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ANA trip in C: LHR-TYO-OKA-TYO-ISG-OKA-TYO-LHR

ANA trip in C: LHR-TYO-OKA-TYO-ISG-OKA-TYO-LHR

Old May 22, 07, 10:18 am
  #1  
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Location: Tokyo & London
Programs: NH DIA SFC (*G), JL JGC (OW Sapphire), AMEX PLT, Priority Club Platinum, SPG Gold
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ANA trip in C: LHR-TYO-OKA-TYO-ISG-OKA-TYO-LHR

My 2006 NH PLT upgrade vouchers were set to expire on the 31st March, so a necessary trip to Japan in late march and early april provided the perfect opportunity to use the remaining 2 vouchers for my outbound sector and expiring miles for my return.

I had booked the following flights for this trip:
27 Mar NH202 LHR-NRT
29 Mar NH123 HND-OKA
29 Mar NH128 OKA-HND
02 Apr NU071 HND-ISG
04 Apr NH1766 ISG-OKA
05 Apr JL914 OKA-HND
07 Apr NH201 NRT-LHR

This trip consisted of a LHR-NRT return in ANA C, as well as a morning mileage run to Okinawa in ANA domestic F and a short break to Ishigaki island using Japan Transocean Air, Air Nippon and Japan Airlines.

Although I have completed this trip, it may take a day or two to upload a report for each sector. Hope you enjoy!
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Old May 22, 07, 10:27 am
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Flight 1: LHR-NRT, NH202 Club ANA (Business class)

Flight NH202, 27 March 2007
London/Heathrow – Tokyo/Narita
JA8096 (B747-400)

Expertflyer showed the flight as zero-oed out in F and C4D4J4Y4B4M4 (and 0’d out in other classes) so I guessed the whole flight would be quite full. Got to Heathrow just before check-in opened at 4pm and got it over and done with at the F/*G line. We were then informed that we had to pay up an extra
40GBP per person sitting in C because of Gordon Brown's new environment taxes.

Check-in at LHR: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/9f/78/10018500850.jpg)

Like every time, I skipped the Duty Free shopping and headed straight towards the SilverKris Lounge next to gate 9 where, by coincidence I bumped fellow Flyertalker jacob_m. Boarding was scheduled at 1855 so I spent a good 2 hours in there watching some tennis on Sky and on the internet. This time, I didn’t bother going into United’s Red Carpet club as it is always a disappointment after the SQ lounge!

SKL entrance: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/6e/a3/10018501016.jpg)
SKL lounge: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/34/5c/10018501026.jpg)


The flight boarded and pushed back on time. As envisaged, the flight was full upstairs with a few spare seats downstairs. The C seat on the B747 is one generation behind the B777 as it lacks the privacy screen, footrest and the new seat controls. However, as I managed to secure a window seat upstairs, I was able to rest my feet on the side compartments which created a semi-full flat environment. (Sorry, no photos of the actual seat/cabin)

Boarding signs: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/48/be/10018501034.jpg)
Aircraft nose: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/65/...18501046.jpg )


Shortly after take off, the chief pursur went around the cabin greeting their frequent flyers. It seems that there weren't many NH*G upstairs as she only greeted 2 of us (including myself).

Canapés were then served with a drink (ume-shu) followed by the distribution of menus. I went for the Japanese option which was really nice as always. I find however that the rice is better on JL as they have a rice cooker in their galleys:

Canape: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/1b/8f/10018501136.jpg)
Starter: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/92/61/10018501144.jpg)
Main meal: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/39/11/10018501162.jpg)
Dessert: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/be/23/10018501173.jpg
)

The cabin lights were dimmed after the meal service and I decided to wander downstairs, where I found that the main C cabin were still on the desert course. One more reason to choose upper deck was the better crew: pax ratio which resulted in faster service.

Their snack service consists of pizza, udon noodles, sandwiches, ice cream etc. to which I chose udon noodles with tempura which I had whilst watching a movie in French: The translations were pretty bad so I decided that it's always much better to watch a subtitled version of a film in any language, rather than a dubbed version!

Tempura Udon: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/69/7f/10018501185.jpg )

2.5 hours before landing (flying over Khabarovsk) the second meal service which was a choice between a Japanese fish dish or a Western omlette. Having previously experienced the western C meals which isn’t as good as the Japanese, I chose the fish.

