Taketomi Island Kuramoto Remains, Taketomi-jima

#2 of 8 in Historic Sites in Taketomi-jima
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Taketomi Island Kuramoto Remains reviews

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14 reviews
  • the closest to paradise you'll ever be.
  • Tourists not welcome here but tourist money >>> ok!! Welcome, you've just arrived at Scam Island. If you are pressed for time in Ishigaki, this money trap is not your best option, especially if you want to see fish in the ocean (skip to the last paragraph for the best beach option). This island has no reef or rocks for fish to live / hide. Snorkeling doesn't exist here. There is only sea grass just offshore, dotting the ocean floor. The seas grass is very low, close to the sandy bottom. There are no fish to see here. We checked Kondoi beach, the most popular beach, and Kaiji beach. The same sea grass is everywhere. At Kondoi beach there are no drone messages painted on bricks. Your choice. It's not a law. And you paid a small fortune for the ferry ride to get here. "Star beach" (Kaiji) has a "no swimming" suggested (also your choice, not a law) and the "star" sand is so small, you can't even see the star's arms. You need a magnifying glass. It's a joke. Other things, they ask people wear a shirt OUSIDE in the village areas, even though this is a topical island destination with beaches. It's very odd and they don't understand this mismatch of expectations. Again, your choice. It's not a law. I went without a shirt. There were no local people in the villages. We walked through the two biggest villages and they were ghost towns. When we walked from Kondoi to Kaiji beach, there were many angry wooden signs erected along the road saying "No hotels" and "don't develop our island for hotels". With all the disconnected rules and then these anti-hotel signs, it's clear that tourism has overstayed it's welcome here. This island is done with tourists. So don't come here. The sand is nice. If you don't care about seeing any fish, it's just normal sand for Japan standards though. Nothing special. Not white sand but a nice light brown. Not powder sand but not gravel either. Just average. This feature alone is not unique for Japan or worth the trip here. The expensive ferry ride and the bicycle rentals are a scam. We walked around the island, skipping the bikes. Bikes are not necessary for most. It's a small place. The bikes are 400yen per hour but are all located away from beaches, meaning, you have to rent from the main village or near the ferry ONLY then ride around and KEEP your bike if you want to see multiple beaches. If you return your bike to the main village or ferry in less than an hour or two to save money on the rental, you will have to walk back out to any beaches, as they are all located away from the rental locations. Not huge walks but just enough of a deterrent for some to just keep paying to keep their bikes. It's a clever scam design. Also there is no food open here. Everything was closed for covid. There are only vending machines for drinks at the ferry terminal and in the main village. A MUCH better option is to take the bus to Yonehara beach. 1000yen for a 24 hour bus pass (buy at bus station) good for the entire island. At Yonehara beach there are TONS of amazing tropical fish, popping with color, literally everywhere you look.... The best snorkeling we've ever seen. Our family thought it was better than Thailand and Philippines and the bus stops right at the beach. About a 45 minute bus ride one way. Small store with snacks, drinks, ice cream, chips, ramen and vending machines at the beach. Yonehara is a better option and is WAYYYYY cheaper and way better than Taketomi island if you want to see fish. You feel welcome at Yonehara.

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