July 4th weekend Matt had a long weekend so we used it as an opportunity to get off our island and onto another, much smaller one, known as Izenajima
Izena island is located about 14 miles from the northernmost point of the Motobu Peninsula which translates into a 55 minute ferry ride from Unten Port.
We decided to save on accommodation costs and camp instead which meant that we definitely needed to bring our car to cart all our belongings but it was also great having wheels on Izena to get around. Despite its small size you would want some sort of transportation if you want to check out the whole island.
In order to bring your vehicle across on the ferry you need to make reservations in advance. I ended up asking a Japanese friend to arrange this for us as when I tried to do it the language barrier was just too difficult to overcome.
We didn’t think the ferry would be that busy since it was a Friday but surprisingly it was packed full of vehicles, majority being souped up cars! As it turns out our visit to Izenajima was the same weekend as the Izena Drift Car races!
We arrived on the island around lunch time so that was our first port of call finding somewhere to eat, we ended up driving around the island multiple times in search of something until we settled on the one place we knew had food…because all the race cars where parked up outside.
For lunch Clio & I ordered soba while Matt & Eden opted for the curry set, which was huge and we highly doubted Eden would eat all of hers, she proved us wrong with a tiny bit of help from Clio.
Next stop was finding where to set up camp. There are 4 designated camping grounds, all free and all with varying facilities, although you are allowed to camp anywhere on the island. The one we wanted was sadly overgrown but it was beautiful so in the end we settled on Izena beach which had super clean toilet & showering facilities, faucets for dishes and sandy feet, picnic tables and even trees to hang hammocks!
Eden really impressed me this camping trip (which is only her 3rd) by knowing exactly what to do with the tent, I hardly helped Matt at all and just let Eden do her thing! Of course her small height and the blustering winds were a disadvantage but other than that she was a pro!
Once camp was set up we had the rest of the day to just chill out; we searched the beach for treasures, relaxed in the hammock, made a delicious dinner and then walked around Izena village which is one of 5 small villages on the island and this was definitely my favorite thing to do while we were there.
Of course just as we settled into the tent for the evening it started raining which completely freaked an overtired Eden out (Matt & Eden had a date night the previous night so she didn’t get to bed until after 10pm) thankfully it only lasted 10 minutes but then all she could hear were the waves which freaked her out even more!
Eventually she fell asleep and we all got some shut eye…until some bird woke Clio up and freaked her out, finally she calmed down and was close to drifting back off to sleep and then a cat did some freaky meow and Clio flipped out; I have never seen her get up so quick in my life!
Clio, who was now thoroughly petrified and extremely overtired, was awake; she went to the potty multiple times, needed snacks and drinks, wanted to change clothes, played a game on my phone…I thought the night would never end! Eventually (probably about 3am) she nodded off as did I…finally!