Sunset in the Seychelle Islands of Africa, 13 Hours from Japan

In spite of the fact that the Seychelles are not well known in Japan, they happen to features in many song titles by Japanese artists. For example “Seisheru no yūhi” (Sunset in the Seychelles, by Seiko Matsuda), “Seisheru – Umi No Seijya” (Seychelles – Saints of the Sea, by Southern All Stars), “Akogare No Seychelles” (Seychelles, the Islands of Longing, by Masayoshi Takanaka) and “Kochira Sēsheru Bakansu Shima” (The Seychelles, Vacation Islands, by Megumi Takamoto.) Often called the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”, I wanted to see if the sunset in the Seychelles was as beautiful as expected. The ccTLD (country code top level domain) for the Seychelles is “.sc”.

◆Where are the Seychelles?

The Republic of Seychelles consists of 115 islands of various sizes, located in the Indian Ocean, about 1,300 km east of the African continent. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, often visit the Seychelles and it is a popular destination for European celebrities. It’s the only country in Africa that has an economy classified as “high-income” by the World Bank. The currency used is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR)

= Table of Contents =

◆Praslin Island – Lost Luggage and Pouring Rain

◆Anse Lazio – The Best Beach in the World

◆Finding the Phantom Convenience Store “SPAR”

◆Sunset in the Seychelles

◆How to Purchase a SIM & Test the Internet Speed


◆Praslin Island – Lost Luggage and Pouring Rain

The quickest way to get from Japan to the Seychelles is via Sri Lanka. It takes 9 hours and 20 minutes to get to Sri Lanka, and about 4 hours to get to the Seychelles, for a total of 13 hours. However, we went to the Seychelles from our previous island destination, the Maldives (via Sri Lanka). Arriving just after 4 am, we were greeted by a lost luggage situation. This is the first time on the Domain Island Tour that luggage has been lost.

After finding out that the luggage was lost, and going through various procedures, we finally left the airport and headed for our accommodations. Although I booked a hotel which allowed early check-in (so we could take a short rest), when we got there the staff said: “No early check-ins…” We had no choice but to hang out in the hotel hallway, with no air conditioning, and not a word exchanged between us for about an hour. The rain just would never stop. Finally, in the middle of the pouring rain, we leave for Praslin Island, famous for its Coco de Mer palm trees. Here’s a picture of Praslin Island from a travel site.

The boat we rode, the “Cat Cocos” could be booked in advance from Japan. The cheapest economy class ticket you can buy is 100 Euros round trip.

The rain keeps pouring down and the sea is rough. It doesn’t feel like we are headed for the beautiful coast lines of the famous Praslin Island. In fact, when I started to think about other places where I’d hit bad weather, like when I had to extend my stay in Samoa, and also about the clothes and the drone that were in the lost luggage, I started getting seasick.

On the boat, there were TVs showing hidden camera tv shows from overseas, but I felt too ill to watch.

About an hour from Mahé Island, we arrive at Praslin Island, which is the second largest island in the Seychelles, after Mahé Island. It has an area of 38 km2 and a population of about 6,500.

You can only use local currency at the port market stalls. But don’t worry, there are many places nearby to exchange U.S. dollars, Euros and Pounds.

There was also a place to arrange tours, rent cars, or rent bicycles.
Taxis can also be arranged. Of course, you can go from Praslin Island to other islands by ferry or boat. We booked a taxi and asked to be taken around the island.
The vehicle was a Suzuki. The driver really loves it, he said: “This car is perfect for driving around Praslin Island”.

◆Anse Lazio, the Best Beach in the World

The first place we visited was the “Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve” a World Heritage site in Praslin National Park. The park has both free areas and areas that you need to pay to enter. We stuck to the free areas.