Second meal: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/48/9d/10018501197.jpg )

Landing was around 15-20 minutes ahead of schedule: the bags came off quite quickly and then we went through customs and then to the domestic arrivals lounge to refresh.

Arrivals lounge entrance: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/a6/5e/10018501338.jpg)
Arrivals lounge: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/1f/78/10022155201.jpg)


I then took the 90 minute so-called "Limousine" bus ride to Yokohama City Air Terminal.

Last edited by Nippon_UK; May 23, 07 at 4:26 am
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Old May 22, 07, 10:50 am
  #3  
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Flight 2: HND-OKA, NH993 Super Seat Premium (Domestic First)

Flight NH993, 29 March 2007
Tokyo/Haneda Okinawa/Naha
Boeing 767-300

I had a reservation for the NH123 (HND-OKA) and NH128 (return) for Thursday, the day after arriving in Tokyo for a mileage run. I had decided the night before that I would try standing by from the early morning flight through to the NH123 in order to purchase an upgrade to superseat. The upgrade costs 5000 yen, which is now around 20GBP and is not bad considering you get a business-class like service, better seat, free food/drinks and most importantly International First class mileage/points (as it is on an international ticket).

Haneda Terminal 2 ceiling: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/f1/5d/10022155019.jpg)
A busy Haneda Terminal 2: http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/61/26/10022154983.jpg


So in order to get onto the NH993 (0630 dep.), I got on the first train out (512am) to Haneda. This was no problem because I was already up due to jetlag. I arrived at 550 and then walked to the *G desk at counter 19. I said that I wanted to change both my outbound and inbound flights AND upgrade them both to Superseat. What I thought was an easy, routine procedure provided to be a difficult task for the agent as I wanted to make 2 changes to my ticket which was part of an international itinerary. During the check-in process, one Superseat opened up for the 0630 flight. The flight started boarding at 0615 but I was still stood at the check-in desk trying to get the machine to issue me my Boarding pass for the return flight as well. The agent had to call the gate 2 times to hold the flight for me: at 0625 the agent was able to print off all my boarding passes and then escorted me through security at which point I made dashed towards gate 64.

NH B763 (taken upon arrival at OKA): (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/0f/47/10018519762.jpg )

Boarding completed as soon as I got on, and then the aircraft pushed back and took off around 15 minutes late. After reaching cruising altitude, bento boxes were brought out for breakfast:

Superseat bento box: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/5c/c2/10018519799.jpg)

Even though there was the late push-back, the flight landed at Naha on time. I stepped off the plane when the flight touched down and then made my way to the connection desk, where I changed my return flight to an earlier one which would leave Naha at 1145.

Naha airport terminal building: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/d4/df/10018519910.jpg)

Last edited by Nippon_UK; May 22, 07 at 10:56 am
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Old May 22, 07, 11:23 am
  #4  
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Flight 3: OKA-HND, NH124 Super Seat Premium

Flight NH124, 29 March 2007
Okinawa/Naha - Tokyo Haneda
Boeing 747-400

During my 2 hour "stay" at the airport, I went around some shops before going to the *G lounge which is typically Japanese: Limited refreshments but clean.

OKA Signet Entrance: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/93/ca/10022158220.jpg)
OKA Signet: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/7b/8c/10022158240.jpg)


The incoming plane from Tokyo for this flight arrived 15 minutes late, which meant that boarding was delayed by 10 mins or so.

ANA Boeing 744: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/ee/62/10018520292.jpg )

I was able to get 7E for this flight, which is a single seat in the middle.

Super Seat Single seat: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/03/f1/10022155118.jpg)
Super Seat cabin: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/e2/78/10018520329.jpg )


The flight was supposed to push-back at 1145am, which usually means no meal service. (Only flights between 1200-1300 are served meals). However because the plane was late in pushing back (1205), catering seemed to have loaded bento boxes for this flight too. The food itself was Okinawan, containing local fish and sweets.

Super Seat Okinawan bento box: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/58/3b/10018520454.jpg)

The flight was 2 hours 10 minutes, which was 40 minutes quicker than the outbound. This is always the case on Tokyo-Okinawa flights so I'm guessing this is due to the stratospheric winds. We arrived at Tokyo after a bumpy landing 15 minutes behind schedule at 1410.

