A bright dawn welcomed National Geographic Resolution to Yonaguni Jima, the last Japanese Island we will visit on this trip along the Ryukyu Islands chain. As the sun warmed the sky during breakfast, the sea transformed into a beautiful blue that perfectly matched the colour of the ship’s hull.
There are no large ports on the island, so the Zodiacs came out one last time to shuttle guests onto Nama Beach inside the breakwater at the western end of the island. After we transferred onto some of the island's small buses, we set off to explore, visiting the Tindabana cliffs below the huge rock plateau that overlooks the beach and Agarizaki Cape at the eastern end of the island. A stop at Sakimoto Awamori Distillery revealed how the island's famous awamori alcohol is produced. In a performance at the local community centre, we were introduced to local dance and song and enjoyed snacks.
After a hearty lunch on board, many ventured back to the beach to enjoy snorkeling over a sheltered coral reef. Fish darted between corals and seabed wrecks from the small port, and a lucky few spotted an octopus as it held court over its watery domain.
Back on board, the final reminder that our time in Japan was at an end came with a customs check, and we diligently filled in our arrival cards for our next stop tomorrow: Taiwan.