This time March 2018, I ventured to the big island of Japan, as well as the surrounding tropical island of Ishigaki in the Okinawa prefecture of Southeast Japan.
My best friend and I have a tradition of spending our birthdays together for the last half decade, this time she wanted to spend hers, at the beginning of Aries season in this paradise- how could I argue with that?!
With a nine day trip we had ample time to start at the beach in Okinawa and then spend time at mainland Japan for a city experience; exploring nearby Mt Fuji neighborhoods and views, but coming back to big city life which included eating lots of local cuisine and of course, the all time girlfriend favorite- shopping at the very famous Takeshita Street.
Spring is the start of famous Sakura season, or Cherry-blossom season, a time when local Japanese Cherry blossoms, a delicate species bloom all over the nation, encouraging crowds from around the world to arrive, usually towards the end of March and beginning of April.
With it being just the start of this peak season, we were able to get around with minor crowds, except while shopping, as you can see it was very busy- which only added to the delight and cultural variation of the vacation.
Although it was a new culture for us, it seemed that our presence was intriguing to local Japanese traveling in Okinawa. We were asked to pose for a picture by an older Japanese couple, who seemed very surprised and excited to see us walking on the beachfront.
Ishigaki was a very hot, dry and tropical climate. Although it was Sukara Season on mainland Japan, this was the flower we commonly saw on Ishigaki.
March and April is great time to visit Ishigaki, as it is the slow tourist season with plenty of empty beaches, resorts and restaurants.