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This was our last day on Iriomote, so we checked out of our hostel after breakfast and rented a car for the day. The plan was to drive to the other side of the island to see the Nakama river, and maybe canoe up to see the mangrove forests. But first, we decided to go in the opposite direction to see if the only post office on the island was open so we could get some money!

It wasn’t open for the holiday, so we drove back and took some pictures on the way. We also looked for one of the beaches that was supposed to be really beautiful but couldn’t find it, so we just kept driving on, past Uehara, and on to the other side. We made a few stops before lunch, just whatever struck our fancy or looked interesting.

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Yamaneko crossing signs. Yamaneko is a breed of wild cat indigenous to, and found only on, Iriomote. They’re very rare, so we didn’t see one.

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Mangroves on one side of the island, near the post office

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We stopped to walk some trails and found a mini-waterfall leading out to the sea

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It was a cloudy day, so the sea and sky look blended together

We ate lunch at a small place we found in Ohara, then passed the Nakama river completely. We had seen plenty of mangroves. We headed to the end of the road instead, and found a campground and a deserted beach. The beach was pretty breathtaking, and as we got closer and closer to the rocks, they became cooler and cooler. The whole beach reminded me of the computer games I used to play in high school called Myst, a puzzle game set in another world.

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Leading to the beach

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Deserted

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The entrance to the path back to the car once again reminded us of Jurassic Park

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Exploring

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Rock formations

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The tide coming in

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The rocks out in the water looked folded, like someone took long sheets of playdough and wrapped them around each other.

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The rocks on the beach you could still see their patterns

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One of the coolest ones we found

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I honestly think we would have spent much longer there, but it started to rain, so we headed back toward Uehara. On the way, we stopped by Yubu Island. This Island is famous because it is close enough to Iriomote to actually walk to, but the big touristy thing to do was to take a ride on an Ox Cart. We thought it a little pricey for a quick ride, so instead we looked around and took pictures, and then headed to the last thing on the agenda, which was the onsen. Iriomote onsen is the southern-most and western-most onsen in Japan. It was a little expensive, but nice. We stayed there for a bit, then headed back to Uehara to turn in the rental car and catch the ferry back to Ishigaki, where we’d spend the rest of the trip.

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Ox carts and mangroves

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Ox

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Waiting…

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Coming over from Yubu

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The drugged-up looking ox on the sign. I got a picture with it!

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The onsen

We said goodbye to Iriomote and headed to Ishigaki, found our Hostel, and checked in and got settled. Then we went to find a place to eat, and called it a day.

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Ishigaki Hostel
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