Moooo! Bar Shiraishi Island, Japan

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As recommended in the Washington Post, the Lonely Planet, and "Kazi" (Japanese yacht magazine).

Current Moooo! Time & Date:

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Locals at the Moooo! Bar

白石島

Shiraishi Island-
Surround Yourself with Beauty and Peace
 
"Don't miss the sunset from Shiraishi Beach." --Lonely Planet

Welcome to Shiraishi Island in the Seto Inland Sea (Okayama Prefecture--Western Japan). Spend a few days discovering the island: Participate in a local festival, go kayaking, enjoy hiking and pilgrimaging. Or just kick back and relax on the beach in a sunlounge at the Moooo! Bar.
 
Please see our "Accommodations" page to book overnight reservations. 
 
For the most up-to-date information on the island, visit our blog:

The Daily Moooo!

SHIRAISHI ISLAND EVENTS 2018:
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The original Moooo!Bar. We've morphed since then.

April
 
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 yourself! 

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!

May-June

Golden 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.

July

 
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...
 
July 1
"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!) 

August

Aug 11-16
Obon Festival of the Dead
 
Mukaebi Welcoming the spirits to the island. Takes place at Bussharito Buddhist Temple. 
 
Shiraishi Dance
Aug 13, 14, 15 from 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm outside the Komuinkan (public hall)
 
Aug. 16
Okuribi Seeing off the spirits. Lanterns are lit and set out to sea in a beautiful ceremony called Toronagashi. Starts at 7:00 pm.
 
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

Moooo! Bar, Shiraishi Island, Japan