Monday, April 7, 2014

Ishigaki Getaway

Last weekend was a tough one at work. Let's leave it at that. So when Thursday afternoon rolled around and I was officially on "spring break" time, I was so ready for a getaway. Friday morning we got up and headed to the airport. "We" being my best lady friend, Hannah, because our husbands gave us a getaway weekend while they are away as a birthday/Valentine's gift. We soon discovered that every little thing we do in this country is an  adventure. We couldn't even figure out how to park or where to get our boarding passes. We were laughing at how silly we probably looked trying to figure everything out. We finally got on the plane and flew an hour south to the small island of Ishigaki. The first thing we noticed flying in is that it looked very similar to Okinawa, just a bit more rural.




The biggest clam shell I have ever seen

We took the 20 minute bus ride to our hotel. It was so beautiful! We were treated so well as soon as we walked in the doors. The room was very nice and we had an incredible view from our balcony. The resort was very luxurious, with a beautiful pool and picturesque beach. 





We spent some time down at the beach, but it was not very warm and was very windy. We then went to the bathhouse at the resort, which is a very common practice here in Japan. I won't go into too much detail, but it such a wonderful and relaxing experience. We try to make an effort to be apart of the culture here as much as possible, which sometimes requires us to get out of our comfort zone. We then went to dinner at the Chinese restaurant in the restaurant, but it was not as good as I was expecting it to be.





Saturday morning we got up and relaxed in our hotel robes and enjoyed our beautiful view. We then walked down the road the to grocery store where we stocked up on breakfast and lunch items. We found the most delicious cheesy bread with light, fluffy egg on top. It was so incredible and we are hoping we can find it at a bakery on Okinawa, that's how good it was.

Comfy hotel jammies



We laid out all day on Saturday and went to the bathhouse again. I got extremely burnt and it was not fun, but it is slowly turning into a wonderful tan. That evening we got dressed up and went to the all-you-can-eat buffet at the restaurant in the hotel. We were very disappointed with the buffet, but you win some, you lose some.




Sunday we were going to go on an excursion, but we didn't want to worry about getting back and to our flight on time, so we decided to just hang out at the hotel. I watched UK play in the final four (which they won) and then met Hannah at the pool, where I hung out under the umbrella. We ate the delicious fried chicken and french fries (they have incredible fried chicken here, no joke) from the pool bar and then headed to the bathhouse to clean up and change for our flight.





We then had to say goodbye to the beautiful resort and head to the airport, where we found out our flight was delayed. No fun. We walked around the souvenir shops for awhile and then ate soba.


What we learned on our trip? Ishigaki is a very common vacation spot for mainland Japanese. We were expecting to see quite a few Americans, but there were not very many. The resort was definitely not as geared towards Western tourists as much as the resorts in Thailand were. Most of the people at the resort did not wear bathing suits at the pool or beach, but were fully clothed or wore wetsuits. We felt very out of place in our swimsuits, but we got used to it. We got used to lots of looks in general, especially after I got sunburnt, which is not common in their culture because they hide from the sun. It was interesting to see how a different culture vacations. 

It was such a fun trip, but it is always nice to come home. It was so relaxing and nice to just not have a care in the world for a few days. We could have done bit more exploring while we were there, but we didn't have a lot of time and it was nice not being on any sort of schedule. 't was nice being on vacation with someone who really understands where my life is, because hers is in a similar place. We could sit and talk about how much we miss our husbands and not have to worry that the other one was going to get annoyed, because we totally understand. Girls trips are so much fun. Thanks Hannah for being such a great travel buddy and thanks hubbies for the trip!


28 comments:

  1. The resort looks so beautiful and a nice weekend getaway.

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  2. This resort looks lovely! Shame that you didn't have more time to explore the island though, it is such a wonderful place.

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  3. Those desserts look so yummy!!! Glad you had a nice getaway. :) Have a great week!

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  4. This looks and sounds like an amazing trip!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  5. Wow!!! This looks so beautiful. I could only imagine trying to figure out how to travel in a foreign. I would be all over the place! But it sounds like you guys had so much fun!!

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