At a heart-shaped island where cattle caper
Observe colorful corals and rare animals
This is one of the Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa, and is also called “Heart Island” as it is heart shaped. It’s an island where stockbreeding is so active that people say “There are more cattle than people,” and a festival called “Ushi Matsuri,” which is popular owing to a lottery for cattle, is held every February.
Sekisei Lagoon that spreads around the island is the largest coral reef sea area in Japan where rare corals live in herds. Seawater there is very transparent, and you can thoroughly observe the way tropical fish form groups at corals by snorkeling. It is warm all year, and the sea bathing season is long from late April to the beginning of November. However, there are many “No Swimming” areas, and there is no observer on the shore. So, pay sufficient attention when enjoying sea bathing.
Many rare endemic species and Natural Monuments also live on the ground. You may be able to closely observe rare animals, such as Yaeyama fruit bat, Sakisima habu, Pyrocoelia atripennis Lewis, terrestrial hermit crab, and yellow-margined box turtle. In addition, you can clearly see stars that are difficult to observe on the Japanese mainland, such as the Southern Cross, Canopus, and Rigil Kentaurus. The island is a spot where you can be satisfied with rich beauty of nature without restraint.
- 1 Kuroshima, , Okinawa
- 0980-82-6191 (Commercial, Industrial, and Tourism Department of Taketomi Town)