kamari city is where acropole sunrise (my hotel) was located. it is probably most known for the black “sand” (more like pebble) beach. there is walkable access to the ancient thera ruins if you are willing to hike; if not, there is a bus that goes there (the bus stop is near the beach). it is a quaint city, with a bus that leads to fira which is the main bus hub to go to all the tourist spots on thira island. since i went in the very beginning of the season, it was too chilly for the beach and many of the beach side hotels were closed. in peak season i can imagine it must be very lively. many locals live in this town with an elementary school, two supermarkets, a bakery, a souvlaki stand, and some restaurants scattered about, it is a very comfortable city to stay.


in 1957 there was a big earthquake in santorini. petros’ (acropole sunrise’s owner) father’s house included, the original town of kamari was destroyed. it happened at 10:00-11:00 am, so most people were out of their homes and in the fields. unfortunately, many mothers with little babies that had been staying inside had passed away. the current town of kamari is the new one.


there’s something significant about getting to hear first-hand, the stories of a precious island so rich in history (geologically and religiously/archaeologically). this current thira is relatively new, a work in progress, living amongst ruins, constant work to create more and more hotels. however, the truth is that they live in a dormant volcanic area (not due to erupt anytime soon–probably not in this lifetime), but the last eruption wasn’t too long ago and earthquakes happen. it’s a recently modernized island–wifi is still new and electricity comes by way of underwater pipeline. it will be interesting to see how it changes in the near future.


. . . . .

– P I C T U R E S Q U E  H O T E L S –
– 絵 に な る ホ テ ル –

– K A M A R I  B E A C H –
– カ マ リ ビ ー チ –




– L O C A L  L I F E –
– ロ ー カ ル ラ イ フ –

the supermarket (this one was slightly cheaper than the one near the beach). i bought greek olive oil, soap, and honey for souvenirs here!
スーパー (ビーチ近くのスーパーより全体的に金額が安かったです)。ここでお土産用のギリシャ産オリーブオイルやオリーブオイル石鹸、ハチミツなど購入しました。

– M O N A S T E R I E S –
– 修 道 院 –

– H O U S E S –
– 民 家 –

– D O N K E Y  S T A B L E S –
– ロ バ 小 屋 –

i saw these on the first day, rows of white long houses across the street from the slovakis/gyros stand. being a fanatic of color, the rainbow colored windows caught my eye. i asked petros and apparently they’re donkey stables. the local donkey parking lot! until just 30-40 years ago, each household owned a donkey. back then, not many people owned cars. now there are many small hatchbacks or mopeds driving around (much smaller in comparison to the massive american SUV’s or even the compact sedans and kei-cars of tokyo).


– W H I T E  T R E E S –
– 白 く 塗 ら れ た 木 々 –

i’m so curious as to what the white paint is for!

– T H E  S O U V L A K I  S T A N D –
– ス ブ ラ キ ・ ス タ ン ド –

i was here practically every day! for lunch on the days in and for dinner after all the hiking and touring. the chairs matched the color of the donkey stable windows! i see a lot of these primary colors around santorini, like the flower pots i saw in fira.


– C I N E M A –
– 映 画 館 –

on the third day, i decided to go see the fate of the furious (international movies in japan show much later, so i figured why not see it early?) at the cinema in kamari. kamari has a famous drive-inn theater, but it was much too cold for that. unfortunately, since the subtitles were in greek, i had no idea what was being spoken in the foreign language scenes…



here are more photos from my first day at fira. it was so exciting to finally see those white walled buildings in person. against these white walls, are the aegean blue, pops of primary colors, and the vibrant bougainvilleas. touristy or not, santorini really does have its own unique aesthetic. i will let the photos do the talking.

初日のフィラで撮った写真をまとめました。サントリーニ名物の白い建物がやっと見られて、ウキウキしました!天候も完璧で、白に映える『aegean blue』(エーゲ海色の青)の屋根、街中で見かける原色のアクセント、そしてブーゲンビレアの鮮やかなマゼンタ色。観光地とは言え、サントリーニらしさが魅力的でした。

this is the little hike i did at imerovigli (half way from fira to oia) to “skaros rock”. skaros rock was a fortress against pirates in the middle ages. read here, to find out more!


the view of imerovigli from skaros rock

walking back from imerovigli to fira

bus transportation on thira, santorini

there are multiple forms of transportation on thira island: walk, bus, taxi, rental car, and atv. i chose to walk and use the bus. the bus system might be confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not so difficult. just remember, if you’re not staying in fira, you need to first take a bus to fira, which is the central bus hub of thira island.


