Taketomi is the closest island to Ishigaki, and as such makes for a convenient and pleasent half day (or couple of hours) excursion. Ferries run to Taketomi from the Ritou Sanbashi (Remote Island Ferry Terminal) every half hour. Round trip boat fare is approx. 900 yen.
Taketomi island is part of Iriomote National Park, and has been listed as a site for cultural preservation. The authorites only allow the construction of traditional Okinawan homes, and most of the roads in the village are paved with crushed shells. The place feels somewhat false, and touristified (like colonial Williamsburg) but it is still quite pleasant. Gondoi beach, to the north of the island, is sandy good to get a beach experience in. Taketomi is a good place to bring a book, lie under a tree and relax.
Asia is the biggest continent on Earth, a darling little gem floating around in space.Hm, what is Asia? Who's in on it?China and India are safe bets for Asian nations. Korea, Japan, Thailand, you're fine.Europe? No. Europe would sort of be on the "Asian continent" if not for those pesky Ural mountains dividing things up in the middle, and then also the whole lineage of kings and wealth and nations and the EU and all that "give me my respect" stuff.Russia would probably be happiest as its own continent, so for now we'll leave it in "Eurasia" and just hope the natural gas supplies keep flowing.Pakistan and Afghanistan are dang close to Asia, but politically they show up in "Middle East" news stories an awful lot. Verdict: Eurasia.I guess we'll actually have to consider everything from Turkey on eastward to be "Eurasian", although the moniker seems overlappitory of the territory.The Asian economy is now officially raging like a wild furnace of lava that consumes everything in its path. Japan has had the largest individual economy in Asia for decades, but it is forecast that both India and China will outstrip Japan within twenty years.China is the largest holder of United States debt and is positioned to become the world's next superpower, provided that Godzilla doesn't return and decide to stomp everybody back into the Shang Dynasty.Text by Steve Smith.