Tag Archive | water

Dolphin swimming in Japan

Another opportunity to swim with wild dolphins, this time I got to go on as crew.

It’s pretty amazing to be able to swim with wild dolphins. It didn’t get off to a great start but in the end, we saw a lot. I got in one particular awesome jump.

At one point, we got so close to them, it was pretty incredible.

Coming straight for me:

From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016

A cool shot as they swam underneath me:

From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016

These dolphins were particularly playful and stuck around for a while.

From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016

There were about 5-7 dolphins in this shot:

From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016

And on a separate jump, we saw a mother and a baby dolphin, but they didn’t stick around to play.

From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
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From Dolphins June 2016

Seeing dolphins from the boat:

From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016
From Dolphins June 2016

Palau: Long beach island

Palau was an amazing country. Unbelievable pristine waters. A water lover’s paradise. I had such a wonderful time there. Was totally in my element and was in the water every single day.

This is long beach island, where at low tide, it’s a long stretch of beach and white sand that reaches an island.

The water clarity is truly incredible.

From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island
From Day 2 Palau – Long Island

Kayaking in Palau

Hello there.
It’s been forever since I’ve posted. This year has really gotten away. And my life is consumed by work and overtime. Work has been taking over my life, leaving little time for blogging, which is a shame, because I have soooooo much to blog about.

Recently, I went on a holiday to Palau under the guise of an open water swim race. I did actually did the 5km swim race even though I didn’t do any training. It was more an excuse to go to Palau. Such an amazing holiday. Am tempted to go back there. It truly is a spectacular water paradise. Although I will admit it, it kind of didn’t feel like I was getting away from Japan as such. Most of the tourists are all Japanese. All the tour operators and day tours are all in Japanese. And the menu’s everywhere were in Japanese.

Day one, I joined a kayak tour and it was run by a Japanese tour operator. Everyone in the group was in Japanese except myself, so they seemed to always get me a separate English speaking guide. The Japanese tour guide, led the Japanese people in Japanese and I kind of got my own local Palauan tour guide who spoke English.

The morning started off with a very gentle, not at all strenuous kayak through Nikko Bay.
We took a boat out through some waters to a floating dock where we got into some kayaks and then leisurely paddled through the crystal clear waters.
It was amazing.

From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau

The floating dock:

From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau
From Nikko Bay kayaking – Palau

The water has to be seen to be believed.

Ogasawara Islands: Miyanohara beach

One from the archives – return to Ogasawara Islands.
One of the most amazing trips I did last year was to the Ogasawara islands.

Here are some pics from one of the many beaches I went to – Miyanohara beach. Chichijima island was amazing – so many amazing beaches and very few people. Practically had almost every beach to myself.

I walked to Miyanohara beach in time for a sunset swim.

From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach

My own private beach:

From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach

Coral not so colourful but there were some fish:

From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach

A giant fish right here:

From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach
From Ogasawara day 3 – sunset beach

Ogasawara: snorkeling (again)

The snorkeling was so amazing at Ogasawara that on my last day there I decided to do the snorkeling tour again. I booked with a different company that took us to the same spot. Photos from the first time here.

On my last day at the Ogasawara islands, before boarding the afternoon boat back to Tokyo, I went on the snorkeling tour.
Couldn’t get enough of this place.
The bluest of waters and so many fish. Truly unbelievable.

From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day

Out on the water:

From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day

This is out on the water in front of Miyanohara beach (the beach I visited here):

From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day

It was like I was plonked into an aquarium:

From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day

An interesting-looking flat fish:

From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day

This fish was feeling blue:

From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day
From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day

Fifty shades of blue:

From Snorkeling Ogasawara – last day

Swimming WITH dolphins in Japan

Swam with dolphins yesterday. Dolphinitely an amazing experience.

So many wild dolphins. I could have spent the whole day chasing after them.

From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
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From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
From Dolphin swimming
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From Dolphin swimming
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From Dolphin swimming
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From Dolphin swimming

Travel notes:
Overnight ferry from Tokyo to Miyakejima. Join the dolphin swimming boat tour. Boat takes you out to Mikurajima where all the dolphins live. Swim with dolphins. Chase dolphins. Repeat several times. The water was deliciously warm at 27 degrees. Air temp was 21 degrees. It got quite cold in and out of the water and on the boat as we chased the dolphins. Actually did this same dolphin trip last year but was unable to swim with the dolphins due to my burn injury. Was so happy to have been able to go into the water this year and actually swim alongside them and get lots of underwater shots this time. Got quite close to them as well.

Ogasawara: Ohama beach

Continuing on from the Ogasawara trip a couple of months ago, I cycled around the whole island and beach hopped.
This was beach number 1 that I visited: Ohama beach. It was like my own little piece of paradise. White sand and beautiful pristine waters. The water clarity at the Ogasawara islands is unlike any other. Visited by few people, the water was amazingly clean.

