Taketomi Island is a small island situated just off the coast of Ishigaki Island in the Okinawa Archipelago. Because of its size, it is often visited as a day trip from Ishigaki. It takes only 15 minutes by boat from the Ishigakijimarito harbor to Taketomi Island.
Traditional Ryukyu Houses
This tiny subtropical island has a perfectly and beautifully preserved traditional Ryukyu village which used to be all over Okinawa. The traditional Ryukyu one-story houses are characterized by red-tiled roofs, stone walls, and the lion-like Shisa at the gates whose duty it is to ward off evil spirits.
Other traditional homes inside the village are used as restaurants and shops selling local food and crafts.
Things to Do in Taketomi
There are no rental cars on Taketomi, and most visitors either walk or rent a bicycle to travel through the village’s white sand roads and to the nearby beaches along the western shore of the island.
Especially Kondoi beach is a must-see, the sand is incredibly white and the sea has amazing blue water. When the tide gets lower, you will also be able to see a small strand of beach appear in the water. If you want to make your family and friends on social media jealous, this is the perfect place to take pictures. There is also a beach where you can find sand that has the shape of a star, this is Hoshizuna-no-hama beach.
Another popular activity is taking a ride in a cart pulled by a water buffalo. The friendly buffalos will pull you slowly through the village of Taketomi while you can look around and take pictures.
In the village, you can eat local food and there are a few nice cafes to have a drink.