|The original Moooo!Bar. We've morphed since then.
April is a great time to be on the island. It's springtime,
so the weather is great for outdoor activities such as kayaking, trail running or hiking. You'll have the whole island to
April 29 is the start of the Golden Week
holidays in Japan (one week of holidays!) Now is a great time to schmooze with the locals and eat, drink & be merry!
Week April 29-May 6
The Moooo! Bar will be
open for Golden Week, so come join the herd! This is still the low season on the island, and with the exception of the international
villa, rooms are plentiful. Many choose to enjoy the warm weather by camping on the beach (free)!
May is also the Spring
Kobo Daishi Festival
held at the
Buddhist Temple during Golden Week. The festival features a goma fire ceremony to invoke the fire god Fudo-myo-o. This is
authentic esoteric Buddhist ritual complete with incantations, smoke, yamabushi priests and special rites to rid you of your
defilements (of which you have 108, by the way!) The ceremony is Sunday, May 6th and starts in the morning around 9:00 a.m.
Come get purified!
May and June are great
times to go pilgrimaging before the hot weather hits. Grab a map and walk the 400-year-old Shiraishi Pilgrimage route that follows the
perimeter of the island and experience fantastic views of the Seto Inland Sea while visiting some of the 88 sacred sites along
the way. For more information, see our Shiraishi Island blog posts, starting with Introducing the Shiraishi Island Pilgrimage.
See the Shiraishi Island Pilgrimage Facebook Page.
Official start to the summer season
Shiraishi Beach has always been a bit of an anomaly in Japan because you can swim year-round here. Many beaches
have designated swimming seasons. No problems on Shiraishi. We did have an official "umibiraki" opening of the sea ceremony
performed by a Shinto Priest, but that has gone by the wayside. Traditions are dying quickly...
"Mushi Okuri" Festival (throwing bad insects off the
island) Although this is a Shinto ritual, the ceremony and parade starts from the Buddhist Temple. At 10 am locals will
start the walk around the streets hoisting a boat and calling out to all the "bad insects" to get into the boat, after which
they release the insects and the boat into the Inland Sea. Come join the procession and learn how to call out to
the insects (with a special song, of course!).
The annual Shiraishi
Yacht Race takes place on this day too, so if you like boats, check out the 50 or so sailboats in
the "new port" in the morning!
Moooo! Bar open in July and August
We'll move from being open only on weekends to being open every day starting
July 14. Come lounge on the sunlounges by the sea or just sip on a cool moogarita at the bar. The Moooo! Bar gets a little better every year, so
stop by and find out what's new!
Read about the Mushi Okuri festival here
July 14-16 (Sat-Mon)
Sea Day Weekend
July 14-15 is the annual Craft Beer Festival (on the beach) and the 16th (Monday) is a national
holiday in Japan called "Sea Day." Come celebrate the sea! Rooms fill up fast, so be sure to reserve early or be prepared
to camp on the beach! See our accommodations page for reservations. Don't miss the new Moooo! Guest House on the beach (Japanese-style
accommodation for those truly on a budget!)
Festival of the Dead
Mukaebi Welcoming the spirits to the island. Takes place at Bussharito Buddhist Temple.
Aug 13, 14, 15 from 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm outside the Komuinkan (public hall)
Okuribi Seeing off the spirits. Lanterns are lit
and set out to sea in a beautiful ceremony called Toronagashi. Starts at 7:00
Shiraishi Dance follows at 8:00 and is performed
on the beach. This signifies the end of Obon.
Aug. 25 (Saturday) Live Band and Fireworks Night on
the Beach! This is the most popular event of the summer. Come out and camp on the beach (free), or get
your reservation in fast before everything fills up. Don't miss it! (charter ferry available for day-trippers).
Read about the Shiraishi Bon Dance here
Read about the O-bon holiday here