Ishigaki Island

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Fri 2007/12/07 20:29 JST in Places to visit in Japan
After visiting Okinawa for the first time last year, we made the decision to go back every year. This time however, we decided to spend our time on Ishigaki Island - or Ishigaki Jima in Japanese.
Stayed at the ANA resort hotel not too far from the airport. Pretty decent facilities. The water in the beach area gets really shallow depending on the tide.
Example of the food they served at the hotel.
This time round managed to get a more decent car. If you are visiting then you really need a car to get around the island.
The schedule was pretty much the same as last year. Drive > discover nice beach > jump in > dry off > drive > discover nice beach...
Many warning signs on the beaches telling folks to lookout for poisonous jellyfish.
However, didn't spot any signs asking folks to look out for bikini girls.
Another beach with clear water waiting to be jumped in.
How many of you have peed in beach water before? (be honest.)
Water was gorgeous. Didn't bother to take the SLR this time but you can have a look at the photos I took last year in Okinawa in last years post.
The island is populated by about 46000 people. More info including average temperatures etc at the Ishigaki Jima tourist page.
The restaurants were really interesting. Many of them were just a living room of a house. With small populations, everybody seems to know each other and there is a warm homely feeling that is rarely experienced in Tokyo.
This is a Goya lunch set. Don't know what its called in English but the Goya looks like this and has a distinct taste which takes sometime getting used to. The okinawaians love it.
First time I've tried deep fried ice cream.
Curry lunch.
"Depression not allowed."
Taking a boat to Taketomi Island.
Taketomi Island has a population of a few hundred.
Personally couldn't imagine living on an island with only a few hundred people.
But wait. If they were all 2D characters then there is always a possibility.
My history knowledge is lousy and all I know is that many fierce battles went on in this region in previous world wars.
Apart from the port, the rest of the island looks pretty much like this.
You can walk from one end of the island to the other in less than 30 mins. Or rent a bike to get around.
The cute little post office. I'm sure I've seen this in some anime.
Forgot the name of the beach but it had sand which were the shape of stars.
A secondary school on the island.
Back at Ishigaki Island for more shenanigans by the beach.
On each beach you will see a map outlining the facilities.
How to save a life when bitten by a jellyfish or a hungry person.
Much of Ishigaki is covered by hills.
The beach at the ANA resort hotel.
Taken from the Xacti waterproof video camera.
First time for me swimming around with the fish - was a great experience.
Didn't notice any colorful coral and some say that the coral has changed color due to the rise in water temperature = global warming.
More snorkeling with the fish. Wish I had the soundtrack to Water World to listen to - the bit where he swims to the city under water.
Some of the fish try to nibble on your legs. if you are going swimming with fish then don't go naked as the fish cant tell the difference between your fish and real fish.
Soaking the Xacti in the sink after a morning of swimming.
Downtown Ishigaki. If you are going to take a boat to Taketomi or any of the other islands then you can park right here without paying anything.
The bikini lady accidentally walked into the camera's line of sight.
Nice to not only get away from the hustle n bustle of Tokyo, but to get *completely* away from everything.
Ishigaki Island is situated between Taiwan and Okinawa and while you are still in Japan, things look and feel different - the people, food, architecture...
Then after a few days its time to packup and head back to Tokyo - only a few hours by plane.
Buying some train tickets in the airport lounge - convenient!
During my years as a student back in the UK, I would travel to Tokyo and Hiroshima every year. The reason why I went to Hiroshima was because I had a friend there who I could stay with. Hiroshima is a lovely place to visit in the Summer.
For folks who have not been to Japan yet - will you travel to only Tokyo or do you have other locations to visit on your schedule? Same question goes to folks who have already been to Japan. While I'm at it, might as well ask folks who live in Japan too. If you have any recommendations for your fellow otaku then do let us know.