There is a legend that Praslin Island is the birthplace of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. In the 19th century, General Gordon of England visited Praslin Island, and upon seeing the fruit from the female of the coco de mer palm, which looks like a woman’s buttocks, and the catkin from the male palm which resembles the male organ, he decided these trees must be Adam and Eve. And so, he had Praslin Island made into a nature reserve.

Suddenly I noticed that it had stopped raining! And I found coco de mer palms.

There are also displays in the visitor center (free of charge). The coco de mer is a rare palm tree that is only found on Praslin Island and Curieuse Island.

There are also some specimens of local creatures preserved in formalin.

Our next destination in Praslin National Park is Grande Anse Beach, which was ranked no.1 on CNN’s “100 Best Beaches Around the World”.
Earlier, when I visited Grenada, I mistakenly thought the Grand Anse beach there (vs. Grande Anse Seychelles) had been ranked no.1 in the world, but actually it was ranked 30th. Now, finally I can see the real “no.1 most beautiful beach in the world” with my own eyes!

When I told the driver about what had happened, he said “Anse Lazio beach is more beautiful than Grande Anse Beach!” so we decided to go to Anse Lazio beach instead. Under a cloudless sunny sky that made it seem like the rain had never happened, we drove for about 20 mins. We arrive. Actually, the driver told us that even if it’s raining in the morning, it often clears up by noon. And it rains a lot in October and November.

Ooh! No wonder the locals call it the most beautiful beach! Anse Lazio when pronounced by local sounds like “ansrazio”. Anse means cove or small bay in French.

After enjoying the beach, we had lunch at a nearby restaurant.

I ordered an Octopus Burger (315 SR), Shrimp Fritters (480 SR), Octopus Curry (475 SR) and a Sey Pearl (55 SR).

The octopus burger doesn’t have a meat patty, it has sautéed octopus sandwiched in a bun and not a whole lot of that considering the price.

It seems that octopus curry is eaten almost daily here. Later, when I asked the taxi driver on Mahé Island about this, he said that on Mahé, octopus curry costs about 240 SR, which is nearly half of what it costs on Praslin Island.

Sey Pearl is a brand of ginger ale from the Seychelles.

Shrimp Fritters. They tasted exactly as delicious as they look.

Did someone get walled-in with their butt sticking out?

According to our driver, there is also a beach named Grande Anse on Mahé Island.
So actually, I still wasn’t able to see the beach ranked no.1 by CNN. But, since a local told me that Anse Lazio is much more beautiful than Grand Anse Beach, I feel satisfied that I saw the most beautiful beach in the world.

There were many beautiful little fish in the water, so I fed them some breadfruit chips I bought in the Maldives.

◆Finding the Phantom Convenience Store “SPAR”

Before going to Mahé Island, we first stop by Eden Island. Located 3.5 km from the capital Victoria, Eden Island is a man-made island created in the 2000s. The main industry on this island is tourism, and its famous for its shopping mall Eden Plaza, and luxurious residential areas.

We go to check out a luxurious residential area.

We arrive at the gate of one of the residential areas.

To enter, you need ID. No outsiders are allowed.

So, we moved on to Eden Plaza, where the residents of the luxurious residential area go shopping.

A Japanese anime character, “Arare-chan” is posted by the frozen yogurt shop. What is that thing she is holding up?

Continuing our walk, we see a familiar convenience store.
It’s SPAR! Let’s go buy something!

When you enter the store, you need to leave your bags in a special locker.

I bought a plastic bottle version of Sey Pearl (22 SCR) and Doritos (9.90 SCR). SPAR can no longer be found in Japan, in fact, when I checked, it seems the company completely withdrew from Japan in 2016.

◆Sunset in the Seychelles

Next is Victoria, the capital on Mahé Island. Mahé Island is 153 km2, and accounts for 1/3rd of the land of the Seychelles and about 80% of the population. The name of the island comes from a French governor of Mauritius, who sent an expedition to the Seychelles.

When I asked one of the waiting taxi drivers to “take us to a spot with a good view of Victoria” he agreed with an “OK, boss.”

