For our last full day on Ishigaki, we rented a car so we could go explore the rest of this beautiful island.
Our first stop: Ishigaki Yaima Village.
This place has authentic replicas of traditional Yeayama houses before modern influences. You can also take part in various traditional crafts including painting Okinawan shisas, making Okinawan donuts, watching Eisa dances, and listening to traditional sanshin music. But most importantly (and the main reason I wanted to go), you can hang out and feed tiny squirrel monkeys! #ineedapetmonkey
After walking around the village for a bit, we stumbled upon the monkey garden!! #iwassoexcited Here you could buy food for 200 yen (about $2) and feed the monkeys. As soon as you would buy the food, lots of tiny monkeys would jump on you and surround you trying to get to it. This would also include attempting to go through your purse or personal belongings, just to double check that there wasn't any additional treats in there, and then trying to pry the food open from your hands. And their little monkey hands were surprisingly strong! #theymustworkout
I was happy I was able to buy my way to their hearts (at least for a few moments) with my purchase of food. #foodbesties #alsooneofthekeystomyheart #wehavestuffincommon #foundationofastrongfriendship
See pics of the little critters below as well as one of my favorite videos of all time where a monkey loved touching Nate's head. He loved rubbing his tiny monkey hands back and forth on it. So. freakin. cute. Luckily I was able to capture it the 4th or 5th time he was doing it.
After playing with the monkeys and now smelling like monkey poop and pee #awesome (#butworthit), we headed over to Kabira Bay on the north west side of the island.
Kabira Bay is one of the prettiest beach areas I've seen. The waters are some of the most turquoise I've ever seen. Gorgeous views everywhere of white sand and pristine waters. I feel so lucky to live so close to a spot as pretty as this.
Next stop: We headed over to Yonehara Beach. This beach is known more for snorkeling, so we wanted to check it out since you couldn't really swim at Kabira Bay due to the boats.
Now for our fourth and final stop on our sightseeing tour, we headed over to Kannonzaki Lighthouse. This lighthouse is located at the entrance of Tokyo Bay and was constructed on top of the 1869 lighthouse made of over 64,600 bricks that was destroyed in an earthquake in 1922. This place also provided great views of this beautiful little island.
For dinner that night, we were craving some Indian food. Thanks to Tripadvisor, we found a little spot called Indian Restaurant Kamal. It actually had some of the best Indian food I've tasted since coming to Japan! #andmassivenaan #yum With our tummy's full and content of curry, garlic naan, and samosas, we headed back to our hotel to relax the rest of the night.
On our last morning in Ishigaki, we explored their downtown a little more. We discovered the 730 crossing. The 730 monument (pronounced nana-san-maru) commemorates the day when road traffic in the Okinawan prefecture changed to the left side of road (vs. the right), six years after being back under Japan's control, on July 30, 1978. Up until that point, traffic had been driving on the right side of road while under the U.S. control. This change took place throughout Okinawa at 6am and all traffic signs were changed in the next 8 hours #japanisefficient #funfacts
We also walked through the Ishigaki City public market (or Yu-gurena or Euglena Mall). The market consists of only two covered arcades but sells a variety of goods including fruit and vegetables, handicrafts, clothes and souvenirs from the Yaeyama Islands.
Also walked through Misaki town which was only a few blocks away from where we stayed and filled with lots of restaurants and bars that we explored most our nights in Ishigaki. Also had the town's mascot only a block away from where we stayed.
After walking around a bit, we headed back to the airport to catch our short flight home back to Okinawa.
It's been real Ishigaki. Thanks for the experiences (both good and one humbling), the beauty, the food, the people, and taking Nate's phone as our sacrifice for our visit.
Follow in our Footsteps:
Ishigaki Yaima Village
967-1 Nagura, Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture 907-0021
Price: 840 yen (adults), 420 yen (children) (Buy monkey food for 200 yen)
〒907-0453 Okinawa-ken, Ishigaki-shi, Kabira, 1054
〒907-0451 Okinawa Prefecture, Ishigaki, Fukai, ６４４
4 Chome-1187 Kamoi, Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture 239-0813
Indian Restaurant Kamal
2 Chome-6-31 Hamasakichō, Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa-ken 907-0013, Japan
730 Crossing Monument
3 Misakicho, Ishigaki 907-0012, Okinawa Prefecture
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!