From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches

Swimming bliss:

From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches

Chilling in paradise:

From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches

Crystal blue water:

From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches

Check out the fish:

From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches
From Ogasawara day 2 – beaches

Hard to believe that this is Japan. Albeit, 1000km away from Tokyo. Will eventually get around to posting up the beaches when I have time.

A SUPrise day trip

Last Tuesday was a public holiday. Was taken on a mystery day trip. Final destination was Moriya where I got to do some SUPing, snorkeling and swimming.

Was a nice relaxing day. Need more 4-day working weeks.

From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
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From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing

I think this rope is at a loose end:

From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing
From Moriya SUPing

Ogasawara Islands: Day 1

Ticked off another destination on my bucketlist – the Bonin Islands, otherwise known as Ogasawara Islands – truly paradise.

It’s about 1000km away from Japan yet is still part of Tokyo. It is Japan’s southermost spot.

The Bonin Islands mean “uninhabited islands” and are an archipelago. Two of the islands however are habited – Chichijima (father islands) and Hahajima (mother island).
They were designated as World Natural Heritage sites a couple of years ago.

The ONLY access to the islands are by a 25-hour boat ride from Tokyo. There is no airport on the island. Boats only depart once a week so the basic itinerary is 5 nights. 2 of which are spent on the boat and 3 nights on the island. If you miss the boat or want to stay longer, you have to wait for the next week’s boat departure. Life on the island, as I discovered, revolved around the boat’s island arrival and departure.

I was lucky to go there during August – summer holiday and the end of Obon. Managed to get a spot on the boat, but even harder was finding accommodation. Given that accommodation is limited and it was peak season, a lot of places were filled up. And I had left it last minute. I only decided to this trip 1-2 weeks prior. I did end up finding a small minshuku to stay at.

The only departure to Ogawasara Islands is on a Saturday so I left on Saturday morning and would not arrive on Chichijima until Sunday lunchtime.
Tickets are not cheap. About 30,000yen one way and that was for the cheapest class which was basically a mat in an open-floor room. If you want beds in upper classes except to pay a lot more. And even more for the suites. I ended up getting a spot in the Ladies-only room which suited me fine. The general sleeping floor area fit about 100 plus people in the lower decks. They had a couple of ladies-only room which were smaller closed rooms that fit about 30 ladies. Considering I was traveling on my room, the ladies room was a better option. Got to avoid sleeping next time to snoring men and loud groups of people.

The boat was more like a cruise ship – restaurant/cafeteria, shower facilities etc. I normally quite like boat rides, but there wasn’t a lot of space on this boat – not a lot of free seating area. A bit tight in rooms filled with lots of people and not a lot of personal space.

I was looking forward to the 25-hour boat ride. Plenty of time to chill out and catch up on some reading. But I ended up getting seasick and threw up 3 times within in the first 5 hours. Napped a bit and ate some cup ramen on the deck. Ended up just sleeping through the majority of the trip to ward off vomiting. I got through one movie on my laptop and was in bed by about 7:30pm. Lights were turned off at 10pm.

A pretty long and uneventful boat trip. No wifi or phone reception on the boat either. Was ready for land.
Got some fresh air on the decks, enjoyed the views until arrive on Chichijima.
The Ogasawara Islands were amazing. Well worth the 25-boat ride.
A ticket to Ogasawara:

From Ogasawara boat

Bon Voyage:

From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat

If you’re in second class, your beds are allocated as you bed. I got number 24.
My sleeping mat and pillow:

From Ogasawara boat

Out to sea:

From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat

The next day:

From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat

Approaching the islands:

From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat

Everyone from Ogawasawara village on Chichijima comes to greet the boat on its arrival and all the accommodation owners come to pick up their guests.

From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat

Look for your accommodation sign:

From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat

Welcome to Ogasawara:

From Ogasawara boat

Checked in my tiny room at the minshuku:

From Ogasawara boat

Ate lunch at a local cafe:

From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat

Chichijima – a small beautiful remote island located in the Philippine Sea, 1000km from Tokyo, and World Natural Heritage Site:

From Ogasawara boat
From Ogasawara boat

Next up is some dolphin spotting!

Ogasawara Islands: Dolphin swimming

Ogasawara Islands is known for whale watching and dolphin spotting. The marine life down there is pretty specacular.
There’s no shortage of boat operators there who take you out to the various islands for snorkeling, and whale and dolphin spotting. Winter months are whale spotting season, so I opted for a half day dolphin swimming and snorkeling tour in the afternoon that I arrived on Ogasawara.

I got to see lots and lots of dolphins. Oh, happy days!
They got really close to the boat and there were so many of them.

From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling
From Ogasawara day 1 – minami jima and dolphin snorkeling