Showing posts with label ishigaki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ishigaki. Show all posts

Friday, December 22, 2023

Iriomote Island Beaches


As of this posting, we are "enjoying" an unusually early cold and snowy spell, so these images are for the rest of you in the northern hemisphere right now.

Iriomote is a fairly large island in the Ishigaki Islands, not far from the coast of Taiwan. In fact it is the second largest island in all of the Okinawas.

Most of the island is fairly dense jungle and mangrove swamp and is home to the Iriomote Wild Cat.

The island is sparsely populated and lives along the single coastal road that covers about 2/3 of the coastline.

Iriomote has a lot of fine beaches and coastline suitable for snorkelling.

It also has a fair amount of coastal mangrove groves.

The most famous beach is called Starsand Beach because among the sand you can find tiny star-shaped grains.

These pics were taken in April, well outside the tourist season and so mostly deserted.

The previous post was on the water buffalo carts of Yubu Island.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Mount Nosokodake Ishigaki

Mount Nosokodake Ishigaki

This is the view, looking north, from Mount Nosoko, sometimes referred to as Nosokodake, and also known as Nosoko Mape, on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa.

It is somewhat unusually shaped with a very steep peak.

Topped with a rocky outcropping, there are fantastic 360 degree views .

At 282 meters, it is not very high, but is still the second highest mountain on Ishigaki, after Mount Omoto, which at 525 meters in height is also the highest mountain in all of Okinawa.

A road goes up to about 200 meters altitude and from there, a sometimes steep trail takes you up to the apex.

The name Nosoko Mape comes from a local folk tale and song about a girl called Mape from nearby Kuroshima Island and her forced separation from her fiancee when half of the islanders were forced to move to the area around Nosodake in 1732 in order to "develop" the land to raise enough tax revenue to pay the Japanese Satsuma Clan who invaded Okinawa in the early 17th century.

The previous post in this series on Okinawa was on some of Ishigaki's lovely beaches.

Buy Ishigaki Bath Salts from Okinawa

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Some Beaches of Ishigaki Island

Ishigaki 石垣島

Some Beaches of Ishigaki Island.

Ishigaki Island is officially part of Okinawa, though it lies closer to Taiwan than to the main island of Okinawa.

Some Beaches of Ishigaki Island.

It is one of the Yaeyama Islands, in fact, the second largest, though it is the most populated and the most important nearby Iriomote Island is larger, but is mostly uninhabited 
Yaeyama Islands.

Other than Taketomi island with its traditional village and water buffalo cart rides, the main attraction of the Yaeyama islands are the beaches and the related activities of swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, etc

Yaeyama Islands.

When we visited it was in April, out of season, with overcast skies, so the beaches were deserted.

Beaches of the Yaeyama Islands.

While this means the beaches were not as colorful, they were in fact quite beautiful.


The previous post in this series was the evocative Tojin Memorial.


Buy Ishigaki Salt from Japan

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tojin Memorial Ishigaki

Tojin Memorial Ishigaki 石垣島

Tojin Memorial Ishigaki.

Hidden away on a remote section of the coast of Ishigaki Island in Okinawa is this colourful monument built in Chinese style to a shameful bit of history.

Set in 1852 and often referred to as the Robert Bowne Incident, it concerns the fate of hundreds of indentured Chinese "coolies" aboard an American ship the Robert Bowne.

Tojin Memorial Ishigaki.

American and British companies were engaged in the lucrative human-trafficking trade in indentured Chinese laborers. Little more than slaves, the Chinese were abused and killed on the journey and a mutiny occurred on the Robert Bowne resulting in the death of some of the "cargo" as well as some crew and officers.


The ship floundered on the rocks of Ishigaki Island near the spot where the monument is, and the Chinese were sent overboard. Later many of them were safely shipped home, but in the meantime the British and Americans sent soldiers to round them up. Some were killed and some were captured.

Tojin Memorial Ishigaki.

A detailed article here makes uncomfortable reading. The monument was constructed in 1972 to memorialize 128 Chinese who died during the incident. The monument is becoming somewhat dilapidated.


Monday, August 29, 2022

Cape Oganzaki

Cape Oganzaki 石垣島

Cape Oganzaki lies at the tip of the Yarabu Peninsula on the western side of Ishigaki Island in Okinawa.

When we visited in April the Easter Lillies were blooming, according to the locals this is a sign the coming summer will be hot.

A local song says this is one of the places where the gods arrived.

It is a popular spot for watching the sunset, though it is nowhere near any settlements or bus routes so you need a car to visit.

It is said on a clear day you can see Iriomote Island 20 kilometers away.

Like much of the Okinawan islands, when the sun is shining the sea is turquoise and glorious, but on cloudy overcast days.......

Buy Ishigaki Bath Salts from Japan

Monday, May 16, 2022

Kabira Bay Ishigaki Island

Kabira Bay 石垣島

Kabira Bay is one of the most popular scenic spots on the island of Ishigaki in what is now Okinawa.

With white sand beaches, turquoise seas, and coral reefs, it is consodered a troical paradise and a very popuar dstination for tourists from maonland Japan.

Actually we visited in April which is kind of the off-season, and the weather was very overcast so the scenery was not as colorful, but there were also few other tourists so it was possible to walk the uncrowded beaches.

Actually I believe that you are not allowed to swim in Kabira bay itself because of black pearl cultivation.

Ishigaki is part of what is called the Yaeyama Islands, the last group of islands in the chain that extends south and west from Kyushu in the mainland of Japan.

The Yaeyama Islands include the furthest west and also the furthest south points of Japan, and is much closer to Taiwan than it is to the main island of Okinawa.

The area is belieced to have been settled by Melanesian people from further south.

In the 15th century the Yaeyama Islands became subsumed under the rule of the recently unified Ryukyuan dynasty of the main island of Okinawa.

In the 17th century Satsuma Domain invaded the Ryukyu's, or in todays parlance "conducted a special military operation". but the islands did not become part of Japan until the late 19th century.

Ishigaki Sea Salt

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Surreal & Psychedelic Shisa of Ishigaki Island


Just across the road from Yonehara Beach in central Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, is the Yoneko Yaki craft centre where you can see and buy, among other things,  examples of traditional Okinawan shisa.

However, outside you can see a wide variety of large, colorful statues that seem to be based on shisa.

Their shaes seem alien and surreal, and their color schemes are very vibrant and somewhat psychadelic. 

They are sray-painted so also have the feel of graffiti art.

We were there in the off-season and the lace was closed so were unable to find out about the origin and history of them.

However, they were whimsical without being kawaii, the Japanese cultural style that seems to be growing into a dominant format, that also seems to be very popular. I personally find kawaii somewhat offensive, but then I don't enjoy Marvel superhero movies , so what do I know.

Ishigaki Sea Salt