TAKETOMI ISLAND, OKINAWA
Just over 300 people call Taketomi Island home, and they must surely be some of the luckiest people in Japan to be able to enjoy the island’s fine climate, pristine beaches and traditional architecture every day of their lives. The rest of us, however, can still enjoy the laid back charms of this small but quaint island on a day trip from nearby Ishigaki Island. A ten-minute ferry crossing brings you in to Taketomi’s port, where aside from the Ishigaki ferry, the majority of water traffic is made up of sun-bronzed fisherman. If you are feeling energetic, you can rent a bicycle at the port and travel to Taketomi Village. Alternatively, a more traditional mode of transport is the suigyusha or water buffalo cart. These docile water buffalos transport visitors around the village while a local driver serenades you.
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