The third day of my trip was, again, spent on Nishinoshima.
I had booked an early morning Sea Kayaking session with Club Noah Oki (I had originally wanted a sunset kayak tour but unfortunately they were already booked). The waves were still quite rough, so instead of the usual areas I was taken to a quieter beach with a cute little river heading into the town too. It was an amazing way to start the morning, with a gentle workout under the sun.
From there, I headed back to Urago port, where there was a big walking event happening so lots of people around. I picked up the keys to the car I was renting and dropped my stuff off, then headed towards the Tourist Centre to book myself onto a boat tour around the cliff faces of the island.
Above is “Turtle Rock”, named for the fact that it looks like a turtle sticking its head out of the sea.
The view of the famous Tsutenkyo Arch, from the boat. We couldn’t go through it, unfortunately, but it was still pretty spectactular.
Once the boat tour had ended I drove up towards Matengai – the tallest cliff in Japan. There is a hiking route that leads up to Matengai, and so I started at the bottom, and made my way up. I’d forgotten to buy water which was a bit of a mistake, as the weather was hot and sunny, but with a lot of rests in between, and stops for photograms, it took me about an hour and a half to climb to the top.
The view of Tsutenkyo Arch from the hiking path. I sat here for a good five minutes (there were very few people hiking the path as most had done it that morning during the event), and took a quick breather.
One of the resident cows who live on the cliff face. There are also many horses too, though I could only see them right at the top of the cliff, and by then my phone had died.
A view from very close to the top, the trail starts from behind the current jutting out cliff area.
Finally, I headed back to the car and watched the sunset from the viewpoint next to the car park. Usually, there is a rock called “Kannon-iwa” (or sometimes, candle rock), which aligns with the sun as it sets to resemble a candle – but that evening due to a lack of clouds the sun was really pale and I couldn’t get a shot I liked
But it was nice to relax anyway, and cool off in the sea breeze. I finally drove to my final campsite of the trip called Mimiura – which was free and next to a pebbled beach – which was nice, but the beach was littered with a lot of washed up rubbish (a lot of it from Korea). There was only one other camper there so it was practically silent and peaceful, and I fell asleep to the quiet sound of the waves in the distance.
I woke up on my last day to this view, and sat on the beach and ate my breakfast of fresh strawberries and an apple.
This trip was my first ever solo-trip within Japan, and I have to say I loved every inch of it. Despite some of the stresses – of the insecticides in the air on Dogo, of forgetting a phone charger and worrying about navigation, of a broken tent pole – it all worked out, and I’m so glad I went. I really, really loved Nishinoshima, and I definitely want to go back and explore the next two islands: Ama and Chubu.
The Oki Islands may be a little hard to get to, and a little hard to get around without a car, but so are most of the best places in Japan that I’ve found. For anyone wanting to get away and take a breather from daily life – here is definitely one of my top recommendations.