On the final day of our trip to Okinawa we went to Taketomi*, a small island which has been really well preserved. Apart from stunning beaches there were also lots of traditional houses, interesting statues and beautiful flowers.
We set off from Ishigaki island early in the morning to beat the other tourists. When I say early I mean the first boat, at 7:30. To make matters worse it was a windy day, let me just say I was glad that I hadn't yet eaten my breakfast.
However it was definitely worth waking up early, as we walked into the village we watched the sunrise. Also we were the only people walking around so it was lovely and peaceful. Our first stop was the Nagominoto Tower, 4.5 meters tall and positioned in the center of the village. If you are brave enough to venture up the steep and narrow steps then you are rewarded with great views of the island.
We then took a 30 minute water buffalo cart ride through the village. The guide was really interesting, telling us about the history of the island and playing the shamisen. He had a stick which he rarely needed to use because the buffalo, called Yuki, knew the route off by heart. It was amazing how she could manoeuvre the long cart around tight corners and along narrow streets.
After the cart ride we walked around for a while and went into a nice souvenir shop near the Nagominoto Tower. We also had a really delicious ice cream from a shop which once featured in a television drama.
In the afternoon we decided to rent bikes for one hour. Once we got the bikes we went to the west pier and Kondoi Beach. Absolutely beautiful. The sea`s colour was an amazing mix of blues and greens and the sand was actually small pieces of coral. At Kondoi Beach there were lots of cats, I assume it was because fishermen use the beach.
Our last stop was a lovely little cafe. It was one of the few building with a second floor and the view was really nice. I could have just sat there for the rest of the afternoon people watching but it was time to get the boat back to Ishigaki Island and then the plane back to rainy Osaka.
|Amazing tree roots|
|View from Nagominoto Tower|
|Cafe where a TV drama called Gokusen was filmed|
|Water buffalo cart|
|It`s a tiny village but it has it`s own petrol station|
|This isn't a buffalo just randomly walking through the street, there was a man leading it but you can`t see him in this photo|
|A little shrine we walked past|
|One of the many cats|
|The lovely cafe|
*Japanese Lesson #4: Taketomi-jima
竹 take- bamboo
富 tomi- rich
島 jima- island