Okinawa Adventures (Ishigaki Island) – Day 329

I’m finally in Okinawa! I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a long time, and I’m so glad to be here.

My trip here is divided up into two parts – 4 days in Ishigaki and 2 days in Naha.

At Ishigaki airport

I arrived here on Wednesday evening after catching two flights to get to Ishigaki from Tokyo. I guess because the summer holidays for schools haven’t quite started yet, but both flights were pretty empty – perhaps the reason why I was able to get cheap tickets!

First bowl of Okinawa soba at Naha airport - the meat was full of flavour

First bowl of Okinawa soba at Naha airport – the meat was full of flavour

Despite planning out what I was going to do here, all my plans went out the window because of typhoon Nakli. I did take into consideration the weather, but before I left the weather looked ok. The typhoon literally passed in between the Yaeyama Islands and Okinawa main island while I was on the plane. This meant that Ishigaki still had bad weather, but at least it would pass by after a few days.

5 day bus pass

5 day bus pass

Luckily, the weather wasn’t too bad on my first full day here. It was very windy and cloudy, but it hardly rained and if it did it only rained for 5 minutes.

I planned to go to Taketomi Island on my first day, but since I was worried about the weather I went on a bus tour of the island. This tour started at 9.30am and lasted almost 5 hrs.

First stop on this bus tour was Toujin Grave. This is a tomb that was built to remember the Chinese workers that died.Β A British/US ship full of Chinese workers bound for California crashed on Ishigaki Island. These workers, who had been treated as slaves on the boat, tried to run away when the boat crashed but unfortunately most of them were shot.

Toujin Grave

Toujin Grave

Shortly afterwards, we headed to the famous Kabira bay. This is apparently the most photographed spot in Ishigaki, and I can see why. Even though the weather wasn’t that great, the waters were a beautiful turquoise colour.

Kabira bay

Kabira bay

We came here for the glass boat tour, which is a boat where they have cut out the middle and replaced it with glass so you can see the sea life. The good thing was that we received a discount since we came as part of a tour group. The bad thing was that most of the coral reef was dead 😦 very sad. All brown and lifeless.

Queuing for tickets for the glass boat tour

Queuing for tickets for the glass boat tour

Our boat

Our boat

A bit of blue coral

A bit of blue coral

DSCF2728

The next stop after Kabira bay was lunch! I was impressed as I wasn’t expecting much, but it was a really luxurious bento set. All the dishes were made from local ingredients, like goya and the tofu. They even had the Okinawa biscuits for dessert, called Chinsukou. It’s a bit like shortbread.

Lunch!

Lunch!

After lunch, we stopped by Yaeyama palm tree grove. It’s like a small palm tree sanctuary. Not much else to see though haha.

Palm trees galore

Palm trees galore

Trekking back to the bus

Trekking back to the bus

DSCF2740

The final stop was Tamatorizaki viewpoint. Apparently you can see the East China Sea on one side, and the Pacific Ocean on the other side – I did not know this until I had to look up more information when I was writing this post HAHA!

Panoramic view from the viewpoint

Panoramic view from the viewpoint

Anyway, the view from here is gorgeous. I can imagine that on a clear day, you can probably see a lot more, but it was still a great view on the day I was there.

DSCF2746

That was the end of the tour, but it was only 2pm so I decided to do a bit of shopping and exploring of Ishigaki town. The owner of the hotel I’m staying at recommended this market for buying fruit as it’s super cheap. It definitely was super cheap – pineapples for 50 yen!! 50 yen!! Cheaper than an onigiri! Ok, these cheap pineapples were tiny, but for a one person they are the perfect size. The bigger the pineapple, the more you pay.

Look at all those pineapples! Various sizes, various prices

Look at all those pineapples! Various sizes, various prices

My 50 yen pineapple! It was pretty sweet too!

My 50 yen pineapple! It was pretty sweet too!

I then headed to the main public market to look at souvenirs. Again, the hotel owner recommended this shopping area as it’s supposedly the cheapest for gifts etc.

Cafe (?) near to the public market

Cafe (?) near the public market

I saw some interesting graffiti and other things near the shops.

DSCF2758

DSCF2760

My final stop for the day was a temple. No idea what it is called, but it was on my way back so I stopped to take a photo.

DSCF2765

That wraps up my first day here in Okinawa! I have to upload my photos on my second day here and will be doing a blog post on my trip to Taketomi island next!

Guava and pineapple - only 173 yen in total!!

Guava and pineapple – only 173 yen in total!!

Thank you for reading!

Advertisements
This entry was published on August 1, 2014 at 10:11 am. It’s filed under Japan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Okinawa Adventures (Ishigaki Island) – Day 329

  1. Wow. So beautiful! My mothers family has roots allover those small islands. I’ve not been yet. Thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for your comment! πŸ˜€ If you have the chance, you should definitely go and visit. That’s great that you have roots all over the many islands in Okinawa – I’d love to go back there again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: