Water buffalo

Water buffalo

Even today, water buffalo is the main form of transport on Taketomi Island.

On tiny Taketomi Island where there are no cars, a novel form of transport has been used for centuries. Meet the beautiful water buffalo who pull passengers on carts around the island. Today tourists can be taken on a 30 minute water buffalo cart tour of Taketomi Village accompanied by a guide who plays Okinawan music on a sanshin (Okinawa stringed instrument). 

Taketomi Village is a beautiful preserved ryukyu village characterised by one storey houses with dark red roofs and lots of lion statues believed to ward off evil spirits. Closer to Taiwan and mainland China than Japan, the Okinawa archipelago was once a sovereign state known as the Ryukyu Kingdom until the 17th century.

Water buffalo

located in Taketomi

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Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Offering an unconventional alternative to a mainland cultural tour, this classic island-hopping trip introduces Japan's subtropical gems.

    Japan Island-Hopping

    Fly over 1,500 miles from Tokyo to the Okinawa Islands, Japan's southernmost prefecture with its own distinctive culture. This is your chance to get away from it all – discover beautiful white beaches, swim in warm translucent waters, spot rare wildlife and trek through undisturbed jungle.

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    Offering an unconventional alternative to a mainland cultural tour, this classic island-hopping trip introduces Japan's subtropical gems.

Other Wildlife experiences

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  • Steller's sea eagles

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    Take a small ice breaker cruise into the ice flows of the Nemuro Straits to photograph Steller's sea eagles fishing for Pacific cod.

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  • Hammerhead sharks

    Hammerhead sharks

    Fancy swimming amid a school of hammerhead sharks?

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  • Wildlife boat cruises

    Wildlife boat cruises

    Take a boat cruise around the shoreline of the Shiretoko Peninsula and experience the diverse wildlife and marine life of this remote wilderness

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