i stayed in kamari, which means i needed to take the bus to fira in order to go to perissa, perivolos, akrotiri, the airport, etc. from fira, imerovigli and oia are great walks, so no bus was needed. if you’re up for using your own legs, there were other visitors in my hotel that actually walked all the way to fira.


at the bus station in kamari was this time table:

the first column means, from fira the bus to kamari leaves at __:__. the second column means, from kamari to fira, the bus leaves at __:__. i believe the 12:55 bus never came, and i always had to wait for the next one. so a good point (like possibly any other bus in any country) to remember is, don’t expect the bus to be on time. have a book to read or something to kill time! the other columns were irrelevant to me, but maybe the locals make use of that information.


. . . . .

below are the time tables at fira. lots of tourists are walking around, wondering which bus is theirs. just ask the girls at the window and they’ll tell you which number bus to get on or will be arriving. the bus conductor will yell out the destination and final boarding call, so keep your ears open, or just ask.

下の写真は、フィラのバスターミナルにある時刻表。戻りのバスが遅れることもあるので、分からない場合は、窓口のお姉さんたちに聞いちゃった方が早いかもしれません。あまり整備されているような所ではなく、バスを逃してしまうと次のバスまでしばらく時間が空くので、観光客がなんとなく目的地行きのバス周りを徘徊している感じです 笑。出発前に車掌さんが行き先を大声で呼ぶので、聞き逃さないように!心配であれば、やはり窓口のお姉さんにその都度、バスの番号を聞いてそのバスの前で待つのが安心かもしれません。バスが遅れて知らないうちにバスが来ていて、出発してしまうかもしれませんので、乗るまで油断できないです。

once on the bus, the bus conductor will come down the aisle and you pay for the ticket then. hold on to the ticket until your destination, as they may ask to see it.


*one thing to be careful of is the last bus. especially if you’re watching the sunset in oia. you need to get from oia to fira, then catch the bus to your final destination. in my case, had i seen the sunset in oia, i wouldn’t have made the last bus to kamari in time. that added to my deciding to see the sunset in fira instead.

*注意点: 最終バスの時間をあらかじめ把握しておいた方が良いです。特にイアで夕陽を見る場合、歩いている時間がないので、イア→フィラ、フィラ→目的地となります。フィラからの最終バスが日が沈む前の可能性が高いので、帰りの移動手段もある程度考えてあると安心です。私も最終日にイアからではなく、フィラから夕陽を見たのもそれが一つの理由でした。ツアーの場合はサンセットを含むツアーであれば、ツアーバスで帰られるので大丈夫です。

buildings in santorini

i’m sure many people in the world have seen the characteristic buildings of santorini somewhere in magazines, instagram, television, or other media. they may not be exclusive to only santorini, but the first time i saw the sort of building was in a travel magazine several years ago. since then i have always remembered that photo from time to time.


a scattering of buildings on the steep cliffs of oia, similar to what i saw in that said magazine.

monasteries in kamari, where my hotel was located

during the tour of the santorini caldera, our tour guide told us why the buildings were mainly white and blue. there aren’t necessarily any rules on what colors they HAVE to be. in the days before electricity, the white walls would reflect the moon at night, providing light for residents to find their way home. the blue paint for the roofs were actually quite expensive–as one of the ingredients of the paint included silver–and are seen on many of the monasteries.


a monastery in firaフィラの修道院

i was intrigued to see some foundations of buildings while riding the bus. thira’s tourism industry is still new and building at a rapid pace. i had visited at the very beginning of the tourist season and some hotels were still closed, preparing for the coming months. i saw many foundations that will become hotels (or homes and/or stores) as well. on the cliffs of fira and oia, there were many constructors working on hotels there, also.


whether it was mid-construction pre-season, some almost look abandoned (see the photos below). unlike the concrete and steel grid foundations of skyscrapers in booming cities, these foundations are so basic, simple, clean, and even aesthetically pleasing–my father is an architect and it seems that i have taken a liking for geometric shapes.


nature & geology of santorini

if i hadn’t decided on the creative industry, other occupations i had considered in the past were astronomy, geology, and archaeology. that was even before this trip. after having seen the nature and geology in santorini, though, my interest and appreciation for those sciences have deepened. in this post, i’ve collected all the extra photos of plants and rock that i captured during my stay. click on the titles to see the corresponding post on this location.


