Day 2 in Okinawa: three little islands

Oh baby, what a day. It was one of those days where I was glad to be alive. Today’s itinerary consisted of Iriomote Island, Yurijima Island and Taketomi Island. Join me on my journey!

The Start

We had to wake up at 5am to start the day. Not my idea of a good time after a loong night of awamori… but I was excited enough to see Okinawa not to be too bothered by it. The breakfast in the hotel was EPIC. It’s rare to see western and Japanese breakfasts coexisting in the Japanese countryside but the Okinawans make it happen.

I had two omelettes, two enormous bowls of salad and fruit (tropical, baby) as well as bread, coffee, yoghurt and all those other things that make me very happy first thing in the morning. 

I approve.

The next thing I knew we had checked out and were at the port waiting to get on a boat. While waiting, I took a photo with the cute boat mascot. Don’t ask why… When in Japan… 


When we finally did get on the boat, it was noisy as hell. I was not impressed. Bloody thing gave me a headache. When we arrived at Iriomote Island, we changed to another boat. Thank God.

Iriomote Island 

I saw the super famous Yaeyama Mangrove. The air was so clean. The water was so clear. It felt cleansing being here after being wrapped up in work, work and more work the past couple of months. The weather wasn’t as warm as I expected.

It was chilly enough to wear a cardigan. Grrr….


And then we saw the Looking-glass Tree. It’s a 400 year tree that’s really something in person. I wish I didn’t have to share the moment with all those other people in the boat with us… But oh well.

Yumajima Island 

Then it was back to the main island for a water buffalo ride to Yumajima Island. The water levels from Iriomote Island to Yumajima island were roughly ankle deep when we made the journey there. The buffalo was kinda slow – bless. I would have preferred to walk, but that’s just me. It was a picturesque journey.


Yumajima is a tiny place, but expect things like palm trees, banana trees, a seashell museum, etc.

And Japan being Japan – you can also buy a super kawaii version of the buffalo. Hmm…


We had lunch there. It was delicious. I’m not surprised, though. WELCOME TO JAPAN. 


Taketomi Island

And then it was a forty minute boat ride to Taketomi Island. I was pretty sleepy at this point. My belly was full, the weather was getting warmer and the boat was quiet. The gentle waves lullaby babied me into a nap. It’s probably the best nap that I’ve had in a while. 

Taketomi Island was my favourite part of the day. It’s when we got to see old Okinawan Houses. On top of every house, we saw Shisas – a traditional Ryukyuan artefact that resembles a dog and a lion. 


I wasn’t keen on the second buffalo ride on land – but oh well. The buffalo that took us around also stopped to take a leak around three times and even graced us with a poop at one point. Some people even filmed that. We humans are a strange species. 

But my absolute favourite part of the day was Kaiji Beach. I haven’t seen water that clean and that pristine in a LONG time. Just hanging around the beach, playing with the star-shaped sand, I felt a sense of peace I haven’t felt in a long time. 


The ocean breeze in my hair. My feet sinking into the sand. Picking seashells. Slowly tipping my toes into the water to check the water temperature. It’s been ages, you know. I feel at home by the ocean. I always have.


I know Japan is an island country – but having a home or business by the ocean is not common because of the very real risk of tsunami.

Anyways – that was the gist of my day. My apologies for the ramble. Expect it again tomorrow. 

We’re about to head out for dinner. I’ll be good this evening and turn off all devices. Life is short and although I am slowly growing accustomed to social media – it is both a blessing and a curse.

I hope you’re as happy as I am right now. Till next time – have a good evening. 

Author: Dipa

Tarot Tales from Japan

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