All posts tagged: travel

Mushama Festival, Hateruma Island (Part 2 -The Ladies)

A few shots of the ladies at the Mushama Festival on Hateruma Island. Although the biggest festivals in Japan can sometimes be raucous male dominated events, the smaller local matsuri are a great opportunity for the whole family, young and old, to take part in celebrating traditions and give thanks. I wonder if, on the other side of the world, there’s a Japanese photographer wandering around a village fête in rural England photographing the local bake-off, morris dancing, and a gurning contest.

Manta Scramble, Ishigaki Island, Okinawa

This month it’s manta season off the coast of Ishigaki. At the dive spot known as Manta Scramble there is a good chance of seeing one or even several mantas on your dive. I visited Ishigaki about 6 years ago while researching the travel feature Southern Comfort — Life on Ishigaki Island. Although I dove with the mantas, at that time I didn’t have an underwater camera system. And so many years later I returned to Ishigaki with all my gear to do three days of diving and to photograph a local festival. Diving with mantas was far easier than my recent trip to photograph the underwater ruins and hammerhead sharks of Yonaguni. Yonaguni had strong currents, heavy swells, and cold water, it was demanding diving even without a camera rig. Diving with mantas on Ishigaki is possible for snorkelers and less experienced divers. On my trip the biggest danger was sunburn. There are several rules for manta diving. Don’t touch, don’t chase, don’t exhale bubbles into their gills, and stay with your guide. The …