It is the 3rd or 4th time I have done a HND-OKA Mileage run: I get 5904EQMs in 1/2 day, which I think isn't a bad achievement.
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Old May 22, 07, 12:18 pm
  #5  
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Thanks for the fantastic report so far!^ I will be trying NH C for the first time in July, so really appreciate reading about it!
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Old May 22, 07, 2:45 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by lucky9876coins View Post
Thanks for the fantastic report so far!^ I will be trying NH C for the first time in July, so really appreciate reading about it!
Hi Lucky,

Thanks for your comment. I'm assuming you're flying from the U.S which means that the equipment used will be a B777.

As I've said, I find the 777 C better than the 747. Here are a couple of pics I took of the 777 C cabin when I received an op-up from NRT-SIN last autumn:

Cabin: http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/75/c4/10022160939.jpg
Seat controls: http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/0f/19/10022160950.jpg


Forgot to mention above, but I am really fond of the blankets that NH offer in their C cabin. Feels like a proper duvet!

Nippon_UK
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Old May 22, 07, 3:14 pm
  #7  
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Flight 4: HND-ISG NU71, Futsu-seki (a.k.a Economy class)

Flight NU71, 02 April 2007
Tokyo Haneda - Ishigaki
Boeing 737-400

A few days after my mileage run to Okinawa, I was to set foot on a plane bound for Ishigaki, 250 miles south of OKA. The island is one of the most southern islands in Japan, and in fact it is closer to Taiwan than it is to Naha (OKA).

In order to catch the first flight out of Tokyo/HND, the taxi came at 0445 and we soon arrived at HND Terminal 40 minutes or so later. Airport services "open" at 0530 so we had to wait a few minutes or so.

NU, Japan Transocean Air is the only carrier which serves Ishigaki directly from Tokyo/Haneda so instead of taking NH via OKA, we decided to buy a Yokoso Japan airpass through JL.

It was actually my first flight out of HND Terminal 1 using JL for ten years or so. It was the second day of JL's entry into Oneworld so checkin counters, leaflets, timetables, boarding passes carried the oneworld logo. The JGC/Oneworld priority checkin line was empty:

Checkin counter: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/47/84/10018800187.jpg )
Monitor above the counter: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/8e/2d/10018800269.jpg )
"Black" carpet: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/83/b5/10018800247.jpg )


At 530am, no shops were open landside so we went through security (which was a breeze) and to the Sakura lounge. The Sakura lounge was empty (as Diamonds and JGC Premiers have their own lounge).

Sakura (OW Emerald/Sapphire) lounge: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/38/c3/10018800347.jpg)

Joining the oneworld alliance yesterday means that the oneworld logo and status are printed on boarding passes:

JL boarding pass now showing both JL (bottom right) and OW (top left) statii: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/7a/ca/10018800509.jpg

I didn't spend much time in the Sakura lounge because as with most airline lounges, it wasn't much to write home about. Boarding was going to start pretty soon so we made my way to one of the further gates:

Gate info: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/6c/3a/10018800706.jpg )

The equipment for the flight is a Boeing 737-400, the largest aircraft allowed at ISG airport due to its short runway.

JTA Boeing 737 (taken upon landing at ISG): (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/b8/79/10018801010.jpg )

The flight was 100% full but pushed back and took off on time. Although the 3h10m flight was pretty bumpy, everything went according to schedule and the landing was on time. It was quite cloudy above the pacific ocean so the views weren't that great but upon descent, we saw parts of the Yaeyama islands:

Ishigaki town centre and harbour: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/c4/b4/10018801234.jpg )

All passengers then disembarked and walked across to the small passenger terminal:

ISG terminal: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/b7/44/10018801266.jpg )

Baggage pickup was a breeze (JL puts on "Load at Doorside" tags for its elites) and we hopped on a taxi to go to the ANA Ishigaki hotel. (We got there 15 minutes after landing).
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Old May 22, 07, 3:53 pm
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Thanks for a great first trip report Nippon_UK! ^ ^
I still rank ANA very highly, a fantastic airline to fly with!!
Looking forward to read the rest...

Nice to meet you in the LHR SQ lounge, for the second time by a coincidence!
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Old May 22, 07, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Nippon_UK View Post
It is the 3rd or 4th time I have done a HND-OKA Mileage run: I get 5904EQMs in 1/2 day, which I think isn't a bad achievement.
That sounds like an interesting MR. What kind of rate can you usually get for this as a MR? I would probably actually want to stay a day or two rather than a pure MR though.

