Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ishigaki P.S.

We thought about staying here, but didn't think we'd get much sleep. Ishigaki is kind of like Masami's home island of Amami-Oshima, except with a Club Med.
Mudskippers, fish out of water. I know how they must feel.
Nice mangrove swamps all over the island. We also have these on Amami. I waded through the mud here in the late afternoon light.
Some good snorkeling at Yonehara beach.  It was incredibly hot, even the water was like a bathtub.
It's always exciting to see the poisonous kraits. This one was a nice blue color.
Most fish just ignore you, which is the exciting thing about snorkeling or diving. You can get closer to the fish than nearly any other kind of wildlife. These Picasso triggerfishes can be aggressive if you get near their nests. They'll get right in your face and head butt your mask. I guess they can bite your fingers off, too, so no petting!
Cute little Nemo fish.
Cool as a sea cucumber.
Another cool fish.
The Yaeyama Islands are part of Okinawa prefecture, which was the Ryukyu kingdom historically, so they share some culture. One thing you'll see everywhere are variations on the Okinawan lion-dog, called shisa. We came upon this place unexpectedly, all of these bizarre sculptures on the side of the road, looking like giant cartoon escapees. 

As in Amami, they have the venomous habu, and you can buy a jug of liquor with one inside.
Okinawa also means American influence, like this A&W restaurant that sells "all american food" like a cup of rice with a taco and what looks like a raw egg on top. You can't get more american than that. The other thing is a cup-o-burger.
For a fresh look?
Shortest bus ride ever. From that arrival sign to the bus in the foreground to get on our plane. Everyone was laughing.
The runway workers bowing to the plane as it leaves.

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