"" Writer's Wanderings: Surfing Ishigaki On The Internet

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Surfing Ishigaki On The Internet

When I began to explore what might be interesting to see for our trip to Ishigaki, I decided I must be out of the travel loop. How did I not know about this place? There is a ton of information about it to read and absorb.

I'm not so much interested in beaches. We don't usually spend much time on them unless there's a good reason to other than lounging and getting sunburned. It appears that there are quite a few beaches on the island and they are mostly white sand consisting of broken coral. The island is surrounded by coral reefs, thus the snorkeling and diving activities I mentioned in my previous post.

The best and most scenic beach area is said to be Kabira Bay. There is an iconic picture that pops up in all of the travel sites that shows a white beach and blue green water. Unfortunately you are not allowed to swim in the bay. They say the currents there make it unsafe and it is also one of only two places in Japan where black pearls are cultivated. You can however take a glass bottom boat trip to see the marine life. Not my favorite choice but better than nothing. There are also kayak adventures to some deserted islands nearby where you can snorkel.

Ah, but read on farther in the descriptions and you get to the really good stuff--the food. Lots of restaurants nearby and some feature Ishigaki beef which is said to rival Kobe beef in flavor. We'll see about that for sure. Another offering is soba noodles, a little different in that they are green and made with a plant that comes from the area and served in a conch shell.

Anywhere you go in Japan there are temples. Near Kabira Bay's observation point is the Kannon Temple. The story is that a young boy was on a ship that anchored in the bay sometime in the seventeenth century and he went ashore to explore. When he returned he found the ship had sailed. He went back to the hillside and began to pray. A great North wind blew in and forced the ship to return to the bay. The boy was able to get back to the ship and years later, returned to the island and the bay as a monk and built the temple.

Okay, pearls, scenery, a walk on the beach and great food. Sounds like a must see place to me.

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