Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don’t Miss Famous Starsand Beach!

Take your bike and join us to Taketomi Island in Japan for a nice day at the beach!

nlNederlands (Dutch)

We’ve just introduced you to three Japanese Islands that we visited in the Okinawa prefecture and after showing you the best of Ishigaki Island, it’s time for our second stop during this tour: lovely little Taketomi Island.

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Ready for take-off!

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

From the harbour in Ishigaki, we took the ferry over to Taketomi, it’s only a 15 minute ride!

 

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island

The population of Taketomi Island lies around 300 people. This cute little island is know for its traditional Okinawan houses, stone walls and sandy streets. You will love the red-tiles roofs and little shisha guard dog/lion hybrids that guard every building.

The best way to see the place is to rent a bike and hop from beach to beach to relax or snorkel in between.

Another popular activity, which we let you decide for yourself if you find it ethical or not, is taking an ox-cart ride through the village.

 

We made a little video for you to show you our cycle trip around Taketomi island. Check below to see it and let us know what you think (we speak in Dutch, but we created English subtitles for you!)

 

 

 

What else we did on Taketomi Island…

 

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

 They do have bigger bikes for us Westerners :)

 

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

My favourite Shisha from the island. Go Bikes!

 

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

You don’t really need a plan to get around Taketomi Island, dus soak in the beauty around you!

 

Nagomi Tower

If you’re not afraid of heights and/or constructions that seem to be crumbling under your feet, then make sure to make your way up Nagomi Tower.

There is only room for 2 people at a time, so pick your best friend and enjoy the 360 degree view together:

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

 

West Pier

If you cycle straight towards the ocean from the viewpoint, you will hit West Pier first. Not a great beach per sé, but still nice enough for a quick look and a selfie with the amazingly coloured water in the backdrop.

Apparently the blue in the water can take on 7 or 8 different shades! Ooooohhh Pretty!

 

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

 

Kondoi Beach

For the best beach, keep cycling towards Kondoi Beach (the roads really just go in a circle, you can’t go wrong). The water on this beach is quite shallow and great for a dip. At the beginning of the beach, you can park your bike and also find toilets and showers.

To be honest, we’re not really sunbathers (and the weather wasn’t that great -very hot, but not very sunny), so we only stayed here for a short while. Still, long enough to make some friends with a Japanese couple who loved our friend Paul’s Glastonbury’s shirt and could stop talking about music :)

 

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

 

Star Sand Beach (Kaiji beach)

I found the next beach much more interesting, as it was covered with ‘hoshizuna’, or ‘star sand’. Well.. covered… it used to be at least, before they started botteling it up like crazy and selling to tourists (there is still a souvenir stand ON the beach! Hah!)

If you have some patience and sief through the grains, you will see tiny little star-shaped pieces of ‘sand’, which actually is  formed from the remains of tiny star-shaped crustations. Very cool!

 

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Just keep looking!

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

Cycling back to the village, such great little streets!

 

Before you return your bike, make sure to visit this lovely lady! She owns a sweets shop and sells super yummy sugared peanuts and cane sugar ice lollies

 

    
Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

After all that goodness, we could say we had a lovely day out. Time to get back on the ferry and continue the rest of our adventures in Okinawa!!!

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

 

 

The Travel Tester - Bookmark Practical
How to get There?
There is a great Okinawa ferry network around all the islands and to get from Ishigaki Island to Taketomi island, it’s only a short ride.

From the ferry terminal in Ishigaki, there are many desks where you can book a ticket (we did at the one below). There is also a desk with English speaking staff, which is probably the easiest to book from.

 

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

 

How to get Around?
Tatekomi island Japan is super tiny, so the easiest is to rent a bike and take it easy. You can rent a bike from a couple of places and prices range from around ¥300 an hour to ¥1500 for a full day.

Where to Stay?
We didn’t stay on Taketomi island ourselves, as it makes a good enough day trip (there isn’t much more to see), but if you really want to slow down, you can stay in one of the  guesthouses in Taketomi village.

Where to Eat?
We had lunch in the harbour of Ishigaki before we head off to Taketomi island Okinawa and it’s probably easy to grab something from the convenient store in Ishigaki before you head out, but there are some small shops scattered around the island where you can get refreshments and a couple of restaurants serving traditional meals.

We do recommend, however, to visit the lovely little shop on the crossing before the viewing platform. It is run by an friendly old lady and she has incredible sugared peanuts and sugar cane icelollies. Must do!

And if nothing else.. there are always the vending machines. Everywhere, seriously.

 

Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

 

Planning a Trip to Japan? Here are some great resources:

 

 

 

PIN IT!
Cycle Trip around Taketomi Island, Okinawa Japan: Don't Miss Famous Starsand Beach! || The Travel Tester

 

Disclaimer: We were kindly invited by the Okinawa Tourism Board to experience the hospitality, culture, food and nature of Taketomi Island. All photos, videos and opinions are 100% our own, as always.

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7 Comments

  • I spent a couple of summer holidays in Taketomi about 40 years ago. Nice to see little has changed since then.
    What has changed for sure is that we used to reach the island by hopping off a cruise ship in the middle of the sea onto a smaller boat since there was no pier big enough for a ferry at the time.
    And the other thing I see is that on Kaiji beach you now have to look for the stars. Back then you just had to dig your hand in the sand to pick up loads!
    Oh and speaking of bicycles, I still have a scar on my heel from getting my foot caught in the rear wheel while riding on the back rack with my father :)
    Thanks for bringing back memories!

    • That’s such a great story, thank you for sharing that with us! Yes, unfortunately the star sand is mostly gone now, strangely enough there is a guy selling it on the same beach.. hmm! And the bike story, ouch!!! At least you have a lasting memory of the trip now, but still :) Hope you get to visit Okinawa again some day!

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