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About Taketomi

Taketomi is an island town consisting of nine inhabited islands and seven uninhabited islands in Yaeyama Islands chain.
Painu (southern) islands, where rich nature and culture remain, are dotted about the sea. Taketomi Island has remains of traditional rows of houses such as folk dwellings with red roof tiles and white sand paths. Iriomote Island has remains of rich nature such as mangroves and Iriomote wildcat. The drama “Chura-san” was set in Kohama Island. Hateruma is an inhabited islanad, the southernmost point of Japan. Cattle farms are spread out everywhere in Kuroshima Island. Hatoma and Aragusuku Island are surrounded by coral reefs.
Iriomote Island, the marine area of coral reefs called Sekisei lagoon, and a scattering of islands like Kuroshima, Taketomi, Kohama, aragusuku and Nakano Ugan Island is designated as national park.

Taketomi island 竹富島

Houses with red tile roofs and white sand roads,
some nostalgic landscape of Okinawa has remained.

White sands roads, red tile roofs, stone walls and bougainvilleas.  Taketomi is a small island that is 10 minutes away from Ishigaki Island by fast ferry and is surrounded by about 9 km of coastline. There are Shisas, traditional decorations that look like a cross between a lion and a dog, with a variety of expressive features on the Okinawan red roof tiles. Bright flowers bloom along the paths of pure white coral sands, water buffalo carts go tranquilly with the sound of the sanshin, an Okinawan musical instrument, in the village. Taketomi Island is one of the best tourist spots in Yaeyama, still has a homely and beautiful typical Okinawan village in olden times, and is designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.

Kuroshima island 黒島

Heart-shaped island spreading idyllic landscape.
Cows and sea turtle welcome you.

Kuroshima is a pasturage island with a population of about 200 against over 10 times as many as cows. Peaceful ranch scene spreads out all over the island. It is also called “Heart Island” with its, heart-shaped island. In the sea of Kuroshima where sea turtles visit to lay eggs, the most beautiful coral reefs in Yaeyama spread out and this area is one of the best place for snorkel.

Kohama island 小浜島

A beautiful resort island
which was the stage of drama "Chura-san".

Kohama Island is almost located on the center of Yaeyama Islands, and famous for the NHK drama “Chura-san”. Sugarcane fields and ranches spread on the gently-sloping hills. You can look out over emerald green sea and beautiful islands of Yaeyama at a 360℃ panorama view from the top of Ufudaki Mountain with 99m above sea level. There are resort hotels and a golf courses on the east side of the island, it is the best resort place in Yaeyama.

Iriomote island(west) 西表島西部

Subtropical jungle covers
the last unexplored island in Japan.

Iriomote Island is the second largest size after Okinawa mainland. Population of about 2000 people. Most part of the island is almost covered with subtropical jungle. The world of the island and animals spread in mangrove forest.

Iriomote island(east) 西表島東部

Mangrove forest and
Yaeyama palm trees in Ubundul.

Nakama River which flows into Ohara Port, in east Iriomote Island, is designated a national natural treasure as “Nakama River Nature Protected Area.” The largest forest of mangrove in Japan and Yaeyama palm trees in Ubundul of protected species are in this area.
Yubu Island is 500m distant from the east side beach of Iriomote Island. A whole island is botanical gardens. You can cross there by water buffalo cart.

Hatoma island 鳩間島

A lapis lazuli color island surrounded by coral reefs
where we enjoy a relaxed sense of time.

It is located on 5km distant of north of Iriomote and the northernmost of Taketomi town. A group of Milk bush which is surrounded by coral reefs at the north side of the island is especially wonderful. Hatomanakamori which is sung in a stanza of Hatoma tune is the highest point of 33.8m above sea level in the island. There are a beacon (tomi) with stonework and Hatomajima lighthouse on the top of the mountain. Time goes particularly slowly on a non-sightseeing island, which gives uswe will have a quiet, and peaceful and healing moment.

Hateruma island 波照間島

The southernmost island of Japan
where the Southern Cross is shining.

Hateruma, the origin of a word “the island of Uruma (coral reef) of the end” is an inhabited and the southernmost island in Japan. The sea color in Hateruma is also called “Hateruma blue” which has unique blue brightness, especially, Nishi Beach is the most famous with its beautiful sea in Yaeyama. Takanazaki, located in the southern end of island, has a monument in the southernmost place of Japan and Starlit Sky Observation Tower, therefore it is a popular sightseeing spot.

Things to know for visitors to the islands

  • ・For the safety of the nature in the island, you are not allowed to take out animals and plants without permission.
  • ・Please make sure to inform to the police and the forestry office in case that you plan to cross the jungle in Iriomote island.
  • ・Camps are prohibited except for designated campsites.
  • ・Mobile phones hardly catch the signal depending on the place.
  • ・Do not walk with a swimwear style or naked above the waist in the community.
  • ・Please take your trash home with you.

There are Utaki (uganjo) in each community and its surrounding in Yaeyama district.
Do not enter without permission because they are sacred places.
You must follow the rules of the each islands when you take part in festivals and events.

The safety measures

UV protection

The sunlight in Yaeyama district is very strong so that large doses of UV rays in every season is not to be trifled with. As the steps to be taken for UV protection, you should wear something like a thin long-sleeved shirt, a hat and sunglasses, moreover, please put effective UV protection cream on the coat of your face and body including the hidden parts. Especially, please take care of little children.