Heading to the scenic lookout, we come across something remarkable. “This is the ‘Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar’ temple. In 2018, someone stole the golden decorations, but was caught.” the driver told us.

We resume our drive up the mountain.

I spot a strange looking bird.

After a while, the driver stops. This doesn’t seem a likely spot for a scenic view.
“This is a breeding place for tortoises. Let’s take a look” he says.

There are many turtles, but it seems the place is run by a private company. These are tortoises (Japanese: Rikugame) but the family as a whole is called the turtle family (Japanese: Kame). By the way, there was no information about this place on Google maps.

ROTCHON dam scenic area (Seychelles) – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

We arrive at Rochon Dam Viewpoint, the view point recommended by the driver. It was sunny and clear; we could see Eden Island and other distant islands (probably Praslin Island) as well. Although only a small island nation, the Seychelles has a military made up of about 400 soldiers. But no navy. In lieu of a navy, there is the Seychelles Coast Guard, made up of the Seychelles People’s Defense Forces.

It’s time to go and see a spectacular sunset. When I said to the driver “I want to see a gorgeous sunset!” he took us to Beau Vallon Beach.

Finally, I was able to see the long awaited “Sunset in the Seychelles”. This is the title of a song sung by popular Japanese singer, I felt so happy experience it for myself.

After leaving Beau Vallon Beach, we were hungry and searching for somewhere to eat in the city. We found an electric sign board with the words “Italian Pizza.”

Upon entering, we see that besides Italian pizza, there’s a corner of the shop dedicated to ice cream. It’s called “La Dolce Vita.” It seems that this place has been featured in Japanese travel shows talking about overseas resorts.

At the ice cream counter, I order a vanilla bean parfait (195 SCR), a specialty of the Seychelles. This parfait in the Seychelles was very expensive, about 1,600 Yen, but it was so worth the price.

This super long day is finally over. When we got back to our accommodations, the lost luggage had arrived! Thank goodness!

◆How to Purchase a SIM & Test the Internet Speed

You can purchase an Airtel SIM that can be used for 30 days, with 1.5GB, at a convenience store like the one in Eden Plaza. It was 299 SCR.

I went directly to an Airtel store, but it was closed and I couldn’t get the SIM.

The speed was good, without any problems.

I found the ccTLD for the Seychelles “.sc”, being used on Mahé Island, Praslin Island and Eden Island.


■List of Places Visited


■ For access to the Seychellesclick here

■For “.sc” Domain detailsclick here

Grenada’s UniqueTourist Attraction: Sculptures in the Sea Overgrown with Corals Makes Both People and Fish Happy!

After flying 40 hours one-way to get to Tuvalu, now the 14th stop on the Domain Island Tour is Grenada. The ccTLD (country code top level domain) for Grenada is “.gd” which is used to represent the word “good”. All dollar notations in thise article are East Caribbean dollars, unless marked otherwise. * 1EC $ = 40.96 yen

◆Where is Grenada?

Grenada is an island nation located south of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. Besides the main island, other islands like the Grenadines, Carriacou island, and Petit Martinique etc. are part of Grenada. Grenada is also a member of the Commonwealth of the United Kingdom.

= 目次 =

◆A Smooth Arrival in Grenada

◆Jumping into a Waterfall as a Job

◆Eating Nutmeg, but Too Much Can Cause Hallucinations

◆Grenada Sushi

◆The Beach Mistaken for the Most Beautiful in the World

◆Dropping Sculptures into the Sea Makes People and Fish Happy

◆How to Purchase a SIM & Test the Internet Speed

◆Finding “.gd” Around Town

◆Miscellaneous Grenada – “$100 Reward for a Bee Thief”, and “An Airport Shop You Should be Wary of”

◆A Smooth Arrival in Grenada

It has happened in recent times, that British Airways has sent passengers to Grenada in the Caribbean instead of to their intended destination of Granada, Spain. Fortunately, I traveled from Saint Lucia to Grenada on British Airways, and Saint Lucia has no direct flight to Granada, Spain, so I arrived in Grenada (Caribbean) without any problem.

