With a population of about 60 people, Hatoma Island (Hatoma-jima) is as country as you can get. This small island has an area of 3.9km making it easily accessible by foot. It is located on 5km north of Iriomote island, and is the northernmost island of Taketomi-cho. It is pronounced “Patouma” locally. Although the population of 650 in 1949 reached the peak, it is decreasing sharply after that. The bonito fishery was prosperous from the Meiji Period last stage to the Taisho Period’s. The seaweed, Tsunomata, and shako-shellfish, cultivation is performed at present. The island is surrounded by a very large coral reef which supports the island industries of bonito and shell-fishing. People that go to Hatoma are looking for peace and quiet as well as a chance to bask in the sun and play in the ocean.
Transportation to Hatoma Island
Ferry service to Hatoma is offered by two companies (ANEI and Yaeyama Kankou Ferry). The ferries only run 3 times a week so be careful that you do not get stranded on the island. There is also the possibility of riding the postal boat to and from Iriomote Island. For english service, please contact Hirata Tourism Company (0980-1713-7935) to purchase tickets. They sell tickets for Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday ferry rides.
Services on Hatoma Island
Please expect that there will be no services available besides what is available in your minshuku. Most of the minshukus have some type of coin laundry. Also be sure to remember that you must bring your own towel.
Lodging on Hatoma Island
There are currently 5 minshukus on Hatoma Island. Some can even pick you up from Uehara Port in Iriomote. Please call to find out what they offer. All the minshukus on Hatoma Island have the same price for one night and 3 meals. The price is 5500 per person per night.
|Minshuku Aozora Sou
|Minshuku Shimanu (Poppo)
Sightseeing on Hatoma Island
Hatoma Island is a calm and peaceful island which has nice beaches and a sparking shoreline. The island is small so no matter which direction you walk in, you will always hit the ocean. The island also has forests and an undergound well to explore. The island comes to life during the Japanese Golden Week (Beginning of May) as the locals host the annual music festival. The island has also played as a set for the Japanese TV drama called “Ruri no Shima”. As more and more exposure is given to the island, there will be an increase in the amount of visitors.
Kobushime (A kind of cuttlefish) [Peculiar creature]
Kobushime belongs to the cuttlefish family, it is very big and the length is over 50cm. The south of the Amami islands and the coral reef zone in the tropical Pacific Ocean are inhabited, and an egg with a diameter of 3cm is laid on Yoroisango, Ishisango etc. The color of the body has a white spot in deep purple brown, but, in order to protect the body when an enemy is encountered it can change to various colors.
Fiddler crab (Benishiomaneki)
Fiddler crab is a type of the sand crab family. The total length is approximately 3cm, and the color of the body varies from white or black, orange, pale blue. It is like the Yaeyama fiddler crab in that one scissor is larger then the others. It inhabits the muddy bottom and uses the organic substance in muddy sand as the staple food. Since there are few remaining, Yaeyama fiddler crabs are a very precious crab.
Dining on Hatoma Island
Very few restaurants are found on the island. Most minshukus offer 3 meals with your stay so you will not have to worry about anything. You can have your breakfast, take a walk, have a swim, come back for lunch, and then go out again for more rays. Enjoy!
Want to know more about Hateruma Island? Here are some links…
Hatoma Island (Hatoma-jima), Taketomi-cho (Taketomi Town)
Hirata Tourism Company – “Hatoma”
Okinawa’s Islands – “Hatoma Island”
Blog – Hatoma Island
Anei Kanko Co. – Sightseeing Boat Tour Operator for Hatoma Island of Yaeyama Islands
Contact: Hatoma Island (Hatoma-jima) Taketomi-cho (Taketomi town), Yaeyama-gun (Yaeyama district), Okinawa-ken (Okinawa Prefecture) 907-1544 , Japan [latitude and longitude: 24.472222,123.82] Taketomi town Tourism association TEL 09808-2-5445 Taketomi town Planning dept.