Ikei Island; beach, ruins and a funky house

Remember the big red bridge we ran over a couple of weeks a go? Well last weekend we decided to venture over it again, although this time we left the trainers at home and brought the kids with us! The bridge connects 4 smaller islands to the main island of Okinawa, the very last, Ikei was the destination for our family Sunday fun day.

It didn’t take us long to drive over the other islands to reach Ikei and as soon as we exited the last tunnel which connected the two islands we could see a lush beach and with the heat of the sun we were all itching to get there, but before we did we decided to drive around Ikei in search of our food options. The island is super small and the roads extremely narrow, it probably only took us 10 minutes to drive around the whole place and sadly the only place we came across that probably had a restaurant was a private resort, since we weren’t staying there we decided to just head back to the beach where we had seen a restaurant sign when we first arrived on Ikei.

Eden & I both had Okinawan Soba and it was super tasty, the meat just fell off the bone it was so tender. I can’t actually remember what Matt & Clio ate, apart from Matt’s lunch set came with an egg which looked more on the raw side than cooked.

The girls loving the warm water, crazy guy in the jet ski

The girls loving the warm water, crazy guy in the jet ski

It usually costs to enter Ikei beach but for whatever reason we didn’t have to pay, maybe because it was the first weekend of it officially being open for summer (the past few weeks most of the beaches here are opening up for summer so nets are being put up to keep jelly fish and other unwanted creatures out and life guards are now patrolling the beach) whatever the reason we aren’t complaining, but even if we did have to pay the few hundred yen entry fee, it would have been worth it.

We found a spot under an umbrella (which we had to pay 1000 Yen for – next time I will definitely remember to bring our own!) close to the water and set up camp. Matt and I both immediately regretted not bringing swimsuits, it was such a glorious day and this beach was really nice, not too crowded, although as the day went on more and more people showed up and I can imagine in the height of summer its packed. It reminded me of Star Beach in the Greek Island of Crete, although on a much much smaller scale. If your willing to pay there are many water activities to have a go at; sea kayaking, jet skiis etc.

Ice-cream time (Clio's first time having her very own ice-cream cone)

Ice-cream time (Clio’s first time having her very own ice-cream cone)

The girls had such a fun time in the water, although once Clio got knocked over by a wave caused by this crazy guy on a jet ski doing flips and other tricks, she was done, but up until that point she was having a ball with her big sister. Her fall was soon forgotten when we got her an ice-cream cone, her first, usually she just gets to share with one of us. Clio wasn’t too sure of it, but still managed to eat most of it before she dropped it in the sand, she actually lasted longer than Eden did who dropped hers before she was ready to be done with it.

Once Clio started showing signs of it being nap time we packed up and drove back around the island to some of the places we spotted earlier. The first was this house frame; it had all 4 outside walls, one inside wall and no roof, doors or windows. What was so neat about it was how it was decorated; the outside wall and 3 inside walls were all painted in different color schemes, but in a similar pattern of trees and people, it was so out of character to everything else on the island. Naturally I had to get my models out so I could get a few shots, Clio was asleep by this point otherwise we would have grabbed a family picture.

the funky house we came across by accident and ghost sign

the funky house we came across by accident and ghost sign

We also came across a coca-cola ghost sign, totally by chance, as we made a wrong turn. There seem to be a few ghost signs in Okinawa, I think I will start to capture as many as possible, they are pretty neat.

Eden thought the house was as cool as I did!

Eden thought the house was as cool as I did!

Next up was our last stop on Ikei before heading back home and that was to the Nakabaru Ruins. There isn’t a lot to see there so it wouldn’t be something that I would make the trip out to Ikei for but since we were already there I am glad we stopped for a look.

When the site was unearthed 23 wall entry dwellings, bowls, jars, stone axes and even food remains of the people of the time were discovered (animal and fish bones). It is estimated to be between 2000 and 2500 years old!

Nakabaru Ruins

Nakabaru Ruins

There were a few other people visiting while we were there who were actually going inside the restored dwellings; I suggested Eden go inside but she didn’t want to and I can’t blame her either!

At Nakabaru Ruins

At Nakabaru Ruins

We will definitely be back to Ikei, with swimsuits; the beach was gorgeous, and I am sure I will be dragging the family back to the house, I am interested to see if any more paintings will appear but I don’t see us visiting the ruins again; pleased we went but not something to do more than once.

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5 responses to “Ikei Island; beach, ruins and a funky house

  1. Hannah, what a great find! My wife took me over to Ikei Island once a few years ago, but we didn’t see any of this. I do remember finding great delight in the one little mom and pop store I could find. The owners were so friendly. I like visiting the outer islands and little villages. I need to get out farther more often. That axe is awesome.

    Mike Flemming

    • We never came across the store you speak of, I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it on our next visit! Are you still in Okinawa? This was our first ‘off island’ adventure but definitely want to start exploring some more, if you have any recommendations let me know!

      • My family and I are still on Okinawa for two more years. There is a Golden Week festival in Oku centered around childrens day – Kodomo No HI – that takes place in the first week of May. I had the brochure from when I blogged about the Oku No Yanbaru Museum and the nearby Kunigami Inobuta restaurant. I think my kids ripped up the brochure. I wouldn’t go unless you are both interested and can verify that the event is still going. Oku is so far north it is east of Cape Hedo, where Route 58 passed the northern tip of Okinawa and bends to the east. I planned to go but due to Golden Week we will likely be with my wife’s family in Itoman. I went to this website to try to email them to verify, but the contact form did not work. http://kuta-okinawa.org/en/index.htm

        I’ll have my wife call to speak to them in Japanese to see if it is still going.

        There actually is a lot to do and see on Okinawa, especially with family. Please visit my blog to see some of the stuff I have done over the last year. http://www.subeteokinawa.com

  2. Pingback: Ikei Island (take 2) : Oodmarai Beach/Mamasan Beach & another funky house! | FUN FLYING FOUR·

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