Ishigaki Meteorological Office

Okinawa Meteorological Office

In case that you might meet with a typhoon

Yaeyama district is a route of typhoon. High waves with rollers appear by the sea for two or three days before and after close typhoon.
When typhoon approaches, all transport facilities are affected.
A typhoon warning is issued from Ishigaki Meteorological Office when it is still in early stage in the distance.
Please check the latest typhoon warning and the necessary steps to be taken on website of the Meteorological Agency.
The information will be reported from TV, the Radio and a local disaster prevention system.

Pay attention to high waves with rollers occurring by the sea sides before and after a couple of days of the closest approach of the typhoon.
When you are meeting with a typhoon in traveling, you should check the service conditions of ships and flights, then you should act to go home safely with maximum preference.

Typhoon information of the Meteorological Agency(http://www.jma.go.jp/jp/typh/

Precautions before entering the sea

Do not swim alone in the sea. Even if anything should happen, you may not be noticed by anybody. You must wear a life jacket or a wet suit to keep buoyancy.
You should learn the basis of equipment before beginning a snorkel.Please be careful about dangerous creatures such as chironex yamaguchii (jellyfish) and the geography cone (spiral shell) with toxic sting, and you should not touch or go near them.

Precautions for climbing the mountains

Do not go to a mountain alone.
If anything should happen, you may not be noticed by anybody.
No vehicles in the woodland paths and mountain trail.
Please be careful about heatstroke.You must drink some water frequently.
Do not touch and collect creatures thoughtlessly.

Access to the islands

Firstly, get to Ishigaki island by air.

Haneda Airport – Ishigaki Airport about 3 hours
Kansai Airport – Ishigaki Airport about 2 and half hours
Connecting flight: Naha Airport – Ishigaki Airport about one hour

Ishigaki Island is the portal for access to Taketomi islands. After the expansion of Ishigaki Airport in March 2013, direct flights between Ishigaki and major cities have greatly increased, which facilitates the access to Taketomi town too. As there are many flights between Ishigaki and Naha Airport, which offers flights to and from various cities in Japan, it is convenient to use flights via Naha to get to Ishigaki. As for international flights, there are regular charter flights twice a week to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport operated by China Airlines.

From the airport to Outer Islands Ferry Terminal

Buses or taxi are available from Ishigaki airport.
・Taxi: Fare: about 3,000yen (Journey time: about 30 min)
・Bus: 540yen (Journey time: 40-50 min)

To get to each island, you should get on board from Ishigaki Port Outer Islands Ferry Terminal.

Please buy a passage ticket at a ticket office of each shipping line in the terminal. You will find the front counter of many travel agencies that gives advice to enjoy your trip in the islands.

For further information on the High-speed ferry like fees and timetables, etc, go to the WEB site of each ferry company.
Anei Kanko(http://www.aneikankou.co.jp/
Yaeyama Kanko Ferry(https://www.yaeyama.co.jp/
Ishigaki Dream Tours(http://ishigaki-dream.co.jp/

―Taketomi Island

Accessible in about 10 minutes by the high-speed ferry from Outer Islands Ferry Terminal. There are bus services for the communities and the beaches from the port. Tour buses in the island also provide services. Rental bicycle is recommended to go around in every corner of the island.

―Iriomote Island

Accessible in about 40 minutes by the high-speed ferry from Outer Islands Ferry Terminal.
In case of cancellation of the ship visit to Uehara Port for bad weather conditions, the ship should get into Ohara Port and you should go to west district by bus. Rental cars and motorbikes, route buses and taxi are available to move around the island. Tour bus services are also available. If you want to take a taxi, you need to phone one advance. (Taxi charter is available.)

―Kohama Island

Accessible in about 25 minutes by the high-speed ferry from Outer Islands Ferry Terminal.
You can take a round trip by rental cycle without hurry. If you are not strong enough for it, you may take a rental car or a rental motorbike, because several roads are ups and downs. There are sightseeing buses covering viewing spots in the island.

―Hateruma Island

Accessible in about 60 minutes by the high-speed ferry from Outer Islands Ferry Terminal.
You can take a round trip by rental cycle without hurry. If you are not strong enough for it, you may take a rental car or a rental motorbike, because several roads are ups and downs. Tour bus services in the island are also available.
※Ferry lines to and from Hateruma should be cancelled because of bad weather conditions or tidal conditions.

―Kuroshima Island

Accessible in about 25 minutes by the high-speed ferry from Outer Islands Ferry Terminal.
It is a flat island with few ups and downs. Rental bicycles and motorbikes are recommended as transportation

―Hatoma Island

Accessible in about 40 minutes by the high-speed ferry from Outer Islands Ferry Terminal.
You can take a walking tour around the island. Take care of riding a bicycle because the roads are not paved except the community.

―Aragusuku Island

Accessible in about 60 minutes by the high-speed ferry from Outer Islands Ferry Terminal.
Since there is no packet boat to Aragusuku Island, please take ships for a snorkel tour or something else. You can take a walking tour around the island.

―Kayama island

You can take a walking around the island. As there is no regular ferry service to Kayama Island, please use a snorkel tour ship from Ishigaki or Kohama.

―Yubu island

Accessible in about 20 minutes by a car from Ohara Port. It is located on the other side of Iriomote Island and you can go across there by water buffalo cart. This island consists of Subtropical botanical gardens.

Information

Taketomi Town Tourist Association
1-5 Misakicho, Ishigaki City Okinawa Prefecture, 907-0012
TEL 0980-82-5445 FAX 0980-82-5472
MAIL take-kan@guitar.ocn.ne.jp