Hotel Aqua, on Shoudoshima Island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea
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Viewing The Ocean From 10 Stories Up -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm @ 460 mm cropped — 1/800 sec, f/8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Viewing The Ocean From 10 Stories Up
Hotel “Aqua” from a mountain behind it at the edge of nowhere on Shoudoshima Island, Japan ( see Anthony in the lower-left of this shot? ) -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 50 mm — 1/640 sec, f/11, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Hotel “Aqua”
from a mountain behind it
at the edge of nowhere on Shoudoshima Island, Japan
( see Anthony in the lower-left of this shot? )

We took a short trip in the closing days of the year to Shoudoshima Island a few hours southwest of Kyoto (2.5 hours by car to Himeji, followed by two hours on a ferry). It's a small island (about 12 miles × 6 miles) in the Seto Inland Sea, west of the Awaji Island that we visit from time to time. Shoudoshima is known mostly for being the only place in Japan where olives are grown. It's extremely mountainous with the vast majority of its meager population sprinkled around the edges.

Considering its “near nowhere” location, our hotel was the improbably large and nice Hotel “Aqua” situated in a tiny fishing village below a dam.

View From the Harbor -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 4 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
View From the Harbor

Our plans were sort of last minute, so Fumie was lucky to get the last room available, but in doing so we went a bit more pricey than we would have gone had we had more choice, but the room was really quite nice....

Main Level bedroom, living room, kitchenette, vanity, bath -- Aqua Hotel -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Main Level
bedroom, living room, kitchenette, vanity, bath
Up to the Second Level -- Aqua Hotel -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Up to the Second Level
Second Bedroom -- Aqua Hotel -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Second Bedroom
From the Second-Floor Sitting-Room Window -- Aqua Hotel -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
From the Second-Floor Sitting-Room Window
Welcome -- Aqua Hotel -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Welcome
Settling In -- Aqua Hotel -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Settling In

This suite of rooms was really overkill for us, but if we're going to spend the money, it's great to have something so nice. (As much as the room was, it was still 40% less than the crappy-quality crappier-price Tokyo Disneyland Hilton, so in that sense Aqua was a great value as well as a great experience.)

You have to be prepared for food before you arrive... if you want to eat at the hotel restaurant, you must order at least three days in advance. There are no restaurants or stores (or anything) nearby, but we found an old mom-n-pop market about 15 minutes away.

We had the hotel's Japanese dinner the first evening, delivered to our room. Each dinner consisted of three bento boxes, and the food was really top notch...

Dinner -- Aqua Hotel -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm — 1/80 sec, f/6.3, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Dinner

We had breakfast in the tasteful restaurant the next morning...

Restaurant
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Restaurant

... and the food was equally good. When you order (three days in advance), you have a choice of merely “Western” or “Japanese”. We stayed two nights so tried both, and both were good.

There's a cozy common room with free Internet, DVDs and books you can bring to your room, etc.

Common Room -- Aqua Hotel -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 28 mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Common Room

Unfortunately, it rained most of the time we were there, but the rain hadn't started yet early on the first morning, so I took a bunch of snapshots from the balcony. It turns out that even though they were taken fairly haphazardly over the course of a couple of minutes, I could make them into a simple panorama...

Aqua Hotel -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
(scroll side-to-side)

I'm not big on panoramas because to do one well takes quite a bit of skill that I don't have, so when on a whim I gave Photoshop's automatic stitcher a first try with a collection of nine shots from the balcony, I was amazed at how well it worked. “Automagical.” It was a gloomy scene and, like I said, the photos that went into it were taken haphazardly, so for all that the result is okay enough. I'll have to put some effort into good shots next time.

In the end, it's still a boring scene, but our view from the hotel was what it was.

Ready To Check Out during the one bit of sun we had -- Shodoshima, Kagawa, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 500 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready To Check Out
during the one bit of sun we had

We had sun the second morning, but it was really cold (colder than Kyoto to the north) and very windy. You can see patterns in the water in the second shot above, and the area of sudden blurring in the final shot... those are the effects of localized wind gusts. It was pretty to watch them dance across the water.

Continued here...


One comment so far...

Really nice lovely pictures! A looks very cute in last picture. My son is same age as him and I know cute word doesn’t sound good to them anymore. He too is an avid star wars fan. Wish you all a Happy new Year!

— comment by Sonal, MN on January 15th, 2011 at 2:40am JST (6 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink
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