Yesterday, we visited Yurigahama, a sandbank about 1 km from the shore of Yoron Island. Yurigahama is peculiar in that it is only exposed for a couple of hours during the low tide, after which it is hidden under water again. The island guide leaflet says that one can only visit it a couple of times a month and only if it is your destiny!
For several days before our trip, the boats that run between Yurigahama and the coast of Yoron were pulled out of the water due to a typhoon warning. It must have been our destiny because they were running the day we visited.
My aim here is not to make you Brits and Finns reading this feel bad and think ‘We won’t see the sun again until next June and you bastard brag about the sunshine’ but Yurigahama was amazing! I can’t possibly put it into words how beautiful it was. Maybe the photos above and below give you a feel for what it was like instead (and maybe you can go and visit sometime). There was clear turquoise water and white sand, turtles and colourful fish swimming in the corals, a fabulous location very close to the far edge of the reef where you can see the dangerous waters beyond the reef (but are yet in the safe, shallow, waters of the reef), and importantly, a lack of German tourists hogging all the sun loungers, Brits boozing their way through the day, Americans acting like they own the beach and Finns looking as miserable as the sharks on the other side of the reef.
What might make you feel better, is the knowledge that when we got to Yurigahama, I noticed that my husband had forgotten our towels. When going swimming, one might consider forgetting towels a bit of a disaster, but not my husband. His plan was to use his spare boxer shorts as a towel. You can’t but love a man that thinks outside his wife’s comfort zone.
As, throughout our Yoron holiday overall, we were the only Westerners on Yurigahama. Yoron seems very much a Japanese holiday-makers’ paradise – and there weren’t even that many Japanese around.
On our way back from Yurigahama on a small glass bottom boat, a Japanese lady from Tokyo asked where we were from and said that she was amazed to see any Westerners on the island. She was baffled as to how we had even heard about Yoron, let alone managed to book the holiday via non-Japanese booking websites. She was convinced we were the only Westerners on the island. For some reason it made my holiday.