Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yoron Island

The Labor Day Weekend allowed us to finally take advantage of the area and go on our first trip to Yoron Island. Our tour package provided a bus from Camp Foster to the ferry just north of Nago, a two night stay at the Pricia Resort and two breakfasts and two dinners.

The ferry ride was fun! First of all, the ferry had large communal sleeping areas where we could camp out. When we walked in, we saw rows and rows of tatami mats with blankets and strange black leather pillows resembling shoe boxes. Unexpectedly comfy though!

Upon arriving at the resort we discovered that we would not be able to check into our room for about another two and a half hours. We decided to leave our luggage at the hotel and walk into town and see what it had to offer. After a short thirty minute walk, we found ourselves in Chibana. Chibana is not very large but it does have a tiny Greek town in it created to look like a hilltop village in Mykonos. By this time, we were starting to get a little hungry so we decided to try a Greek cafe in a Japanese town. We ordered a gyros and a bacon and cheese on toast. Yummy! One of the things that Yoron Island is known for is their pottery. After our meal we decided to head north out of town and look for one of the two well known pottery stores. After about an hour of walking we finally broke down and stopped at a hotel to ask where the pottery store was located. We knew we had to be close, but we could just not find it. Well, come to discover the little village like store was located about 200 yards from the hotel. Our excitement soon turned to disappointment when we discovered that the little village was closed. We never could find out why it was closed on a Saturday. Now disappointed, hot, sweaty and feet starting to hurt, we made the hour and fifteen minute walk back to the resort.

We arrived at the resort, checked in, and settled into our room. It was a cute room with two Japanese style single beds, a couch, a small TV and a bathroom, but we still felt like giants stomping around in a dollhouse. For dinner that night, we had a wonderful sunset BBQ. Upon arriving at the beach terrace, we discovered that about twenty tables had been placed along the area offering a great view of the ocean and the setting sun. We expected to be eating from a large bbq grill, but found out each table had its own little grill to cook our own food! The waiter lit the grill in the middle of our table and returned with a platter of seafood, meat and vegetables waiting to be thrown on the grill. We proceed to cook our meal at our table, watch the sun go down in front of us, drink some more Kirin beer, and enjoy each others company.

We are both shocked at how much we managed to eat, but it was a wonderful experience. After our meal we walked along the beach and then headed back to our room for a lazy night of watching Japanese television. How did we understand what we watched? Simple- we added our own dialogue to Japanese telenovelas. Trust me, the story lines transcend culture and language!

On day 2, we rented scooters to explore the island. Yoron is only 22 km around, so it was a great way to travel around at leisure and stop at interesting sites.

The main attraction is an island off the coast called Yurigihama, accessible only during low tide a few times a month. We were lucky enoughto arrive right before low tide when the sand bar is easily accessable. The sand bar is unbelievably gorgeous- white sand surrounded by crystal water. Something special about this sand bar is star sand, which is exactly what it sounds like- sand granules in the shape of stars.

After looking for star sand we decided to hop back on the mopeds and look for the other pottery shop. After a few missed turns we finally found it. To our disappointment this shop was also closed. No pottery for us on this trip. We then returned to the resort and got ready for dinner. This evening we decided to try the Japanese restaurant. We ordered a wide variety of food and proceeded to enjoy ourselves.

Our trip to Yoron was really fun and it made us excited to see all the other places this region has to offer.

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