Around Ishigaki Island, there are many islands that can only be reached by boats and ferries. Among them, there is Taketomi Island which is only 6.5 km away from Ishigaki Island.
To reach Taketomi Island take a ferry from Ishigaki Port Terminal.
We bought the boarding ticket at the counter, using the Yaeyama Kanko Ferry which costs: 790 yen one way, 1,520 yen round trip
There is also another company, the Anei Kanko Ferry which is cheaper!
I wish I knew about this when I went.
How to reach Taketomi Island
After purchasing the tickets, check the ferry’s terminal on the display.
The ferry trip was very pleasant and short considering that the island of Taketomi is only 10-15 minutes from Ishigaki Island.
Buffalo Carts Tour
Nitta Kankou and Taketomi Tourist Center are the two companies
that operate buffalo cart tours.
Once you arrive at Taketomi port, take a shuttle bus (from one of
these two companies) that will take you to their information center.
From there, you’ll have easy access to rental bikes and buffalo tours.
The price for the tour was around 2,000 yen
If you prefer to book online, there is the option to do so by booking a
one-day tour package. A hotel pick-up, round-trip ferry, and buffalo tour are included. Check it out here
This is a unique experience where you can enjoy the island’s sights while listening to the guide playing the traditional instrument Sanshin.
The tour lasts about 30 minutes
The buffalo is not fast, it’s slower than a walking person.
In fact, the duration changes according to the mood and physical condition of the buffalo on that day.
Along the way, you’ll notice half-lion, half-dog guardians called shiisa,
who often come in pairs, on the walls and roofs of Okinawa houses.
The one with an open mouth is to drive away bad spirits, and those with a closed mouth are to hold back the good spirits.
All the houses are built in the same architectural style. The village of Taketomi Island has become a National Conservation Area for important traditional buildings, for this reason, the construction of houses with more than one floor is not allowed.
After the buffalo tour, we were gifted with star sand and a souvenir photo!
From the village, it is about 15 minutes on foot to get to Nishi-Sanbashi Pier
This west pier was used as a landing point for ships until 1972.
After that, head to Kondoi Beach, which is about a 15-minute walk from the pier.
Kondoi Beach on the west side of the island is a pure white sand beach
withclear and calm waters.
As we went in June, during the rainy season, there were not many people and we wereable to enjoy the beach calmly.
Parking near the port of Ishigaki
There is a parking lot in front of the port, but it’s not that big, it gets full easily.
There is another quite large parking lot and I think it is convenient because it is a 6-minutewalk from the port.
It took us less than four hours to visit Taketomi Island.
The buffalo tour and the beach were the highlights of this island, making it an unforgettable place.
There are places to eat in the village, but I haven’t seen any convenience stores soI think it’s best to bring some food.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visitKaiji beach, with its star-shaped sand,but it would be nice to come back to see it!