bike tour naha

Bike Tour Naha to Ishigaki Island: In search of the Mantas.

Bike Tour Naha: I came to Okinawa primarily to do some great diving. Okinawa is supposedly ranked third in the world for visibility underwater. When I discovered that Ishigaki is the island to go see manta rays, I flew there from Naha to witness this wonderful creature first hand.

Highlights:

-Yonehara -Kabira Bay -Manta Dive

Ishigaki is a small island with not a lot of residents on it. It had some tourism but it wasn’t flooded with travelers, which was a good thing, until I found out that the buses ran every few hours on most parts of the island. With a twenty dollar bus ticket, it was good for using any buses for five days. The transportation on this island would make it very inconvenient to freely go around the island, without waiting for hours for the buses to arrive. I was very frustrated with the transportation on this island.

Yonehara campsite would be my home for five days on this island. It was free since there was no staff around. Right on the beach amongst the trees, it was a peaceful and nearly empty except a few campers and a few campers that seemed like they had been there for months. The snorkeling here is pretty decent with good amount of marine animals and corals.

After visiting a few dive shops, they told me it would be very unlikely to see manta rays due to the typhoon that was on its way.

This news was demoralizing, given that I flew here and waited a few days in Naha and here for the weather to get better. After considering giving up on the mantas, I made the decision to take my chances and do the dive. Luckily, I did see two mantas at manta point near Kabira, where the cleaning station was. I got to enjoy watching them get their dental work done for a good thirty minutes, getting nearly within 15 to 20 feet. The divers were very disciplined about giving these animals their space. I was extremely satisfied to finally see these amazing animals up close and personal. I think whales are next on my list.

 

bike tour naha
The plane ride was about an hour for a $100 round trip to Ishigaki from Naha. Not too bad. My bike would be safely secured at the Base hostel.

 

bike tour naha
Manta Rays bringing in a huge amount of income for the divers on this island.

 

bike tour naha
Love geckos. I wish I can have a few for my tent just in case there’s mosquitoes sneaking in.

 

bike tour naha
Cool looking restaurant. There are only so many restaurants on this island, and many of them closed before sunset.

 

bike tour naha

bike tour naha
Omiyaki

 

bike tour naha
Sea snake trails were everywhere on Ishigaki as well as the Okinawa Island.

 

bike tour naha
Yonehara

 

bike tour naha
Crystal clear waters

 

bike tour naha

bike tour naha
Texas style steak house. Not too bad.

 

bike tour naha
The steak house’s mascot.

 

bike tour naha

bike tour naha
When cats die, they come to Japan, and rule the country and its people.

 

bike tour naha
Coconut tree forest.

 

bike tour naha
Hiking through the jungles.

 

bike tour naha

bike tour naha
Commerce of integrity. Take the product and insert the appropriate amount of cash into the money tube. Only if everyone in the world were this honest.

 

bike tour naha

bike tour naha
Bike Tour Naha
bike tour naha
soba next to the Yonehara campsite. They only opened for a few hours in the daytime.

 

bike tour naha
Rice wine factory.

 

bike tour naha
The famous “Kabira Bay.” Little crowded with tourists but you can veer off into a empty location just around the corner.

 

bike tour naha
Why can’t all the beaches have this color?

 

bike tour naha
No idea why I didn’t go for a swim here.

 

bike tour naha
Oh the Club Med Kabira. It was located right in front of the Manta point. Club Med knows how to pick their spots.

 

bike tour naha
It was extremely frustrating using the local buses here since they ran like once a week!! No, but really, you can go to one spot on the island and it would take the whole day using the buses here.

 

bike tour naha
The land of Gull masks and fins. Japanese people know a thing or two about diving.

 

bike tour naha
My divemaster. The weather wasn’t too great on this day, and the chances of seeing a manta ray was supposedly slim.

 

bike tour naha
Only if I had my underwater camera with me, there would be tons of manta ray photos here. I was very pleased to have witnessed a few mantas on this dive.

 

bike tour naha
Banana Hill?

 

bike tour naha

Bike Tour Naha
Made for handicapped. This is on a remote island with less than 50,000 people.

 

 

This is a guest blog post by Dae Choi
Sunday October 23, 2013

2013/10/23-27: Naha to Ishigaki Island: In search of the Mantas.

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