This past weekend my friends and I took advantage of a sweet deal on flights to Ishigaki Japan from Hong Kong, and enjoyed every moment of it! HK Express is the only international service that goes to this island in the far south of Japan, so it was definitely an exclusive experience. We were also there during the off season, and it felt like we had the island all to ourselves!
Here are a few of the highlights from our trip:
I went with 3 of my FIT friends studying abroad in Hong Kong with me. When we arrived, there was a massive downpour but the skies cleared up almost immediately.
Nakamura-ya, Ishigaki Japan
For lunch we went to a magical curry place. The chef at one point went out to his garden and got celery to add to the sauce. The set meal also came with chai tea for dessert. Would definitely recommend!
Kondoi Beach, Taketomi Island
After lunch, we took a high speed ferry boat over to an adjacent island. The ferry ride was a highlight of my trip- it was like an amusement park ride. Once there, we took a bus to an island known for its star-shaped sand and cats.
Sunday was beach day! We rented snorkel equipment and got to see lots of fish- my favorite were these tiny, electric blue fish.
Another fun activity was going to Yaima Mura, which is an outdoor museum similar to Jamestown in America. There were some historic houses and replicas, with exhibits on how sugar cane was processed, traditional dress, and dance! The best part was the spider monkeys, which you were able to feed with the provided treats.
Here are my friends dressed in the traditional dress, posing with a Shisa. The shisas are all over Okinawa and Ishigaki, and are placed standing guard at entrances to ward away evil spirits. We saw them all over the island!
The last thing we got to do was glass bottom boat tours. After snorkeling, it was great getting to see the fish and coral out further in the water. Plus Kabira Bay, where we went, was stunning!
We had an absolute blast in Ishigaki, and it felt so special because there were so few foreigners there. Everyone we met was incredibly nice and welcoming. Unfortunately, very few people spoke English, but it was great practice for my Japanese minor at FIT!
Studying abroad is a trip in and of itself, but taking a weekend to explore somewhere new was so exciting. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you get a great flight deal!