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The island is really too small for cycling, but it provides wonderful hiking. This is the view from the top of the hill; the trail starts right at the villa.

Shiraishi also offers two beaches on a cleaner-than-usual stretch of the Inland Sea. One beach is isolated and frequented mainly by fishermen; this is the other, a short walk from the villa (and next to the island’s only inns). The water was still quite chilly, but it was a lovely day for sunbathing. I like the unintended but interesting light effects I got by shooting directly into the bright sun.

Of all the villas, THIS is the one at which you want to end your trip. It's perfect for kicking back and relaxing and maybe even planning your next villa trip.


While I still like Fukiya the best, virtually every other villa visitor ranks Shiraishi at the top, and it's not hard to see why. When the Takebe villa was still in existence, the best contrast was to compare that villa with this villa's design - an outstanding deck with a panoramic view is just one part of the well-thought-out facilities. Fukiya was the first of the villas to be constructed, and Shiraishi was the last, and it's clear that most of the attention (and money) went to these two. The Shiraishi architect had even planned to have running water by the guest rooms to soothe visitors to sleep. Unfortunately, they ran out of funds, so he had to settle for running stones. That has its own significance; for many years this island was a vast quarry that provided the white stones used in Himeji Castle and other edifices.