VISIT OKINAWA JAPAN Official Okinawa Travel Guide

Taketomi Island

An Island with Unspoiled Landscape, and Nostalgic Village Scenes

About 15 minutes from the Ishigaki Port Outlying Island Terminal by the regularly scheduled ferry, Taketomi Island is easily accessible from Ishigaki Island. The traditional wooden homes feature red roof tiles, limestone walls, and white coral sand paved streets combine to form both the identity of the village, and a postcard-perfect sight to behold. A scene of such merit Taketomi Island has been designated as an Important Traditional Building Group Conservation Area by the national government. Surrounded by shallow waters and calm waves, Taketomi Island fully expresses the typical landscape that most associate with Okinawa. Witness the old-fashioned townscape, the sunset coloring the sea red, and stars silently shining in the night sky. This island, the birthplace of Asadoya Yunta, known widely from Okinawan folk song, is a wonderful island that invites visitors to delve into the flow of eternal time.

The Village of Red Roof Tiles

Limestone walls decorated with hibiscus and bougainvillea, skirt wooden houses with their roofs made from traditional red tiles. It is a strongly nostalgic scene to behold. The townscape of Taketomi Island, which maintains its traditional appearance, has been designated by the national government as a preservation district for its important traditional buildings. Take a leisurely walk to explore the streets paved with white coral sand, or catch a ride on the water buffalo carriage while listening to songs played on the sanshin by an island guide. Just thinking about it brings on a sense of calm. The flow of time throughout the settlement that has remained unchanged over time will have visitors captivated.

The Seed Festival

The Tanadui Festival (Tanedori or Tanadui) is the largest festival on Taketomi Island, and takes place every year over 10 days from the 21st to the 31st of the sexagenary cycle according to the lunar calendar, and has been designated as an important intangible folk-cultural property by the national government. The festival begins with the sowing of seeds on purified land, and then praying to the gods for their healthy growth. During the 7th and 8th days of the festival, a variety of entertainment, such as dances and plays, is showcased, which is enjoyed by both locals and people visiting from outside the island. If your trip happens to fall on the dates of the Seed Festival, please be sure to check out the traditional performing arts of Taketomi Island.

The Sunset, Townscape at Night, and Starry Night Sky

On the west side of the island away from the settlement, there is the Nishi Pier, a unique vantage point within the Yaeyama Islands. When standing at the tip of a jetty that stretches straight above the sea shimmering in emerald green, you can view your surrounds as if you are standing on the sea. Additionally, the light streaks reflect off the sea as the sun sets on the horizon, turning the blue sea orange, makes it appear as if there is another pier over the sea. When the sun sets, darkness surrounds the area and the starry night sky takes over as if the stars are falling from above. The lights in the village at night bring on a quiet tropical night calm, in contrast to the vivid colors of the daytime scenery.

Access to Taketomi Island

By air : None
By sea : Ishigaki Port to Taketomi Port (approximately 10 minutes by high-speed boat)

Taketomi Island Basic Information

Area / Population: 5.43 km² / 360 residents

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