Take me to Taketomi

Location: Taketomi, Japan

It was a beautiful day in Japan. The sky was bright, the greens were vibrant, and the animals were plenty.

Our goal was to cover as much ground on the island as we could, stop at a few interesting landmarks, and just see as much as we could see. And I would say that we were very successful.

The first two insects I came across were quite similar.

We walked along an empty road, with lush leaves and trees poking into the sidewalk.

I saw several bulls along the way, but there was one in particular that caught my eye.

I liked its scar. It made the bull look more intimidating. I thought it could very well play the role of villain in one of those live action animal movies.

This island was a neat place. The people were few, and the homes looked like old stone houses from the medieval era. Cobblestone walls overgrown with vines and plants lined the walkway.

From a surprisingly far distance, my father saw a small creature dart across the trunk of a tree. I am still amazed how he managed to see such a well-camouflaged and tiny animal.

Asian House Gecko

It was a speedy little guy; an especially difficult animal to capture with my iPhone8. Every time I brought my camera close, it zipped away. It took much patience, but I got the picture. Eventually.

Then I saw a very weird looking grasshopper-like insect. And still, after staring at this picture for many minutes, I’m not quite sure where its head is.

I finally managed to snap a picture of one of the many scary looking wasps of Japan.

And then we entered the forest.

I was greeted with dozens of pretty flowers and fascinating plants,

a fiery ant,

a striped ladybug,

Six-spotted Zigzag Ladybird Beetle

and the coolest beetles I have ever seen.

Calliphara Excellens

The way their metallic emerald shells caught the sun and sparkled. The shiny multicoloured legs that seemed to change colour with every passing second. They were really something else.

Then we finally made it to our first stop. Starsand Beach.

Starsand Beach

There were hundreds of tiny little shells scuttling across the sand, more hermit crabs than I had ever seen before. This is where the Shell Wars happened.

Not too far off was our next stop: The Pier.

It was an amazing place to see aquatic wildlife. Fish are animals I never really get the chance to take pictures of, mostly because I do not like to swim. But this place had dozens of different species, and even a moray eel!

We stopped for a short but refreshing break at a restaurant that sold shaved ice.

The problem was, the signs looked like this:

And the shopkeeper hardly knew a word of English. So my family and I just tried to match the colours with flavours we knew. None of us chose any of the brown ones. Too risky.

Instead, I chose this:

It tasted like pineapple. I’m not quite sure why it was turquoise, but it was great, nonetheless.

On our way to our next destination, we passed by a very slow means of transportation.

Water Buffalo

Then the sky rumbled, and the clouds let loose their tears.

Thankfully, our next stop was indoors.

We descended into a deep and dark hole.

Stalagmites and jagged rock jutted from the ceiling.

Icy water plopped onto the craggy surface, and a small waterbed streamed through.

Bits of green sprouted where the only light shone.

And when we got out, the rain had gotten worse. It was a downpour. So we decided to end our trip there, but not without a little shopping first!

This was by far my most successful day of photography yet. I saw more animals, insects, and plants than ever before. I got to go into a cave, see a wild eel, and eat a mountain of ice! It was a great day!

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3 thoughts on “Take me to Taketomi

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