Taketomi by bicycle – Ishigaki, Japan

First full day in Ishigaki! The weather was pretty rubbish today as a result of the typhoon. Very strong winds still, together with the odd shower and downpour! As a result we decided to postpone anything to do with swimming, snorkeling or otherwise beach related!

Instead, we took the ferry across to the nearby Taketomi island. Taketomi is a fairly small island home to only 800 people or so and seems to specialise in producing beef judging by the number of cows that we saw!

Due to its size it was the perfect opportunity to improve our cycling skills in riding around the island. We’re staying at the Hotel Patina in Ishigaki and part of the room rate included 6 hours free bike hire, so we took them onto the ferry and saved ourselves a few bucks (not sure whether it’s only the first six hours free, or if it’s six hours every day…I guess we’ll find out at checkout time!).

The trip across only took 15mins, but was still a bit choppy, making balancing the bikes quite difficult!

Again, similar to many other places we’ve visited in Japan, cats are plentiful on Taketomi! This one was spotted relaxing in the visitor centre.

The ride around the island was heaps of fun, despite the strong headwind at times. The town of Taketomi itself was really interesting, with all the streets lined with chest high walls made of rocks and coral collected from around the island.

After a bite to eat for lunch we checked out the town a bit more and then headed back to the jetty to wait for our boat back to Ishigaki.

Taketomi port

Due to the poor weather we then wandered the streets of Ishigaki for the rest of the afternoon, trying to find a few souvenirs and gifts to take back with us.

Dinner was at a quaint little restaurant called Ma-Sando where the walls were covered with business cards pinned up by previous diners.

A note to anyone visiting this restaurant, if you see the boarding card with the message from us complimenting the chef on his awesome beef ramen…could you please cross out beef and replace it with pork…my tastebuds got a little confused…? 🙂

pps. please also crossout ‘ramen’ and replace with ‘Yaeyama soba’… :

Pork ramen!