Only a short 15 minute ferry ride from Ishigaki Port is the beautiful unspoilt island of Taketomi. The island is actually a raised coral atoll, and is also bordered by a large coral reef, which attracts and maintains a wealth of sea life. The island has preserved its local charm, with coral sand roads winding through the central village with its traditional Kawara style, red tiled roofed houses, topped with shiisa, the lion dog figures, to ward off evil spirits.The garden and roadside walls are all made from local rocks and natural building materials to maintain the island`s heritage. The walls and hedgerows abound with plants and wild flowers, and typically the streets are a blaze of color from bougainvillea, hibiscus and wild poinsettias. Within the main village there are tours on carts drawn by water buffalo, with the driver telling traditional folk tales, singing and playing the sanshin, the traditional three stringed instrument local to the area.