A trip to Hatoma Island

Down in the Yaeyama Islands we had arranged to stay overnight this week on the small island of Hatoma which is close to its much larger neighbour Iriomote Island. Yoshiaki Hatoma, brother of Okinawan singer Kanako Hatoma, runs a minshuku (guest house) on the island but our plans to stay there had to be changed as the islands were on the edge of a typhoon and the rough seas meant that all boat trips to and from Hatoma were cancelled for two days. Finally, we managed to take the boat for the fifty minute trip from Ishigaki to Hatoma on our last day and were able to spend a few hours there.

Hatoma is a tiny island with a population of about 50. It’s possible to walk around the island and to explore everywhere on foot. There are some beaches which have recently attracted divers and snorkelers. But unlike some of the better-known islands, Hatoma remains comparatively unchanged and has no hotels or shops. Here are some of the sights seen on a walk around the island.

A scene near the port at Hatoma Island.

A scene near the port at Hatoma Island.

Outside Adanashi, the minshuku and cafe run by Yoshiaki Hatoma.

Adanashi, the minshuku and cafe run by Yoshiaki Hatoma.

Hatoma post office.

Hatoma post office

Yarahama beach

Yarahama beach

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Some of the island's inhabitants.

Some of the island’s inhabitants.

Gajimaru tree

Gajimaru tree

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