Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Japan- Add It To Your Bucket List

It was turning out to be the typical Clampitt vacation. A perfect storm of sorts. We boarded a plane headed 3 hours south toward Okinawa, then another 45 minutes further south to Ishigaki Island. So did several right-wing activists ready to raise flags on the disputed islands of Takeshima. Two typhoons headed up from the south just in case one decided to veer off course thereby missing a rendezvous with our vacation.

The forecast for our vacation looked liked reading and tv.

Our Pokemon plane raced Hello Kitty down the tarmac. No amount of fire or water Pokemon can stop the Kitty when she`s got places to go and people to see. She shook us like Kitty Litter.

Always bet on the cat

Elation, surprise, a warm and tingly feeling in my wallet area were just some of the emotions I felt upon seeing sunny skies as we closed in on Ishigaki Island.

Volcanic islands dotting the path toward Ishigaki Island from Okinawa. All surrounded by shallow coral reefs dropping off toward deep ocean giving rise to some of the best diving in Asia.

Question for the audience-

Q) What happened when the Clampitt family arrived at the hotel with sunny skies and the potential of rain for the remainder of the vacation?

A) It divided the family along a natural schism. Activity level. The adrenaline junkies vs. the Zen masters.

Offspring #1 and I hit the water still clothed while Spouse and Offspring #2 rushed to the beach, turned the rotisserie to “on” and started a long, slow roast.

Spouse and Offspring #2`s Perspective of Ishigaki Island:

Photo- OS#2

Photo OS#2

Ouisar-san and Offspring #1`s view of Ishigaki Island:

My hair stands on end even underwater

Image Wikipedia
Ishigaki Island is famous for “Manta City”. A manta ray cleaning station. Mantas 10`-15` in width glide through, gills open, while remoras and other fish clean their gills and skin.

Ishigaki Island and Okinawa are riddled with snakes. We saw several sea snakes- most yellow and black.

It wouldn`t have been a family vacation without a few enforced family activities.


Offspring #2 won the fishing derby. Unlike fishing we Clampitts have done, this was very, hmmm, efficient. The blue bottle was filled with small fish, then several hooks were placed along the line below. The fish then swarm the bait bottle in a feeding frenzy. Once the fisherperson feels a nudge- yank. Offspring #2 was able to pull ahead in the derby by catching multiple fish in one cast. The captain made the game more entertaining by subtracting points for small fish. He`s lucky there wasn`t a mutiny whereby he became the next thing used for bait.

This fisherman was thrilled at the amount of fish the Clampitts were pulling in. Apparently the activist made it over to the Takeshima islands by paying fisherman $4,500 per trip to ferry them over. That didn`t include landing privileges as there was still a fair amount of swimming involved. Or so my sources tell me.

Snorkeling the caves surrounding the island.

One swam between OS#1`s legs. I love a good snake encounter.

Snorkeling through in 4 feet of water one can see cracks in the rock where the depth drops to 50-80 feet. Huge fish swim along the bottom.

Ishigaki is home to some of the world`s most exotic soft corals. This doesn`t happen to be one of them.

My new screen saver.

One of the 7 Lucky Gods of Japan, Ebisu, who holds a fish, must have decided we needed a break. And not the kind that has sidelined OS#1 for the Fall sports season and involves a hip. Both typhoons hit China, the activists which have since launched the international incident between Japan and South Korea didn`t make it down until we left, and the sun beat down mercilessly throughout our visit.

Which might explain why there aren`t any pictures of Ishigaki Island. We spent all our time in the water.

Ishigaki Island- add it to your bucket list.

This entry was posted in Moving to Japan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Japan- Add It To Your Bucket List

  1. andy1076 says:

    These pictures are absolutely stunning! I wonder if I can try the same thing for fishing lol 😀


  2. Ann says:

    not liking all those snakes…but loving the diving! miss u!


    • These snakes apparently can`t really bite. They have to gnaw on you- for a long time before they can break the skin- even then, the only part they can break is the skin around your thumb.You`re safe!


  3. andy1076 says:

    Reblogged this on My story to you.. and commented:
    This is awesome!


  4. Wow, wow–what can I say but “wow!” Gorgeous. However, I’m with Ann–not wanting to swim with snakes!
    And, I thought you were joking about the Pokemon plane. But, no. I have NEVER in all my days seen one painted like that! Total hoot, those Japanese are!


  5. Piper Bayard says:

    That looks amazing . . . except for that snake thing. Thanks for sharing your pictures, Emily. I especially love your new screen saver.


  6. Pingback: The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Octomom, Octoporn, . . . Octoloan? « Author Piper Bayard

  7. stacy says:

    Wonderful – thanks for sharing!!


  8. Paul says:

    Looks like an exciting time was had by all. The photos are great.


  9. Looks like an amazing place to go! Aren’t there some sea snakes which are very poisonous?


    • Yes- very much so. But, they have to find a place that is soft enough for them to penetrate. On a human it`s between the forefinger and thumb. Then, they have to chew for a while before they can launch their venom. Apparently they are really designed for going after fish. The certainly got away from us as quickly as possible.


  10. Terrific pics! Looks like you had an “otherworldly” vacation beneath the waves. I’ve only been snorkeling before and loved it! Have you had your scuba certification for a while, or did you just get it for this trip?


    • I got certified a very long time ago- when I graduated from college and used to do a lot of diving. Then I had kids and all the fun stopped. Kidding. I`ve only been a few times since the Offspring came along. But now OS#1 is certified and he`s really enthused about it so I have a buddy to go with! Spouse is also a diver but if fishing is available he will always do that first! If you love snorkeling you would love diving.


  11. Bob says:

    Great photos!! The island looks so tiny from the air, and you can actually see the airport.
    The underwater ones are awesome!!


    • That is actually a different island. But- there are little islands dotting the path down this being one of them. The Japanese used these as launching pads during WWII. Many older Japanese won`t go down to the Okinawa area due to the memories of the mass suicides, doomed ships and other associated war history.


  12. Bob says:

    Hey just another quick hello, That Pokemon plane. I built parts for that one. Awesome to see it in action!!!!


  13. bookmole says:

    Lovely post. Specially liked the Junkie v Zen shots – that is so like my family! I have pinned this to my Places to See list, but honestly? I suspect I will never make it there. And that seems a shame.


  14. Heidi Sanford says:

    You have totally inspired me to get our family certified! What beautiful picts. You make me laugh out loud!!!!!


  15. I cant get over the airplane!


  16. Dana says:

    I love the contrast between the Zen masters and the adrenaline junkies. I have a bit of both tendencies in me, so maybe I would have had both sorts of photos of the island at the end of the trip. 🙂 Looks like a beautiful place to visit!


  17. jmslesin says:

    This place looks stunning! I totally want to go here now.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s