Day 23: Last (First ?) sunny day on Ishigaki

Trip Start Apr 08, 2010
Trip End May 06, 2010

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Flag of Japan  , Kyushu-Okinawa,
Saturday, May 1, 2010

As forecasted, sun was finally there this morning !
Hence, we wanted to return to the beautiful places we had been to, and enjoy them with this sunny weather.

We thus took an early breakfast (7 am) but the dining room was already crowded with japanese tourists. We finally left at 7:15, and drove to Kabira Bay. This time, it was high tide, and we could admire the beautiful, clear blue water !

We then drove to Kabira's cape, on the north west coast of the island, where the Club Med village sits. Even if you can not enter the village, you can drove around the peninsula and enjoy the beautiful park. Following the suggestion of the very useful website, we could enjoy the stunning view of Hirabanarijima which is located just off the northern coast of the peninsula. I quote:

"Hirabanarijima (or Hirapanarijima) litearlly translates to 'level offshore island', but in actual fact it's anything but flat. It's a small yet rugged island which is separated from Ishigaki by a beautiful stretch of emerald-green ocean. It is best viewed from an elevated position and a great look-out point can be found if you can find a pretty well concealed dirt track which leads up a hill. On a clear sunny day the view of the island and the reef which surrounds it is absolutely stunning; it's one of those views which makes you realise that you did the right thing by spending so much time and money travelling to Ishigaki. This is one spot on the island which will really make most of us feel a long way from home (in a good way).

One of the first things that you'll notice is that there's a beautiful, probably deserted, small beach right below you as you gaze towards the island. This is a lovely spot to enjoy an afternoon by the ocean and I'd really recommend that you make time to check it out if you're a beach lover."

Could not describe it better ;-)

We then drove to Sukuji beach. It was still high tide, and no one on the beach (only three pairs of shoes !). The beach is set in a bay surrounded by a mountainous landscape. The thing that distinguishes this beachfrom most others is the depth of the water, which is very shallow. The
seabed also consists of smooth sand rather than coral or rocks, making it great if you simply want to wander out into the luke-warm water and enjoy the sight of small fish darting around your ankles.

The beach itself is a large one which extends round to the west of the bay from the entrance and to the east there is a small private beach which is owned by a hotel. Another great aspect of this location is the line of trees positioned at the back of the beach which provide shade from the sun throughout much of the day, although particularly during the mornings.

We then drove back to Ishigaki city on the coastal road. We could enjoy the nice view on Taketomi island and we saw many rice fields again.
We returned the car to the hotel, and took the airport shuttle bus. We had lunch at the airport before getting on the plane (no food offered on JTA flights...), and noticed one more time that the boarding room was crowded with japanese people and almost no occidental tourists !

This was our last day on Ishigaki and we promised ourselves we would come back and spend more time in this beautiful tropical region of Japan...
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