Sunday, January 10, 2010

Japan's last frontier....

With only 4 days left of this leg of our holiday we left Ishigaki Island and headed out on another 1hr ferry ride. Our destination was Iriomote Island, a jungle covered mini amazon rain forest.

The island is pretty big but only a handful of permanent residents are scattered around it, a road runs around half of the eastern coast with a settlement at either end. Inland it is nothing but jungle, rivers, waterfalls, mountains and wildlife. We arrived at Uehara port where we were based for 3 nights. The place was absolutley dead quiet and we only saw 3 or 4 other foreigner travelers in 3 days. Virtually all the little shops were closed and the supermarket was almost out of supplies! Luckily our accomodation had breakfast and dinner even if it was traditional japanese food - rice, fish and salad for breaky...rice, fish and salad for tea = hungry!

The island itself was stunning and everything you would want for a quiet, sunny get away. Over the 3 days we explored most places on bikes, even riding 30km one day as well as a 2hr walk. We embarked on yet more snorkelling adventures and were rewarded with the best coral we'd ever seen. The beaches had the most amazing shells and although i'm not normally one to stop and collect them i couldn't help filling my pockets this time.

The island is known as Japan's last frontier and most of it's interior is untouched by humans, going off our experience it certainly fits this description!

Our foray inland in search of waterfalls

One of our many cycle rides

Sleeping on tatami mats

The view from our room