Photo Diary: 4th March 2011. Unlike much of Japan, the things which impress me most about Ishigaki are seldom man-made. However, there is one big exception – the sight of Boeing 737s screaming over the crossing near my house as they make their final approach to the airport from the south. Last weekend I finally got around to grabbing a few shots which I'd been meaning to take for a long time.

flying over intersectionMaezato's main intersection sits right below the flight path.

plane flying over maezato's main junctionWhen it comes to take-offs and landings Ishigaki's short runway leaves little space to be spared. Its southern end is located just a couple of hundred meters from one of the island's busiest intersections, and when a plane passes overhead you'll be as close as you're ever likely to get to an airborne aircraft without being a passenger. Stand on the hill just behind the petrol station and the view is incredible – verging in exhilarating the first time you witness it.

Sadly sights like these will become a thing of the past when the new airport opens next year (or perhaps the year after). The airport's construction has slipped behind schedule for a variety of reasons including a huge cave full of bats, and the discovery of ancient remains which have caused archeologists and anthropologists alike to rethink previous estimates of when humans first arrived on the island.

In all fairness the move is probably long overdue – the length of the current runway limits the types of aircraft that can be used, leaves little margin for error, and the airport's central location is obviously a source of considerable noise pollution. Having said that, many people will no doubt miss the convenience, the overhead fly-bys, and perhaps even the white-knuckle landings in poor weather.


flying over road

view of airport from balconyI took this photo over two years ago from the balcony of my first apartment in Ishigaki. I never tired of the view.


Pretty crazy

I wonder if they'd allow planes to fly that low over roads in the UK? Maybe they do... the A1 is pretty close to RAF Wittering's runway. Nothing like that though

Simply an amazing treat!

Wow, incredible. This is similar (not as good as this) to SeaTac and Denver (years back) when the planes taxi over the highway, on top of our cars! By McChord AFB in Tacoma, you can see those gigantic C13whatever they are nowadays fly right over your head. Talk about screaming engines - screaming us as we awaited for the unimaginable and horrific day of one simply crashing into the neighborhood. Thankfully it has never happened, and hopefully never will. Flying is always amazing. Good for you to have lived so close to being in awe of the flying machines!