23 June 2007

A Fine Beverage

Picnic View

Unlikely Picnic Spot

But we had our picnic anyway.

10 June 2007

Shodoshima Island

Shodoshima is an island gem in the Seto Island Sea, accessible by ferries from Osaka, Kobe, Himeji and other coastal cities nearby. A few regular buses run along the coastline and into the interior bringing you to a number of beautiful spots from which you can admire the sea and surrounding islands.

I went camping there with a small group of friends. It was a wonderful time and it must be even better in the summer. There is one spot in particular I recommend: just west of Kusakabe Port is "Olive Town", a clump of buildings showcasing Shodoshima's most interesting feature -- it's olive trees, first planted in 1908.

In addition to the olive groves, there is a herbal garden, a museum, a windmill and a spa -- all in a Greek architectural style. Just north of the area is Dutch Pancake Camping, a privately-run campsite with a scenic view, friendly owners and a lovely patch of grass (read: not gravel) to pitch your tent -- a rarity in central Japan.