Excellent report. I really enjoyed it.
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Old May 22, 07, 6:30 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Nippon_UK View Post
Hi Lucky,

Thanks for your comment. I'm assuming you're flying from the U.S which means that the equipment used will be a B777.

As I've said, I find the 777 C better than the 747. Here are a couple of pics I took of the 777 C cabin when I received an op-up from NRT-SIN last autumn:

Cabin: http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/75/c4/10022160939.jpg
Seat controls: http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/0f/19/10022160950.jpg
Thanks a ton for the pics! That's a HUGE C cabin!
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Old May 22, 07, 6:35 pm
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Originally Posted by jacob_m View Post
Thanks for a great first trip report Nippon_UK! ^ ^
I still rank ANA very highly, a fantastic airline to fly with!!
Looking forward to read the rest...

Nice to meet you in the LHR SQ lounge, for the second time by a coincidence!
Hi Jacob,

Thanks for your comment! I'll be using the SKL in T3 sometime in the last week of july again..maybe see you then!

Originally Posted by number5858 View Post
That sounds like an interesting MR. What kind of rate can you usually get for this as a MR? I would probably actually want to stay a day or two rather than a pure MR though.

Excellent report. I really enjoyed it.
Hi number5858,

What I did was to buy a ticket from LHR to Okinawa with a single stopover in Tokyo (base fare is the same!). The stopover charge was 40GBP (80US$) and then each upgrade was 5000JPY (40USD). So around 160USD total for one trip to OKA.

Using a *A Japan airpass is still good value too (c.260US$ total). Note that I get quite a lot of EQMs because NH members get double EQM on domestic flights. They also treat Superseat miles as international first class mileage. This may vary on what program you credit to though....

I have visited OKA 6 times now (mostly MRs) so I didn't really need to stay there!! Though when I get to upload the next bits of my report, you'll see that I stayed there one night!

Originally Posted by lucky9876coins View Post
Thanks a ton for the pics! That's a HUGE C cabin!
Lucky,

I was seated in row 5 IIRC, which was the second compartment of the C cabin: it was a 3 Class (C, PY, Y) B772 cabin with 70 or so business seats..There was another C section with 4 rows at the front!

Nippon_UK

Last edited by Nippon_UK; May 22, 07 at 6:45 pm
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Old May 23, 07, 11:51 am
  #12  
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Day 1 in Yaeyama: Taketomi Island.

As the flight from Tokyo landed early in the morning, our hotel room was not quite ready. During the wait, we decided to head for Taketomi-jima, Ishigaki's neighbouring island.

The concierge phoned the ferry company to make a reservation, and 10 minutes later the courtesy bus from the company came and picked us up to take us to the port.

The ferry ride (which leaves every 30 minutes) only lasts around 6 minutes or so:

Yaeyama kanko ferry to Taketomi: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/f6/16/10018836623.jpg )

Once we got off the ferry at Taketomi's very small port, there were several minibuses from local tour operators parked in the car park. We were told that there is no real difference between the companies so we picked one and got on. The main thing to do on this island is to take a slow water buffalo tour around the village or to head to the beach to find some hoshi-zuna (star-shaped sand, which are the remains of small sea animals).

We reached the tour operator's "hut" within a few minutes and booked ourselves for a 30 minute tour of the village (The island itself is only 6 squared km and has a population of 340).

Water buffalo ride: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/b2/cc/10018836637.jpg )
Water buffaloes resting: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/42/58/10018836683.jpg )


The tour lasts 30 minutes but the distance covered is only 500 metres or so. The tour goes around the main streets of the island passing the town office, local primary school and houses. The tour guide also got his sanshin instrument out and sang us some traditional Yaeyama songs. The atmosphere was unbelievable: with the traditional music, great weather and the ox pulling us through the village at 1mph, it felt as if time had stopped whilst on the cart.

The streets in Taketomi are very unique: the streets are white and all walls are made with local volcanic stone. Apparently Taketomi's streets are ranked among the "most desired paths/streets to visit" in Japan, and maybe you can see why:

A typical street on the island: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/a2/d8/10018836667.jpg )
Shisa gods on rooftops (many houses in Okinawa have these on rooftops or by the entrance!): (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/db/c1/10018836748.jpg )


After the tour, we basically backtracked where we had just come from and walked to the "main" street to have lunch at a local restaurant.