– F I R A –
– フ ィ ラ –

olive trees / オリーブの木

– K A M A R I  B E A C H –
– カ マ リ ビ ー チ –

is it just me or does this look like a turtle head?

this color! / この色♡

“black pebble beach” / 『黒い小岩の海』

– K A M A R I  C I T Y –
– カ マ リ –

are these mimosa trees? / ミモサの木?

olive tree / オリーブの木

– N E A  K A M E N I  V O L C A N O –
– ネ ア カ メ ニ 火 山 島 –

the volcanic rock in santorini has a higher silica content than that of for example, hawaii, known for the fluid lava. this means that the rock here is much harder and less malleable.

– T H I R A S S I A –
– テ ィ ラ シ ア 島 –

(the island we stopped at after nea kameni on the volcano tour

i love figs. i never realized these trees bear figs, and we have them in tokyo too! now i’m reminded of santorini whenever i see them here.

– P E R I S S A  M O U N T A I N –
– ペ リ ッ サ の 山 –

these bushes HURT. it’s just a big mash of thorns.

– A N C I E N T  T H E R A  R U I N S –
– 古 代 テ ィ ラ の 遺 跡 –

santorini food

as a foodie, i don’t consider myself one of those instagram hipsters, but more a remy (of ratatouille). in fact, i’m often compared to the remy with flavors sparkling and twinkling overhead (if you don’t get it, it’s a scene from the movie). one of the highlights (and anticipations) of this trip was the food. i had never had greek cuisine while growing up, and not much of it is available in tokyo. i can’t even be positive when exactly i was introduced to greek salad, but chef kevin of my favorite hamburger joint in tokyo (who are like family now, and the bistro has since closed) made the best greek salad. in fact, it was so true to the greek salads i had in santorini!



to be able to eat greek yogurt (which i was first introduced to in union square, new york near my dorm. figs, honey, and greek yogurt♡) and greek food day and night was like a dream.


. . . . .

the lunch i had at thirassia on the volcano tour

lamb gyros from the souvlaki stand in kamari (i was here almost everyday)
lamb kebab with tomatoes, tzatziki sauce, fried potatoes wrapped in a pita. it was VERY filling!  i had bought some herb/spice mixes in fira, and used the tzatziki and lamb mixes for a homemade lamb gyros. 🙂

whatever these were, they were good. a mini doughnut with honey glaze.

this was good, too ♡ / こちらも美味しかったです!

– T H E  L A S T  F E A S T –
while watching the sunset from fira on the last day

fava (yellow split pea puree)

(i wish i wrote down what this was!)

dessert of lemon and yuzu

acropole sunrise


as i wrote on my DAY 1 entry, there are a few things to consider when booking a hotel in thira, santorini. if you go to the tourist spots in fira and oia, you can expect a lot of noise late into the night because of the nightlife.


i chose acropole sunrise because i would be able to see the sunrise, enjoy peace and quiet, and still have easy access to the central part of the island. i could not have chosen a better place to stay. acropole sunrise is at the top of a hill, which means an unblocked view of the sunrise. it is located in kamari, a quiet picturesque town with a black pebble beach nearby. not to mention, the owner, petros, was so kind and informative about the tours offered from kamari and other tourist locations in thira. he would always say “tell me, how can i help you?”

私が選んだアクロポール・サンライズは、島の逆側のカマリ市にあります。中心部へのアクセスも便利でありながらも、静かでチャーミングな町でした。丘の上のホテルだったので、朝日がよく見え、これ以上良い場所はなかったと思います!カマリの名所は黒い砂(どちらかという小石)の海。ピーク時は海近くは賑やかになりそうですが、アクロポール・サンライズは少し離れている(歩ける距離)ので、あまりうるさくないと思います。そして、今回のサントリーニの旅で度々出てくる、ホテルのオーナー、ペトロスがとっても親切でした。少しでも困ってそうであれば、「tell me!(どうした?? 言ってごらん!)」と声をかけてくれました。カマリから出ているツアーやティラ島の観光情報などなどたくさん教えてくれました。

. . . . .

a panoramic view of kamari from the hotel

daily continental breakfast. nutella paste with biscuits, fresh eggs from petros’ hens, and ham & cheese toast.

the sunrises! / この朝日!

the view from my room / 部屋からの景色

click here for a direct link to the hotel website.