Japan trip, day 4 – goodbye to Taketomi island

So yesterday (Thursday) was my last day on Taketomi island. I had to check out of the resort, which i was really sad to leave. It was so relaxing, and everyone went out of their way to be (genuinely) friendly and helpful.

The morning was spent just sorting out photos and stuff and then, following advice on a blog I read, for lunch I headed back into Taketomi island for a spot of lunch at Haaya Cafe. It didn’t look too appetising from the outside, but taking the concrete stairs by the side of the derelict looking building, I soon realised I’d made a good choice. It was a really relaxing little room.

I had taco rice, which is really the stuff that comes on a taco but spread over and in some rice. It was absolutely delicious, but geez, Japanese lunch portions are big!

After lunch I headed to the one beach on Taketomi I hadn’t visited yet. The Kaiiji beach is famous for having star shaped bits of sand. And when I got there, everyone was on their hands and knees looking through handfuls of sand to try and find one.

I spent 45 minutes sitting there in the sun trying to find one. Part of the problem I had was I didn’t really know what I was looking for. What does a star shaped piece of sand look like? I was about to give up when at last – I spotted a little star shaped grain. Apparently they are really small dead animals or something, but to verify my find I showed it to the woman running the small souvenir stall on the beach. She got excited, nodded and handed me a magnifying glass. And it was indeed star-shaped. By now the sky was turning a menacing black and there was a bit of a wind gathering, so I decided to head back to the resort.

Before I left the beach, I put the star shaped grain on my finger to take a photo, pulled out my camera, and took a photo – only for a particularly strong gust of wind to blow the little star off my fiinger. I was gutted! I had a quick scout on the ground but new trying to find it again was hopeless. I did however actually take a photo – did I capture the star before the wind took it away?

No. 🙁

I headed back to the resort and by now there was lashing rain and a howling fierce wind. Sure signs that a typhoon is on the way – confirmed by staff at the resort who told me it was two days away. Nets were being put up in front of the resort windows, so maybe it wasn’t a bad time to leave after all. I gathered up my stuff and caught a lift to the ferry terminal. By now the weather was pretty grim.

Let’s say the ferry ride was interesting. I had to leave my suitcase on the deck, and when I clambered outside in Ishigaki I feared the worst when I saw it had disappeared. Thankfully the helpful captain had just already put it on the quayside for me. I shared the bus ride to the airport with an old woman, a young couple and their cute baby and two Japanese girls. One of whom was extremely hot.

You could hear the wind howling INSIDE the airport which I didn’t think was a good sign but my flight to Osaka took off on time and was pretty smooth. I had a cup of the Japan Airlines drink “Sky Time” and saw the hot girl from the bus was across the aisle and one row in front.

I tried to catch her eye as she got up to get off in Osaka, but while her friend was all smiles for me, she didn’t glance in my direction. Oh well! Osaka I’ve arrived!