◆umping into a Waterfall as a Job

I immediately head to Annandale Falls, which is about a 10-min drive from St. George’s. The pathways are well maintained and easy to walk.

At the entrance to Annandale Falls, I looked around for someone I could pay the $ 5.35 (about 220 yen) entrance fee to, but there was no one there. It’s a Sunday, usually a busy day for tourists. My taxi driver, who is also my guide around town, tells me that “today is free!”, so I believe him and head in.

This lady sells necklaces made only of spice nuts / seeds. I have never seen anything like it in Japan.

This is Annandale Falls. The water is clear and beautiful.

I found a young man just near the top of the waterfall.

I was wondering if he was some kind of staff watching over the waterfall, when he suddenly jumped into the water from 10 meters up!

I was stunned, and wondering why, when he came up and talked to me. Apparently, this is a performance, he jumps into the waterfall and gets tips. Afterwards, he climbed up and jumped again, and again. When I left a tip, he gave me thumbs up with both hands. He seemed very happy.

Next, the taxi driver took me to a sports bar. It was closed.
As it turned out, we didn’t stop for the sports bar, but rather for the botanical gardens behind the sports bar.

Gorgeous papayas, and lemongrass which is used in herb teas.

When I looked closely at the ground, it was covered in nutmeg shells, not gravel.

A shop across from the sports bar. It’s a small shop, but the sign says “Tourist Destiny Spice Shop”.

Cacao, the raw material for chocolate and cocoa. You can see the seeds inside; those are cacao beans. The cacao variety of Grenada is a hybrid of Amazon Calabacillo and Criollo from Venezuela, and is popular among chocolate lovers in Japan. Chocolate was sold as a souvenir.

Back in the taxi and on the move, the taxi driver says: “Look at that million-dollar view!” It is a beautiful view, but maybe only worth a million dollars at night-time.

◆Eating Nutmeg, but Too Much Can Cause Hallucinations

Grenada is also known as “Spice Island”. Nutmeg is especially popular
, and well known. Grenada is the 6th largest producer of nutmeg in the world, and Nutmeg even appears on the left side of the national flag.

Nutmeg, which is called “Nikuzuku” in Japanese, is one of the four major spices alongside pepper, cinnamon and cloves, which are said to be effective in promoting digestion, perspiration and preventing anemia. Of course, I wanted to eat nutmeg at its origin. “The Nutmeg” is a restaurant where the food is made with real nutmeg.

When I asked the staff which items have nutmeg in them, he answered with a reassuring: “Everything!” So, I’m glad I came to this restaurant.

Although there is no nutmeg in it, I first ordered the local beer, “Carib Premium,” and then “STAG.” Both are easy to drink lager beers. Both are $6 (about 240 yen). You can see the harbor of St. George’s from the peaceful interior of the restaurant.

Overseas, I’ve found that bottled beer was often served without a glass and had to be drunk as it was, but here, they served me my beer with a chilled beer mug. I feel like there’s an affinity to Japan here.

Grilled chicken legs came. The rice looked like red rice, and sautéed vegetables were served on the side. The white sauce is rich, but you can taste the nutmeg flavor. $ 60 (about 2,400 yen).

This is Spice Island Lobster. It also contains spices other than nutmeg. Every time I took a bite, I enjoyed both the lobster flavor and the aroma of the spices. $ 85 (about 3,400 yen).

Next, breakfast at my accommodations. I ate while looking at a painting of nutmeg on the wall.

Of course, there’s nutmeg jam to put on the bread. It has a spicy flavor, but it’s kind of sweet and sour like apricot.

