Mt. Maapee

Our second hike on the Ishigaki Island: Mt. Maapee.

It has a modest height of 230m with two hiking paths to the top: the longer one takes 45 minutes and the shorter one just 15 minutes! Sounds more like a stroll in the park. The local recommended the short one because the longer path is not clearly marked.

Its distinctive rocky peak is visible from far and we wondered how we can get up there in mere 15 min….

After missing the first sign, we reoriented ourselves and arrived at the real trailhead via a dense forest management road curiously observed by a wild pheasant.

From the beginning it was quite a climb in the dense forest and bamboo bushes but with the ropes we  got up easily. Soon, we found ourselves getting out of the forest and on the rocky top.

From here there is  a breathtaking 360-degree view of  Ishigaki Island! The dense green forest flows down to  the emerald blue water and the peninsula stretches out to the north.  Several hikers came and went, and we stayed on a long time,  perked on the rock gazing at the mesmerizing panorama.

Kabira Bay – postcard pretty

This intricate emerald-blue bay surrounded  by the white sand beach is in every Okinawa brochure, poster and on gazillions of FB and Instagram posts (and now on ours). We were a bit skeptical but once we looked down the bay, we both uttered oh, wow, sugoi, kirei, like all the others.

This amazingly blue and green bay attracts lots of tourists and glass-bottom boats are leaving every few minutes, loaded with people who wish to see underwater corals and animals without getting wet.

We gazed at the bay, watching the current streaming in and out and Philippe closely observing boats maneuvering around. We look forward to our next dive just beyond this Kabira Bay which is famous for manta sighting….