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.
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!
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
After lunch, we stopped by Yaeyama palm tree grove. It’s like a small palm tree sanctuary. Not much else to see though haha.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I saw some interesting graffiti and other things near the shops.
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.
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!
Thank you for reading!