No different method will get you across the island so easily and shortly!
In the case of lovely ocean surroundings, there’s nowhere higher in Japan than the Yaeyama Islands of Okinawa, and if you need that and a take a look at the Okinawa of olden days, you then’ll definitely need to go to Taketomi Island. With a inhabitants of 323 and little or no in the best way of municipal growth, visiting this distant island is like taking a step into the previous, and since Taketomi is near Ishigaki Island, the primary journey hub of the Yaeyama chain, it’s a simple tour for curious vacationers to make.
Our Japanese-language reporter Kouhey, who’s been consuming and consuming his method round close by Ishigaki Island, not too long ago made his fifth journey to Taketomi Island, and found the proper approach to get round. However first, he needed to get there. A 15-minute ferry from the Euglena Ishigaki Port Distant Island Terminal connects Ishigaki Island with Taketomi, the “gateway to the Yaeyama.”
Not like the opposite islands, Taketomi has one thing of an entry charge, which is 300 yen (US$2.15) per individual. Nonetheless, this charge is usually devoted to the environmental preservation of the island, and it’s truly voluntary. For those who’re amenable, you may pay it both on the terminal or once you arrive at Taketomi Port.
▼ Naturally, Kouhey paid his dues. He loves Taketomi Island.
As soon as he paid his charge, he headed for the pier.
After a rocky, 15-minute ferry journey, he arrived at Taketomi Island. Whereas alighting from the boat, Kouhey was stunned to see somebody who seemed like an Uber Eats supply individual. Might somebody have ordered supply all the best way from Ishigaki…?!
Taketomi Island is known for its water buffalo-drawn carts, which vacationers can journey on a lazy circuit across the island whereas listening to the sanshin, an Okinawan string instrument. These carts are a novel a part of Yaeyama Island tradition, so nearly everybody who visits takes a journey on one.
However Kouhey has one other suggestion: renting a bicycle, and never simply any bicycle, however a fatbike. Kouhey rented his from a fatbike rental retailer known as Fatbike Rental Taketomi Island, situated within the middle of the island.
For those who’ve by no means heard of a fatbike earlier than, it’s a kind of mountain bike with extraordinarily thick tires.
Their thick treads make peddling on troublesome roads straightforward and easy, even these coated with sand and snow. The fatbike that Kouhey rented additionally had gears, which he hoped would make it simpler to journey on the island’s hilly terrain.
The associated fee was 1,200 yen for the primary two hours, and 600 yen for each hour after that. Rental bikes on Taketomi usually go for 400 to 500 yen per hour, so the fatbikes are somewhat costly by comparability, however the island is filled with sandy soil roads and hills. If you concentrate on the comfort afforded by their huge tires and gears, that further 100 to 200 yen per hour is price it.
After a number of days of dangerous climate, the solar was out brilliant and good, making it the proper day for sightseeing, so Kouhey was desirous to get on his fatbike and get going. With the rental course of full, he headed out on a tour of the island.
After the torrential rain of the day earlier than, the grime roads have been in fairly horrible situation, however because of the fatbike Kouhey was in a position to shortly cross via the city and onto the island’s perimeter street with out incident.
His progress was fast as he roared down the street.
His first cease was Kondoi Seashore, probably the most well-known swimming spot on Taketomi, which can also be recognized for its excellent magnificence.
The water was amazingly crystal clear!
When Kouhey had his fill of its magnificence, he headed again out on the perimeter street.
Ten minutes to the east, he came across his second spot: Kaiji Seashore, recognized for its star-shaped sand.
Right here, too, the water was fantastically clear, making this a spot to compete with Kondoi Seashore.
The sand was filled with vacationers looking for some star-shaped grains, however they aren’t really easy to seek out. Kouhey thought it could be simpler to only purchase them from memento retailers.
Kouhey rode one other kilometer (somewhat greater than a half mile) east earlier than he came across a avenue known as “Chocho no Michi”, or “Butterfly Street.” This grime street was muddy and full of puddles, however the fatbike had no bother navigating it.
This took Kouhey to his third spot, Aiyaru Seashore.
Because it’s comparatively removed from the primary city, there have been far fewer vacationers there. Kouhey considers this an important hidden gem on Taketomi Island.
Again on the street for one more kilometer, this time to the west. His vacation spot: the West Bridge (Nishi Sankyo).
The very finish of the bridge affords a beautiful view of the glowing blue waters surrounding the Yaeyama Islands.
The journey again to the perimeter street from the West Bridge is all uphill, and that’s when the gears on the fatbike actually got here in helpful. By the point he made it to the highest, Kouhey was grateful his bike was geared up with them.
The West Bridge was the final cease on his fatbike tour. The island itself has a fringe of solely 3.4 kilometers (about 2.1 miles), so, even if you happen to take your time at every spot, you may simply take pleasure in all of Taketomi in about an hour with a fatbike.
His tour completed, Kouhey headed again to city…
And returned the fatbike to the rental store.
So there you’ve it–a tour of Taketomi Island by fatbike! Taketomi has loads of bicycle rental retailers that supply avenue bike leases, however in case you have the possibility, Kouhey completely recommends renting a fatbike to assist navigate the grime roads and hills of the island.
However whether or not you determine to go along with a fatbike or a avenue bike, ensure you observe the foundations, together with parking solely in designated bicycle parking spots and never driving on the seashores themselves. After all, you in all probability additionally shouldn’t get drunk on awamori jelly earlier than you get on a motorbike, both.
So long as you journey safely and respectfully, although, a fatbike permits you to totally benefit from the lovely sights of Taketomi Island with no hitch!
Pictures © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]