- Travel Info
- Photo Diary
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.
When 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.