature and an up close look at the shops and local businesses along the way.
The beauty of staying at the villa is that you are on your own. Use the villa as your base and walk over to a local restaurant or pub. Have a long look at how the locals live and get a feeling for the slow pace of life. Walk along the old street behind Nippon Olive’s main building. Pop into Café Tereya or have a drink at Hotel Limani’s bar. Have some curry at the Kaizoku restaurant or pick up some essentials at the local grocery. When you are ready to pack it in, head back up the hill to your Mediterranean style Villa.