Friday, August 03, 2007

Vacation to Hachijo

Well I am back from Hachijo and my fabulous vacation with Talal. We took a ferry from the Takashima Peir in Tokyo a week ago Monday, and 11 hours later we arrived at the fabulous island of Hachijo. Hachijo is the last of about 7 of Tokyo's islands which are actually the remains of a submerged volcanic mountain chain. Hachijo, and most of the other islands are active volcanoes. Because of its distance Hachijo is not highly populated and not that many tourists make it out that far, which suited me perfectly. Many times it felt like Talal and I were on a deserted island, and it was wonderful!!! What did we do is our little deserted paradise? Well we walked a lot and is was HOT and HUMID, actually more so than Tokyo is that could be considered possible. We walked across the island from our beach to the lava fields which were amazing. We were planing on snorkeling but over the time we were there, a typhoon was hitting Japan from the south, and while it didn't hit our area directly we did receive waves a could meters high and waves that crashed and spilled over concrete barriers 5 meters high. We were disappointed that swimming was banned all over the island but we loved the views this mighty waves gave us. We had only a little rain, but it was so hot I ofter wished for rain to cool us off. One day we walked to a part of the island that had hidden waterfalls and a co-ed onsen (hot spring). The water fall and jungle around it was amazingly beautiful and the onsen had a fabulous view also out onto a ravine and another waterfall. We also went on a glowing mushroom tour. Hachijo is home to 9 different varieties of mushrooms that glow in the dark. These mushrooms are super small so we weren't able to get a very good picture but we tried...and yes you can eat them but all they will do is leave a bad taste in your mouth. It was rather spooky to see so many tiny glowing things on the trees and on bark on the forest/jungle floor. We stayed in a family run Japanese inn, I forget the official name for these establishments but it was really wonderful and the owners could not have been kinder or more helpful to us. Talal got lots of time to practice his Japanese!!! Everyone on the island was just as kind and friendly. We were even offered a ride back to our place when we stopped to inquire about the nearest bus stop, and then we not only got a ride but a private tour of the island!!! Oh and I must quickly mention the Anchor Pub which is run by the nicest Aussie. Talal and I ate here everyday since it was the only place on the island that had food Talal could eat. Scott, the Aussie, was also so helpful and booked us on the mushroom tour.
I know I am not giving too many details, I would be more than happy to answer any questions should you have them.
It was an amazing three days, and the two days on the ferry weren't so bad, actually quite romantic (well we spent most of the time sleeping).

All in all I can't sing the praises of Hachijo enough. I loved my holiday, lots of physical exercise, sleeping, beautiful scenery and my Talal. I felt like I was really traveling and Tokyo felt worlds away which is exactly what I needed.
Pictures to follow. I wont put up too many, I will put more up on facebook for those who have it.


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