The second day of our trip to Ishigaki Island was more eventful because the rain (thankfully) finally let up. We rented a car and drove around the island with our friends Jose and Jackie, who are in my Japanese class and just so happened to be at Club Med that weekend as well.
We found Yaima Mura Village, a traditional style "park" with old houses, tea ceremony demonstrations, singers and dancers, as well as a monkey enclave, mangrove forest, and water buffalo.
People who visit the shrine there and receive their fortunes often leave them tied to a fence or tree if they don't like the outcome.
The highlight of the trip and one of my favorite experiences since we've been in Japan was feeding the monkeys. As soon as you walk into their area, they swarm and jump, looking for food or something to snatch. We were told to zip up our purses tight because they can reach in and grab something before you know it. We witnessed a few of them fighting over a muffin they stole from an unlucky visitor.
We bought monkey food for them at the sight, and as soon as they heard the container crack open, they were all over us in a swarm. This photo of me was taken before the monkey fight on my back... it was a little unsettling, I have to admit.
One little rascal climbing all over Sean actually stuck its hand in his pocket to rummage around for something.
I love this photo of our friend, Jose and the monkey in flight! They certainly weren't shy about jumping off one person onto another.
This one is funny. You almost can't even see his head and there are three more on the ground ready to pounce!
When we got our fill of the monkeys, we sauntered around the rest of the area to see some of the flora and fauna there. Here's a glimpse of our surroundings.
Spooky tree forest, which would be a perfect backdrop for a scary Halloween movie
That must have been one huge pearl in there
Okay, I'm a sucker for dressing up in costumes and posing for pictures. Even as a child, I begged my parents to let me do those old-timey black and white photos.
I had to coerce Sean into it, or rather threaten him, but in the end, it was fun. I have always wanted to get my hands on one of those flower petal headdresses. We have some hilarious video footage of Sean's face as the guy was tying the bonnet onto his head... this photo makes me laugh because the Tevas go so well with his Ryukan King garb, don't you think?
I'd love to make this photo our Christmas card for 2009. I'm pretty sure Sean would be horrified...