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Historic site, Okinawa

Preservation Village: The most beautiful village on Taketomi Island

IMG_0284Taketomi Island has a long history and the origin of the Tanadui Festival is said to be 600 years ago. Islanders started to protect traditional village scapes and surroundings of Taketomi Island over 40 years ago. Many tourists come to Taketomi Island to take the Water-buffalo cart to see the preservation village. It is possible to come and do a half-day trip and to see all around. A circulate bus can take you to Kondoi and Kaiji beaches to see the shallow beach after taking the Water-buffalo cart. IMG_0820However, my recommendation is to stay one night at least on Taketomi Island. There are many choices to stay at, from luxury resort hotels to traditional Japanese Inns. During the early evening, you can enjoy sunset at West Bridge and in the early morning you can walk along beautiful  Kondoi Beach exclusively.

Take a Walk

One of the guests at Izumiya Inn said it was much more fun to see around the village by walking than by riding a bicycle. She had come to Taketomi Island more than 5 times, so I believed her. We walked together one night to see the stars. The orange night-light in the village created a dream-like atmosphere. The changing scenery gave various impressions. It was adventurous to turn off the maps on the phone and to stroll. I didn’t prepare much prior to visiting Taketomi Island, but I could encounter several unique areas and shops in the village.IMG_0945

School Life

On Taketomi Island, there is only one Elementary and Junior High School. The population of Taketomi Island is about 350 and the number of children is very small. However, the 9-year-old and 10-year-old girls who I met in the village looked to be growing up very healthily in a safe environment. They could stay with their parents after school at the parent’s shops. IMG_0466The school was located in the center of three communities, Ainota, Innota and Naji areas which are spread over 5.4 square km. An old reservoir was near the school. I found old wells near traditional houses, but almost all of them were facing the roads to share the water with villagers. IMG_0884IMG_0463

Post Office

I liked the only post office on Taketomi Island. The office was made in traditional style with Shisa.IMG_0483Mailbox

Meet the Calf

The villager’s ranches were located around the preservation village. You can find small cows near the village. They will be sold to other high brand and famous beef areas, such as Matsuzaka in Mie, and become the finest beef. IMG_0473

Meet the Water-Buffalo

The water-buffalo cart is available periodically. It takes 30 mins to see around the village. If it were not available soon after visiting the Water-buffalo cart office, you can enjoy walking around until it’s your turn. The water-buffalo cart is available periodically. It takes 30 mins to see around the village. If it were not available soon after visiting the Water-buffalo cart office, you can enjoy walking around until it’s your turn. Water-Buffalo cartIMG_0498

How to get around

The distance around the Taketomi Island is 9.2 km and it takes about one hour to go right around by bicycle. There are several places to rent a bicycle on Taketomi Island and if you make a reservation in advance, the renting company can pick you up at the Higashi Port.

If you just take a Water-buffalo cart in order to see the preservation village, you don’t need to rent a bicycle. It takes 20 mins to walk from Higashi Port to the preservation village along a gentle slope.

Data:

Two companies provide Water-buffalo carts on Taketomi Island.

Taketomi Sightseeing Center

Opening hours: 9:00-16:00 / Admission Fee: 1,200 yen for one adult

Nitta Kanko

Opening hours: 9:00-16:00 / Admission Fee: 1,200 yen for one adult

*Guided tour is available at Ritou Tarminal on Ishigaki Island.

Access:

Each Water-buffalo cart company provides a free shuttle bus from Higashi Port to the cart stop. In high season, advanced reservation is preferable.

Wondertips

My name is Keiko Kant. I live in Tokyo and have traveled all over Japan and also throughout several continents. Wondertips will introduce travel tips in Japan, as well as showing beautiful scenery and interesting areas.

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