Rising with the sun in Aka, Kerama Islands, Japan

Aka island was our second stop on Kerama Islands. We took a little ferry across from Zamami at around 5pm, which locals seem to be using as regular transport to and from work.

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Our host at the guesthouse picked us up with his van from the harbour and then drove very slowly. Turned out that the guesthouse was less than 5 minute walk away from the harbour, so in his own way he was trying to extend our little journey. We had a little overview of the ground rules at the guesthouse and also learnt that breakfast would be at 07.20am and dinner at 6.20pm. Clearly our first reactions was ‘No Way Jose!’, but when we discovered that there is no other place for breakfast and no place for dinner on the island, we decided to just go with the flow.

The dinner, even if at 6.20pm, was fabulous. Some chips to start with, which I was very happy of, and a large choice of Japanese food. Some tuna and octopus sashimi, salad with shrimps and goya, a local vegetable, and very interesting mix of tofu and minced meat.

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After the dinner we had a little trip to the local shop.

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If normally our hotels included an onsen or a hot bath, then the guesthouse in Aka literally had two baths outside under the stars. It was pretty amazing to relax there looking at the stars before cosying up in our small rooms to prepare to rise with the sun.

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Next morning at 7.20am I was there, slightly grumpy with pillow marks covering half of my face. The cheese and ham toastie with half a banana and just the right quantity of fruit juice cheered me up. I still think of that breakfast as one of my top meals in Japan.

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We walked to Nishihama beach, also encountering a Kerama deer, which is unique to the Kerama island group. Apparently there are 330 people and 170 deers on the island. The deers can also swim between close islands, which I find pretty cool.

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Nishihama beach has a great view of Zamami. The beach is a long stretch of white sand and hardly any people. I occupied myself with reading through the most recent Vogue, collecting sea shells and jumping into the waves. The snorkelling, as it seems to be almost everywhere on Kerama islands, was great.

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However, for the afternoon we had planned a kayaking trip to some difficult to reach snorkelling spots. We kayaked all the way to Geruma island, which is also accessible by a bridge. However, the area where we kayaked, does not have any roads. Hence why there was an abundance of most beautiful coral ever. And also little Nemo.

Early dinner once again and warming up in the baths, counting the stars and having a sneaking movie night, we were once again ready to wake up with the sun rise.

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