Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010: Typhoon Evacuation/ A Day Unexpectedly Gained

Today is August 30—not 31st. We discovered this when we arrived at the Ishigaki airport and the clerk informed us of this fact. However, the clerk also informed us that there was a typhoon that was approaching the island and going to hit tomorrow, the actual day of our flight. She stated that if we did not change our flight that we would not make it out. As we had our return Air Canada flight on the 1st, we went with ANA’s advice and were promptly placed on the next flight to Tokyo, connecting through Okinawa.  The flight from Ishigaki to Okinawa takes one hour. The flight from Okinawa to Tokyo takes 2.5 hours and the plane has a video camera on it so you can see take off and landing which is pretty cool.
The fact that a typhoon was approaching explained the poor weather we had been having. When we woke up, it was pouring rain, and yesterday as we were snorkelling, it was pouring, windy, and very overcast. The day before that we were swimming on Taketomi island watching a thunder and lightning storm in the distance, and it also explains why as soon as we did our laundry the day before that, a mini monsoon soaked our clothes as they were hung to dry . From the plane we finally saw Mt. Fuji though it was mostly shrouded by clouds.

When we arrived in Tokyo and watched CNN we learned that there were three typhoons in the East China Sea, one of which covered Taiwan and our little island of Ishigaki, and another that was ready to hit Okinawa the next day (the CNN weatherman said that Okinawa would bear the brunt of the storm for days).

Although we did not have a hotel room booked, we decided to risk it and go to the same hotel we were to be staying at on the real 31st. Luckily, the Sunroute Shinjuku had a room, and we were given a room. We went of for Indian food and for desert tried out Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the first time.

Awesome beach weather. Ahh is that a Typhoon brewing? Oh wait maybe it's actually three typhoons colliding onto our island....

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