Seto Inland Sea Sailing, Osaki to Shiraishi Island

We leave Osaki in Wakayama with Shiraishi Island our destination. Nestled in the Seto Inland Sea in Okayama Prefecture you can find this tiny, quirky island which acording to the locals it is still quite unknown to most Japanese, making it the perfect place to relax and get intouch with nature again.

Day 55 – April 27th.

The alarm wakes us up at 4am on this first morning aboard and we are motoring away from the harbour by 4.30am. It is still pitch black and clear skies shimmer in the calm water. It’s Moni’s job to keep a record of the fuel gauge and nautical miles traveled, I hope the she records them correct as she has a sore head from last night.

4.30am we depart Wakayama in total darkness

4.30am we depart Osaki (Wakayama) in total darkness

 

The sun slowly makes its appearance producing a fine glow and a welcome warmth to a very cold morning with the wind in our face.

The sun rising out of the water with a rich warm glow leaving Wakayama

The sun rising out of the water with a rich warm glow leaving Wakayama

 

Once we are under way, I cooked up an English breakfast which we proceeded to eat with chopsticks, a first for me.

English breakfast Japanese style

English breakfast Japanese style

 

Check out the size of the huge tanker that passed us, our belongings that we sent from Switzerland to Australia were on one just like this. I’m glad it all arrived safe and in one piece, they look like building blocks just balanced on each other.

Huge container ship passing us

Huge container ship passing us

 

The seas are calm and we motor along with the aid of one sail, passing by some small islands and under the first of many bridges.

Tom putting one sail up, then going under the first bridge

Tom putting one sail up, then going under the first bridge through the Naruto Channel

 

Captain made lunch which was Gyo-za with dipping sauce, so easy to prepare and very yummy, after lunch we continue to motor unfortunately there was not much wind.

Cooking Gyoza, open pack, place in pan, add little sesame oil & water, steam

Cooking Gyoza, open pack, place in pan, add little sesame oil & water, steam allowing the bottom to crispen up

 

Moni had a splitting, sore head all day and spent most of it sleeping, but did venture up now and then, remember not to mix your drinks babe.

Images from day one sailing

Images from day one sailing, passing Daitsuchishima (Otsuchi-to) the small island

 

It was a fun day getting to know some knots and other nautical terms.

Big Elle sailing images

Big Elle sailing images

 

Yumi had made her way from Osaka by train and then water taxi and had just arrived to join us just in time for a glass of wine to celabrate our first day sailing.

Alongside the jetty at Shiraishi Island

Alongside the jetty at Shiraishi Island

 

On the island we meet up with some old friends of Toshi. They picked us up in an old van ‘the Moooo van’ to take us to San-chan’s which is a back-packer style, budget accommodation that has a restaurant below, here we first take a bath upstairs and then have a drink with them down on the beach before having dinner in the restaurant.

Riding on the back of the Moooo van to Sanchan Restaurant
Riding on the back of the Moooo van to San-chan backpackers with restaurant

The bath was small, only large enough for two of us at a time so I shared a bath with Toshi before Tom takes his. The sharing of baths is customary in Japan, some are small like this one at this backpackers, others are huge.

The bath at Sanchan restaurant/house

The bath at San-chan backpackers

 

The restaurant is small and decorate with memorabillia from visitors, we sit and take it all in as we reflect on the day as the sun starts to set, by the way Shiraishi Island is famous for it’s wonderful sun sets. It’s also a place where you can get back to nature, the locals are very hospitable and no over the top snobery can be found, it’s all very basic but that’s what makes it special.

Sanchan restaurant, the map showing where we are

San-chan restaurant, the map showing where we are

Dinner is a mix of basic rice & chicken plus raw fish, fried baby fish (like whitebait) and a few other things… The prices are very cheap.

Images from our dinner at Sanchan restaurant

Images from our dinner at Sanchan restaurant

 

We also had another taste of Toshi’s favourite the ‘Turban shell’, needless to say it was just like before tough and tasting of the sea big time. I must say this Japanese delacacy does look impresive though.

Turban Shell a Japanese delecacy

Turban Shell a Japanese delecacy

 

After our dinner we joined the Moooo Bar crew and other locals on the beach for a few beers, while convesations flowed and entertainment from the elder of the island, all in Japanese I might add. We kind of got the gist of it though…

Jumping high with joy ouside Sanchan restaurant, down at the beach at the Moooo bar

Jumping high with joy ouside Sanchan restaurant, down at the beach at the Moooo bar

 

On the island you can get up to many things, except we didn’t have much time for any but you can find plenty to do. Just having a drink at the Mooo bar was fun enough for us, take this one with a pinch of salt…

At the Moooo Bar with the locals, the elder entertaining us

At the Moooo Bar with the locals, the elder entertaining us

 

After spending some time with the locals at the Mooo Bar, we head back to Big Elle. Incidently the Mooo Bar is very laid back, not that you thought otherwise!! but owner Amy Chavez is a freelance writer. You can check out the Mooo Blog here.

 

Amy runs this place with husband Paul for a few months each year, great for Golden Week stays. Be sure to check for reservations as it gets booked out.

Visitors over at Big Elle for drinks

Visitors over at Big Elle for drinks, Amy, Paul,

 

I’m quite red with sunburn and also very tired it must be a combination of fresh sea air and the sun. Some five friends visit Big Elle to drink and talk which is fun then it’s off to bed at 10.30ish.

This is the journey so far from Osaki to Shiraishi Island. Photo data courtesy from Toshi and his blog

Osaki depart 0430 – Naruto Channel 27Nautical Miles 0730 ~ 1320 ~ Seto Bridge Shiraishi 58Nautical Miles arrive at 1520

 

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