As the jetfoil began its "landing" just off the coast of Niijima, I could see that much of the isle is covered by hilly terrain; my initial thoughts included something rather practical: How to get around? I thought renting a scooter (Y4500/day) instead of a bicycle (Y1500/day) was clearly the best way to zip about and see what treasures the island holds. Though I had contemplated car rental (Y10,000/day), the island is compact enough where getting a scooter for a day is perfect: no worries over parking, and ample opportunity to enjoy that refreshing ocean breeze.
My decision prooved to be rather excellent: indeed, my trusty scooter could travel to certain places which would be rather frustrating in a car (e.g. to the sandy mountain peak where some fantastic moai-like figures were), and it was much easier to zip down any of the large number of unmarked roads to see where it led. (Dead end? No worries!)
So I ventured out to the northern part of the island, which would be annoying to get to by bike, and started my ascent up the side of Mt. Achiyama, winding my way up the curvy, sloping roads, deliberately not looking out at what I expected to be a magnificent panoramic view, opting instead to save that experience for when I reached the top.
And when I did meet the summit, I looked out with marvel at the way the land splayed, like some green giant halfway blanketed by water, stretching its arms outward to the sea; its legs were underwater, but feet and toes stuck out as separate islands in the distance.
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