In the land of nutmeg, many foods contain nutmeg, and taste delicious, so I could have unknowingly eaten a bit too much. The amount of nutmeg that can cause oral poisoning in humans is 5-10 grams. Symptoms such as difficulty breathing, dizziness, vomiting and hallucinations etc. may occur. People usually recover within 24 hours but some take 2 -3 days. So please be careful not to eat too much nutmeg.

◆The Special Menu of Grenada Sushi

I had sushi when I was in the British Virgin Islands, which are famous tax havens, but I also found a sushi restaurant in Grenada. I couldn’t stop myself from going in.

“Carib Sushi” in the Lime district. There’s an open terrace which is full of locals and tourists.

The soy sauce is Kikkoman. A chopstick rest for the chopsticks. The atmosphere is just like a Japanese sushi restaurant.

It was a hot day, so I ordered cold green tea. I had intensely sweet green tea in the United States, but Grenada’s green tea was sugarless. Gum syrup and sliced lemon are also provided. It tastes like lemon tea, so this is good. $ 5 (about 200 yen)

My sushi has arrived. Sushi in any country looks pretty good. Six slices of fresh tuna and white fish. It was better than the sushi in the Virgin Islands. $ 38 (about 1,500 yen)

Next, a dish called “Leo Special Nigiri”. Named for the head chef Leo, this is the most recommended dish in the shop. One of the creative sushi dishes you only find overseas, this one has avocado and tenkasu (leftover tempura bits) on top of tuna. At first glance, it looks like a lively okonomiyaki! You can’t see it, but there were 4 slices of nigiri under the tuna. The sauce on top is like the kind used for Anago (Broiled eel.) $ 32 (about 1,300 yen).

The Tuna Crispy Rolls are sushi rolls topped with negitoro (minced tuna with green onion) and tenkasu. The tenkasu seem to be the “crispy” part. $ 44 (about 1,800 yen).

The Scotch Roll is without vinegared rice, and contains Scottish smoked salmon, avocado and cream cheese rolled in a thin omelet-like egg wrap. Surprisingly good with soy sauce, it also would go very well with Sake. $ 45 (about 1,840 yen).

The menu also had a wide selection of different dishes, such as mozzarella cheese wrapped with white fish and deep fried, etc. Although these were rather creative menu choices made with spices, they were all delicious.

◆The Beach Mistaken for the Most Beautiful in the World

CNN launched a “100 best beaches around the world” list and Grenada came in first place. That means I can go to the most beautiful beach in the world!

We arrive at the Mount Cinnamon Resort. Walk through the gardens of the resort.

I see the beautiful sea. The world’s most beautiful beach is right in front of me.

This is the Grand Anse beach, which won first place in the “100 best beaches around the world.”
The clear water and white sands are suitable for the #1 beach.

There are restaurants and bars on the beach.

Fries are the special at the restaurant on the world’s best beach.

However, when I went home and was organizing my information, I noticed something. The first-place spot in the “100 best beaches around the world” was not “Grand Anse”, Grenada, but “Grande Anse Beach” in the Republic of Seychelles (off East Africa).

What confusing names! I thought Grand Anse was the nickname for Grande Anse Beach.
Grand Anse in Grenada, which impressed me so much, was actually ranked 30th, not first.

So, it was ranked the 30th most beautiful beach in the world, but as you can see from the pictures, it’s not too much to say it is the most beautiful beach in the world.

Grenada’s Grand Anse – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

There was also a travel blog that named Grenada’s Grand Anse as “the best beach in the world.” I guess we all have to be careful not to make this mistake.

◆Dropping Sculptures into the Sea Makes People and Fish Happy

The Underwater Museum, one of Grenada’s most popular spots. With the support of the government of Grenada,
sculptor Jason Taylor started making these underwater sculptures in 2006. You read correctly; the museum is at the bottom of the sea.
I went to the dive shop “DIVE GRENADA” to participate in a tour of the Underwater Museum.

I change into my bathing suit, and get in a boat.