Local restaurant in Taketomi: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/be/e1/10018836697.jpg )
Yaeyama yaki-soba: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/61/b0/10018836704.jpg )


The restaurant was right next to the island's observation tower, located pretty much bang in the middle of the village. The view of the island was really nice as you could see the roof tops of the traditional Taketomi houses:

View from the Observation tower 1: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/4d/95/10018836732.jpg )
View from the Observation tower 2: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/35/05/10018836730.jpg )
View from the Observation tower 3: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/d8/fb/10018836719.jpg )


We ended up not going to the beach (as we received some star stands in a small plastic bag as a complimentary gift from the tour company and we had a beach outside our hotel) so we got the minibus back to the port for our 10 minute ride back to Ishigaki.

For anyone heading to Ishigaki, I highly recommend going to Taketomi! Alternatively you could head out to Iriomote which is a bit further away. Iriomote has sub tropical jungles, beautiful waterfalls and is home to the endangered Iriomote wildcat. Although I didn't go there, it's recommended for people wanting to canoe, snorkell or go hiking in the jungle.
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Old May 24, 07, 6:40 am
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Great report! I wasn't aware that ANA SuperSeats (as part of an int'l itinerary) are considered First, even if you upgrade them on the spot; I'll have to give this serious consideration on my next trip to Japan. ^ I guess this is the upside that balances out not being able to fly SuperSeats on C tickets... do you have any idea what fare class the upgraded tickets are?

And it was also great to read about one of the most wonderful places I've visited. Taketomi is amazing, isn't it? I took a picture of the same shiisa as you, and here's my own report from a few years back: To the Lost Kingdom of Mu and Beyond: SIN-NGO-ISG-OGN-ISG-OKA-HND-NRT-SIN in SQ/NH C.
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Old May 24, 07, 10:20 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by jpatokal View Post
Great report! I wasn't aware that ANA SuperSeats (as part of an int'l itinerary) are considered First, even if you upgrade them on the spot; I'll have to give this serious consideration on my next trip to Japan. ^ I guess this is the upside that balances out not being able to fly SuperSeats on C tickets... do you have any idea what fare class the upgraded tickets are?

And it was also great to read about one of the most wonderful places I've visited. Taketomi is amazing, isn't it? I took a picture of the same shiisa as you, and here's my own report from a few years back: To the Lost Kingdom of Mu and Beyond: SIN-NGO-ISG-OGN-ISG-OKA-HND-NRT-SIN in SQ/NH C.
On my statement, it shows up as booking class "S" (which obviously stands for superseat). But normally "S" is a discounted economy booking class for international flights.....so...

I'm guessing that they book the upgrade into "F": hence the int'l mileage. Perhaps on your program the earning rates will be the same as normal economy, or maybe it may post as first class. I'm sure that it will differ according to airline.

Taketomi was, as you said amazing. I went to Kumejima last year and that was pretty nice as well!
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Old Jun 14, 07, 5:31 am
  #15  
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Day 2 in Yaeyama: Tour of Ishigaki island

Instead of renting a car and driving around, we decided to get on a tour bus for a day tour of Ishigaki island.

The courtesy bus came and picked us up at the ANA hotel at 9am and after getting to the central bus station, we left at 0930 for the 4 hour ride around the island.

One of the only reasons why I got on this tour was to visit Kabira Bay:

Kabira Bay: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/7f/10/10019083338.jpg )
Another view: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/d9/f0/10019083356.jpg )



Unfortunately due to high winds, the half an hour glass boat tour (with a see through floor) weren't running today.

After lunch, we went to the Yonehara forest, where there were many high rising palm trees:

Palm trees: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/61/2b/10019083493.jpg )

Last on the tour was the Tamatorizeki observation tower, which gave quite good views of the northern part of the island AND both the Pacific Ocean and East China Sea.

East China Sea: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/c1/c0/10019083963.jpg )
Pacific Ocean: (http://stat.ameba.jp/user_images/84/5b/10019084070.jpg )


I spent the rest of the day walking around the main street in Ishigaki shopping around and relaxing at the hotel spa.
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