Monday, July 6, 2015

Ishigaki Island Adventure

The rowdiest OkiJETs assembled for my last vacation.

Photo: Tristan Salvenera
I'm sure you know by now that Okinawa is a tiny Japanese island located fairly close to Taiwan. I currently live on Okinawa's main island, Okinawa Honto, but I recently had the opportunity to visit Okinawa's southern-most island, Ishigaki.
Sixteen of us met up at Naha International Airport to board an hour-long flight to Ishigaki. From there, we separated into three groups and dined by ourselves until we met up the following morning for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Cami, an Ishigaki OkiJET, organized the snorkeling and scuba diving! Thanks girlie! The snorkeling spots were absolutely amazing. I'm not the best swimmer (or so I like to tell myself), but I enjoyed floating about and checking out the sea life. Scuba diving was also a lot of fun, but I would have liked more freedom to move around. I also become a bit seasick coming out of the water so once I put my gear away, I hoped back into the water in my wet suit and relaxed for a bit.

Later, we were dropped off a Paniri Island, a privately owned island where we ate lunch, got in trouble, and jumped off the peer. Paniri Island had the most beautiful water I've ever seen! I should know, I've swam in the Caribbean. Trust me when I say that the Pacific Ocean is where it's at. Sorry, not sorry Atlantic.

Our night was eventful; one of my favorite parts was watching the boys go completely HAM during a Taylor Swift song at karaoke.

On second day we all took a 15-minute ferry ride to Taketomi Island. This island is known for their traditional Okinawan architecture, Shisa, star sand beaches, and water buffalo cart rides. We rented bicycles and rode to Kondoi Beach, a shallow yet absolutely gorgeous beach, where we lazed about and then moved to Kaiji Beach to find some star sand. Star sand isn't actually sand, it's the remains of tiny star-shaped crustaceans. It takes some effort to search through the sand in order to find them, but a small shop near the beach sells small bottles of star sand for \300. It's great omiyage!

That night, we ate, drank, and spent way too much money at an izakaya. Later, we migrated to a bar for more drinks as well as pool and darts.

It was truly a wonderful vacation with only a tiny bit of drama. ;)

Want to know more about Ishigaki? Click the picture below!

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