Taketomi Island (Taketomijima)

Taketomi Island: Exploring the Untouched Beauty of Okinawa


Taketomi Island is a hidden gem located just a 15-minute speed boat ride away from Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, japan. This small island is a paradise for nature lovers and those who are looking to immerse themselves in traditional Ryukyu culture. With its red-tiled houses, water buffalo tours, and stunning sunsets, Taketomi Island offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors. In this article, we will explore the various attractions and activities that make Taketomi Island a must-visit destination.

The Okinawan Way of Life

Upon arriving on Taketomi Island, visitors are immediately transported to a different world. The village on the island has been designated as a national Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, and walking along its white sand roads feels like stepping back in time. The village is characterized by its red-tiled roofs and stone walls, creating a picturesque and charming atmosphere. As you stroll through the village, keep an eye out for the lion statues called shisa, which are believed to ward off evil spirits.

Explore by Buffalo Cart

One of the unique experiences offered on Taketomi Island is exploring the village by buffalo cart. These traditional carts are pulled by water buffalos and provide a leisurely way to tour the island. During the 30-minute tour, your guide will serenade you with the soothing sounds of the sanshin, a three-stringed instrument similar to the Japanese shamisen. This enchanting ride allows you to take in the beauty of the island while learning about its history and culture.

Spectacular Sunsets at Kondoi Beach

Kondoi Beach, located on the western side of Taketomi Island, is the most popular beach on the island. With its soft sands and emerald waters, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind. The beach is just a 15-minute walk from the central village, or you can rent a bicycle and cycle there. Along the beach, you’ll find several bicycle rental shops, making it convenient to explore the island on two wheels. One of the highlights of Kondoi Beach is the West Pier, a cultural asset that offers a stunning vantage point to enjoy the spectacular sunsets. Watching the sun dip below the horizon while standing on the pier is a truly magical experience.

Getting from the Port to the Villages

Upon arriving at the port on Taketomi Island, you have several options to reach the villages. Buffalo tour operators and bicycle rental outlets offer free shuttle services from the port to the village and back, making it easy to access the main attractions. If you prefer to walk, it is just a 15-minute stroll from the port to the village. Whichever mode of transportation you choose, you will be greeted with beautiful scenery and a sense of tranquility as you make your way to the heart of the island.

How to Get There

Taketomi Island is accessible by high-speed boat from Ishigaki Island. There are two ferry operators connecting the two islands, and the journey takes approximately 10-15 minutes. Ishigaki Island itself is easily reached by air from major cities in Japan, such as Tokyo and Osaka. Once you arrive at Ishigaki Island, you can easily catch a speed boat to Taketomi Island and begin your adventure.


Taketomi Island is a hidden gem in Okinawa, offering a unique and immersive experience for visitors. From its traditional red-tiled houses to its water buffalo tours and stunning sunsets, the island is a testament to the rich culture and natural beauty of the Ryukyu Islands. Whether you choose to explore the village on foot, take a buffalo cart tour, or simply relax on Kondoi Beach, Taketomi Island is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, if you’re looking for a destination that combines untouched nature with traditional charm, Taketomi Island is the perfect choice. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover this hidden paradise in Okinawa.

Address And Maps Location:

Yaeyama-gun, Okinawa-ken

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