A very clean and comfortable room at Uplausagi Guesthouse, with thick mattresses and soft pillows, made this a luxurious night, after two nights on the thin matresses of Tsukayamaso! Naoki served us a delicious Western-style breakfast prepared by Yoko, using beautiful ceramic and glass dishes that I think were made somewhere in these Islands.
Uplausagi’s dining area is a large raised wooden platform, stained a beautiful light ebony color, with two lovely low dining tables and Japanese style chairs, that overall provide a simple but dramatic separation from the kitchen and guesthouse reception areas. I have been admiring the design choices that were made at Uplausagi – there is a calm, clean and harmonious feeling that has been achieved here.
We asked Yoko, who had come out of the kitchen to chat after she’d finished preparing our breakfast, about several ideas of places to go today that we got from guidebooks and the internet, but she dismissed all of them with a smile. This was our last day on Miyakojima, as tomorrow we would begin the long journey to Sapporo – We had to go snorkeling at a locals’ beach on the Eastern coast of the island…we just had to! She had snorkels, masks and swim fins available for a modest daily rental, and we grabbed our other beach gear and headed out for a day at the beach.
The locals’ beach was about forty five minutes away from the guesthouse, and once we drove to the area, we had to look carefully to find the right access road, as it was just before a larger and better known beach. As we drove down the narrow access road to the small parking area, we were advised where to park by a friendly local guy, and after we’d parked, he asked us if this was our first time here. When we told him that it was, he showed us where to go on the beach – where the free locals’ area was (just next to the paid section).
There was a covered area to sit, a great feature since the sun was very bright today, and getting sunburned would be easy without some shade. We picked a spot to sit, free to use the tables and chairs that were set out for everyone without rental charges. We felt relaxed and comfortable immediately.
But the real shock was when we went into the calm, blue sea – just walking out into the shallow water less than fifty meters from shore, it was like an aquarium, filled with many different species of brightly colored fish, from small to medium sized, swimming among the many equisitely colored live coral! I was amazed at how much beauty was available so close to shore, so easy to access, just by walking in and swimming around to gaze at my leisure! It was a very different experience than the elaborate production it usually is to go out with a commercial dive operation – no time limits, lots of fish and coral to see, and just come out of the water onto the beach whenever you feel like it!
Tali and I enjoyed this heavenly place for the rest of the afternoon, and then drove back to Uplausagi to get ready for another multi-course masterpiece of a meal at Kyouwa Restaurant, with, as promised by the chef, different dishes than last night’s dinner, but equally delicious!
Today’s trip to this friendly locals’ beach with its fantastic snorkeling, among such abundant fish and coral just off shore, was truly a highlight of our trip so far – I feel so blessed, so fortunate, to be on this journey!