Thursday, April 8, 2010


A few weeks ago I went to Ishigakijima with some NTTers (& Thom), and I never bothered to post any of the pics I have, nor any kind of oh-so-entertaining commentary that I know you - my adoring readers likely above average in attractiveness and intelligence - are so very fond of.

I really haven't the endurance or typing fortitude to include much more the subtitles of the photos below, as going into any amount of detail would require multiple volumes and at least two or three appendices, mostly filled with translations of monkey-related portmonteaus.

I began the trip by heading out to a capsule hotel in Tokyo near the bay, so I could head over to Haneda airport early, early the next morning. The capsule was maybe 6 feet long or so, making stretching more-or-less impossible (the diagonal was almost enough), but it had a built in radio and TV, and the bathing room in the basement had a bath full of rubber duckies. I kinda thought that sleeping in a coffin would be a bit claustrophobic or something, but it was actually okay. I'm not going to even mention the porno channel. Shit.

Craig on the Rodeo Boy near the bathroom in the Capsule hotel. Its presence confuses me.

You know you're in Okinawa when there are significantly more orchids in the airport then people. They were everywhere, they were beautiful. Other than that the airport was like most I've been in. Except the Starbucks was much harder to find than I expected.

This is at the A&W at the Okinawa Airport. Thom is enjoying his root beer in a mug, trying not to laugh maniacally at the guy in the background. His mullet didn't come out very well in this photo (hes adjusting it now, it looked much better afterwards). But seriously dude, what were you THINKING?

I didn't even notice Thom in the changing room when I took this. Hes trying on bathing suits at Okinawa airport to find one he likes. Jess is looking less than impressed with my choice of headwear.

You know you're in Ishigaki airport when there are more lion fish than people. Well, not really. But there wasn't very many people, and there were more lion fishes present than I'd ever seen before. I can't look at one of these fish without thinking of Livingston. (Picard's fish in his ready room)

When we got into the city we had to find a grocery store to stock up on edible supplies. This kumon center was right across the road. (FYI, we ended up getting mostly bread, canned tuna, bananas, snickers, canned fruit, and a mystery meat that I lovingly and delusionally called "bacon" for barbecuing)

Waiting at the bus station in Ishigaki city (we were there A LOT). Oliver was a big hit with the locals. Nice hat Lars.

First beach at Kabira. Its the only beach that we went to where there was a significant amount of other people. But we were just there for a bus-layover anyway, and no swimming was allowed. The water was pretty, but the weather hadn't cleared up too much yet.

This was either the beach near where we camped, or the beach at Kabira again. Pretty.

On the bus trying to find a place to camp. Its jungle out there. (I can't believe I caught a picture of myself in a roadside mirror. Crazy)

Okay this was Yonehara beach, supposed to be the best snorkelling on the island (I'd tend to agree, based on a statistically invalid sample size). The sand was kinda ouchy though, because of all the little coral pieces. But the place was absolutely deserted, just us.

Oww. Note to future-Blake. Coral wounds sting, watch yourself when going through coral underpasses. Also, tiny coral splinters in wounds inhibit the healing process.

More stunningly beautiful beaches. I think this was sunset beach. All those footprints are ours, it was completely flat and formless before our arrival. This may have had to do with the 2-3 "BEACH CLOSED" signs that we passes. But we bought off all the curious townsfolk with Snickers bars.

After my troubling sunburns of the first day, I tended to remain in the shade when not submerged in the water. Lucky there was this fantastic outcropping of awesomeness to hide under.

Me after Sunset beach. Waiting in the bus-stop place while artsy Oliver takes a well framed shot. I was very salty and sunburned by this point.

View from the peninsula on the northeast side of the island, at the very tip near the lighthouse. It was a fantastic view of the whole island. Thom looks pretty picturesque and thoughtful there. Shortly after he pulled out his iPhone and stood in the same place with his arm outstreached for 5 minutes trying to take photos of himself looking picturesque and thoughtful. We love you Thom.

View from the same spot, south towards the main hulk of the island.

There was something about that island out there that didn't look right. I had to get a better shot.

Every time I looked at this island it looked Photoshopped.

The shadows were ALL WRONG. You can always tell a Photoshop job by the water, its just impossible to get water right, ya know. But seriously folks, this thing was so perfect that my mind couldn't let it enter my reality.

We went to Taketomi island on the very last day before we had to catch our flight. It was only a 10 minute ferry ride away, and there was a festival going on (Miss Yaeyama beauty contest). The island was tiny and most was an old fashioned Ryukyu village flanked by scenic beaches.

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Concert going on after the Miss Yaeyama thing. A Japanaman came up to me and tried to explain the purpose of the singing and the festival. I didn't get much from him, crazy islanders speak a language that is to Japanese as Rasta-English is to British English.

Yah he's tied up by his nose ring. Sad story.


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