It takes about 10 min by boat at high speeds. The instructor hands me a snorkel and fins, and we get into the water.

The sculptures are scattered in different places so the instructor guides you where to go.

A sculpture lying on the seabed.

Sculptures in a circle etc. A sculpture of only a face on a large rock. Can you tell what this is?

Fish? Bird? A girl on her knees with a fish? Or a bird in her hands?

A circle with more sculptures than before. These sculptures seem so real, as if they are moving!

The tour to enjoy sea sculptures is over in one hour. The instructor took videos for me the whole time. If you are not so great at diving, you can just ask the instructor to take pictures and videos for you. The tour fee is $ 55 US (approx. 6,100 yen) per person and includes the snorkel and all other rental fees. It’s best to make a reservation in advance.

In addition to building costs, a museum built on land requires money for many things, labor, electricity, repairs, security guards etc., but an underwater museum just needs sculptures dropped into the water, then it’s all done. Compared to a museum on land, it’s much easier to maintain. This not only makes a great tourist attraction, but it also provides a place for marine plants such as corals and sponges to grow, which in turn makes the fish happy. If anyone is thinking of making a tourist attraction, this seems like an excellent idea.

◆How to Purchase a SIM & Test the Internet Speed

Although Wi-Fi rental services for going overseas are on the rise, certain areas are not covered. In such situations, you can buy a local SIM. In Grenada communications company “FLOW” seems to be popular. I couldn’t buy a SIM at the airport, so I looked for one in the city. I arrived on a Saturday and couldn’t make it to the store before closing time, and of course the next day was Sunday. So, I couldn’t buy a SIM card in Grenada.

However, in the shopping mall there were dedicated vending machines that can top-up data communication volume to existing SIM cards.

Since I had a SIM card from FLOW that I bought on one of the other islands, I added $ 10 to it (approximately 400 yen).

I got an email confirming my purchase. But it wouldn’t connect. I thought it might have to be activated, but calling the dedicated number didn’t change anything.

When I checked the status of the charge, it said it was already down to $ 7.54. Where did the other $ 2.50 go?

In my struggles to connect, I used up the whole $10, so I purchased additional data. However, I could not connect. But actually, even if you can’t use the SIM, if you have a SIM you can use the “FLOW” Wi-Fi at the airport.

◆Finding “.gd” Around Town

Grenada’s ccTLD is “.gd”. I found it at a taxi company for tourists and on a sign advertising yoga class in the hotel.

The “.gd” domain is under the Grenada branch of “NTRC” (National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission), and it is the same for the Grenadines and Saint Vincent etc. This is the building of the domain name registry. Unfortunately, I couldn’t talk to anyone as it was a Sunday and closed.

I also found the NTRC homepage address and “.gd” at the bus stop in front of the building.

◆Miscellaneous Grenada – “$100 Reward for a Bee Thief”, and “An Airport Shop You Should be Wary of”

St. George’s in the daytime. The scene reminds me of a port city in Europe.

I was bitten by a mosquito, so I went to the local supermarket to buy a mosquito coil.

Truly the spice Kingdom. There are so many spices.

There were no mosquito coils, but I found a little mat thing that seems to be for keeping mosquito away.
The package didn’t lie. It kept the mosquitos away.

On the supermarket bulletin board, I found a notice of a $ 100 reward for a honeybee thief. I pray for a quick resolution to the matter.

Then, while taking a walk through the “Spiceland Mall” I found a shop selling knockoffs of famous brands.

This is the shop. It looks like a nice shop from the outside, but be careful because they are selling knockoffs.

There are also some shops in the airport to watch out for.

This shop sells banana ketchup for $13 (530 yen).

However, another shop in the airport sells it for $ 5.85 (240 yen). Even in the same airport, they were selling it for more than double the price! Be wary of gift shop “KALALOO.”

=List of Places Visited=

■Access to Grenada

■For Domain details, Click here