As a part of a ‘workation’ study trip, I spent a week on Tarama Island. Tarama Island is located near Yaeyama, between Ishigaki and Miyako Island. It is a stunning, typical Okinawan island. Known as a Ryukyu Feng Shui Village, it is an island where windbreak forests and wind-protecting trees at mansions from the past remain. It is also known as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan. During the week, various workshops and activities were held with locals and participants from outside Okinawa. With activities like a mystery tour, sugar cane harvesting, beach cleanup, etc., it was a program that made the participants rethink how tourism should like with both serious and fun aspects. The program was one of the workation programs of the so-called “Shimamusubi” project: https://www.shimamusubi.net/ (in Japanese)
Tarama Island has a rich nature, and the historical background is preserved in everyday life. One may call it indeed the pearl of the Sakishima Islands. Considering the island’s location, it also has a strong historical connection to Ishigaki, as reflected in the Tarama rice fields in Hirakubo and the small settlement of Tarama in the northern part of Ishigaki. It will be interesting to revive the connection in the future.