We went to Ishigaki during low season, at the end of October. A typhoon was just rolling by so it was windy and rainy most of the time, but we did catch a few days of sunshine, and they were well worth it. Since there weren’t many tourists around, a lot of the beautiful beaches were nearly empty. We visited Taketomi Island, Kabira Bay, Sukuji Beach, Yonehara Beach, a limestone cave and, since my friends weren’t as excited about this as I was, I went to Yaima Mura by myself to interact with squirrel monkeys (interact meaning they climbed all over me to get to the monkey food I was holding). On my last day I went on a guided tour to the neighbor island Iriomote, which included kayaking along a river lined with mangrove trees, hiking through a jungle, swimming under a waterfall and climbing through a cave. A four hour flight from Tokyo – a very different Japan.